The Millennial Financial Toolkit to Crush Your Money Goals
Go-to tools and resources you'll need to manage your money
In the era of technology, with a new app launched every day, it can be overwhelming to navigate the space of personal finance online. But, if you know where to look—and which tools to rely on—it can be easier than ever to master your finances and get on track. Start the year off right with this list of ten tools you won’t regret having in your financial toolkit, as a Millennial, Gen-Zer, or member of any generation.
1. Ditch your zero-interest Checking Account and use a high-yield option like OnJuno, instead
This is a simple one: start using a high-yield checking account, like OnJuno, so that your passive income grows. While many put their money in a high-yield savings account—which is a fantastic first step!—you can grow your money even further by using a high-yield checking account.
With no minimum balance and no withdrawal limits, OnJuno has all the perks of a traditional checking account with a much higher interest rate, too. It’s the perfect first step to taking control of your finances in 2021.
2. Use a no-fee brokerage account like the one Public offers
Public allows you to begin investing in the stocks, ETFs, and other funds, commission-free. For those looking to dabble in the stock market or who know which ETFs and funds they’d like to own, this is an easy, low-fee way to do just that and you’re likely to grow your money, particularly with their commission-free scheme.
3. Automate your investing with a platform like Wealthfront
Investing is difficult and an advisor is often pricey. But, robo-advisors like Wealthfront, Betterment, or Ellevest have made investing much more accessible to everyone, not just those with the money to afford an advisor. With Wealthfront, or other robo-advisors, you simply select a pre-constructed portfolio, transfer your money, and watch it grow.
There aren’t any minimums and the fees are much lower than they would be if you were to hire someone to construct a personalized portfolio for you, not to mention the returns from any of these sites are impressive and rival the S&P500.
You may not even realize it, but your credit score can change fairly frequently. Even seemingly non-financial decisions, like moving apartments, can affect your credit score if a new landlord pulls your credit report. As such, it’s best to stay on top of your credit score using a platform like Credit Karma. Regularly checking your credit score also allows you to better understand what can affect your credit score and making you more knowledgeable in the long-run—a win-win situation!
5. Predict your future retirement savings under various scenarios with Personal Capital
Personal Capital syncs all of your money accounts to present to you a Retirement Readiness Score. This primarily analyzes your savings, how much they’re growing, and look at your 401(k). While most millennials are contributing to some kind of retirement savings every year, it’s tough to know how much is really sufficient for retirement and that’s where Personal Capital comes in, to do the math for you and present various scenarios in case you do need to change your retirement contribution.
YNAB seamlessly integrates all of your accounts—checking, savings, credit cards, retirement, Venmo, you name it! As such, they make it easy to see all of your transactions in one place. Using this knowledge, you can build custom budgets with YNAB, even tracking which categories you’re spending most of your income on (rent versus groceries versus entertainment). One of the best parts is that you can use YNAB on the go, too, as an app that you can reference before making an impulse purchase.
If you have multiple credit cards, which you likely do if you’re maximizing your purchase points through different credit channels, you’ll want to get ahold of Prism. While similar to Mint, the magic of Prism is that the app will inform you whenever a new bill becomes available or payment is due. Instead of combing through email notifications or having to keep track of new bills on your calendar, Prism automates that process for you, allowing you to see all of your bills, whether it be utilities or credit cards, in one place and immediately pay it off before accruing a late fee.
Debt Payoff Assistant allows you to see all of your debt in one place, whether they be student loans or credit card debt, and then make a personalized plan of action. You can choose to tackle your debt based off of your largest balance, the biggest interest rate, or other factors. Debt Payoff Assistant will further track your progress for you, allowing you to set milestones and reach them much more realistically.
Anyone who has more than one credit card can attest to the difficulties of tracking credit card rewards. Not only are credit card companies introducing new perks every month, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but their roster of discounts or the point value for particular purchases changes every few weeks, too. Award Wallet allows you to keep on top of this, though, instead of wading through multiple emails to figure out how to get the most use out of your credit card. If you’re someone who’s paying an annual fee for their credit card, this is especially useful since you want to be maximizing on credit card perks and redeeming those rewards so that, at minimum, your annual fee is paid off.
10. If you budget with a partner, roommate, or sibling use Honeydue
Honeydue is an app that allows primarily couples to stay on top of their joint finances. You may be close enough to a roommate or a sibling to use this app, too, though, and it makes it easy to see both people’s financial accounts, budgets, and expenses all in one place opposed to combining multiple spreadsheets or accounts individually.
11. If you want to know where your money is going, track it using Copilot
While similar to a budgeting app, Copilot goes beyond, using machine learning to deliver personalized insights that can help you understand your spending and savings habits. Since the app is driven by an AI, it is constantly improving, offering better insights the longer you use it. Moreover, you can access all your accounts from one place, in a safe and secure manner.
12. If you’re hoping to optimize your spending, you need Truebill
While it’s one thing to know where your money is being spent and how much of your budget you’re tapping into, it’s another to truly take control of your money, managing subscriptions and lowering your bills by optimizing your spending. Truebill helps you do just that by connecting all your accounts and cancelling underused applications. Truebill even negotiates on the best deals for your utilities, getting you refunds when your internet is slow, and automatically puts the money it saves for you into savings accounts to help increase your overall net worth.
Keertana Anandraj is a recent college grad living in San Francisco. When she isn’t conducting international macroeconomic research at her day job, you can find her in the spin room or planning her next adventure.
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Evolve Bank & Trust; Member FDIC
The OnJuno Checking Account and Debit Card are part of an offering of CAPITALJ Inc ("OnJuno") and Evolve Bank and Trust, Member FDIC. Your deposits at each Bank are eligible for insurance by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $250,000, subject to FDIC rules on aggregation of deposits held in the same insurable capacity. Please visit the FDIC website. Neither OnJuno by CAPITALJ Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries is a Bank.