Saving for a down payment is often the hardest part of purchasing a home. With conventional loan programs requiring 20% down or more and government programs still requiring a minimum of 3%, people often struggle to come up with the money to get themselves into their very own home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools out there to help you figure out where all your money is going and give you better control over your expenses. These applications are sometimes free and sometimes paid, but the small investment you make in them will help you get better results in the long-term. After all, it's hard to save money when you have no idea how much is coming and going each month.
Buxfer is a fantastic all-around budgeting tool. They have both a website and an app, and they offer a tiered service with the basic options starting at free. What's great about Buxfer is that you can link your accounts to a bank, credit card, loan, or other institution so that balances automatically update. They will also automatically add in transactions as they occur.
Buxfer will allow you to see all of your account balances and transactions in one app or desktop interface. You can even add your scheduled payments and paychecks into the system so that you always know how much money is about to go in or out of your accounts. This truly help you stay on top of your spending.
Additionally, the spending breakdowns and Forecast tools offered by Buxfer let you see just how much money you can afford to put away and where you can afford to cut back.
#2 You Need A Budget
YNAB is definitely one of the more talked about budgeting tools, but it comes with mixed reviews and mixed results. The biggest con is its cost, but if you're willing to invest in an elaborate budgeting tool, this may be the way to go.
YNAB allows you to put in all of your income and expenses similarly to Buxfer and many other tools on the market. It works on your phone and the software can be installed on your computer. You can sync your YNAB account with your bank accounts so transactions automatically import.
Designed by Intuit, Mint is a highly-rated money manager and personal finance application that gives you a sleek overview of your accounts each time you open it up on your phone, tablet, or other device.
The great thing is that, unlike the other two apps mentioned above, Mint will even show you a free credit score to help you track your credit worthiness, which will certainly have a big impact on your mortgage application down the road. Having this in one place alongside finances can help many people get smarter about their money.
Mint is free and it also syncs with QuickBooks and TurboTax, which makes it super easy to get your taxes completed come tax season each year. You can use your Intuit tax reporting software and pull all financial information from Mint to make things much easier for yourself.
#4 Other Options
There is no shortage of budgeting apps available on the market. Here's a look at some of the many other popular options that are worth your consideration:
If you need more financial advice on how to save for a down payment, our team of mortgage experts at Horizon FHA Loans is always here to help.