Advertisement
Technology

Use Financial Apps to Track Spending in Retirement

Start keeping tabs on where your nest egg is really going with your smartphone.

When Lauren Lindsay joined a large group of about 20 friends for brunch recently, things quickly got complicated. “Different people ordered different things, and some had to come and go at different times,” says Lindsay, 49, a financial planner in Houston. “And the place wouldn’t do separate checks.”

But the friend who organized the brunch had a simple solution, Lindsay says. She paid the entire bill and then used the payment sharing app Venmo, letting people know what they owed and how much the tip was, so she could be reimbursed. Lindsay also regularly uses Venmo to split dining and other expenses. “It’s very handy so you aren’t chasing people down when they owe you money,” she says. “Not very many people carry cash in general anymore, so this is the way things are going.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

For retirees, organizing expenses and splitting checks equitably are key ways to keep a handle on everyday spending, which can be stressful when adjusting to life without a paycheck from a job coming in. While your grandkids may be familiar with a range of apps that help manage spending, you may be on a financial tech learning curve. Four in 10 seniors now own smartphones, which is double the number in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center. But some remain wary of using financial apps. For others, it may just be a matter of getting comfortable using such an app, says Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Kahler says he only recommends to clients the apps that he actually uses. He likes TurboScan, which uses your phone’s camera to scan a receipt and helps keep the virtual receipts organized. Another favorite: GasBuddy, which Kahler accesses when he rents a car while traveling. Instead of taking the option to return the car with the tank empty and face a more costly rental company charge for filling it, he uses GasBuddy to find the lowest priced station in an unfamiliar area.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Kahler says he and some of his older clients also like Mint, a money-management app. You can create a monthly budget with it, putting your expenses in as many as 20 categories. You can even keep track of charitable gifts, which you can then use as a record at tax time. After you’ve entered the target amounts for each category, you link your bank account and watch your recent expenses automatically fill progress bars for each category. Or you could use an expense-tracking app, such as Fearless Finance.

Find the App for You

To use an app, download it from Apple’s App Store if you have an iPhone or from Google Play if you have an Android mobile device. Many apps are free, but doublecheck for any charges or fees first.

You can log in to Venmo using your Facebook account, which lets you pull in your friends list. To pay or request to be paid back, enter the username or phone number of the recipient within the app. Enter the amount and what the money is for, then select “Pay” or “Request.”

To transfer money you receive in Venmo to your bank account, select “Transfer to Bank.” Note the instant transfer fee is 1% of the transfer amount, with a minimum fee of 25 cents and a maximum of $10. To send money without burdening the recipient with a transfer fee, consider the gifting app called NextRound. You also can use Tab, another app, to make it easier to request payments through Venmo. Tab gives you a code to share with friends so they can join in on the bill from their smartphones. You also can send money to friends through Zelle and PayPal.

If apps aren’t for you, you could instead create an Excel spreadsheet to track spending. Or you might decide that it’s more important to enjoy a meal with friends and family than to worry about splitting the bill, and let it go.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for paying estimated taxes, IRA or HSA contributions, and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your feder…
July 14, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Tax Day 2020: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?
tax deadline

Tax Day 2020: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 tax deadline was pushed back to give taxpayers (and tax preparers) more time to file returns.
July 14, 2020

Recommended

If You're Using Cash Less Often, You're Part of a Trend
Technology

If You're Using Cash Less Often, You're Part of a Trend

The pandemic is speeding up the use of digital payments.
July 2, 2020
The Best Bank Accounts for You
banking

The Best Bank Accounts for You

Kiplinger's contributing editor Lisa Gerstner joins our Your Money's Worth podcast to unveil the best banks for all kinds of savers. Also, our hosts R…
June 30, 2020
The Best Bank for You, 2020
banking

The Best Bank for You, 2020

We've identified the banks and credit unions that offer the best combination of high rates, low fees and a customer-friendly focus.
June 25, 2020
9 Reasons to Retire in an RV
retirement

9 Reasons to Retire in an RV

RV-loving retirees talk about the upsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle. Even Presi…
June 8, 2020