feature image via Simple.
Money is such a sensitive topic, and sometimes I feel like it’s especially sensitive in the queer community. I know people who have told me they have full-on panic attacks while trying to make a budget or pay their taxes. And y’all, this is including me. I panic this hard about money, while at the same time considering myself to be very good with it. Last year, I put together a roundup of apps to help with that stress by making money a bit easier. But a lot has changed in a year. Here’s some new tech goodies to make the world of money seem way less scary. Save on, queermos, save on.
Honest Dollar is a retirement savings app and service that allows employers to set up IRA plans for employees, but also allows self-employed people (like many in the queer community) to set up their own IRA. It’s got a really friendly interface and step-by-step instructions that make retirement savings seem way less intimidating. It charges a $5 per month fee instead of a whole bunch of money and includes a sort of set-it-and-forget-it method. Plus their logo makes me laugh a lot—I think it looks a little sexual?
Full disclosure, I have a family member who works for Goldman Sachs, and this is a Goldman Sachs product. And I did hear about Honest Dollar from her, though I haven’t been at all pressured to write about it, nor have I gotten anything for it.
Level Money helps you take into account all your must-expenses (like rent), and your savings goals. And what’s left over is your spendable. Looking at that number lets you know how much you ACTUALLY have to spend, which is preferable to looking at your bank account and saying, yeah, I think I have enough. The huge pro to this is if something like You Need a Budget seems like so much work, this is way, way easier to set up and manage. I personally like having the understanding of my accounts that comes with categorizing everything myself in YNAB, but I pay the price in time. Connect bank accounts, download the app for Android or iPhone and just…do it. For free. The only con is if you’ve got more complex finances, this one might not be for you.
For those who want the You Need a Budget style flexible envelope budgeting without the You Need a Budget price tag, this here is Good Budget and it is good. It’s a great option with a ton of features in their free version, with ten regular envelopes and ten supplementary envelopes. What is an envelope you ask? Think about your money as cash instead of numbers on a screen. You mark an envelope as “Groceries” and put an amount inside it, and that’s what you have to spend on groceries for the month. Do that with all your budget categories and that’s envelope budgeting. But I find it’s easier to widge things around if you do it digitally—I personally wouldn’t do well on an envelope budget if it were chiseled in stone, and I have a sneaking suspicion that’d be true for some of y’all as well. If you need more devices or shared accounts, their paid plan is $45 per year. Get the app free for iPhone and Android (and use the webapp as well).
There’s only one major con with the free version of this one, and that’s only one year of history. That’s super no-go for me. But it might be just perfect for you!
Bad With Money, Hosted By Gaby Dunn
Hey, so this is exciting. Autostraddle fave Gaby Dunn is hosting a new podcast that normalizes talking and thinking about money and spending. It’s called Bad With Money. And it is not surprising that Gaby is, as usual, damn charming. You should subscribe to this thing! You should do it now! You should listen to it while you’re washing the dishes and/or making a budget. For a sample of how charming and wonderful Gaby is in other media, here is a video that has nothing to do with her podcast but will definitely convince you to subscribe to her podcast.
Subscribe on iTunes or on whichever podcatcher you prefer.
If I weren’t so attached to my bank account, I’d be banking with Simple. It’s a completely digital bank with gorgeous design that helps you save as well as spend your money. Like LevelMoney, it has a safe-to-spend feature that let’s you know when you’re good to go. And you can set savings goals and watch the bar tick up paycheck by paycheck. The best part: no fees. There just aren’t any fees. Sign up for Simple here, and grab the app for iPhone and Android. And yes, it’s FDIC insured.
I’m not huge into couponing, but I am constantly impressed with those who can always get a good deal. SnipSnap is perfect for those aspirational shoppers like me. Most everything else in this roundup is about saving, but we do have to buy things sometimes. Take photos of items to find coupons for it or find it for a better price so your favorite store can price match. Take photos of coupons and store them in the app so you never forget them when you shop. You can also search for coupons if you’re not really getting a whole lot of paper coupons. Free for iOS and Android.
So what about you? What technology are you using for your gay money nowadays? Let’s talk about it!