Get Out of Debt with Help From the Web
by Jeremy Cleland
If you have debt hanging over your head — whether it is a mortgage, credit card payments or student loans — it can be beyond overwhelming. But with a new crop of apps and websites focused on helping you dig out of debt, the journey to becoming debt-free is now much easier to navigate.
“The Web can be a fantastic resource for getting your debt under control,” says Todd Curtis, Chief Knowledge Officer at the education site and app You Need A Budget (YNAB). “For example, people end up in debt because they've been spending more than they earn. No value judgment there, it's just math. But spending habits aren't always easy to change, and this is where the web-as-community can be super helpful.”
There are many blogs, forums and sites dedicated to cutting spending, and using the web can help you whittle back debt anonymously, without the shame and blame.
“You might not be willing to admit to your best friend, your neighbor or your brother that you're deep in debt and struggling to deal with it,” says Curtis. “But on the web, you can find people in just your situation, who are also looking for someone to talk with, to strategize with. Knowing you're not the only one can be really important.”
Here are some apps that can help you melt debt and reline your pockets with cash:
The app is free for your iOS/Android devices. The desktop tool, which comes with online classes, has a one-time fee of $60
What you’ll love
YNAB helps you become aware of how you’re spending your money, which is a key step to getting out of debt.
This budgeting app helps ensure you spend less than you earn, and that you're spending only on what's important — in other words, it helps you prioritize what matters most to you, money-wise.
What you’ll love
You can pay down your debt while tracking your credit score, it reminds you when payments are due and links all your debt accounts in one place so you can make a personalized payoff plan, as well as track your progress visually with its helpful charts.
Free for 2 devices; Plus version is $5/month or $45/year for 5 devices
What you’ll love
You can create “envelopes” for each of your budget categories like groceries, eating out, phone and, yes debt payoff, to help you stay on track with your expenses.
Meanwhile, you can sync your budgets across two to five devices, so everyone in your household is up-to-date on what’s left in your envelopes.
When it comes to finding the right app for you, Curtis says something is better than nothing. “In some ways, all these apps have a positive effect by getting you thinking about your money,” he said. “That awareness is what makes the biggest difference.”
Jeremy Cleland has been a spokesperson for several Silicon Valley startups, like Tesla Motors, and spearheaded global stories about technology featured in media like Vice, Time magazine, Forbes and Wired.com. He’s also the dad to a 5-year-old who is already more tech-savvy than him.
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Article: Copyright © 2017, Studio One.
Personal Finance: "Get Out of Debt with Help From the Web"