Best Apps to Help Manage Your Money

With the New Year here, everyone is trying to get themselves together and get more organized. This includes money management! From a young age, my parents had always taught me about savings and how to properly manage my money. I was raised where I always had to work for the things that I want, whether that be a new Bratz doll, a new pair of shoes, or a car, I had to purchase everything on my own. This taught me to be more careful with my money and hold tight to every last dollar I had. I am so appreciative of these life lessons because now I manage my money like a pro and have savings and investments on my side and am able to life comfortably, while still buying the things that I want to buy.

Today’s blog post is going to be all about some helpful apps that I have found that have made me stay organized and kept me on track! I have four main apps that I want to share with you guys and all but one of them are free to download. Let’s get into it!

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Apps starting from top left; RFBCU (my bank), Cash App, Venmo, Paypal, Shoeboxed, Mint, Tiny Invoice, Expensify, Bill.com

Above is a screenshot of all my “Finance” apps. I’m sure you guys are familiar with the basics – Paypal, Cash App, Venmo, etc., Today we are just focusing on Mint, Expensify, Shoeboxed, and Tiny Invoice.

Starting with the Mint app, this is the one that everyone needs to download. I have forced this app upon all my family and friends because it is just so helpful and really calls you out if you’re one of those people that tends to over spend on unnecessary items. You can create budgets, manage your bills, and even check your credit score on this app.

The above isn’t my personal account (for obvious reasons) just photos of the app that I pulled off the internet. This is the layout of the app, starting with the left side it shows you what is going on in your bank account and how much you have in checking/savings and investments. You link your bank account upon downloading the app and you can also link accounts to your bills as well. The app gives you reminders of upcoming bills and you can either pay them from the app or set them up as auto-pay. Also on the left, you can see it shows you how well you are doing with your budget for the month. The app gives you a certain budget based on info from your accounts, but you can toggle it to better suit your needs.

In the middle of the app, it gives you a pie chart based off your expenses. This organizes everything you have spent money on (based on your bank statements) and puts everything into categories so you can see where all your money has gone to for the month. The categories include Personal Care, Pets, Auto and Transport, Food, Home, Shopping, Travel, Bills, and other. I have a love/hate relationship with this because of course it’s an amazing way to keep track of everything, but it’s also a little heartbreaking to see a giant chunk of the pie going to bills… and food.

On the right side, it gives you all the debts/credits in your bank account and keeps track of all transactions. This side (which on the actual app, it’s not broken into pages like shown above. It’s just one long page that your scroll up and down on.) shows you a more detailed version of your budget. This tells you how much you’ve spent on certain things during the month and how much more you have left to spend – not that you need to hit the budget for the month, it’s totally okay, and best, to be under it!

The Mint app is by far my favorite and most helpful app and I feel like everyone needs to download it! Moving into more business oriented apps, I have a free download option (with in app purchases based on your use for the app) and then a paid app. Both are basically the same and get the job done, it is just totally up to personal preference!

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Starting with the free version, Expensify. This app is one of my favorites for keeping track of receipts, doing expense reports, and tracking mileage. This is amazing if you are an independent contractor and have to keep track of a million receipts for tax purposes! All you have to do is take a quick snap of your receipt and it will automatically process it into an expense report. You can add comments to the specific receipt, categorize it (travel, office supplies, etc.) and it automatically adds in the merchant name, total, and date of purchase. Again, super helpful for taxes.

The next app, Shoeboxed, does the same thing as Expensify but it is a paid app. It has three separate plans, the lowest starting at $4.99. I like this one a little bit more than Expensify because the layout is a little more appealing and easier to operate.

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In my opinion, this app just looks better and feels more organized than Expensify. It’s the same process where you snap a photo of a receipt, except on this one you choose what category you’d like the receipt to go in to. Since Expensify does it automatically, it’s not always done correctly. Another thing I really like about this app is that you can also snap a photo of business cards and it organizes all the info from the cards and stores it for you, so you don’t have to worry about ever losing anyone’s info ever again! This one also has mileage tracking! You just click a button once you’re in the car and then again when you get to your destination and it tracks it all for you!

These apps are mainly used in businesses or for the self employed, but if you are neither of those things, it’s still very useful to keep track of receipts and spending! The last app I have in specifically for invoices, so if you aren’t an independent contractor or business, you probably wont need or get much use out of this one. However, if you are, I highly recommend this app!

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As advertised, it is insanely quick and easy to fill out and send off invoices from this app! All you have to do is fill out your own contact info (billing address) once and it stores it so that sending off invoices is quick and easy. From there, you just need to fill out the business name and address of who you are invoicing, the amount owed, when it’s due, and that’s it! It shoots off an e-mail and then gives you a reminder when the invoice is due or if it becomes overdue. Super easy, super quick. I love this app!

Those are my top four apps for managing finances! I hope you guys found this post helpful. Let me know in the comments down below any other apps you guys recommend and what you’d like to see next! Thank you so much for reading!

How to Pack and Prepare for Travel

If you saw my 2017 Highlight Reel, you may have noticed I travel pretty often. (If you haven’t seen that post, you can find it right here!) Whether it be to a tropical island, NYC, LA, or just a city over, I always write up a Travel Checklist to make sure I don’t forget all the important stuff! I’m attaching my personal checklist, that I designed, with all the basic needs for any trip! Feel free to print it out and use on your own!

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This checklist covers all the essentials and has come in handy so many times! I don’t know what it is about packing, but it’s like I go temporarily insane and forget everything! I don’t know how many times I’ve left my boarding pass at home, or even my phone charger! I like to bring a carry-on backpack and then a carry-on suitcase for most trips. If I’m going on a week long (or longer) excursion, I usually end up with a backpack, small carry-on suitcase, and then checking a large suitcase.

In my backpack, I place all my “entertainment” items from the checklist above. These are all the items that you’re going to want to keep easily accessible on the plane! I also keep my “essential” items in the front pocket of my backpack because these are things I’m going to constantly have to pull in and out. Then depending on the size of my backpack, I’ll place a few of my “comfort” items in there (snacks, eye mask, blanket, etc.) or in my carry-on suitcase. Things like the neck pillow or blanket you can also just hold or wrap around your suitcase handle. I promise the flight attendants wont bother you about those items being left out since they know you will be using them on your flight.

For my makeup bag, I’m usually going to events specific to makeup, so personally I pack a full face. Of course you can tweak this next list to better suit your travel needs, but this is just what I go off of!

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I created a little video a while back showing how I pack my makeup for travel, I’ll attach it below to give you a visual. My favorite makeup bag (shown in the video) is from PurseN! They have so many different sized bags and ones for all sorts of things, not just makeup! In the video I am using in the video is the Diva Makeup Travel Bag, but it’s seriously giant and you probably don’t need all of that unless you throw in your skincare as well. The one I usually use is the Tiffany Makeup Travel Bag, which is smaller but still has tons of room for all your products. For my makeup brushes, I never store them in the same bag as my makeup. I like to use cylinder brush holders, like this Sigma one, so the brushes don’t get flattened or frayed.

 

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For all of my skincare/toiletries, I pack them separate from my makeup, but again you can do whatever is best for you! I also have a pretty intense skincare routine, so you definitely don’t need all of the items on this next list! Since I usually pack miniature items in my toiletries bag, I just use any regular sized makeup bag. I recently bought a little plastic one at Forever 21 and it works out just fine!

Purple and Cream Stripes Packing List (1)

Just remember that if you are taking any of your toiletries onto the plane in a carry-on bag, make sure liquids don’t exceed the 3.4 ounces limit or that you’re not bringing along any aerosol cans. Another tip, always put liquids in plastic baggies, or at the very least use a plastic makeup bag, just in case anything spills over or explodes from the pressure.

Moving into the actual suitcase, this is pretty self explanatory, packing-wise, and different for each traveler. Always check weather ahead of time and if you have any activities planned, pack accordingly.

My favorite brand for luggage is Away! I have the “bigger carry on” and it’s perfect size for a weekend trip of clothes and shoes. I definitely recommend getting a set of both that one and the “large” one, then you’ll have room for any sized trip. I like to bring both when I travel long periods of time, or overseas. It also has a portable charger built into it with room for two USB cords – major key.

I know it’s hard to not over-pack and bring your entire closet with you, but if you do find yourself running out of space and you can’t leave any of the items at home, one of the most popular packing tips is to roll up your clothes, rather than fold! This doesn’t work well with thicker clothing (winter apparel) but if you have t-shirts, shorts, etc., it’s super helpful! If you know what activities you will be doing or events you will be attending, plan outfits accordingly and try not to bring anything you know you probably wont be wearing. The last thing you want is to lug around a ton of items you wont even be using, and have them taking up space! Packing a lot of versatile pieces, like one pair of jeans or a sweater that will match any outfit you’re bringing, helps save space, too! Always make sure you have a little bit of extra room in your suitcase for items you make take home with you, as well!

Those are my best packing tips and tricks! I hope those of you traveling soon found this helpful! Be safe on your travels and take lots of photos! Thank you so much for reading!

Getting Organized in 2018

A new year is a great time to turn the page and get organized! My favorite part of each new year is getting a fresh, new planner to help sort myself out, along with some other fun office supplies that really make me feel like I have my life together! Well, at least until March, when I kind of fall off again but… Hey, A for effort, right? I decided to link up some adorable (and efficient!) supplies and accessories to help you start the new year off the right way!

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This Bando 12 month planner is perfect to kick start your year and keep track of all meetings, appointments, and social events! I love the positive message on the outside of the planner and I’m especially obsessed with the color scheme – so me! The best part of all though… STICKERS ARE INCLUDED. I have the 17 month version of this and it is such a major help in keeping me on track and organized. I highly recommend picking this up if you’re schedule is packed and you find yourself having a hard time keeping up with it!

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Another Bando favorite of mine is this classic, large, pink spiral notebook that says “I am Very Busy” in holographic lettering! Can’t go wrong with a notebook, I love to keep one to write down my dreams, ideas, and just any general notes!

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These Kate Spade Pastel Highlighters are ideal (and adorable!) for highlighting important details without the usual eyesore that is the standard florescent yellow! These would look so cute displayed on your desk and the inspirational sayings on each one is an added bonus!

 

I bought this Rose Gold Desk Accessory Kit off Amazon last year and I love it so much, I had to include it! It’s no longer available on Amazon, but I did find it on Sam’s Club and the UBrands website! It comes with a pencil holder, tape dispenser, stapler, two pens, and scissors! It looks adorable on my desk and is functional and efficient!

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These expandable file folders are a life saver for me! It’s how I organize all my receipts and checks and it helps me keep track of everything for my taxes! I love this fun tropical and gold print one from Target, pictured above!

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Another great way to keep organized is this tiered Desktop Storage Drawer Set! I like to keep important letters, contracts, etc., easily accessible on my desk and this is a cute way to store it all! If you don’t have a ton of drawer space at your desk, this is ideal!

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I had to include this gorgeous Kate Spade laptop bag, perfect if you travel often and work a lot from your laptop! Super cute and has storage for you laptop top and all it’s accessories!

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Lastly, you need a cute pencil case! This Bando one is a great daily dose of inspo and fits everything you may need!

If you guys would like a follow up post on specifics on how I stay organized, rather than what products I use, please let me know! I’d be more than happy to write up my organizational tips on how to get it together, and keep it together! Thanks so much for reading! FTC: Some links above are affiliate links and I receive a small commission if purchases are made through the link.

Nordstrom Home Sale Finds!

Since everyone seemed to love my previous Nordstrom finds post, I decided to do a spin-off post dedicated to just the items I found in the sale section, since it is their big yearly sale from now until January 2nd! I found SO many amazing products, at such a great price, so I’ll be splitting up the blog posts into different categories! Today’s post is dedicated to only home pieces and decor! I tried to pack in a bunch of variety for everyone’s needs – I hope you find what you’re looking for! Treat yo self with all that Christmas money, boo!

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  1. Paws-itive Vibes Tote was $24, now $14.40
  2. Collapsible Water Bottle (Available in 3 colors) was $19.95, now $11.90
  3. Bando 17 month Floral Plannerwas $20, now $11.98
  4. Pink Canvas Accent Pillow (Available in 3 colors) was $59, now $46.90
  5. Foundry Candlewas $16.99, now $12.90
  6. Shaggy Plush Pillow was $59, now $35.40
  7. Pink Feather Faux Fur Throw was $39, now $29.90
  8. Gold Pineapple Tumblerwas $35, now $20.98
  9. Bando Glitter Bomb 16 ounce Water Bottle was $24, now $14.40
  10. Rainbow Travel Tumbler was $15, now $8.98
  11. Ooh Burn Dish Towel Set was $24, now $19.90
  12. Less Monday, More Coffee Mug was $13, now $7.80

Listed above is my Top 12 Home Favorites (not all are pictured). The best part about shopping Nordstrom online is that they are always offering free shipping, no minimum. Seriously. Always.

I wanted to create a versatile list of items so that everyone browsing could find something they love. Of course I love everything above, that’s why I picked it (lol), but I highly recommend picking up the Bando Planner! The one pictured is size medium, but they also carry a large, so depending on what you need it for you can decide what is best for you! I own the large version, with a different cover style, and it is my favorite thing in the world! It keeps me extremely organized, but it’s also just adorable and features a TON of really fun stickers! If you’re a busy bee like me, GET ONE. Another absolute need, the faux feather throw.. Do I even need to explain? It feels like heaven and is just the coziest!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, stay tuned for my other top picks in different categories (shoes, bags, clothes, etc.) Thanks for reading! XO

FTC: Some links above are affiliate links, which means if purchased through my link, I recieve a small commission. Thanks for your support!