Even the best-laid holiday budgeting plans could use a little boost from time to time. Lucky for us, we live in a world where technology can help with that. The following are five tech products that can help you track and monitor your holiday spending. Once you have the financial part of the holidays figured out, the only thing left to do is enjoy it!
Availability: Available on both Apple and Android products
What is does: Helps you stick to a holiday spending budget
How it works: This budget tracking app uses the envelope system to help users limit spending. By setting aside what you need for expenses each month into a virtual “envelope,” you can ensure that you never unwittingly spend more than you have in your budget for specific items. Setting up a holiday “envelope” with a specific amount from each paycheck will help you do the same with your holiday spending goals. The app also syncs automatically with their website, so if you’re sharing a budget with a partner, you’ll be able to stay on the same page with holiday spending.
Product: Valley’s My Money Manager
Availability: Available to Valley customers
What it does: Allows you to connect multiple financial accounts in one place
How it works: For people with multiple accounts, it can be difficult to keep track of where your money is coming and going, particularly during the spending heavy holiday season. Valley’s My Money Manager allows you to quickly and securely connect multiple accounts — from multiple financial institutions — in one place. Keeping track of all your accounts this way — including things like checking and savings, investments, credit cards, mortgages and more — is the easiest way to make sure you have a good handle on your overall financial health, and to keep track of your net worth.
Availability: Available on Apple products
What it does: Helps you keep track of a travel budget
How it works: Gifts, décor and festivities take up a big chuck of holiday spending budgets, but there’s another area that might need to be accounted for: holiday travel. If you’ll be flying, driving or training to a destination, and if you’ll be staying in a hotel or home exchange, it’s important to budget for those things as part of your overall holiday spending. Tripcoin allows you to automatically log and categorize your travel expenses (with no internet connection required!) in as much detail as you’d like. You can then view your expenses whenever you’d like to ensure you’re staying within your budget. Progress reports provide helpful graphs and summaries that can be exported into Excel, Google Spreadsheets and others to help you follow exactly where your money is going.
Availability: Available on Apple products
What is does: Helps you save
How it works: Peak’s four-step system helps you put more money in your holiday savings account by making it easier. First, you set up your savings goals, including the name of the goal, the amount you want to save and when you want it saved by. Then you pick the automated Savings Plan that works best for you (automatic scheduled saves or round-ups), monitor your results, and adjust as necessary to reach your goal. The app allows you to customize the colors and additional details you see within the system, too, so everything feels completely personalized to your needs and likes.
Product: Traditional bank account settings
Availability: Depends on specific bank app
What it does: Depends on the specific bank app, but usually helps set spending limits, monitor for fraud, pay bills, etc.
How it works: You’ll need to check with your specific bank to see exactly what their app offers, but most banks allow you to set a spending limit on your account so that if you spend over that amount, you’ll receive a notification email or text. This can help you stay on track when you’re out doing your holiday shopping. Your bank might also be able to help you monitor for fraudulent charges, which tends to rise around the holiday season.
Americans spent an average $1,865 on gifts alone in 2020, and that was during what was arguably one of the hardest years we’ve weathered in decades. If you know you plan to spend this year on gifts, outings, travel and/or décor, it helps to set and stick with a budget. Using the above tech products can help.