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Top Three Budgeting Apps For The Thrifty

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The best budgeting apps help you understand your income and spending, so you have maximum control over your money. Budgeting apps may connect to your bank account and credit cards to automatically download transactions and categorize your spending to match the budget you choose.

The best budgeting apps come at an affordable price point, are easy to use and integrate with your accounts, and have features that match your budgeting style. Here are the top budgeting apps for the thrifty.

  1. You Need A Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget (YNAB) earns the top spot because of the company’s renowned budgeting philosophy and reputation. YNAB says new budgeters typically save $600 in their first two months and more than $6,000 in their first year. Although YNAB is the most costly option on our list, the company offers a 34-day free trial.

YNAB offers the ability to sync your bank accounts, import your data from a file, or manually enter each transaction. To begin, the company suggests learning the basics about the app through video courses, a live workshop, or reading a guide. YNAB offers a proactive budgeting approach, rather than tracking what you have already spent, like some competitors.

After signing up, you create your first budget and assign every dollar a purpose, like your rent or car payment, for example. The goal is to eventually get at least one month ahead, so you’re spending money you earned 30 days ago. The company offers extensive educational resources and customer support to keep you on track.   

YNAB says privacy and security are its top priority. The company protects your information by using bank-level encryption for all data, best practices for password security, third-party audits, and more.

  1. Mint

Mint offers the best-known free budgeting app on the market. It’s a great option for anyone looking to improve their spending habits. The app is free, but you may see targeted financial product advertisements. 

You may sync your financial accounts within the app or manually add transactions. Mint allows you to see all your accounts in one place and keep track of your spending daily. The app automatically organizes your spending so that you can see totals by category at a glance. Mint also offers monthly bill tracking, including payment reminders to avoid late fees. The app also offers the ability to keep track of your investments and check portfolio fees. Mint offers a few education resources like a home affordability calculator, loan repayment calculator, and blog with various personal finance topics. 

Mint protects your data through features like security scanning with Verisign, multi-factor authentication, and touch ID mobile access. The company stores your login information in a separate database with multiple layers of hardware and software encryption.

  1. Simplify by Quicken

Simplifi by Quicken ranks best for cash flow because of the app’s effective tracking capabilities. It’s the best option for staying on top of how much you can spend between your paychecks. The app offers a free 30-day trial, and then you will pay $3.99 per month (billed annually at $47.99) or $5.99 per month if you choose not to pay upfront.

To get started, you have to sync bank accounts, and then you will have a complete snapshot of your finances. The app automatically categorizes your spending, tracks recurring bills and subscriptions, and stays on top of upcoming expenses. 

One standout feature is the app’s custom watchlists, which allow you to limit spending by category or payee. Also, the custom spending plan monitors cash flow to make sure you never spend more than you make. Simplifi by Quicken offers tips while you’re using the app, but there’s also a blog full of educational content at your fingertips.

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Featured

The Seven Best Healthy Lifestyle Apps To Keep You In Tip-Top Shape!

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A healthy lifestyle is about more than just proper nutrition and consistent exercise. Getting enough sleep, taking care of your body and mind, and managing things like medications and doctor’s appointments also play important roles in staying healthy.

A good app can be a great way to manage it all. That’s why Healthline tested a variety of different healthy lifestyle apps. We chose the year’s best based on content, reliability, and user reviews.

  1. HealthTap

Questions about your health? Browse more than 2.6 million answers from doctors and 700,000 topics and articles about 850 conditions. Ask a question for free and get a confidential answer from a doctor within about 24 hours, or pay to see a doctor immediately.

  1. ShopWell: Better Food Choices

Simplify nutrition labels and find foods that suit your healthy diet with ShopWell. Create a food profile with your dietary goals, allergies, health concerns, and dislikes, and get personalized nutrition scores when you scan a label. Other features include food recommendations and location awareness tips to find products in your local grocery store.

  1. Elevate: Brain Training

This brain-training program is designed to improve your focus, speaking abilities, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more. Get a personalized training program that adjusts the more you use it to maximize your results.

  1. Fabulous: Self Care

Build healthy habits with Fabulous so you can enjoy a healthier, happier life. The app takes a holistic approach that motivates you to be more productive. You’ll maximize energy levels, find more focus, lose weight, and sleep better — just follow the app’s prompts.

  1. Health Pal

Health Pal has all the features you’d ever think to need to keep your lifestyle healthy. From a step counter and diet reminders throughout the day to food and exercise trackers, the Health Pal app is a daily companion tool to empower your journey toward a holistically healthy lifestyle. It houses info on your diet, your fitness, and many other health resources in one place.

  1. Remente – Self Improvement

Being healthy is more than just eating right, drinking enough water, and sleeping well — it’s also about getting your mind right. The Remente app gives you many resources to help search your life for happiness and fulfillment, with goal setting, a daily planning tool for day-to-day tasks and longer-term goals, and written and visual features to help you track your feelings in detailed ways that can help you better understand what brings your life purpose.

  1. Health and Nutrition Guide & Fitness Calculators

Trying to actively diet and lose weight can seem like math when you try to break down macros, parse ingredients, or seemingly calculate every calorie. This app helps you understand how the choices you make about your overall diet, rather than fixating on certain nutrients, affect your health and nutritional intake. It provides detailed information about the benefits of many healthy foods for vegetarians and meat eaters. It also lets you calculate your BMI and other body measurements to see how changes in your diet result in either positive or negative health results.

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Design

Six Simple Steps To Build Your Own Website From Scratch

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Building a website for you or your business has, traditionally, always been quite an expensive endeavor. This is because at the very least, you would have needed to pay for hosting, domain registration, and – unless you designed and developed the website yourself – professional assistance to build the website. 

However, in the last few years, advances in technology mean things have changed, and now it’s more than possible to build a website for free, without spending a cent. One of the simplest ways to do this is choosing one of the best website builders, signing up for your preferred service’s free plan, and then creating your own site yourself. 

The best thing about undertaking this process yourself is that you don’t need to have any web development or design experience. That’s because the more complex elements of the website building process are taken care of for you. Here, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to build a website for free.

  1. Choose a free website builder

There are numerous free website builders on the market. Most have their own sets of pros and cons, which means you will need to spend a little time choosing the best option for your needs.

For example, Wix is the world’s most popular builder, and it comes with a great free plan. However, the sheer power of its editor means that a lot of people have trouble learning how to use it, and it might not be the best choice for absolute beginners.

On the other side of the equation are options like the GoDaddy builder, which is quite basic but extremely easy to use. It doesn’t offer anything near the power of competitors like Wix, but it’s a great choice for absolute beginners with little confidence.

  1. Create An Account

Most website builders with a free forever option are very easy to get started with. Usually, you will be asked to provide a few personal details, such as your name, email address, and a password. You shouldn’t ever have to enter payment information when signing up for a free website builder. 

Every free website builder worth using has some sort of template library. Here, you will find a selection of high-quality, professional designs that you can use as a starting point for your new site. In most cases, templates are heavily categorized, allowing you to quickly filter them according to the type of site you want to build. 

  1. Choose A Subdomain

Most free website builders, including Wix, Weebly, and GoDaddy, provide you with a branded subdomain. In general, you will be able to customize this, but it will have some sort of extension related to your builder. You won’t be able to connect your own domain without upgrading to a paid plan. 

For example, Weebly gives you a domain that looks like “mywebsite.weebly.com” and lets you customize the “mywebsite” part. On the other hand, GoDaddy simply sets your domain as “websitename.godaddysites.com”, and you can’t change this. 

  1. Settings Set-Up

Now that you’ve signed up for a new account and selected a template, it’s time to start editing your website. Start by customizing global design settings. GoDaddy allows you to select a color scheme and two universal fonts, but some other builders let you change even more than this.

  1. Add new pages and personalize your menu bar

Before you start editing your site’s content, it’s a good idea to create the pages you’re going to need and link to them from your main menu. Most website builders make this very easy to do, and many even have templates for things like contact and service pages.

  1. Customize Your Page

Once you’ve created the pages you need, it’s time to jump into the content creation and page design processes. Some website builders, like Wix and HostGator, use a drag-and-drop interface that lets you position design elements exactly where you want them.

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Management

Nine Ways On How You Can Protect Your Computer From Hackers

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Where was the last public place you visited that had Wi-Fi? These days, nearly every coffee shop, library, airport and hotel offer a way to access the internet from your cell phone or other mobile device. That means the information you have on your phone could be available to hackers in the area – unless you’ve taken steps to protect your data. 

Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Don’t access personal or financial data with public Wi-Fi

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people check their bank accounts or make purchases with a credit card while using public Wi-Fi. It’s best to do those things on a secure connection.

  1. Turn off anything you don’t need

Hackers can use certain features on your phone to get at your information, location or connection. So, instead of keeping your GPS, wireless connection and geo-tracking on all the time, just turn them on when you need them.

  1. Choose your apps wisely

Only download apps from trustworthy sources that have established a good reputation. Make sure you update your software and apps regularly and get rid of old apps you don’t use.

  1. Use a password, lock code or encryption

Make sure your passwords are at least eight characters long, with a mix of upper and lower case, and include numbers or other characters, and never use the auto-complete feature for passwords. You can use the storage encryption feature on your phone to protect your private data, and set your screen to timeout after five minutes or less.

  1. Be skeptical about links and attachments

If you’re not sure about the source, don’t use the link or open the attachment.

  1. Trace or Erase

Make sure your data is secure if your mobile device is stolen or lost. You can set up your device to lock itself after a pre-set number of failed log-in attempts.

  1. Update Software Regularly

Update your OS and other software frequently, if not automatically. This keeps hackers from accessing your computer through vulnerabilities in outdated programs (which can be exploited by malware). For extra protection, enable Microsoft product updates so that the Office Suite will be updated at the same time. Consider retiring particularly susceptible software such as Java or Flash, especially as many sites and services continue to move away from them.

  1. Download Antivirus or Security Programs

Download up-to-date security programs, including anti-malware software with multiple technologies for protecting against spyware, ransomware, and exploits, as well as a firewall, if your OS didn’t come pre-packaged with it. You’ll want to check if your OS has both firewall and antivirus built in and enabled by default, and whether those programs are compatible with additional cybersecurity software.

  1. Password Protect Your Devices

Password protect all of your devices, including your desktop, laptop, phone, smartwatch, tablet, and others. The ubiquity of mobile devices makes them especially vulnerable. Lock your phone and make the timeout fairly short. Use fingerprint lock for the iPhone and passkey or swipe for Android. 

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