The internet has done wonders for those who hate being chained to a desk or stuck in the same office all day, every day. Now, we are free to work from anywhere, anytime, as long as we have the proper virtual team at our fingertips. When it comes to managing finances, new apps are emerging constantly that are designed to make us more profitable and efficient. Here are a few we really love:
This app, which is free and compatible with just about any device, does everything but fold your money and put it in your billfold for you. Mint's core strength is its ability to aggregate all your finances on one device and sort them so that you know what sort of fiscal shape you're in at any given moment. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Mint can tell you which credit cards offer the most rewards, what hotels have the best deals, and which brand of insurance best fits your needs. It'll tell you when to pay your bills, give you tips on great free stuff, and help you set up a retirement plan.
If you share your financial goals with Mint, it will help create a budget designed to achieve those goals, It'll tell you when you're off track in chasing your dreams, and offer suggestions to help you get back on track. Mint claims to have 10 million users, and it's easy to see why. It's easy to navigate, everything is explained with clarity, and its security is as good as it gets on the cloud.
Many of us have trouble with invoicing. On top of the fact that some of us have a pathological fear of “bugging” people for money, we’re often simply unorganized. We forget to send an invoice, then can’t remember if we sent one or not. We forget to keep track of whether the invoice we may have sent out was paid, and we don’t keep good enough records to be able to check.
Invoice2Go solves all these problems and more, with the free version providing basic freedom from invoicing hell, and the paid version ($9.99) elevating you into invoice heaven.
You can send off an invoice from your phone, pad or computer quickly and securely. Invoice2Go allows you to set up your invoices so that you are reminded of ones that haven't been paid. It sorts and stores your invoices for easy access and even lets you interact with customers through its system. The only thing it can't do yet is force them to pay you on time!
Although everyone has heard of PayPal, there are still a lot of small business owners who are unfamiliar with it or even a bit suspicious of transacting business through PayPal accounts. Cast aside your concerns — PayPal has been around for more than a decade and remains the No. 1 online payment solution that's open to everyone with money to send or receive.
Yes, there are fees involved with some transactions. But you're not paying for checks, you can use it from anywhere, and it's become increasingly difficult to do business without it. Too many people nowadays do most of their buying and selling through PayPal to ignore it.
If you have a Gmail account, you have Google Wallet. It's under the “more” dropdown menu on your screen, and it can be a huge time and money saver under the right conditions. Basically, it offers two very convenient options for the business owner:
- It allows you to purchase online at select stores very quickly.
- It allows you to purchase in-store at certain stores very quickly.
All you have to do is sign in with your Google account. Wallet contains your preferred payment method (credit or debit card). No filling in an enormous amount of information to make a simple online purchase. Whiz bang and you're done! For in-store purchases, you use your mobile phone to pay for the product in a similar time-saving manner.
The problem currently is that Wallet is only accepted by a few retailers. The list is growing and, for the business owner, it does include some important ones like Office Max, Radio Shack, the Container Store, ecost.com, Buy.com, SmartBargains and others. Particularly if you're buying lots of office supplies, you will love the ease with which Wallet gets you in and out of the transaction. And with Google's might behind it, the list of retail partners is only going to expand.
This online, cloud-based hours-and-expenses tracking solution is paid-only. But if, as promised, it finally solves the problem of how those of us with multiple clients and multiple payment agreements can keep track of these projects, then the cost will be returned immediately.
TSheets allows the user to easily and quickly track hours and expenses on a project-by-project basis from anywhere and at any time. The number of small business owners and freelancers who sing its praises suggest that here, at last, is the project tracking system that almost anyone can understand and use. It's tracking systems are customized by industry, a huge leap forward in such systems.
With ease of integration with other systems, TSheets can be accessed and quickly used on cell or landline phones, computers and other screen devices. It offers several versions: one for freelancers at $10/month, and two more for small and large businesses where the cost varies by number of users.