As discussed in our previous post, we will delve into some practical tools that can aid you in creating an effective budget. There are various applications that assist us in performing tasks more efficiently, especially in this digital age. Of these applications, there are several that provide tools for effective financial planning; today we will discuss three (Mint, Personal Capital, and Shoeboxed). Let’s take a look at these budgeting life hacks as tools for financial success:


A free web and mobile-based platform that allows users to keep track of their expenses, income, and savings. The app enables users to get transaction level detail of all their spending and income in near real-time. Mint makes it seamless to set spending limits for any specific expense category (i.e Fast-Food, Phone, Internet, and etc.) as a recurring monthly tool. This app provides charts and graphs that give visual representations of one’s spending habits for a more enhanced experience. Mint also acts as a personal financial assistant by prompting the user of overspending and alerting the user of any changes that may arise in the account. Mint is an easy to use, one-stop shop for mobile budgeting available on both Android and IOS platforms. As stated on, “Create budgets, track investments, and discover new ways to save”.


Visit to sign-up or for additional information

Personal Capital:

A mobile and web platform service that centralizes all financial accounts in one location. Personal Capital provides a transactional view of your spending, income, net worth, and investment portfolio in real time.  The app comes in both the free version and the premium version. The free version provides users with personalized analyses that provide recommendations of their present financial status(Investment summary, risks, and opportunities for security and growth). There are specific features that are especially helpful for the individual budgeting for retirement, a.k.a you, the clever African. These include an investment check-up feature, a 401(k) analyzer, as well as a retirement analyzer.

The premium version comes with a platform that takes direct investment management control of one’s portfolio. Investments are monitored and managed by Personal Capital’s investment advisors. Note: the minimal investment for the use of the premium wealth management program is $25,000. However, both the free and premium versions of Personal Capital provide access to a personal financial advisor, an excellent feature.


Visit to sign-up or for additional information


Receipt Filing: Storing receipts in a folder or drawer at home is an old practice that has allowed individuals to keep track of their spending, as well as provide a second layer of financial accountability and record. There are apps that have taken this old concept of storing receipts in physical compartments and moved the idea into an online/mobile environment.

One of these applications is Shoeboxed, a platform that stores receipts into the cloud. It is more tangible because an individual has the physical touch and feel of both the old and new school form of record keeping. It is a transitional budgeting tool that can work well for even the least tech-savvy individual!


Using just a few of the many existing applications (Mint, Personal Capital, Shoeboxed) leverages technology as a convenient and efficient tool for successful financial planning. Discover what works best for you, so that you too can be a clever African.

Have any sites/apps you use to manage your finances? We would love to hear about them; feel free to leave your comments below.

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