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Work hard for the money: 5 financial resources to check out 

A debt destroying personal finance blogger recommends apps and other resources to manage your spending and saving.

click to enlarge HILA PELEG
  • HILA PELEG

Managing your money used to mean sitting down at the kitchen table with your paper bills and chequebook—not anymore. Now we have apps, spreadsheets, online banking and even remote cheque depositing. The face of money in Canada has gone through a massive shift in the past five years.Here are the best apps and resources that have surfaced in that time.

Mint
If you're always running out of money before you run out of month, this budgeting app should be on your must-download list. The Mint app takes the guesswork out of financial management by linking to your bank accounts and importing your transactions directly into its easy-to-use interface. Stop yourself from overspending on craft beer by setting budget limits and push notifications when you exceed those limits. Mint even has a handy debt-tracking feature that allows you to see the progress of those student loan payments you dutifully submit every month.

Borrowell
Have you checked your credit score recently—or ever? If you're like most Canadians, the answer is no. Checking your credit score is an important financial habit, but the process is arduous and involves handing over your hard-earned cash or filling out paperwork at one of the two credit reporting agencies in Canada, Equifax or Transunion. But checking your credit score just got easier thanks to fintech start-up Borrowell. While their main business is online lending, Borrowell now offers a free tool that lets you check your credit score with a few taps on your iPhone.

Stop Overthinking Your Money!
If you're like me, when your parents start trying to give you financial advice, your eyes glaze over and you start daydreaming about skating at the Oval. Money has always been a painfully boring topic, but there are a few authors in Canada who have stepped up and written excellent, plainspoken books on the subject. One of those books is Stop Overthinking Your Money! by Preet Banerjee. He covers the basics of good money management in a way that is enjoyable and easy to understand. You can pick up this book at the public library. Banerjee also has a popular blog, podcast and YouTube channel.

Mo' Money Podcast
High-quality money podcasts produced for Canadians are rare, which makes the Mo' Money podcast essential to your queue. Host Jessica Moorhouse is a Torontonian, homeowner and former film student turned entrepreneur who shares her financial wisdom with listeners along with an excellent cast of interviewees and guests. She covers a wide variety of topics, from debt and job loss to budgeting and investing as a millennial. Give her a listen the next time you need entertainment while waiting for the bus.

Wealthsimple
Finally, investing. No one wants to do it, but we all need to, lest we spend our retirement years eating cat food. Investing used to be reserved for those who already had wads of cash, but that has changed with the appearance of online brokerages on the investing scene. With Wealthsimple, you can start investing in low-cost index funds with just your iPhone and as little as $50. In fact, the first $5,000 is free, so it's a great option for beginners.

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