Smartphone apps have become the most popular and creative digital invention around these days. There are apps to help you remember to exercise, apps to monitor a developing fetus, apps to help you find your way around and apps to keep you connected to all of your family and friends. There are serious apps and there are fun apps. Among the new serious apps are those that take advantage of the growth of mobile banking to help you borrow money, budget and manage your money and meet your savings goals. Here is a quick review of two of the latest money management apps designed especially for hourly employees.
Active Hours, designed by Ram Palaniappan, is an app that will give you money upfront, according to what you will earn in your next paycheck. It only works for hourly employees, and you have to take a photo of your electronic timecard as evidence. Once you receive your salary, Active Hours deducts the amount you borrowed automatically from your checking account. This is a much better option than payday loans, which charge exorbitant fees and can leave one deep in debt. The app is free, there is no interest or fees, and customers are just asked to give a tip according to what they think is fair.
Many lower-income people have fluctuating incomes, sometimes the take-home is higher and at other times lower. How to manage the extra income and how to cover the bills when the income is lower? Even is an app designed to help one set aside for the times when income is deficit, a problem for many people, not just lower wage earners. Even calculates paychecks and sets an average income. When the paycheck is higher than normal, Even puts the extra into a special savings account. When the paycheck is lower, Even takes from the savings account or will provide an advance. Once the paycheck is better than average again, Even pays itself back, or moves money back to the special savings account. Co-Founder Quinten Farmer wanted to help people pay their bills on time, which is difficult to do if you do not have steady income. Even is free, but it is available only by invitation for now. After January it will be more widely distributed. Users must pay $3 per week for the app’s services.