Technology News – With Black Friday just a couple of days away, the worst kind of holiday hangover may be the one you get after looking at your bank account.
Americans are planning to spend an average of $935.58 this year on holiday shopping, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.
While it’s the season of giving, six in ten people also plan to pick out a little present for themselves, spending an average of $139.61, according to the survey. That’s up 4 percent more than last year.
Getting swept up in holiday cheer is part of the fun, but these apps will make sure you don’t lose sight of your finances as you buy presents for all the nice people on your shopping list.
If you’re like most Americans, chances are you’re going to be dropping some serious dough on holiday gifts. And unless you’re expecting a surprise pay raise this holiday season (we can all dream, right?) it might mean you’re spending more money than you make.
This iOS and Android app is free and will help you visualize where your money is going.
Spendee Premium will help you set budgets for all areas of your life to help keep you on track. Perhaps that means tightening those restaurant and entertainment budgets to free up more money for gifts.
Think of PocketGuard as your one-stop portal to seeing your financial health. This free app for iOS and Android lets you know how much money you have “in your pocket” for the day, your net worth and whether you’re bringing in the big bucks or need to slow your spending.
Mint Money Manager & Personal Finance
Arguably the best known money management app, Mint pulls together all of your accounts, helps you create budgets, and tracks your spending. Mint also has at least 20 different alerts that can give you a heads up if you’re close to going over budget or if something looks suspicious.
The Christmas List
The bad news: It’s $1.99. The good news: The Christmas List iOS app has an interface that will keep you organized and on track with your holiday shopping. Input who you’re buying for and your budget for that gift. When you’re done, make a note of what you’ve purchased and what you still need to buy.
A similar app, Christmas Gift List, is available for Android users. It packs a lot of the same utilities but includes in-app purchases.
So you’re tracking your money, but why not find ways to save some cash on your purchases? RetailMeNot and Offers.com both have apps that will help you find coupons you can use to save a few extra bucks.
Don’t forget to check both for restaurant coupons, too.
Don’t wait until you get to the register to find out if that hot deal you have is too good to be true. The Discount Calculator app will help you figure out what 30 percent off of that new TV is, and then how much it will cost after applying an additional 10 percent off coupon and paying sales tax.
Or, you know, you could just do the math yourself.
by ALYSSA NEWCOMB, NBCNews.com