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Technology Meets Finance: Budgeting in 2017

Before the marriage of technology and finance, many families in Indiana knew that maintaining a budget on paper was not always an easy task. Over-sized ledger books, somewhat legible writing and stacks of statements were all part of this unwieldly process.   Thankfully technology has helped create hundreds of budgeting and personal finance apps for adults. Most users today find the trouble is filtering through the app store and finding the best budget tool for their personal needs.  There are even a library of apps that can help parents talk and teach their children about money. Starting with the grownups, here are a few favorites:  
  1. Mint.com: Allows in-depth personal budget management and expense logging and lets you sync your bank and card details for an up-to-date and secure look at your financial state.
 
  1. Expensify: If you are a business traveler, you’ll love this handy app that allows you to manually track expenses, photolog receipts and import purchase info from your credit card for eReceipts.
 
  1. IOU Debt Manager: Now you can keep track of who owes you what or what you owe other people.
 
  1. PocketGuard: This all-in-one bank account tracking and budget management app shows you how much is in your account and what you can afford to spend for the day.
 
  1. Home Budget with Sync: Includes a neat Family Sharing feature that allows users to easily set a budget, and then sync income and expenses between multiple devices. Also contains charts and infographics.
  To get your kids used to the idea of handling money, there are apps that help them learn money skills. Money Apps For Kids You find seven different apps that use a smartphone to teach your children savings and budgeting lessons developed for different ages, from 5 and 6-up to 13+. For more information and financial tips, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call us at 317-288-4989.
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Credit Scores are Rising: What Does That Mean for Consumer Lending

Credit scores for U.S. consumers just hit a record high. Average scores hit 700 in April 2017, the highest the scores have been since 2005, according to Fair Isaac Corporation. Accompanying the credit score good news is that the share of risky borrowers has hit record lows. Consumers with a score below 600, traditionally considered “risky,” accounted for 20 percent of U.S. adults in the spring of 2017, down from a peak of 25.5 percent in 2010.   Boosting credit scores are the sloughing off of financial mishaps from tarnished credit reports. Over six million U.S. adults will see past personal Chapter 13 bankruptcies disappear from their record over the next five years, a blister that can aggravate an individual’s credit report for seven to 10 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcies too are finally disappearing from credit histories. Around 500,000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases were filed in 2007 and over one million in 2010, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. But those who filed in 2007 for Chapter 7 protection can breathe a sigh of relief as cases are being expunged from their histories. Mortgage foreclosures, another bane, remain on credit reports for up to seven years, but these are waning. According to Attom Data Solutions, foreclosures peaked in 2009 at 2.1 million, reached 1.8 million in 2010, and remained above the one million mark through 2012.   The Landscape of Lending   The financing industry has experienced a sea change since the financial crisis. Traditional lenders, who rely on credit scores for lending decisions, have faced fierce competition from Fintechs, who use big data to provide rapid financing through apps to iPhone-wielding Gen-Xers and Millennials. Following the recession, qualifying for a loan was difficult, and many people turned to alternative lenders such as Lending Club and OnDeck. With refreshed credit reports, consumer may return to conventional lenders once again, and the competition in this space is palpable.   What does this mean for consumers and the financing industry? How will it affect the alternative lenders, who have thrived since the recession, versus conventional lenders? How will better credit scores affect baby boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials?   Baby Boomer Borrowing Baby boomers typically have the best credit scores having been fiscally conservative over the years. Baby boomers have held steady jobs and bought houses during better times. However, many are now having to supplement and care for aging parents, which is adding to their financial burden.   As many baby boomers delay retirement and live frugally, they will be encouraged by the economy, improved credit environment, and their access to financing.   Gen-Xer Libation ... At Last   Gen-Xers have struggled to bring up families in difficult economic times. This generation has experienced student loan and credit card debt, a weak job market, and little support from strapped parents. Many are saddled with debt, and Millennial home owners have seen their properties drop in value.   This generation will be happy to see a freer lending market, and Gen-Xers will likely take advantage of their improved scores. With a sensible financial plan, this generation can recover from debt by tackling highest interest loans first.   Millennials Alt-lending Maneuvers   Millennials have been risk-averse and far from eager to jump into debt after seeing the fate of their parents. A 2016 study by FICO found that only 67 percent of 18 and 24-year-old Millennials have a credit card – less than any other age group. But the reluctance to borrow among Millennials has prevented the generation from building a credit history. Consequently, many Millennials are excluded from traditional lending markets because providers base decisions on credit scores.   This group is the most likely to turn to alternative lending when financing a home or a car because they lack a credit profile and face high-interest rates from traditional lenders.   Something for Everyone   While alternative lending might be by-passed by those with a strong credit history, all generations will be affected by a change in regulations expected to occur around the beginning of July. The Consumer Data Industry Association reports that most tax liens and civil judgments will be removed from people's credit scores by July 1, or thereabouts, making the latter half of 2017 rosy for those feeling a little credit-pinched. Almost 1 million Americans could see their credit score improve by up to 20 points, and 700,000 Americans could see their FICO score increase by up to 40 points.  
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Life after College: Discussing Finances with your College Graduate

Many of our client’s children and grandchildren are beginning to graduate college, and they could not be happier. After all the trials and tribulations that come with being a parent, this is one of the truly rewarding experiences. It is after this walk across the stage that clients start to experience a mix of emotions: their children permanently leave home, tuition payments cease and they become a spectator to the decisions that lie ahead.   This often times becomes an unfortunate scenario, because as parents you still have so much to offer. Being able to draw from your own personal experiences and mistakes you or your peers made are very valuable experiences to share as your children begin to enter the “real world.” As much as future generations love to argue that things are not the same as they use to be, many of the same actions happen on a very similar timeline (Ages 22-32). Regardless of what decade you were born in, these things have almost remained a constant:   o Beginning of Career (First, Second, Third Job) o Apartment Rental or Home Purchase o Wedding Funding & Marriage expenses o Children   These all become major events in the path towards adulthood and ultimately a successful future, but the one theme we as wealth managers point to is that they all have a big impact on your financial future. Done incorrectly or at an inopportune time, the effects can be lasting and ultimately alter lifestyle and retirement choices.   As clients would continue to voice their frustration with the lack of fiscal direction their children had or the inability to communicate with them on these subject matters, we saw it as a great opportunity to help be in intermediary in this area. The parents have trusted us with the family’s wealth and wanted the same level of support and fiscal education for their children- So we built a program helped to bridge this gap, knows as the YP Access Program.   The YP Access Program helps young investors establish a trusting, working relationship well before the discussions of investing for retirement happen. This is done by giving personalized planning advice, asset allocation, risk assessment and industry insight that many high-end professionals, entrepreneurs, and foundations have leveraged for years. Below are some of the best practices we have been able to assist clients with:   Emergency Fund– We normally recommend 3-6 months living expenses, set aside immediately. This is the first opportunity to prove independence, you do not want to have it short lived by not being prepared for life’s often unexpected expenses.   Budgeting- With a new paycheck bi-weekly, recent graduates can get caught up in the idea of being able to immediately replenish funds. Understand what your fixed overhead expenses and create your budget around that.   Savings- This is the most difficult conversation to have, because it is often tough for recent graduates to see the big picture. The first place we start is to make sure that contributions to an employer sponsor plan are being contributed at a minimum to what their employer will match. There is no other place that can guarantee you 100% return like the matching program in employer-sponsored plan.   Salary Negotiation- Just like in investing, the effect of compounding return can have a significant impact in regards to the salary at your job. Do not be afraid to ask early in your career (if warranted) for a raise. Employers expect this as part of the employer/employee relationship and one of the worst mistakes they can make it just settling for what the employer offers. Five or ten years down the road that 7% raise could be worth much more had it been compounded off of earlier incremental salary raises.   “Hedonic Treadmill”– This is a theory that states regardless of any major positive or negative events, we quickly return to the same level of happiness. The danger here is that the more we have, the more our expectations rise and temptation to splurge or expectations can rise. Young professionals need to realize that many of benefits their parents enjoy are not going to come immediately and it is a process to get to that point.   About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc.   Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran to offer sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com
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The Savings Struggle: How 7 out of 10 Americans are Broke

  While the U.S. economy continues to outperform those of other advanced countries, there is an acute threat to this trend moving forward: the lack of savings by large segments of the U.S. population.   To most observers, low savings would simply be a manifestation of low incomes.  But that is not the case, in fact the numbers are startling.  

Less than $1,000 in Savings by Houshold Earnings:

  $100k-150k:  44%  Greater than $150,000:  29%  Less than $25,000: 73%   In total, 7 out of 10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings! The initial reaction is how is this possible? But looking at the underlying numbers of our economy help give clarity to the situation. Approximately 70% of America’s Gross Domestic Product is tied to the consumer, making the economy extraordinarily vulnerable to changes in purchasing power and levels of indebtedness. Indeed, at present, there is a significant probability that elevated levels of consumer borrowing, driven by the rise of credit cards and advanced payment platforms, will lead to greater defaults as many consumers find it much easier to spend money when they are not dealing with tangible cash.   According to investment bank UBS AG, the percentage of consumers who expect to default on their obligations has increased by a full five percentage points since September 2016: that nearly 17% of borrowers will miss a loan payment in the next twelve months.   Risks to Households and Economic Growth   The combination of a low savings rate and high levels of consumer indebtedness pose serious risks to households and the broader U.S. economy. Without a significant enough backstop, households can face serious problems in the case of unforeseen expenses, work disruptions or overall macroeconomic underperformance. Additionally, large debts to credit card issuers typically have dramatically higher interest rates than home or auto loans, making the cost of overconsumption even more difficult to handle in later years. Without a so-called “rainy day” fund of savings, households at the margins will become increasingly reliant on government transfer programs, such as Medicaid (health care) and Social Security. Without corresponding increases in taxes or deep spending cuts, the long-term fiscal viability of the U.S. government would be threatened.   Conclusion   While the savings/consumption matrix currently points negative, the situation is solvable. Further economic growth will help households by providing more cash with which to pay down debt, while also beginning to set aside more for a difficult time. Potential changes in public policy should also make the economics of saving dramatically more attractive. Current proposals to impose consumption-style taxation and reduce marginal tax rates would increase and decrease the cost of consumption and savings, respectively. If households do not take these risks seriously, however, the fallout from the resulting economic dislocation will require quick, decisive action.   If you have concerns about your savings and being able to fund your future goals, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com or call us at 317-288-4989.  
Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/10/09/savings-study/91083712/
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When Robos Aren’t Enough – Betterment Brings in the Humans

How will history judge this period in the financial services industry? Will it be looked at like the end of an era or the beginning of one? Will we laugh at the foibles of robots or at those of us humans trying to match them? Only time will tell, but recently the most prestigious and fame seeking of the Robo-Advisor platforms, Betterment, surrendered the AI high-ground and rolled out a program for its investors to connect with real, flesh and blood financial advisors.   According to a nicely spun press release, it appears this model is being offered by Betterment for additional fees and specific account minimums. Do we detect a bit of hypocrisy and an unflattering unraveling of the strong posture of the world’s foremost robo-platform?   For years us advisors of the human variety have been told that emotional investing and hidden fees have undermined our ability to serve well. We’ve been told that in order to be effective, we should strive to be less human, less prone to the frailties of emotion, market enthusiasm, or fear. Indeed, we’ve been told now for over a decade, that if we’d done our jobs better, the financial crisis would have been avoided. We’ve been instructed to sit back and let the cool, sophistication of algorithms do the work.   And then what happened?   It turns out they brought in the pros to attract and retain a more sophisticated investor. Why? Well, there’s a real motive here: Their model is collapsing. According to Morningstar senior equity analyst Michael Wong, Betterment’s average account size of $27,000 generates less than $100 per customer. And with a customer acquisition cost of over $1000 it will take them over a decade just to break even on each account. And while some investors may not care what or who manages their small investments; when it comes to discriminating investors seeking real value – they want to talk with someone who can listen, who can interpret emotion as well as fact. They want someone who can advise.   At Midwest Wealth Management, we’re proud to say this is the business we’ve been in all along and will be doing for a long time to come. Turns out humans still turn to one another when it comes to the important things, like financial advice.   About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran committed to offering sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com or call 877-243-4132 to speak to a representative.   Skinner, Liz. Betterment now offering human advice with its robo, Investment News, January 31, 2017.   Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Member FINRA/SIPC a Registered Investment Adviser.
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Retirement income and the significance of a wealth management strategy.

A good wealth management firm offers financial planning, investment portfolio management and a number of financial services to help clients create a wealth accumulation strategy that reduces risk and aligns with a client’s particular goals. Building and protecting an investment portfolio is key. At Midwest Wealth Management, our process is to quickly determine and identify sources of risks for our clients and then develop a plan for avoiding or minimizing undue exposure. Tax liability is another area we pay particular attention to, and part of any long-term strategy is to come up with a plan to minimize the negative effects of taxes on investments.

 

Allocating assets across various investments is another way we minimize risk and help ensure a successful wealth accumulation strategy, as a well-diversified portfolio means a poor performance from any one asset won’t jeopardize the overall strategy because its effects are balanced by other better-performing assets.

 

We also use our extensive knowledge with alternative investments as another way to diminish volatility and increase a portfolio’s durability due to an alternatives ability to offer performance that isn’t correlated to what you experience with typical stocks and bonds. So, a traditional drop in the market has little to no effect on an alternative investment. There are also some other simple strategies that can make a positive difference in the long run. For example, if your company has a matching contribution program, you should always put as high as a percentage as you can to maximize your company’s contribution and leverage that extra money toward your wealth accumulation goals.

 

Whatever the wealth accumulation strategy, the main point to remember is that a wealth advisor has a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, meaning they are legally bound to act in their client’s best interest. This is always the case at Midwest Wealth Management, where your voice carries the most weight in helping you achieve your vision of a well-invested future. We invite you to learn more at www.midwest-wealth.com. You can also call us if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a private interview at 317.288.4989.

 

Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets, and diversification cannot guarantee that any objective or goal will be achieved.

 

Investing in alternative investments may not be suitable for all investors and involves special risks, such as risk associated with leveraging the investment, adverse market forces, regulatory changes, and illiquidity. There is no assurance that the investment objective will be attained.   About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran committed to offering sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com.
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From Indianapolis to Irvine: everyone, everywhere should have a budget.

Here’s a surprising, but not encouraging fact: Americans, whether they are from the Midwest in Indianapolis or out west in Irvine, aren’t very good at saving. How many of us have $1,000 in the bank? Only about 30 percent. And almost half of us couldn’t even cover a $400 emergency.   This lack of saving is even more concerning when you think about the costs of raising a family. In 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raising a child born in 2013 to the age of 18 will cost you just over $245,000. And that cost is before you take into consideration family vacations, college funding, and other “extras.” Multiply that by two, three or four, and you’re running a million-dollar household.   Thankfully, there are steps you can take to effectively take control of your finances, and that is by using a budget. Even with this straightforward strategy, a recent study by U.S. Bank shows only 41% of Americans are using one.   No matter where you stand financially, a budget should be a priority. Having a budget will help you determine how much you’re spending. And when you line the numbers up, they won’t lie. You know where your income is going, and what things you can cut back on to free up some finances and help reprioritize your saving power.   When you do build your budget, make sure to account for every dollar you make and make sure you cover the necessities first. (After all, do you really need that grande latte?). It also helps to use some budgeting software. There are a lot of options to choose from, and you don’t necessarily need a program with all the bells and whistles to accomplish your goals.   One more thing to remember: Budgeting is an ongoing process. Your expenses will probably go up and down over time, so don’t assume that the budget you make today is going to be the exact one you follow a year from now. Keep aware of little changes in your expenses, (gas prices going up, did you account for that?) and act accordingly.   If you would like to learn more about budgeting and how it affects your wealth management strategy, we invite you to learn more at www.midwest-wealth.com or call us at 877-243-2132.

 

References: Are Your Kids Ruining Your Retirement Plans? US News. 12, May 2016. Backman, Maurie. Nearly 3 in 5 Americans are making this huge financial mistake. CNN Money, 3, Oct. 2016. Gordon, Whitson. Top 10 Tricks for Building the Perfect Budget.

 

About Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. was formed by Greg Shields, a 30-year financial services veteran committed to offering sophisticated investors an alternative when looking for a more strategic path for long-term investing. As a private investment group, Midwest Wealth Management, Inc. offers a proprietary trading platform, alternative investment offerings and dedicated advisory support for a select audience. For more information, please visit www.midwest-wealth.com.
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Should the option to buy or sell be up to your Robo-advisor?

On Friday, June 24th the morning after Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) – the markets were preparing to open up to with big losses and investors were gearing in for high volatility. The real outcome of the events was unknown in regards to the long-term effects it would have on any one market, sector or specific company. The only thing that was certain was the number of opinions for investors on what they should be doing: Buy right away? Sell while you can? Ride it out? With news stations and investment commentaries calling for the next big market crash or short-term volatility, what was an investor’s best game plan?

 

For investors using the robo-advisor Betterment platform, the option was simple – do nothing. And although it was completely within Betterment’s rights to use its own discretion in coming to this decision, (given the type of arrangement they have with their clients who aren’t looking to buy or sell instantaneously), it still caught many of their clients completely off guard —especially the ones that wanted to buy on Friday. It sends a bad message when your clients are desperate to adjust their positions and the system refuses to cooperate. Being told they could not do something with their own money was not well received.

 

To make matters worse, there were other digital advisers who thought it best not to touch their platforms at all. SigFig, among others, left their platform untouched. "Just because markets may be up or down doesn't mean we should suspend trading," said Mike Sha, chief executive of SigFig. He said trading halts should be made when trades are not being executed properly, which was not the case on Friday, despite prices being down.

 

These types of events are learning experiences because they help educate investors on how to determine what they really want out of any type of adviser, robo or not. It also brings clarity to what actions advisors can take, or in this case, prevent investors from taking, especially if they advisor determines that it is in the investors’ best interest. It has also brought up the question of why a company — who prides itself on not trying to time the market — is telling clients this is not a good day to buy or sell.

 

It is important to understand how your adviser is able to act under what kind of conditions. And in times of extreme uncertainty, what kinds of actions they are going to take on your behalf.

 

For more information on investing and other financial tips, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call us at 877-243-4132.

 

Shilder, Lisa. Betterment explains why its Brexit-sparked trading halt on Friday wasn't 'suspended' trading. RAIBiz. 28, June 2016. http://www.riabiz.com/a/5062198653091840/betterment-explains-why-its-brexit-sparked-trading-halt-on-friday-wasnt-suspended-trading

 

Malito, Alessandra. Betterment's move to halt trading following Brexit vote sparks controversy. Investment News.28, June 2016. http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20160628/FREE/160629905/betterments-move-to-halt-trading-following-brexit-vote-sparks

 

http://thetrustadvisor.com/news/did-brexit-trading-glitches-doom-betterments-robo-ipo-hopes
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Adult Children and Money. How to help them without financially hurting you.

Cutting the financial cord with adult children can be a very hard thing to do, and most people put in this situation don’t have a good answer on how to make the situation better. Even though they are helping their adult children by offering loans, giving cash or paying bills, this generosity can blows a big hole in their finances, even jeopardizing their retirement. A July 2014 survey by the Boston nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling found that a higher proportion of U.S. households (1 in 3) provide financial assistance to adult children than support for elderly parents (1 in 5). “

 

This is putting a huge wrench into retirement savings,” says Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas. “The more boomers put out for adult kids, the less they can put aside for themselves.” As a result, some older adults are going back to work, reducing their own living expenses or even declaring bankruptcy.

 

What can help for parents who want to help out their adult children is to determine if the money that they are giving is going to fix the problem or merely delaying the inevitable. “Loaning money works well,’ says Kathleen Gurney, who runs the Financial Psychology Corporation, “If the process is objective and well planned.”

 

Here's a look at three ways parents can financially assist their children in the area of home ownership:

 

  • Gifting a down payment. This allows a borrower to use money that has been gifted as a down payment. A married couple can each give $14,000 to a child and the child’s spouse, for a maximum of $56,000 in four separate gift checks.
  •  

  • Offering a family loan. Giving a loan to a family member is a winning combination, as the parents would get more interest from the loan then they would from a typical Certificate of Deposit, and the child would be able to get a lower interest rate then they would from a bank. Also a borrower whose offer is not contingent on obtaining financing could realistically offer the seller a quicker closing, which could be a huge advantage in such a competitive sellers’ market.

     

    .
  • Cosigning the mortgage. If an adult child's income is too low to qualify for a mortgage on the home they want, a parent can cosign on the mortgage. One thing to remember however, is that this will show up on your credit as an outstanding obligation, which could complicate matters if the cosigner wanted to refinance or buy another home.
  Helping grown children with financial obstacles can be a very positive thing in the right circumstances. Take to your financial advisor before you commit to any major or long term financial lending situation to make sure you can comfortably afford to help without jeopardizing your financial security. If you don’t have a financial advisor and would like more information, Midwest Wealth Management can help. Visit us at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call 317-288-4989.

 

  Hymowitz, Carol. Parents are risking their retirement to subsidize their kids. Bloomberg Businessweek. 5, Mar. 2015. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-05/parents-risk-retirement-to-support-millennial-kids

 

Gustke, Constance. Reopening the Bank of Mom and Dad, to Help Adult Children. The New York Times. 9, Oct. 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/your-money/financial-assistance-to-adult-children.html?_r=0  
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Utilizing technology and finance: budgeting in Indianapolis has never been so easy.

Before the marriage of technology and finance, many families in Indianapolis knew that maintaining a budget on paper wasn’t an easy task. Over-sized ledger books, somewhat legible writing and stacks of statements were all part of this unwieldly process. But as one page in a ledger book closes, another one opens. In this case, there are now apps that can help you easily set a budget and log your expenses on the go, so you can tell just how far your money will go.   There are budgeting and personal finance apps for adults, as well as apps that can help parents talk and teach their children about money. Starting with the grownups, here are a few favorites according to Tom’s Guide:   1. Mint.com Personal Finance. (Android, iOS). Allows in-depth personal budget management and expense logging and lets you sync your bank and card details for an up-to-date and secure look at your financial state.   2. Expensify. (Android, iOS.) If you are a business traveler, you’ll love this handy app that allows you to manually track expenses, photolog receipts and import purchase info from your credit card for eReceipts.   3. IOU Debt Manager. (Android, iOS). Now you can keep track of who owes you what or what you owe other people.   4. PocketGuard (Android, iOS). This all-in-one bank account tracking and budget management app shows you how much is in your account and what you can afford to spend for the day.   5. Home Budget with Sync (Android, iOS). Includes a neat Family Sharing feature that allows users to easily set a budget, and then sync income and expenses between multiple devices. Also contains charts and infographics.   Most adults appreciate using a convenient app to help with their finances, but it is a different story when it comes to their children. A survey by T. Rowe Price found that about 3 in 4 parents admitted to not being honest with their children about money, including how it affected their own personal finances. Even so, “the best way for children to learn finance skills is to handle real money,” says Nancy Phillips, author and financial blogger of Zela Wela Kids.   To get your kids used to the idea of handling money, there are apps that help them learn money skills. To learn more, go to: www.tinyurl.com/kidmoneyapps. You find seven different apps that use a smartphone to teach your children savings and budgeting lessons developed for different ages, from 5and 6-up to 13 and up. For more information and financial tips, visit Midwest Wealth Management at www.midwest-wealth.com, or call us at 317-288-4989.   Corpuz, John. 10 Best Budgeting and Personal Finance Apps. tom’s guide. 28, Apr. 2016. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/pictures-story/548-best-budget-expense-apps.html   Palmer, Kimberly. Parents: Stop Being So Awkward With Money. U.S. News & World Report.11, Apr. 2012 http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/04/11/parents-stop-being-so-awkward-with-money
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