Level Money has been around a for over a year now, but its recent update for both iOS and Android has made it a no brainer for anyone who is mildly curious about their spending budget. While Mint.com has been the go-to money manager over the past years, Level Money offers a slightly different approach.
Mint offers amazing in-depth insights into your spending habits, with labels like Alcohol/Bars or Coffee/Tea. It shows your pretty graphs and trends about your past spending habits. This is great, but it turns out that a majority of people don’t really take any action after seeing the results. They see that they spent a LOT on Alcohol, but there is no change in day to day action of the individual. This is where Level comes in. You see, Level does not care about what categories you are spending on, or what your habits are. All it cares about is how much you can spend today, this week or this month, after taking into account your bills and savings goals.
Similar to Mint, Level connects with your bank and credit card accounts and pulls all your transactions. It scans your transactions for recurring income and bills and makes a basic profile of your income vs bills (you can also edit this manually). You can also add a “savings goal” (which is a percentage of your income that you would like to save each month). After all this, Level will give you your “spendable” money for the month and then divide into weeks and days.
The app has a nice, simple interface that shows you at a glance how much you can spend today. This number adjusts accordingly as you spend money. If you overspend today, it will affect the amount you can spend the next day. If you stay under your limits, it will rollover into the next day and your spending number will increase. All this is done so you have essentially a net of zero dollars at the end of the month – you’ve paid your bills, you’ve saved a percentage of your income, and you have spent the left over. If you do end up under spending for the month – it can go into your savings OR you have more to spend the month after.
Their recent update also has insights into your spending habits and can track your spending at certain merchants. Do you think you could cut down on Starbucks? Plug it into Level and it will give you the amount you’ve spent this month vs the amount you spent last month.
That said, Level isn’t for everyone. It’s automation is lost if you have a variable income each month, or your bills are different each month. Overall, its a great app that gives you a clear state of your current finances at a glance.