These days keeping track of your money can be a hassle. Between all the different ways you can spend your money it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Luckily there are some great apps for money management. Below are a few favorites— all rated with 3.5 stars and up.

LearnVest: LearnVest is a money management platform, but it’s also much more. You can link up your various accounts to keep track of your spending, savings and goals (that you set). But the best part about this app are the articles you receive via email from them. The articles that they send are full of helpful information related to early retirement, saving for your wedding, how to pay down debt, rebuilding bad credit, smart saving, and so much more. Every article is worth the read. This app is available on iOS.

Mint: Mint is a well-known money management platform. You can hook up your bank accounts, credit cards, 401k and loans and set up budgets. The app utilizes graphs to show you how you spend your money and provides you with bill reminders. It will even give you your net worth. The only downfall to the app is that it has a difficult time connecting to small banks’ online banking systems. This app is available on iOS and Google Play.

Daily Budget: This is a do-it-yourself app. If you are one that is weary about putting your personal banking information onto your phone then this is the money management app for you. You plug in your income, reoccurring expenses and it gives you a daily budget. You can add in additional income and expenses as they occur. But, you will have to pay for the full version if you want to utilize all income and expense categories. This app is available on iOS. Comparable apps are available on Google Play.

Prosper Daily: This app’s main emphasis is on protecting your accounts. You can link up your bank accounts and credit cards and approve or deny charges as they occur. But, it is also good for a high level review of your accounts. You are able to view your balances on your credit cards and checking account all in one place. Another pro of this app is that you are able to categorize your charges making it easy to keep track of what you are spending your money on. One of the great new features now available is the ability to view your credit score. And beyond that it provides insight into why your score is the way it is and how to improve it. This app is available on iOS and Google Play.

These apps will aid you in getting in front of your spending and back in control of where your money is going. Be sure to take full advantage of the offerings that each app has, as it will only benefit you in the long run.

You don’t have to be a chef to appreciate a kitchen that is designed with lots of counter space. You don’t even have to enjoy trying out new recipes for two or more hours a week to recognize the value of open kitchen counters. But, simply appreciating kitchen counter space may not keep you from filling your kitchen counters with boxes, jugs, nonperishable food items and kitchen utensils.

Steps to more kitchen counter space

If you’re like many homeowners, you want more kitchen counter space. One of the best ways to gain more counter space is to train yourself to let go of boxes, bags and other kitchen items that you have not used in several months. This single step can help you to get more space in your kitchen and throughout the rest of your home.

It may take patience to become effective at letting things go. But, it’s worth it.Following are additional steps that you can take to gain more kitchen counter space. You may be surprised at how easy it is to implement most of the steps. You also might be surprised at how much more useful your kitchen becomes after you get the extra room. To start, you can:

  • Store fruit and vegetables in your kitchen windowsill. Tomatoes, potatoes and onions are good foods to store in the windowsill.
  • Buy a dolly to place cereal, rice, grains and other dry goods on
  • Install a kitchen pantry. If you already have a kitchen pantry, consider storing dry goods, paper towels and pots and pans in the pantry.
  • Add another shelf to your existing kitchen counters
  • Toss kitchen utensils that you never use
  • Box kitchen items that you only use for large family celebrations or on major holidays and place these items in the basement or attic.
  • Place storage bins at the top of your kitchen cabinets. Transfer items from your kitchen counter to these over head bins. Just make sure that you minimize the numbers of items that you store in the bins. It helps to keep the bins from becoming too heavy. It’s also a good way to train yourself to let go of items that you don’t use.
  • Install kitchen organizers that attach to the wall.
  • Clean out your kitchen cabinets. Get rid of pots and pans that you haven’t used in over two years.

A few extra tips to more kitchen counter space

Another way to get more kitchen counter space is to toss out old can foods at least once a month. It might surprise you how many of your canned vegetables, soups, gravies and broths are outdated. Commit to buying foods that you actually use. Avoid buying and keeping food just so you can feel that you’ll never run out of things to eat.

These steps lead to a cleaner kitchen. They also help you to gain more kitchen counter space. You just might use the extra counter space to prepare healthier meals,the type of meals that require you to pull out a cutting board and measure food that grows right out of the earth, so that you can enjoy a delicious, protein, vitamin and mineral rich diet.

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