If you want to proactively save money and stay on top of what you spend, it’s crucial to get the right help. And you don’t need to hire an accountant or financial professional to do so.
In 2019, you have a wealth of personal finance tools, right at your fingers – literally. With mobile apps, you can monitor and manage your money no matter where you are. You can get your spending in line, build up an emergency savings account, or start investing your pennies now for a return in the future. Not to mention, most personal finance apps are free to use, although you may pay small fees for additional services.
Whatever your financial goal is, a personal finance app will help you reach it. Get started today with our list of 14 apps you can’t live without.
The Best Budget Apps
Mint is one of the most accessible tools to use and considered by many to be the best budgeting app, as it will gather your various account information to present your entire financial picture in one glance, helping to keep you on track every day. You can monitor your spending, assign categories to expenses, flag tax deductions, pay bills, and even get access to your credit score. Mint is entirely free to use, and also has a full-service desktop site that can help you further organize your information.
2. You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget can help you focus on saving and budgeting by teaching you how to live within your income means by budgeting based on whatever you made in the previous month. YNAB is perhaps the best budget app for those who are committed to changing their financial situation, but it won’t come cheap: YNAB is $6.99 a month, billed as $83.99 a year after a 34-day free trial. You can also access YNAB’s full-service desktop site.
If you find yourself wondering from time to time how much money you have to spend, PocketGuard can help. By accounting for your income minus bills, savings, and spending, it will tell you at any moment how much you have left for the day, week, or month. PocketGuard is totally free, but you can upgrade for more features for $3.99 a month or $34.99 for a year.
Albert is a great tool to help you get started saving more money as it will help you craft actual steps to take to help stick to your budget, and will automatically save small amounts of your money into a separate savings account. Because of its multiple functions, Albert is often reviewed as the best budgeting app, particularly because it is free. What makes Albert unique is that you can pay a small fee (in an amount you choose) to access Albert Genius, which connects you to an actual human to get recommendations for financial topics from saving more to reducing debt.
One of the easiest ways to stay on budget is to assign funds to different envelopes, making it clear which money is apportioned to be spent where. GoodBudget helps take this system digital, and their app allows you to sync budgets so spouses or even roommates can stay on top of your shared expenses. Plus, GoodBudget will help you strategize ways to achieve any savings goals. GoodBudget is free to download for use with up to 10 envelopes, a single account, and limited features, and then costs $6 a month or $50 for a year.
The Best Savings Apps
If you want to increase your savings, Digit is the app that can help. By taking small amounts from your checking account on a regular basis, Digit helps you increase savings without you even noticing. You can easily adjust the amount and frequency that Digit saves, and even set caps for Digit to stop saving if your bank account drops to a certain amount. You’ll have a protected, FDIC-insured account which can help you diversify your savings needs, and Digit also offers a 1% “bonus” each quarter that works like interest. Digit is free to download and use for 100 days, and then costs $2.99 each month.
Twine is an ideal savings app for couples with joint accounts and roommates, as it allows you to have shared accounts that update whenever any transaction is performed. You can set specific saving goals, and then save using cash or invest your funds in simple-structured portfolios. Twine is a relatively new app, but it is backed by John Hancock, so you know they know their stuff when it comes to money management. Twine is free if you only use the cash savings component, but you’ll have to pay an annual fee of 0.60% of your account’s average daily balance for your invested accounts.
The Best Apps For Bills And Expenses
If you’re relying on your own system for bill management, Prism can help you figure out when to pay bills, and you can even pay them through the app. You’ll get notifications about due dates and payment confirmation, so you can rest easy that you’re not falling behind. Prism is also completely free.
The Wally app is user-friendly and pleasant to look at, but it will also help you quickly track every dollar you spend. Upload photos of receipts or manually log entries, so you account for every dollar that goes out, and you’ll even get notified when you have a bill payment coming up. You can set goals for your budgets or saving, and Wally will analyze your financial information to help you reach them. Wally is free to download and use.
Think of Doxo as an on-the-go filing cabinet and bill payment app. Doxo will automatically retrieve any statements tied to your bills and will keep them in one organized place. You can upload your own documents, making Doxo a hub for your personal and financial information. Doxo also lets you pay bills from the app, where you can schedule them ahead of time for free, so long as they are in Doxo’s payee network. Doxo is free to use, but you can upgrade to the subscription service to pay up to $2,000 a month in bills for $9/month, but note that they have certain restrictions on payment methods.
The Best Investment Apps
Acorns straddles savings and investment categories because it does both. By rounding up each of your purchases, Acorns invests the rest in a managed account focusing on Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs); if you make a $2.25 purchase, Acorns will round it up to $3 and put $0.75 in your account. Acorns is free to download, and you’ll pay $1 each month for balances under $5,000, and 0.25% each year on balances over $5,000.
The idea of investing may seem out of your reach, but with Stash, you can start growing your money in ETFs with just $5. You’ll start out owning small shares in funds, and you can pick from options based on your financial wants or your personal values. Stash is free for one month, and then $1 a month for balances under $5,000, and 0.25% each year of any balances over that.
13. Personal Capital
Like many other finance apps, Personal Capital allows you to sync all of your account information in one, secure place. However, it also allows you to connect your retirement accounts and other investments you may have, which gives a full picture of your net worth and assets. Personal Capital is free to use, but you can pay to upgrade to their Wealth Management program if you qualify, with minimum balance requirements ranging from $25,000-$100,000.
The Best App For Your Credit Score
14. Credit Karma
Staying on top of your credit score will help you secure loans and reduce your debt. But if you’re only pulling free reports from each of the three bureaus each year, you don’t see what your score is regularly. With Credit Karma’s app, you get instant access to credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax. Plus, it will recommend financial products, like credit cards, which are ideal for people with your score. Credit Karma’s app is free, and they also have a full desktop website that is easy-to-use.
If you’re committed to improving your finances and managing your money, then using one or several of these apps can help you get started with little-to-no-cost. Stop worrying about bills, savings, and account management by having them all in one easy to access place.