Great Money-Managing Apps
If money worries are keeping you up at night, or if the mounds of bills and receipts or even URLs, log-ins, and passwords you try to keep organized are driving you bonkers, you may need to turn to your phone for help. Apple’s trademarked advertising slogan, “There’s an app for that,” has a place in the world of personal finance as well as in the world of fun.
While having an app for each of your banks and credit unions is a good idea for individual accounts, you can also manage all of your accounts in one place with financial management apps like Mint, Level Money, Check, and LearnVest. CNET associate editor Sarah Mitroff reviewed several great money management apps, each with slightly different features. Check, for example, which is free on both iOS and Android, allows you to pay bills without having go to each bill pay website. While the app is free, some functions are only available if you pay a fee.
Mint and Level Money are both good for monitoring your bills and expenses, both of which will actively help you stay on track with notifications and emails to let you know how well you are doing. With this type of app, you give the app permission to connect with your bank accounts and other financial accounts, and it monitors those you’ve added. Mint is helpful for people with more expansive financial portfolios, including 401(k)s, loans, and IRAs. It constantly updates in real time, so you can see where each expense fits into your budget.
DailyWorth, a website dedicated to talking about personal finance, reviewed Mvelopes, another app that links to your bank accounts, but asks you to set your own budgeting goals. While Mint and Level Money focus on your net worth, Mvelopes lets you focus on your daily cash flow.
Safety is key with BillGuard, another app that will monitor your bills, but it is better for people who are concerned about fraud activity or incorrect charges on your account than for people who aim to focus on their budget.
If you are not comfortable with connecting your bank accounts directly to a third party app, something like Expensify, with which you manually enter your payments and expenses, may be more suitable for your needs. PocketExpense also lets you monitor your expenses without having to link your bank accounts. You can enter expenses manually to monitor how much you spend, where you spend it, and when. The app then breaks down expenditures by category that you can visualize using a chart generator within the app. GoodBudget is another free app that helps people who budget based on income and outgoing expenses by using “envelopes” for changing elements of your budget, like holiday expenses and vacation savings.
In addition to budgeting apps, you can take better control of your money situation with other apps that deal with your finances in different ways. DigitalTrends.com magazine recommends using apps like Slice, which help avid shoppers monitor their habits, or Credit Karma Mobile, which monitors not only credit scores, but things that may affect your credit score. SavedPlus is a great way to help you passively save money by automatically moving an allotted percentage of the amount you spend from your checking to your savings account.
In addition to tracking spending on your own, sometimes you have to track the expenditures of the group you’re with. For that, Tricount can help you out by splitting up the expenses for you. If you only need to pay someone one time, Google Wallet, Venmo, and SquareCash are all apps that allow you to pay another person directly using only their e-mail address. Venmo even allows you to pay with credit cards, but takes a three percent transaction fee.
With the proper use of these apps, you hardly need a financial planner to help you get on top of your money situation and begin to have a realistic view of your incoming cash and outgoing expenses. Help secure your financial future from your phone or tablet with these apps that feature attractive interfaces. They are way more fun to use than a paper-and-pen expense book, and definitely better than a spreadsheet.