One of the most stressful things in life is managing personal finance. But there is some good news! Technology is making managing your personal finances a whole lot easier. There are a number of fantastic personal finance apps available for a wide range of devices – everything from a desktop computer, Samsung Galaxy, Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, as well as other platforms including online-based apps. With these apps, you can do everything from budgeting to paying your bills, even while you are on the go!
Here is a look at the top five personal finance apps that you absolutely must have.
- Mint – This is perhaps the most popular personal finance app. Mint by Intuit gives you a complete, real-time look into all of your finances, from credit cards and bank accounts, to your 401k and college loans. Mint automatically keeps track of your spending, catalogs it, and alerts you if and when you approach your budget limit. You can even request custom savings tips based on your finances within the app. Simple, intuitive charts and graphs display everything, making it one of the most widely used personal finance apps in the world.
- You can download Mint on iPhone and Android devices.
- HelloWallet – Owned by Morningstar, HelloWallet takes a behavioral science approach to business, to help you not only with today’s debt management and bills but also to plan your financial future. Matt Fellowes, the app’s founder, is a Brookings Institution consumer-finance scholar who combined behavioral psychology with technology to offer personal finance recommendations that are individualized based on age, income, and spending patterns. For example, it uses your GPS to alert you that you have already spent a large amount of money, at a particular coffee shop, restaurant, etc. Any gaps in your financial life are also pointed out by HelloWallet, such as inadequate levels of insurance or a missing emergency-savings plan.
- This app is generally delivered through employee wellness plans, but there are household memberships available as well, with a three-year commitment of $100 per year.
- LearnVest – This is a new app that is an extension of LearnVest, the financial planning site that has been around since 2009, which was initially a personal-finance education site for women. This free app is similar to Mint in many ways. It helps you create budgets and prioritize the financial goals you have, while nudging you to meet them. LearnVest connects directly to all your accounts – credit cards, checking, savings, and investments – and tracks every debit and credit.
- You will find plenty of reading material to help in navigating your financial future and for a monthly fee of $19, along with an initial fee of $399, financial advice services are available to you with LearnVest.
- OnBudget – This is a judicious new app that comes with a fee-free prepaid-card component which follows a fuss-free approach to budgeting – You cannot spend more than you have. OnBudget’s “monthly budgeting card”, a MasterCard prepaid debit card, allows you to organize your spending as older generations may have, with “envelopes” for each category of spending. However, in this case, it is virtual envelope organizational behavior that provides spending patterns in real-time as well as money-saving tips and constructive suggestions to help you make better financial decisions.
- There is no set-up with OnBudget since the software system learns your spending habits and informs you about them. Unlike most other tools for managing personal finances, multiple members of a family can share one budget. And the system keeps track of who is spending what.
- Better Haves – This is another envelop-budgeting system that is designed for couples in particular, but individuals can use it as well. Better Haves allows you to keep a track of your expenses on the go. Envelopes that are color-coded get depleted with every purchase you make. Once a certain envelope is empty, you are advised to stop spending in that category. This app’s dashboard charts joint budgets, but it also has separate tabs for individual and joint expenses. Better Haves even has a system that gives you an early warning that there may be an impending money issue. Also, it asks you about how you feel about the money you spent that day.
- Better Haves is a free app that has received remarkable reviews. It is a handy one to have, especially if you and your better half want a shared budget and would like to be equally responsible with the spending aspect of your relationship.
These are 5 of the best personal finance apps that are out there today. They work very well in helping you manage your finances and ensure that you plan for your financial future properly and that you actually have a plan at all. Do not count on the government or social security to fund your retirement – that may not work out in your/our favor.