If you’re looking for some help with tracking your spending, saving towards a goal, or just plain want to know how much money you have, then you’ve got a lot of good options!
You can always use a personal finance tool, but what if you prefer to use your smartphone? That’s where personal finance and money management apps come in! Personal finance apps have made leaps and bounds over the past few years and offer to automate your financial information in just about any way you can imagine. But with security and privacy being top issues, you won’t want to go handing over your banking information to just anyone.
That’s why we’ve vetted the field and compiled our list of the 7 best money management apps you can download right now. Happy saving!
Mint is a simple personal finance that helps track your spending, budget, investments, and can even manage your bill payments.
As far as personal finance apps go, Mint was one of the first “aggregators” when it was released back in 2007. That means that by syncing it to your bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage accounts, Mint will collect all of your financial information and bring it together into one place where it can be displayed as one complete snapshot in real-time.
With many people having so many different accounts, the concept of a one-stop-shop was seen as a huge benefit. Even financial giant Intuit thought so when they purchased Mint back in 2009.
For most people, Mint’s biggest claim to fame is the seamless tracking of your spending. All purchases are imported into Mint’s platform and then auto categorized into major budget headings. You can also create goals like saving for a down payment or pay off a debt. Check out our complete Mint review here to learn more.
Personal Capital is another aggregator app that syncs with all of your bank accounts and then displays a real-time snapshot of your personal finances.
While Personal Capital has tools for you to track your spending, they’re more heavily focused on helping you manage your investments. In particular, if you’ve got any retirement accounts, Personal Captial can be quite useful.
Some of their features include:
- A 401k fee analyzer – See if your plan is charging you more than the industry median and how that will impact your bottom line over time.
- Retirement planner – Get an estimation of how long your nest egg will last given best-case, worst-case scenarios (or play with multiple variables to create your own what-ifs)
- Portfolio management – If you’d like some professional advice on how to optimize your retirement funds, Personal capital advisors can assist (for a fee).
If you were also hoping to use the app for budgeting, unfortunately, Personal Capital only lets you monitor your spending. You can’t create specific goals for your budgets. However, one cool feature is that based on types of transactions you’re making, Personal Capital will make recommendations for alternative services or ways that you could be saving.
Grown from a system created back when he and his wife were a young newlywed couple, creator Jesse Mecham offers other young people a new way to manage their money with his app You Need a Budget (YNAB).
With YNAB, you’re not just tracking your spending. Instead of looking backward at your finances, YNAB forces you to think forward about how you will spend your actual income. Rule one of their system is to “give every dollar a job” meaning that you should plan ahead and be purposeful with your money. Supporters of YNAB praise it for helping them develop better money management habits.
One more bonus: While Mint has more established relationships with more financial institutions than YNAB, YNAB seems to do a better job with the synchronization of your financial transactions.
Price: 34-day free trial followed by $11.99 per month or $84 per year
For those people who are already familiar with budgeting, it’s highly likely they already maintain some type of customized spreadsheet. Using an app like Mint or YNAB to collect all of your financial information can be a hassle because it then involves manually inputting that information into your spreadsheet.
This is where Tiller Money can help. With this app, you can import all of your financial transactions into your own Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheet with categories that you’ve created. This is great for people who want to be more hands-on than traditional money management apps will allow.
If that’s not enough, Tiller Money also offers some helpful features such as a debt snowball spreadsheet which can show you how quickly you’ll be able to pay off all your debts.
Like many other money management apps, Empower syncs to your bank accounts and credit cards to give you an accurate real-time snapshot of your financial transactions. Again, this is super helpful when it comes to budgeting and spending habits.
However, rather than just display the information, Empower goes above and beyond with something called their “AutoSave” feature. This is where you can tell the app to take any excess money and automatically apply it towards a savings goal or debt payoff.
As part of their service, Empower offers an integrated checking account earning 0.25% APY interest. There’s no account minimums, no overdraft fees, unlimited withdrawals, and it even comes with a debit card.
Price: 30-day free trial followed by $6 per month
One of the most tried and true ways to budget your money is something called the envelope method. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this is where you literally put money in envelopes that are earmarked for certain expenses like your mortgage, utilities, credit cards, etc.
While that system might seem a little old-school to some, if this is the way you like to manage your budget, then Goodbudget is your app.
Taking the envelope method digital, Goodbudget takes your paycheck and sets it aside for various envelopes that you assign. From there you can track your spending and get real-time updates to see if you’ve overspent in that category. Spouses can even sync their apps so they can see if they’re on the right track.
Price: Free with just 10 envelopes. If you want unlimited envelopes, it will cost $7 per month or $60 per year.
If you’re more concerned about saving money as opposed to how you spend it, then Acorns is an app you’ll want to check out.
Whereas most money management apps are obsessed with budgeting and providing snapshots of your finances, there’s a huge gap in helping you to actually save more of your money.
That’s the sole focus of Acorns. The way they help you to grow your money is simple:
- Link your debit or credit cards to Acorns.
- Every time you spend money, Acorns will round up the transaction to the nearest dollar and stash the difference into your Acorns account.
From there, it’s up to you what you decide to do with your savings. You can set it aside for a short-term goal such as an upcoming big purchase or debt payoff. Or you can think further into the future and invest your savings into a retirement plan such as an IRA or Roth IRA.
Price: Plans starting at $1 per monthhttps://www.acorns.com/pricing/
Final Thoughts: Best Money Management Apps
Managing your money doesn’t have to be difficult, because there’s an app for that! Whether you’re looking to save or invest, having an app right at your fingertips that can help you figure out your finances can be extremely useful. Make use of this guide to the best money management apps and find the app that will help you with your personal finances now!