Times are tough. Whether you earn a lot or just get by, watching where your money goes is important. There are lots of ways to watch your spending, investments, and more. But since you probably have a cell phone in your pocket all the time, apps are a great option.
The market is absolutely saturated with money management apps. Most of these will translate well across different screen sizes, so they’ll work no matter what device you’re using. Many also have web versions, so you can use them at your regular computer, as well. Being able to manage your money wherever you are is incredibly helpful.
Here are ten of the best money management apps you should consider:
1. Personal Capital
At DoughRoller, we basically can’t say enough good stuff about Personal Capital. It’s a great money management tool that lets you track your budget, but also oversee your investments. The interface is very visual and looks nice on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. You can check out graphs of your investments by asset class, investment account, or individual investment. So it makes tracking your investment performance easy.
Personal Capital also has a budgeting component. Its budgeting functions aren’t quite as robust or intuitive as some of the other tools we’ll consider here. But if you want to primarily focus on your investments while keeping track of your spending on the side, this is definitely an app worth considering.
Mint.com has long been a popular budgeting website and app, and not without reason. I tend to think of it as the counterbalance of Personal Capital. It, too, has both an investing and a budgeting portion. But for Mint, the budgeting portion is the stronger offering, and you can just track your investments on the side.
Mint is a great option if you want to keep a super detailed budget. You can create literally as many budget categories as you want, and you can categorize transactions on the go. Mint will automatically pull transactions in from your bank accounts and credit cards, so they’re all in one place. It also has a nice bill pay feature that will remind you when bills are due and allow you to pay them right from the app if you’d prefer.
Qapital is a relative newcomer to the app market, but it’s an excellent option if you want to save more money. For a while now, round-up accounts have been prevalent. Basically, these are accounts that pull in change from all of your digital transactions, so you save money without really thinking about it. Some banks offer these accounts, and there are other apps with similar options.
Basically, these are the new change jar for Millennial spenders, who rarely carry cash.
Qapital is a little different, though. It actually lets you set your own if-this-then-that (IFTTT) rules. So you can charge yourself a bit extra for your indulgences, or simply round up all your transactions to the nearest dollar. For instance, you might have Qapital transfer an extra $2 to your savings account each time you hit up and expensive coffee shop.
Bottom line: It’s a great option for automating savings to reach your goals.
Is your primary budget issue figuring out what you need to pay in the future? Maybe you’re afraid to spend $10 on lunch, even if your bank account is fairly flush, because you can’t remember when your student loans are due. Dollarbird can help with that.
This $1.99 app puts your budget into calendar form. So you can get an at-a-glance view of your expenses that are coming up. You can color code transactions by category and easily enter recurring transactions, like your paycheck. The app lets you see your projected balance, so you know how much money you can safely spend.
One limitation here, though, is that Dollarbird doesn’t sync with your bank accounts. You’ll have to enter transactions manually, but that’s pretty simple to do.
Need a little encouragement on your personal finance journey? Check out Penny. She’s a personal finance app that works to coach you.
Penny uses a unique texting-like interface. She gets into your statement history, and then gives you advice on your finances. You can have Penny forecast your spending, compare this month’s spending to last months, and give you tips and tricks on where to save. This is a great app if you need some encouragement and coaching, and also don’t want to deal with organizing your transactions manually. Penny will do that for you.
This is a unique entry in a marketplace saturated with budgeting and investment management apps. Walla.by actually focuses on helping you make the most of your credit cards.
When you get started, you’ll give Walla.by access to certain personal information. Using that, it will tell you which mix of credit cards you should carry. Then, Walla.by will guide you through deciding which cards to use when so that you always take advantage of the best benefits and rewards.
Wally is similar to other budgeting apps we’ve seen, but it does have some unique features. For one thing, it’s available in a huge variety of currencies, which is interesting. It also allows you to save pictures of receipts, if that’s helpful for you. The app is really simple, and it shows you easily how much of your budget is left for the day and the month whenever you log in.
The concept of Acorns is similar to that of Qapital. It takes your virtual change out of your account. But instead of saving it, Acorns invests the difference. The app allows you to start investing with virtually no effort. You just set it up, and get going.
You can use Acorns just to round up your transactions, but you can also set up recurring withdrawals to your account, or boost your account with a one-time transaction. Acorns also has a new shopping app type function, called Found Money. When you shop with certain brands, the brand partners will automatically invest in your Acorns account. Check out our review of the app here.
9. Good Budget
Good Budget is build on the older concept of an envelope budget. When you run out of money in one virtual envelope, you need to stop spending that category or move money over to that envelope.
One advantage of Good Budget is that you can set certain goals and track how you’re moving towards them. You can also sync up your budget with your household, and even share your budget if you need to build in some accountability.
Spendee is yet another visual app that syncs with your bank accounts. It automatically downloads transactions and categorizes them. It also allows you to share certain parts of your budget with others, which is an interesting concept.
Spendee works like the Good Budget system. Except instead of assigning money to virtual envelopes, you can assign it to virtual wallets. So if you’re trying to build in some accountability on how much you spend dining out, share your dining out wallet with a friend. But you don’t have to share the rest of your budget. Spendee also offers a travel mode that supports multiple currencies when you’re abroad.
As you can see, there are some great apps to consider in this space. The key to success, though, is to pick one (or a few, if you’re not just looking at budget apps) and stick to it. Learn the system, apply it to your finances, and start reaching your goals.Topics: Budget • tech