One of the best things about new mobile technology is the way that it makes so many processes in our lives much easier. New personal finance and budgeting apps are bringing new levels of convenience and financial control to individual smartphone users. Here are some of the biggest new smartphone and mobile apps for keeping track of your money, and managing household finances or individual budgets in a more informed way. Most of these apps are available for both iOS and Android.
Best Finance Apps for Android and iOS
Lots of people have been talking about Mint since it came on the scene in the mid-2000s. There are different apps for this suite, including Mint Budget and Mint Bills — individual users manage budgets, check credit scores, look at investment information and generally control their financial lives through a set of visual dashboards that offer in-depth information about how to arrange finances. Link in bank accounts and credit cards, as well as retirement accounts, to really have a birds-eye view of your finances and the stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the financial industry through all of the quality content that’s easily accessible on the platform.
Here’s another one that’s been getting quite a bit of attention from various sources. Level Money syncs up bank and credit card accounts to show what you’ve spent during a given time frame, and what’s left. It’s an easy, user-friendly interface. Different tracking tools analyze income and spending, and set benchmarks for savings to help you “level up” in budgeting.
Wally is another tool that’s bringing people more granular control of their money by showing them more about what they’re spending, and even where they’re spending it. In addition to the kinds of accessible visual data features that help users to keep tabs on spending, Wally also has social and locational details built into the platform. This way, you can figure out whether there is a particular ‘trigger’ making you spend a lot more money than you should on some type of purchase. Visual fields for earnings, balances and more help with presenting spending patterns in a transparent way.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Many of us have seen links to this app on Facebook, where personal narratives provide outreach about this personal budgeting tool. In fact, it’s partially the content portion of YNAB that’s making it so popular — with all of these testimonials, people get interested in how YNAB helps to tailor a budget ‘on the fly’ and do in-depth tracking of spending to figure out how to build good budgeting habits. As some of the YNAB stories point out, it’s largely about discipline and willpower, and by reading up on other people’s experiences, people who are new to this application and have never used a budgeting app before get more of an introduction on how to use it – and get more inspired about how it might apply to their lives.
HomeBudget also offers the same kinds of neat visual tracking of income and expenses — the key point with this app is that users can get can get data shared across the whole family, with multiple people and their devices all linked together. This way, it’s analyzing more than just one person’s budget, and looking at where money might be going into and out of a joint account.
With a somewhat unique design, PocketGuard starts with a top-level number representing available funds, and works out from there, looking at recurring payments, and trying to figure out what the device holder can afford to spend in a certain category. It’s helpful in looking for opportunities to trim the fat on a personal budget.
This app makes use of a popular off-line strategy involving envelopes.
When some people start to get serious about budgeting, they take the majority of their pay out of their bank account and put it into cash, placing it in different envelopes. This is supposed to help with financial discipline, since you can see your money and quantify what you spend. The downside is that the physical envelope system is unwieldy, and the money could actually get lost, which would be a real bummer.
GoodBudget takes that system and makes it digital, so that you have virtual envelopes with money that will never get lost, but you still understand how money is put into different pots for different purposes.
This app is focused on business travelers who need something to create quick expense reports. The platform allows you to quickly introduce receipt as pictures, track expenses manually, and import purchase information from your credit card.
The SmartScan feature is what I appreciated most, as it allows your phone to process photographed receipts and generate expense details. It also notably integrates the ability is to introduce your travel mileage, rate based expenses, and time spent traveling.
If you use colored post-its to highlight important aspects in a file, this app may be the best budget tracker for you. Retailed as a freemium app both paid and free versions promote a colorful interface that keeps track of your finances.
You have various expense categories and you can upload photographs with bills and receipts as documents to justify the spending. Even more, you have an Overview mode that creates infographics letting you know where and on what you spend your money.
What I appreciate with this app is the great budget creation tool that helps you plan your money to the last dollar. Of course, this module is available in the Premium version but it’s quite worth it. To convince you, here are some of the most important features: saving wallets that can be shared, multiple budgets, and the possibility to sync the data across platforms and devices.
If you want to save some money but you never find a way how, Digit hopes to be the solution. Digit is designed to analyze your spending patterns and it will transfer a small amount out of your checking account into Digit’s savings account managed by the app. In plain terms, the app calculates how much money you won’t need and moves it to a digital savings account for you. The company links up with your checking account through wiretransfer and uses bank level encryption security for every transaction. If you absolutely have no self-control, why not get it automated in a smart and analytic way?
The main downside of Digit is that the savings account is available at any time and you remain responsible for how you manage the accumulated funds afterwards. It only takes one business day to transfer funds back to your checking account, but that might make you spend it needlessly again. Banks already offer free services to automatically transfer a pre-determined amount into a closed savings or investment account for you, and have the advantage of earning interest from the get go. Therefore the only advantage here is the analytical approach of calculating variable amounts of money that can be saved weekly. Maybe not really part of the “best” finance apps, but an interesting savings app for sure.
Spendbook presents itself through an elegant interface with easy to learn features. The main purpose of this app is to track your daily expenses. You have the possibility to introduce products you buy (with a picture of the receipt or the product), general expenses like transportation and others, or expenses that don’t happen too often like cabs, train rides, and others.
Everything can be divided into subcategories and the app processes all the financial information into a monthly summary with charts and infographics. Similar to all the other apps I tried before it, but this one had a refreshing look. Otherwise, it may be a little feature lack luster compared to other paid services such as Mint.
If you know of any extraordinary or efficient choices I may have missed, please share in the comments below.