Poor money management excuses are running out for people with the introduction of the smartphone and the influx of personal finance apps. As you may know, there are a wide variety of apps the can help the average person, or financially astute, budget, pay bills, save money, find deals and much more.
Any smart phone deserves a portfolio of solid personal finance apps. Here are 10 I think will serve you well and also help you attain your next financial goal whether it be to stay on budget, pay your bills on time, pay off debt or build wealth for the future!
1. Pay Bills and Bank at Your Convenience with Capital One 360
Most major banks these days have their own app and having one on your device is helpful for many reasons. For example, with Capital One’s app, I can log into my Capital One 360 checking and savings accounts to check balances, transfer money and pay bills. As a nice convenience, I make all of my check deposits directly from my iPhone by snapping pictures of the front and backside of checks. I also like how you can make P2P payments (similar to PayPal) and have access to any of your Capital One credit card accounts. Overall, this is an all inclusive app that provides all the banking features you would ever need.
Learn more about Capital One 360 by reading the PT Money review.
2. Stay on Budget with YNAB
If you budget and track your spending, check to see if your software program has an app. If you’re shopping for budgeting software, make sure an app is available. The time savings and convenience is just too valuable to miss. YNAB (You Need a Budget) offers a handy app that provides the ability to review your budget and track your spending at the point of sale. There is a handy geo feature that automatically associates a payee with your location so you don’t have to search and enter it each time you shop there. You can also review your entire budget and the balances for each category as well as review transactions and balances per account. This app is simple, clean and gets the job done.
Learn more about YNAB by reading the PT Money review.
3. Beat Gas Prices with GasBuddy
An app that has become critical to any mobile device is GasBuddy. Gas prices fluctuate based on economic conditions and location so it’s helpful to have a tool to find the cheapest prices near you. GasBuddy does the job and has helped me save a ton money! For example, my wife gases her car up at our local Costco which according to GasBuddy is currently offering gas at least 20 cents less per gallon than other locations near us. I used the app to find gas near my work and was able to locate a Costco that not only beats competition but beats the Costco near where we live by at least 5 cents per gallon! GasBuddy makes budgeting gas each month more predictable in that you can check the prices from your device versus waiting until you drive up to a gas station!
4. Monitor Your Credit Score with Credit Karma
Staying on top of your credit score is important as it’s considered for employment, insurance policies, loans and more. Like it or not, the credit score is here to stay and is a quick measure on your trustworthiness in paying bills on – time and an overall read into how financially responsible you are. The Credit Karma app is a nice way to monitor your score and it’s available when you sign up for a FREE account. The app provides you the ability to see your overall credit rating, an account summary, financial recommendations based on your credit profile and alerts for balance changes, new accounts or credit inquires. Obviously, make sure you’re getting your free credit reports once year at annualcreditreport.com. The app is a nice complement to the reports is an excellent way to stay on top of your credit score updates.
Learn more about Credit Karma by reading the PT Money review.
5. Reduce Debt with Ready for Zero
Got debt? If so, moving towards eliminating it is a wise choice for any financial plan. The less debt, the more freedom you have to use your money for other important purposes such as giving, saving, or meeting other needs. Ready for Zero offers a free online debt payment planner that helps you charge a course to pay off debt. Incidentally, the tool also offers credit score tracking. And of course, you can take your debt plan with you via their mobile app and see balances, payments, interest rates. The app provides alerts and lets you review your progress without ever needing to sit in front of a computer.
Learn more about Ready for Zero by reading the PT Money review.
6. Stay Financially Informed with AOL Reader and Feeddler
Most people who have an interest in managing their money wisely follow personal finance blogs or their favorite money media sites to get the latest tips and trends. A good reader app can help you easily subscribe to these sites and see their content right from your smartphone. Furthermore, you can share this content with friends on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. To get this set up, open a free AOL reader account and subscribe to your favorite RSS feeds from each website either by visiting the site or searching for it within AOL. Then, download the Feeddler app for your phone and connect your AOL account by signing into it through the admin screen. Now you have all your favorite sites and their content right at your finger tips!
7. Build Wealth with Betterment
Betterment offers a simple way to invest. You choose your investing goal based on risk and timeline and they handle everything else for you. They invest in a mixture of stock Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and/or treasury bond ETFs and fees are based on the amount you invest with them. Betterment can also be used to rollover an IRA or 401K. The Betterment mobile app provides the ability to check your account balance and returns. deposit and withdraw money, and manage your stock and bond allocation. Betterment offers a unique investing approach that is quite attractive as most people don’t have the knowledge or time to get involved in the investing details.
Learn more about Betterment by reading the PT Money review.
8. Get Deals with Groupon.com, Amazon Local and Living Social
While I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it, every mobile device needs one or two deals apps. The deals app recommendation comes with a word of caution and a few rules. Deals apps can be addicting and can certainly lead to overspending if you’re not careful. Rule number one is to make sure any deal spending is included in your budget. Rule number two is to stick to the app and don’t sign up for email lists. It’s always better to be the hunter versus the hunted. All of that said, I like Groupon.com and Living Social apps for my smartphone. All are easy to use and have performed a fine job of filling out our entertainment budget and special occasions with local deals at extremely competitive prices.
9. Calculate and Save with Bankrate
Bankrate offers a couple of nice apps in their Mortgage and Auto calculators. They both provide loan calculators quotes, rates and of course news and advice. The Mortgage app provides the ability to calculate monthly payments, determine how much loan you can afford, how extra payments will impact the life of your loan and a lot more. The Auto app is a nice tool when shopping for a car. You can look up new and used car prices, find dealerships, calculate payments and request auto insurance quotes.
10. Manage Bills with Finovera
Bill management has gotten much easier with apps such as Finovera that let’s you aggregate all of your bills and view them in one place. Missing bill due dates a few times may not seem like a big deal but your credit score cares! Link your accounts and Finovera will automatically download your statements and you can view them on your phone. The app will also send you reminders for when bills are due. Bill management can be overwhelming to keep organized, especially with all of the filing and statements to keep track of. Well, now there is an app for that!
It will certainly be interesting to see what’s next for personal finance apps and how this technology will continue to improve the way people manage money. The great benefit, aside from improving people’s ability to manage money wisely, is the sheer convenience of technology and how much time it saves.
No doubt about it, these apps get the job done, but now it’s your turn to share. What apps are you using that have changed the way you manage money?