What's App With Your Finances?
Whether your goal this year is to save money, make money, invest money or just pay your bills on time, one of these digital tools may be for you.
Smartphones have made it easier than ever to track our health — from our heart rate to the number of steps we take to our sleep patterns to the amount of calories we consume. But what about our financial health? Well, there’s an app for that, too.
In fact, there are lots and lots of apps for that. Our phones can give us tremendous insight into our financial habits, with banking and budgeting apps that gauge account balances, report spending trends, help save money and measure progress toward financial objectives, encouraging us all the while to strive for our goals.
As more and more Americans look to technology to help them gain control over their money, we present some of the top personal finance apps used in 2017. Just in time to help with your 2018 resolutions!
Arguably one of the best personal finance apps on the market, Mint (from Intuit Inc.) is a one-stop shop for managing all your finances. Use it to see what you’re spending when it comes to your bank accounts, credit cards, bills and even investments, giving you a complete picture of your “financial life.” When you have the option to save money, Mint will give you tips and tricks on how to do so. When your credit score is low, Mint will suggest ways to boost your number. When it’s time to pay your bills, Mint will alert you and help you schedule your payments easily.
Get It: mint.com
Penny isn’t just an app — it’s a financial adviser you can talk to whenever you need to. Ask Penny to tell you where you like to shop the most or how much money you spend on fast food. Ask her how to help you set achievable goals to improve your financial health. Ask Penny to share her insights with you so you can get the most bang for your buck. It’s all here, with a user-friendly interface and simple graphics. Good things happen when you simply chat with Penny — your new financial expert you can take with you wherever you go.
Price: Free (offers in-app purchases)
Get It: pennyapp.io
You Need a Budget (YNAB) saves new users an average of $600 in the first two months and more than $6,000 in the first year. Its four rules will help you break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. Rule #1: Give every dollar a job. Rule #2: Embrace your true expenses. Rule #3: Roll with the punches. Rule #4: Age your money (i.e., don’t spend any money until it’s at least 30 days old). YNAB offers a no-risk, 100 percent money-back guarantee if you don’t feel like you have more control over your bank account.
Price: Free 30-day trial; $83.99 for yearly subscription
Get It: youneedabudget.com
Grow your oak with Acorns and effortlessly start investing in more than 7,000 stocks and bonds. Every time you make a purchase with a designated credit card, the app will round up that amount to the nearest dollar and invest the difference into various exchange-traded funds. Watch your bank account grow slowly but steadily over the years without the hassle of doing it all yourself. If you saved just $5 every couple of days, you would set aside $1,000 in just a year. With more than two million people already using Acorns to invest in their future, this app has proven its worth time and time again.
Price: $1 monthly subscription
Get It: acorns.com
Qapital takes the “suck” out of saving money. You set a goal, such as saving up for a vacation, paying off your student loans or buying a new car. Then, choose how much and when you want this app to save — $20 every Friday, round up every purchase by $2 and save the difference, etc. — and Qapital sends that money straight into your savings account until you accomplish your goal. From your checking account to your financial goals, Qapital has everything you need to start spending and saving your money intentionally. When you download this app, you won’t even have to think about saving.
Get It: qapital.com
Save money without even thinking about it, because you know you already have enough on your plate. Digit monitors your income and spending patterns every day and gradually transfers small amounts of the cash you can spare into a secure account. You won’t have to take the time to transfer funds into your savings or retirement account — Digit will do it all for you. Plus, you earn 1 percent annual cash back on your Digit savings and can withdraw money from your account as often as you’d like with no added fees. Saving money used to be hard, but now with Digit it’s easy!
Price: Free 100-day trial; $2.99 monthly subscription
Get It: digit.co