Effortlessly Master Your Money & Time with These 5 Personal Finance Apps
March 13, 2018
Being the one responsible for the finances can be both tedious and irritating - but it doesn’t have to be. For some, they’d prefer to leave their money in the hands of a professional, and for others, they’d much rather be in control of their own financial fate. Having an advisor looking over your finances will always be the easiest way to grow and protect your wealth, but for the DIYers, personal finance apps have become an all-in-one useful and user friendly solution to monitoring and maintaining investments, budgets, and accounts without the headache.
These apps are perfect for anyone with the time and energy to dedicate to managing their own finances. We selected these apps based on user friendliness, intuitiveness, capabilities, effectiveness, and reviews.
They all aim to manage your money, stick to a budget, log expenses, and have hands-off and brain-off investing. Each app is slightly catered to different needs and/or individuals, so ranked in no particular order, here is our list of the top personal finance apps:
Mint has grown to become the top of mind choice for personal finance. It is an impressive all-in-one tool that gives users the ability to check their credit score, track and pay bills from one place, and create budgets. Personalized alerts also make it easy to never make a late payment again. In order to get the most out of Mint, users must connect all of their accounts. Mint touts their data safety with 256-bit encryption level and 2 factor authorization as a sufficient safety precaution. Since data safety has become a big issue recently, these safety features are critical.
With so much free value, it is no surprise that this app is one of the most popular means for people to organize their financial life. However, anyone with that needs more advanced investing features, retirement planning, and fee auditing should consider the next app, Personal Finance.
2. Personal Capital
While Personal Capital can be used instead of Mint, they compliment each other quite nicely. Many people may be against the idea of connecting all their accounts to more than one 3rd party, but Personal Capital, like Mint, promises security as the highest priority. Personal Capital fills in the blanks of what Mint lacks in advanced features. According to a review from investorjunkie, if you have over $100,000 in investments, Personal Capital will be a much better fit for your needs.
Personal Capital’s fee analyzer is one of its most valuable and unique features. It gives users an easy way discover hidden fees they otherwise would have not found without the tool’s transparency. In addition to the fee analyzer, the investment tools are easy to use, highlight improvements, and recommend portfolios. While this app will help you gain more insight, it can be too much for someone looking for a simpler option.
3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Affectionately known as YNAB, this app calls it like it is. You need a budget. Plain and simple. This software is the best tool for budgeting based on its unique approach and simple layout. It enforces responsible behavior by creating a budget based on past income instead of future income. YNAB was built on a 4-tier methodology that includes: giving every dollar a job, embracing your true expenses, rolling with the punches, and aging your money.
If your needs are limited to just budgeting or you simply want the best budgeting tool, YNAB is the way to go. You’ll be able to quickly create a budget in minutes with its layout closely resembling a spreadsheet. Unlike the previous apps, users cannot link their accounts and must download and upload their transactions each month. Those hesitant to connect their accounts to a third party, usually find this to be a plus.
Who or what is Wally?
A personal expense sergeant! Wally lets you keep track of the what, where, when, why and how much of your financial life. Wally brings balancing a checkbook into the information age and does so in a seamless and intuitive way. One particularly useful feature is that users can take photos of receipts and get more insight on where their money is going every month.With its goal setting and excess highlight features, Wally is great for anyone looking to reduce any excess spending. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to connect your accounts directly, so there is room for human error.
If you find it difficult regularly setting aside money for your investment accounts, then Acorns might be for you. This unique app is unlike any other on the list because it allows you to invest on autopilot by micro-investing your pocket change. Here is how it works: every time you make a purchase with a card that is connected to the app, Acorns rounds up to the next highest dollar and automatically invests the difference. This investment goes towards a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you pre-select based on risk performance. For example, if you spend $2.25 on coffee, Acorns will invest $0.75. Since Acorns requires no action to make sure you save up for retirement or contribute to ETFs, users are much more likely to effectively reach their goals. Stash, however, is a better alternative for those looking to be more in control of how the micro-investments are allocated.
Ready to save time & money?
The tools we have at our disposal for managing our own finances are powerful and fairly easy to use. However, you still need to be willing to take responsibility for your finances and use these tools to their full capability.
For those that simply don’t have the time or desire to manage their own finances and want a certified professional looking over their finances at all times, please fill out the form or give us a call at 800.268.9046 for a free consultation.