If you’re like most people, you probably look at your phone at least 50 times a day – checking everything from emails, texts, news, weather and sports scores.
Americans are spending more time than ever on their smartphones – up to 5 hours per day, according to Flurry.
And as many have found, your phone can also help keep tabs on your finances. Investing wisely, budgeting your household finances, and managing money is made easier than ever before with today’s technology.
Turn your iPhone or Android into a personal finance advisor that can help you know when to spend money, identify where you waste money and how you can get rich by investing wisely.
We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of moving your finances to your mobile device with this list of the best personal finance apps.
This is the only app that lets you buy and sell stocks for free. Trades have zero commission. Just download the app, connect to your bank, fund your account, and you can trade fee-free.
For extended trading hours and margin accounts, you can upgrade to Robinhood Gold for a fee. Buying on margin means you double your expected returns. It also means you double your expected losses. The result (based on the magic of compounding) means that trading on margin tends to eat into your principal
The app allows you to make limit orders and stop loss orders too. Unless you’re an active trader, this is plenty of functionality. Plus, the app comes with a clean user interface, and basic research tools.
Mint takes the hassle out of making a budget. It is an effective all-in-one resource for creating a budget, tracking your spending and getting smart about your money.
You connect the Mint app to your bank and the app can use your details to help create a personalized budget. Mint also gives you your credit score for free, so you can see a big picture view of your budget and your personal finances.
Mint lets you know when bills are due, what you owe and what you can pay. The app can also send you payment reminders so you can avoid late fees.
The Mint app team also makes TurboTax and Quicken, so you can trust that they take all possible steps to secure your accounts and your data.
If you don’t want to think much about your investments but want to contribute regularly, Acorns is a top option.
Link a debit or credit card to the app and Acorns will “round up” your transactions to the next dollar and invest the “spare change” you would have received had you paid in cash. Acorns invests your funds automatically in one of five professionally managed ETF portfolios.
Acorns puts your pocket change to work in an utterly painless way – users say that they never even notice the difference. Wouldn’t you love to find an extra $500 or $1000 or even $2,000 in your investment account each year?
The service is free to college students and accounts with a balance up to $5,000 pay just $1 per month. Accounts with a balance over $5,000 pay a competitive 0.25% fee.
With identical pricing to Acorns, Stash offers a low-cost method to build a diverse portfolio. But where Acorns invests for you automatically, Stash helps you learn how to make the best investment decisions yourself.
The Stash app includes educational content based on your investment preferences. You can choose between values-driven portfolios focused on different investing themes, or build your own custom portfolio.
Then you can set up an “auto-Stash” plan for recurring investments or add funds when you choose.
GoodBudget is a digital envelope budget system that helps you manage your finances using the envelope budgeting method without actually having to carry around a stack of envelopes when you need to make payments. It’s an envelope budget for the digital age.
The app can help you learn how to save for big purchases and actually put that plan into place so you can save for vacation or a new car.
GoodBudget is available on iPhone and Android as a free app, with $15 for three months or $24 for six months of a pro subscriptions that deliver more envelopes, budget history, accounts and devices.
Mvelopes is another another digital envelope budget method app that can help you get ahold of your finances.
You can pay bills, manage your budget and plan all from your smartphone. You can also capture your receipts to track spending in real-time so that everyone can see your budget as it is, not as it was in the morning.
Mvelopes is free to use, with a $95 a year premium option and a money coach option as well.
If you’re a self-employed freelancer, you won’t have access to an employer 401(k) plan and will have to put together your own retirement plan. There are many options for the self-employed to invest, but one of the coolest around is Vault.
Vault allows anyone to open an IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA account for their investments. A SEP is a type of IRA specific type of retirement account for self-employed workers. But whatever form of IRA you want, Vault gives you the ability to invest based on a specific percentage of your income.
When money is deposited into your account through a freelance job, the Vault app gives you a notification to approve depositing the percentage you picked in your IRA account at Vault. You can also choose to invest your percentage automatically without requiring manual approval.
The Wally app is by far the best app for tracking expenses.
Instead of manually logging your expenses at the end of the day (or week or month), Wally lets you simply take a photo of your receipts. And if you use geo-location on your device, it even fills in that info, saving you several steps.
Just like you might track expenses for a business trip, you can do that for your personal budget with Wally. You’ll also get notifications when a bill is due, when you hit a savings goal and with other activities. Wally can adapt to your habits and goals to help you get there.
9) You Need A Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget is a budget system that helps you create a budget that you can follow.
YNAB focuses on four rules to help you get your life in order with simple changes. 1) Give every dollar a job, 2) Plan for infrequent expenses, 3) Roll with the punches if you overspend and 4) Learn how to live on last month’s income.
You Need a Budget doesn’t let you create budgets around money you don’t have – it forces you to live within your actual income. If you get off track, YNAB helps you see what you need to do differently to balance your budget.
In addition to helping you budget, there are classes you can watch online to help get started, free with the service.
You can try YNAB free for 34 days and after that it is $50 for the year or $5 a month to use the service.
The PocketGuard budget app connects directly to your bank account so you can always have access to your current transactions and balance. The feature that stood out to us is the ability to see money in simple terms.
The home screen shows you how much money is in your pocket now, your income and how much you have spent. The app analyzes your spending to identify recurring payments that you need to plan for and can identify your income so that you have a good idea of your cash flow.
Simple charts outline where you spend your money, and a tap shows what you are spending in each category. This is an essential tool in finding places to cut back and to optimize your purchases.
Hope these tips help and thanks for being part of the TAI Community!