Money is a touchy subject for most people. Either you don’t make enough of it, or you spend too much of it. Either way, most people don’t have enough of the greenbacks. But technology can help. Getting a handle on your finances has never been easier thanks to money management apps.
There are many money management apps available which can keep track of your spending, identity theft, and even assist in planning for retirement. However, some money management apps are better than others, and while a few of the apps out there charge for their services, the majority of the apps are completely free. Here are a few of our favorites.
This is a completely free money management app that offers a variety of features and is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle. Created by Intuit, Mint allows you to see everything at a glance. The home screen shows you:
All of your balances including bank accounts, credit cards, and investments
Monthly Budget (and how you’re doing)
There’s also a section for spending trends. This allows you to see your spending habits categorically. In fact, one of Mint’s best features is the ability to look at your spending habits in a handy pie chart graphic. You can tap on any color in the graph and see how much you’ve spent in that category. You can also expand the graph to see each transaction and what specific category they are in.
Mint does a good job of putting transactions in categories for you, but on occasion it the app gets it wrong. For example, a copay from a doctor’s office might end up categorized as a restaurant, but you have the option to change the category and next time, Mint will remember your selection.
A great comprehensive app for getting a handle on all your finances including credit scores and investments
Available for iOS, Android, and Kindle
Another completely free money management app that keeps a tight watch on your credit score, Credit Karma has several other features that make it worth the download.
View your credit score from both TransUnion and Equifax
See how much you owe to all accounts reported on your credit report including open credit cards and loans as well as collection activity
See your credit card usage at a glance
Simulate your credit score to show what it would be if you paid off a debt
Not only does Credit Karma allow you to see your score from both credit bureaus, but it also allows you to see a breakdown of the accounts on your report and how they are affecting your score. You can see if you have too many late payments or hard inquiries and exactly how that affects your score. You can also dispute items on your report in the app.
Credit Karma also checks to see if you have unclaimed property. For example, you’re owed a refund on your electric bill in say North Carolina, Credit Karma will check the unclaimed property records in that state for your name and alert you to money you may be owed.
See your credit score from TransUnion and Equifax
View a breakdown of everything on your credit report and how it affects your score
Available on iOS and Android
Stash is a money management app that pulls double duty. It’s an investment app that allows you to get started investing with just $5.00. You invest in ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds. ETFs are investment funds traded on an exchange (like NASDAQ or The New York Stock Exchange) just like other stocks. But with an ETF, you don’t own stock in a single company. Instead, the funds are made up of securities from various companies and you own shares of these securities.
The nice thing about this money management app is that it doubles as a high-interest savings account. You can put money into your “stash,” but you don’t have to invest it. If you let it sit in the account it will gain 0.55 percent interest annually, much more than a savings account at your local bank.
Stash also has a retirement option. You can deposit money into a Roth IRA, and unlike your company’s 401k, you can choose where to invest it.
You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing
Available for iOS and Android
High yield savings account
Getting control of your finances can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, it is absolutely necessary. But these three money management apps can help make things a bit easier and allow you to see exactly where you stand right now so that you can plan for the future.
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