We all know we should be spending less and saving more. We set ambitious financial goals and imagine a life of financial freedom. How likely are you to succeed if your plan lacks detail? Is it recorded or tracked somewhere beyond your imperfect memory? Consider making your plans more tangible with a money management app.
According to James Clear, author of ‘Atomic Habits,’ what we measure, we improve. Seeing an objective measurement of our status and then watching it grow creates a process to which we can become attached.
We start to think twice about choices that will affect the growth of our measurements. Luckily there’s an abundance of modern apps that can consolidate all your financial info into one view where you can plan and measure the trajectory of your future.
Mint Budget Tracker and Planner
Mint is first up because it is the best all-around app for most use cases. It’s fast and reliable because Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, owns it. The app gives you a great categorized view of your money so you can decide where to reduce spending the most. Link your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments under one profile. Creating a budget is intuitive, and suggestions are provided based on your spending history.
Mint takes budgeting a step further by helping you enforce the budgets you create. You can receive notifications when spending too much in a particular category based on your chosen limitations. A bill notification system also helps you stay on top of due dates.
This next app is for those who pay too many late fees on their bills. Prism Money will not just notify you when a bill is due; You can pay all your bills right through the app itself—no more bouncing between apps and sites with different passwords and usernames. There are 11,000 billers available through Prism, and you can pay via bank, debit, or credit. Your financial information is safe because it is never stored on your device.
Making a payment takes a few painless clicks, and if your bill ever looks abnormal or suddenly goes up, you will be notified so you can investigate the change before you pay. Viewing all your bills in one place gives you a fantastic bird’s eye of all your monthly expenses. You can link your gas, water, electric, internet/mobile, credit cards, mortgage and student loans, insurance, and more.
Money issues are consistently cited as one of the top reasons for divorce. Combining your finances with a life partner can be scary and complicated. Most of these apps are created for individuals, but Honeydue was designed from the ground up for couples with shared expenses and budgets.
Use the app if you have shared accounts, loans, investments, or bills. You can create a joint budget and set monthly spending limits by category. The app automatically categorizes your expenses, but custom categories are also available.
Keeping an eye on each other’s spending allows you to leverage the power of accountability to meet your shared financial goals. Honeydue even features a chat function between partners so you can segregate your financial discussions and reduce the stress around shared money.
Personal Capital is unique in that it is more investment focused. It features a robust budgeting system like all the apps on this list but includes services for those needing retirement help. Like other budgeting apps, you can add accounts, loans, and cards. You can gain high-level insights into your financial data with the dashboard’s helpful graphs.
Personal Capital distinguishes itself with a few features that are hard to find among budgeting apps. Your investment accounts can be linked and monitored in a visualized portfolio. This data is compared to the performance of the S&P 500, so you can closely track how well you or your finance manager is doing.
The app has a retirement planning tool that takes your age, income, and saving behavior to predict your financial trajectory. It can even tell you how much to expect from social security and provide suggestions to improve your financial future.
Goodbudget is a more straightforward app and is the best choice for beginners. It uses the envelope system; an old cash-based approach made modern by the digital age. It’s a tried-and-true approach for those who struggle to commit to their budget.
A predetermined amount of money is placed into categorized envelopes at the start of each month. You can spend in a given category until the envelope is empty. The best part of the app is its community and learning resources.
The forum is active and frequented by friendly staff. The library includes articles, courses, and podcasts on major financial topics like getting out of debt, buying a house, paying for a wedding, and much more.