October 7, 2021

What are the best finance apps?

How to choose the best finance app, plus 8 top apps to try today.

There are variety of money management apps out there, including free budgeting apps, but best apps work seamlessly with you, your budgeting habits, and your financial accounts. 

What are budgeting and finance apps?

A budgeting app is a software tool that helps you track spending and set goals. To to do this, most link directly to your checking account. 

To help assess your financial health, budgeting apps often monitor all of your spending and recommend changes to your money habits. Some apps organize your finances according spending categories, to help you identify your own spending trends. 

Most budgeting apps are focused on tracking expenses, although some personal finance apps do more detailed financial planning, helping you set goals and spending limits as well as pay upcoming bills, often sending notifications of due dates. 

These budgeting tools are mobile apps that often come at an affordable price. They're  typically built for beginners and are easy to use, starting with linking your bank accounts. Some offer subscriptions packages, with both free versions and premium versions. You can find them on IOS App Store for iPhone users and on GooglePlay for Android users. 

Below are the best personal finance apps based on positive reviews and user ratings. 

1.     Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a popular app for building wealth. Users can use the dashboards to sync all their accounts, a one-stop shop for your finances. The free version of Personal Capital lets users track expenses and their manage their checking accounts. It also includes a variety of features that help budgeters manage their spending habits as well as an investment management system.

One of the drawbacks of Personal Capital: it doesn't allow you to add transactions to a budget, instead requiring you to manually add investments. Although Personal Capital doesn't offer as comprehensive a set of budgeting tools, it still has plenty of features to help you manage your investment portfolio, including a fee analyzer and a retirement planner.

2.    You Need A Budget (YNAB)

YNAB includes a variety of simple tools that allow users to set goals and track expenses, syncing with your bank account and allowing imports from other sources. You'll start by creating a budget and assigning a purpose to every dollar, with the goal of getting a month ahead of your paycheck and expenses. YNAB is a simple to use and starts by creating a budget and assigning every dollar a purpose. The goal is to at least get one month ahead. YNAB offers a 34-day free trial period with subscriptions that start at $11.99 a month or $84 annually.

3.     Mint (also called Intuit Mint)

Mint is a free budgeting app designed to re-direct users' spending habits. Mint syncs with all your financial accounts and keeps track of all your transactions, from groceries and gas to vacations and major health care expenses. Mint lets you add transactions manually, and it tracks your transactions in real time, alerting you when something looks wrong, like suspicious transactions or ATM charges. It's another app that organizes your finances, letting you track all your bills in one place. 

4.    PocketGuard

PocketGuard has a free version and a premium version. This app aims to minimize overspending. It's synced to your checking accounts, savings accounts and credit accounts and advises you on how much money is available for everyday spending, by deducting upcoming bills, credit card payments, saving goals and pre-budgeted money from your estimated income. The app features a smart bill reminder that tracks all your due dates and shows where you can negotiate for lower bills. It also comes with an automated savings feature that will help you save money in an FDIC-insured account. 

PocketGuard's premium version comes with additional features that allow you manage cash, ATM deposits and other transactions.

5. GoodBudget

GoodBudget is a budget app that works on an envelope system, which assigns your money to different envelopes, each assigned for specific expenses and goals. Instead of using paper envelopes, GoodBudget uses digital categories to divide your money - a system that can help focus your efforts and reach your financial goals, especially when saving for large expenses.

GoodBudget generates easy-to-read graphs to monitor your spending and how it changes month to month. The free version only allows one account, but the premium version, which comes with unlimited envelopes and accounts on a limit of 5 devices, is priced at $7 per month or $60 annually.

6. Acorns

Acorns is known as a roundup app, a tool that automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollars and uses the difference to build your investment portfolio. For example, if you make a purchase for $5.49, Acorns takes 51 cents from your linked accounts and invests it for you.

For $3 a month, users can get a checking account and a debit card, both FDIC-insured.    

7. Digit

Digit is a smart savings app that calculates how much money you can afford to add to your savings and, using small increments, builds your savings day by day. The app uses to machine learning to analyze your spending habits and determine how much to move into your Digit account, following your own savings goals. 

Digit comes with a 30-day free trial, followed by a $5 monthly subscription fee.

8. Simplifi by Quicken

Simplifi by Quicken is a personal finance app that lets you set goals and monitor your spending. It also tracks your progress towards your financial goals, displaying all your accounts, your monthly income and your top spending categories. Simplifi also offers a projected balance tool that shows how much cash you'll have over the next 30 days.

The app keeps track of how much money you can spend between paychecks, offering a complete view of your cash flow and automatically categorizing all of your purchases and bill payments. The app features a variety of custom watchlists that allow you to restrict spending by category or payee. It also has a built in spending plan to help monitor your cash flow. 

The Simplifi app offers a free 30-day trial followed by monthly subscription of $3.99 or an annual payment of $35.99.

                                                                  Bright personal finance app.

Why choose Bright?

Bright is a revolutionary new system to delete debt and build wealth, powered by MoneyScience™. Bright's AI studies your finances, moves funds when it makes sense and makes payments and builds savings automatically. 

Bright follows your goals and adjusts automatically when your finances shifts. It's a powerful new tool to achieve financial well-being.

Bright Credit Builder also offers an easy credit boost, building a positive payment history automatically and lowering your utilization with a new line of credit

If you don't have it yet, download the Bright app from the App Store or GooglePlay. Connect your bank and your cards in a snap, set a few goals and let Bright get to work.

Recommended Readings:

What are the best checking accounts?

How Much Money Should I Keep In My Checking Account?

Pranay Chirla
Technical Content Writer
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