The Top 10 Financial Apps for your Smartphone
Gone are the days of spending half of your Sunday afternoon balancing your checkbook, or needing to go to the bank and wait in line to make a money transfer. Ah, good old technology certainly has come a long way, from being able to deposit checks envelope-free into ATMs to having your bank account virtually at your fingertips through its website.
And with the recent surge of Smartphone technology and popularity, there are now more ways than ever to stay on top of your budget, your bills, and your bank account. No more excuses that you hate taking the time out to track all of your spending, because there’s an app for that! No more forgetting to pay a bill and getting slammed with a late fee, because there’s an app that will send reminders to your phone when a bill is coming up. Below, I’ve listed my top 10 favorite apps for your smartphone that will help you track money, save money, and even get you on a good pace to dig yourself out of debt. Happy apping!
1. Debt Minder- $1.99
This nifty app’s tagline is that it will help you on your way to being debt free. It is designed to analyze your debt information—how much you owe and to how many different banks—and then it actually comes up with a proposal for a schedule that you should follow with your payments to pay everything off faster, and pay the least amount of interest. It will track your progress and can even send updates to your family members as you chip away at your debt. Users have the option of going with the “highest interest” or “smallest balance” payment plan depending on their preference.
2. Manilla- free
Touted as the “account manager and bill organizer” on its website, Manilla is an app that will gather all of your bills, finances, and other monthly costs and keep it together in one place—and on one page, at that. It will send you automatic reminders of when bills need to be paid, to help users avoid late fees, and will alert you if you’re already past-due on a bill. It is a great way to keep your finances organized and simplified. It is also the only app that I know of which tracks your travel rewards and subscriptions.
3. Mint- free
This is probably my all-time favorite pick for financial apps, and even financial websites (so if you don’t have a smartphone or rarely use on, I would still recommend using their services through their site.) The Mint app streamlines all of your bank accounts, and you can even add any loans that you pay off monthly as well. It takes all of your financial information—money in checking, in savings, how much you owe on a credit card, and your income—and puts it all together in one place. Furthermore, it notifies you when funds are low, when a bill is coming up, when you got hit with a service charge, and even how much you paid in interest this month and what that could be doing to your credit report. Then there’s my favorite part: this app will actually categorize your spending for you based on your electronic purchases into categories like shopping, bars, and restaurants. Who doesn’t love a pie chart that breaks down their spending for them
4. BillTracker- $1.99
BillTracker is another great app that will organize all of your bills onto one easy to read calendar, so everything is in one place. It tracks information about each such as amount due, due date, and even confirmations that the bill has been paid each month on time. A great feature about BillTracker is that its user can contact account numbers, say for instance the cable company, or view the website directly from the app—no scrounging around for the electric company’s phone number if the power suddenly goes out. BillTracker keeps a full history for each account including all bills and payments, and is password protected.
5. SmartSaver- $2.99
Unlike the other apps that monitors all of your accounts and bills, SmartSaver prides itself in being the app that helps users hang on to their hard earned cash. It is designed for users to create personal savings goals for themselves. Once the user inputs numbers such as their income, how much they spend each month, and how much they can easily set aside into savings, the app projects how much the user ought to be saving (by the day, week, and month.) Like the other apps, SmartSaver does also track expenses, although the point of it is to actually track your savings and keep you on pace to meet your goal.
6. Your Bank’s App- free
My bank is Wells Fargo, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thankful to have their app on my Smartphone. I can check my account balances any time I want, make a payment to a credit card, transfer money to another Wells Fargo user, and see which transactions have posted. It also has a nifty button that allows me to locate banks or ATMs nearby. And if I make a transfer from one account to the next, it happens virtually immediately. Also, I have to sign in and out using my username and password, so I rest assured that if I ever lost my phone, nobody would be able to get into my account.
7. ShopSavvy (Barcode Scanner)- free
This amazing app actually scans items using your Smartphone’s camera, and will show you the lowest price for a particular item that’s on the market. The lowest price might be at another store, or it might be online—and ShopSavvy will make sure that you don’t have to pay any more than the lowest possible amount for stuff. If you don’t have a barcode for a particular item you’re looking for, you can always manually type in the name or a keyword and it will perform the same search. What’s great about this app is that it’s “community-powered”; in other words, if there is a barcode missing that you notice, you can add it to the system so that when others search, it will pop up. Same thing if you find an item for a lower price than is advertised on the app—you can edit and save it, and the app-makers will make the correction.
8. GasBuddy- free
Another great app designed to save you money—at the pump. When you download GasBuddy, the app will use your phone’s GPS to search for the lowest price at gas stations in your area. Traveling and wondering what the gas prices will be like where you’re going? You can search GasBuddy by zip code, city or state to find the lowest cost. As a bonus, if you report a new price on gas to GasBuddy so that they can update their system, you can earn points that will go towards prizes for users. For example, GasBuddy hands out a $250 gas card each week to one lucky user
9. Yowza- free
Yowza is the ultimate coupon clipper, because you don’t have to spend hours pouring through the Sunday paper ads to get good deals, AND you don’t have to print out online coupons, saving paper and time. Yowza will use your phone’s GPS to find stores, restaurants, and other shops to deliver you coupons and deals near you. The cashier at each vendor will simply scan the Yowza deal on your Smartphone, making this app a very green one indeed. In addition to showing you deals in your area, you can do coupon searches by city and zip code, and the app will even send you an alert when your flagged favorite store gets a new coupon. Best of all, the app will track how much you’ve saved by using its coupons and deals which is always fun to see.
10. Coupon Sherpa- free
Another take on the paperless coupon and deal finder, Coupon Sherpa claims to save you money on everything from sporting goods to jewelry. Some retailers featured on Coupone Sherpa are exclusive customers of the company, and users can use these handheld coupons to receive discounts every time they shop there. Other stores will accept internet coupons, via the ease and comfort of Coupon Sherpa. Users can search for coupons by entering either the store name, or a category and can even share coupons by emailing them to friends and family. Like Yowza, Coupon Sherpa is completely paperless, and the user simply needs to flash their Smartphone at checkout to redeem the coupon—no printing or paper involved.
The writer DK is an avid financial blogger who enjoys sushi and surfing when he's not researching new ways for people to save money and better their personal finances. You can find him and more of his work at RoadFish.com