6 Apps for Better Money Management

  • Copy by: Kellie Fry

A balanced budget, bills paid, and dollars saved—there’s no doubt that conquering money management can often feel like a full-time job. It’s easy to feel like you need more time and extra hands in order to stay on top of all of the aspects of your financial health, but take a deep breath! There’s no need to feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Thanks to technology, you no longer need to rely solely on old school methods for staying on top of finances. That’s right, now you can have better money management right at your fingertips. From saving more to splitting expenses, you can achieve your finance goals with the help of your smartphone.

1. Mint

Mint is arguably the most well known budgeting app—and for good reason. Money management beginners and experts alike should give it a test drive. You will need to set aside some time to set up your profile and inputting the entirety of your bank account information can be a little intimidating. Admittedly, I waited for months before completing my profile because I was worried about the safety of my personal information. But years later my information remains secure thanks to Mint’s triple-level protection.

My favorite Mint feature is the account overview page, which allows you to look at all of your financial information (from loans to checking accounts) on a single screen. Mint also allows you to create detailed budgets and tracks your spending by linking to credit cards and bank accounts. If you can’t decide if you should splurge on those fantastic (yet slightly overpriced) booties, checking your clothing allowance on Mint is just a click away.

2. You Need a Budget

As you might have guessed, You Need a Budget is a budgeting app. Similarly to Mint, YNAB tracks spending across all categories and allows you to discover exactly where all your money goes. YNAB takes your financial goals to the next level through an intensive nine-day course and variety of ongoing online classes. Their methodology is based around YNAB’s Four Rules:

1. Give every dollar a job

2. Save for a rainy day

3. Roll with the punches

4. Live on last month’s income

At a one time cost of $60, YNAB is by far the most expensive app on the list. But sometimes shelling out cash is the push you need to stick with goals—much like your monthly membership bill is motivation to hit the gym. Just remember, in return you’re saving more and sticking to a budget.

3. Mint Bills

Not too long ago, I found myself constantly forgetting to pay one bill or another, so I was ecstatic when Mint.com released Mint Bills. While loading all of your account into Mint Bills is a bit of a hassle (unfortunately, the app can’t pull your profile from Mint), it is definitely worth it. It keeps all of my bills in one place and sends email alerts when a bill is due soon. By linking your checking account, you can even pay all your bills through the app. I haven’t missed a single bill since signing up, which I think is a true testament to the value of the service!

4. Acorns

If you have been toying with the idea of investing, Acorns is a great way to start. This app invests the spare change from every purchase you make into a low cost exchange traded fund (ETF). So, if you buy a latte for $2.50, Acorns will invest $0.50. Don’t worry though, Acorns allows you to choose your risk tolerance from conservative to aggressive. Plus, easy-to-read charts explain expected returns and ideal portfolio mixes, so it’s pretty much all you need to turn spare change into a great lesson about investing. Even better? At $1 per month, Acorns’ fee is less expensive than most broker fees.

5. Digit

If you struggle with saving money, Digit is the app for you. Every few days Digit transfers small amounts of money into a savings account (typically between $5-$50 a week). Once you connect your bank account, Digit will analyze your spending habits and then aim to transfer extra cash you won’t miss. Because it focuses on saving small amounts of money, I recommend using Digit to supplement your regular savings plan. Use your Digit funds to pay down the principle on your student loans or mortgage. You’ll be surprised how paying a little more toward your principle every month makes hefty loans feel more manageable!

6. TriCount

Splitting expenses with travel buddies and roommates is never as easy as it should be. Someone always ends up paying too much and others feel guilty about paying too little. That’s where TriCount can help. TriCount is incredibly simple: It allows you to track what each person pays, as well as who owes money.

I took TriCount on a test run during a recent road trip and it couldn’t have been easier! I was able to track every expense (from gas to hotel rooms) and also keep track of payments. At the end of the trip, I shared our tracker—and the details on what everyone owed. Admittedly you could track all of this information with a paper and pen, but TriCount ensures you won’t lose data and does all of the calculations for you. This app is also great for sharing expenses with a roommate, especially if you are the one who always ends up buying the toilet paper.

We all know that money management can take some serious attention, consideration, and hard work. But thanks to technology, you can take some of that financial stress off your plate! Give a few of these apps a try and prepare for financial peace of mind.

  • Callan Carow

    Splitwise is very similar to TriCount and has an easy to use format. Highly recommend it!

  • EveryDollar is my one and only budget app!

  • Lynda

    Thanks! I’m going to look into digit. Do you have any apps for couples dealing with budgeting issues? Hehe.

  • LEARNVEST is worth a mention, having previously used Mint, I think LV is even better at helping with money management . Whether you use the free account, or sign up for a financial planner (for dirt cheap) it is an invaluable tool !! I love it

  • B Dexterous

    Great suggestions. I use Mint, glad to see it’s number 1. I’m going to look into using Digit, I could definitely be saving more for medium sized purchases or splurges as the opportunity approaches.

  • Dee

    Thank you for this post. It is always good to find out about budgeting apps. I find Acorns intriguing!

  • Tori

    I use YNAB (changed after concerns about personal info with mint) and I love it! Glad to see it mentioned.

    Tori

  • hammyta

    i try using these budgeting apps but inputting all of the info to start is always a bit challenging. i wanted to use mint, but it was frustrating to sit there and organize categories that my purchases fell into, sort them, etc. any recommendations on this?

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  • Marin Klinger

    I recommend Google Sheets for monthly budgets. They have a nice template and it will sync from the app to your computer. Free and easy to use AND you can set it up to share with family or significant others if you share finances.

  • Maxim

    How i came to the point of using apps in budgeting

    1- First step was that I was keeping all major categories of the spendings in my mind and had a rough idea about balance

    2- Second step was that I have created an excel table to maintain main expenses, what helped to analyse better and save more

    3- Third I got a budget calculator app (let’s say like this https://appsto.re/ae/ALa5ab.i) to maintain all the expenses and savings increased due to clarity of main “consuming categories” and their cut (those aren’t of significant value and doesn’t affect that much)

    Finally what I realised – more details you put – better you can control & analyse spendings to increase your savings.

  • amanda wheeler

    is there any apps like this that is available for Australians?