Author: Adam T. Hughes
May 15, 2017
Do you find yourself struggling to stay on budget, or have you always wanted more insight into your everyday spending habits? If so, there are many personal finance apps that might benefit you.
These apps can be accessed by your computer, tablet, or smartphone and gather data automatically so you don’t have to invest large amounts of time getting the information you want. Over the years, many apps have come and gone, but the top ones that stuck around are Mint®, Level Money®, Goodbudget®, Digit®, and Acorn®.
Mint® - “It’s all coming together”
Mint® (powered by intuit) is the most popular app, and for good reason. The program automatically downloads information from your bank accounts, credit cards, business lines, and even retirement accounts to provide up-to-date personal financial statements. Mint® has many customizable features which make it user-friendly and simple to use. You can have them send you reminders, track your investments, receive free advice, budget, and much more. Best part? It’s free.
Level Money® - “Spend with confidence”
Level Money® is similar in that it tracks your income and expenses, but it goes one step further by suggesting recommendations on how to improve your spending habits. In other words, it uses various algorithms to calculate where you stand in certain categories and provides a report showing which areas you are overspending (and even underspending) according to others in a similar financial situation.
Goodbudget® - “Budget with a why”
Goodbudget® is an app that focuses on budgeting. Its goal is to meticulously record each type of expenditure and help you stay on track for maintaining your budget. Just like the tried-and-true envelope method of taking money from each paycheck, and dividing it into categories, this app attempts to recreate that approach by providing real-time insight into your spending habits.
Digit® - “Save money, without thinking about it”
Digit® is another useful app that is aimed towards helping you save money. Per the programmer’s description, “Digit checks your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. You can easily withdraw your money back out anytime, quickly, and with no fees”. This would be extremely useful for someone who wishes to start building their savings account but lacks the time and determination needed to effectively accomplish that.
Acorn® - “Automatically Invest Life's Spare Change”
Acorn® is similar to Digit® in that it automatically deducts money from your checking account, but rather than setting aside the money into savings, Acorn® will invest it into something offering a higher return over time. This is done by rounding up each transaction to the nearest whole dollar and transferring the difference from your checking or credit card into a portfolio of your choice. Each transaction is only pennies, but over time this can add up to a rather large investment, and you likely won’t even notice a huge decrease in available funds.
There are plenty of budgeting apps that may help you organize your finances more efficiently, you just have to figure out which program will be best for you and your situation.
Adam has worked in the tax & accounting field for about 8 years having a background in corporate tax, commercial audit, QuickBooks consultation, and IT support with hardware/software installation and maintenance.
Before making any decisions, please consult your tax advisor. Investment Advisory Services offered through Symphonic Financial Advisors, LLC. Insurance offered through Symphonic Insurance, LLC. Securities offered through Symphonic Securities, LLC., member FINRA/SIPC, 400 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022. Investment products are not bank deposits or guaranteed by or obligations of City National Bank or any subsidiary or affiliate, and are not insured by FDIC. They involve risk, including the possible loss of principal.