Mmmm. Money. I like money. You probably like money. (Even if you don’t want to admit it.) I don’t need a ton of extra cash, but I do like to be able to buy a beer or two on a Friday night… and, you know, pay my rent in expensive-as-heck New York City. Let’s face it — money rules this crazy world, so not stressing about it is pretty essential.
Money problems have been around for forever, but smartphones have not. (That’s right, teenagers. Back in my day, we couldn’t even play Candy Crush on our phone, let alone Tetris. Or anything. There was no screen.) While smartphones may get in the way of our lives as we try to connect face-to-face with other humans, they are super-duper useful when it comes to helping us out with moolah.
Whether you want help in managing finances, reminding you of expenses, or squirreling away money, there is an app that will magically grant all of your wishes. You’ll be left with extra time and energy to focus on more important issues, like drinking that beer on Friday night.
So, without further ado, here are our top choices of apps for managing your money:
Mint is pretty undisputed as one of the top apps out there for finance management. The app helps you track your income and spending with expense logs and an in-depth personal budget tracker. You can sync your bank with the app for a more total look at your financial state. It even shows each transaction in real-time (debit/credit cards, investments, and deposits automatically, or you can enter cash expenditure manually).
On top of all of this, Mint will also analyze your spending and earning habits to advise you on ways to save. It really is the whole kit and caboodle. Oh, and it’s by Intuit, the same people who make QuickBooks and Quicken — you know, the finance programs everyone uses.
Want an app that only deals with in-and-out cash flow? Level is great for simplicity. (Phew.) Rather than the multitude of graphs, options, and advice that other money management apps boast, Level approaches your finances with just a few categories: Income, Bills, Save, and Spendable. Sync your bank account, and Level will show you simplified graphs with how much money you have.
There isn’t much more to it, which is a plus if you don’t need a comprehensive finance or budgeting tool and just want to be a bit more on top of what you spend.
“Expense reports that don’t suck! Hassle-free expense reporting built for employees and loved by admins.”
Expensify has four main categories: SmartScan, Add Expense, Track Time, and Track Distance. “SmartScan” lets you take pictures of your receipts and categorize them (you can finally let go of all those paper receipts!), and “Track Distance” is awesome for car-driving freelancers (track by odometer or just use the GPS option).
Another nice thing is you can use Expensify from your smartphone, but there’s also a fantastic online component (do you hear that, Instagram?!). All in all, it’s a great expense app for travelers.
Ever freak out about identity theft? Along with helping you track spending habits, BillGuard aims to protect your cards from unauthorized transactions and fraud. It’s set up a bit like Tinder, so you swipe right for correct transactions, and swipe left for transactions you didn’t make. (Exactly like Tinder, right?)
Operating systems: any phone via text message
“Save money, without thinking about it.”
I just want to proclaim this right here: I am obsessed with Digit. It’s simple and incredibly effective. All you do is sign up, secure your bank account, and Digit does the rest. Digit analyzes your income and spending patterns, and saves money without you even realizing it. It works through text messages (ok, so it isn’t quite an app, because there’s nothing to download or look at, but it’s still a great finance tool).
Digit sets up a savings account for you, and every few days it drops a dollar or two into your Digit account. Pretty soon you have a hundred million bajillion dollars. You can always withdraw at any time without a fee.
The downside is you don’t earn any interest, but you do squirrel away little bits of savings here and there that you didn’t even know you had.
This app is great for all those visual peeps out there, like myself, who need to see exactly what is happening. Goodbudget throws it back in time a bit with its envelopes feature, where you can divvy up where and what you want to spend your dough on weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (like “transportation,” “groceries,” “beer on Friday,” etc.). It’s not as in-depth as some of the other apps, but it’s really awesome for looking at spending, and at least trying to be more disciplined.
“The smart calendar app for your finances.”
Dollarbird works in a calendar format, so you can see how much you’ve spent every day of the month. Eventually, you can see a graph of how your balance evolves over time (for better or for worse). This app doesn’t need registration or use a bank account, so it’s great for those who are wary of entering in bank information. Just add in your spending as it happens, and it adds everything up and displays it super simply.
So, there we are. Manage your money more successfully. Oh. Did I mention that every single one of these apps is free? Hey, everyone: every single one of these apps is free. Get your money issues together, and start saving with way less hassle than anything you can do on our own (no offense).
Have other apps you use to manage money? Let us know in the comments!