Best Money Management Apps
In this article, you will find a ready selection of the best money management apps available to date. In order to try to differentiate ourselves from the many other articles on this topic, we have tried to add a little variety.
You have probably already read article after article giving you the same apps as the last. Such articles often feature the same apps over and over again because they are rewrites of the previous rewrite. This is because writers take the top three or four entries on Google, rewrite them, and publish them as something fresh. That is why you keep reading different articles that feature the same money management apps.
You are probably sick of reading about how the Mint app is the best, or how the “You Need a Budget” (YNAB) app is a groundbreaking budgeting app. We have mixed it up by including apps that we use, or that are less commonly featured in “Best Money Management Apps” articles.
Personal Capital is the name of a personal finance software collection (service) that you may access online and via the Personal Capital app. It is ideally suited for wealth management, and it is completely free to use. It used to be that if you had $100,000 in net wealth, then the company would offer wealth management services, but they lowered that amount to $25,000. You have free access to their advisers, and if your personal wealth is shown as $25,000+, then their wealth management services may be used if you accept the Personal Capital tariff. Further wealth management services are available for people who have a net wealth of one million dollars or more.
The Personal Capital app allows you to take a quick look at your personal wealth without having to log in to your many accounts and check your balances. You may also check and analyze your portfolio. Plus, there are planning tools that help you concentrate on your future investments and your retirement. Personal Capital offers a very good retirement planning service because it helps you uncover some of the many hidden fees that retirement plans have. Personal Capital may help you create a more tailored investment plan that helps you avoid hidden fees and garnished returns. Personal Capital is one of the best money management apps for people who are looking to build and maintain their wealth over the long term.
If you are looking to move your money abroad, or you are looking to pay somebody overseas, then the Western Union app may suit you. It is not the cheapest service, but it is very popular. If you are dealing with people who are not your friends and family, then they may not feel comfortable using cheaper or (dare I say) better services. They may prefer to use a well-known brand name when it comes to moving money. Western Union is known around the world, and the Western Union app makes transferring very quick and very easy. Western Union is one of the best money management apps when you are looking for quick international transfers when dealing with people who are only acquaintances, partners, sellers or customers.
It is not the most transparent of money sending apps, nor is it the cheapest, but the slight extra you pay in fees/rates is the compromise for using such a well-known money transfer company. Plus, if your recipient wants to pick up cash rather than retrieve the money digitally, then Western Union and MoneyGram are commonly accepted options.
It felt only fair to add a peer-to-peer lending company into the mix since the best money management apps are pretty useless if you do not have any money to manage. We actually thought there was an Upstart app, but it turns out there is not. We were taken in by an app that looked like it was part of the Upstart program, but it was actually a lending app that directed users to companies such as Upstart (like an affiliate referral app). If you are applying for an upstart loan, then maybe avoid the app route and simply do it online via their website.
Why feature H&R Block and its tax apps on an article about the best money management apps? The reason is because filling out taxes is a royal pain in the arse, and apps such as H&R Block help you through it. Filling out your taxes is time consuming and a very demoralizing exercise useless you can set a system in place. H&R Block may give you the chance to set up that system by allowing you access to your tax information, tax-fillout progress, and your tax filing software through your mobile device.
It is not so bad if you have an accounting department to take on all your tax work, but if you do not, then one or both of the H&R Block apps may help you stay on top of the tax-filling and filing process. Gain easier and quickly access to your tax returns from the previous year, and enjoy a host of different tax tools at the tip of your fingertips. If you often see or use documents while you are out and about, and you don’t feel like uploading them all in bulk during the weekend, then you may do it with the H&R Block app. It will help stop a backlog of important documents from piling up, which allows you to stay on top of your taxes.
I do not use Acorns myself because I do what it does manually whenever I check my bank balances. Suffice it to say that I really like Acorns and think it is one of the best money management apps for people who want to save and invest. The app takes your spare change from your account and invests it for you. That way, you are saving money without even noticing. It evens up your balance and rounds it up to whatever number you feel comfortable with. You can have it round your account up to the nearest ten, hundred, or whatever you choose. When you spend, it takes an amount out of your account to round up your account balance.
Acorns is not an app that was built for big investing. It wasn’t even invented to help you invest over a long term. It is simply a way to help you save without you noticing. The money you save does not seem like much, but over just a few weeks it will start to add up. In addition to saving your money for you, your money grows thanks to the way that the Acorns company invests your money. As I mentioned, I do not use this system myself, but I do a similar thing whenever I check my bank balance. I usually send my odd numbers to my savings account. For example, if I have $556.90, I will send $6.90 to my saving account. You can set up you Acorns app to do the same thing with your money. On most occasions, you won’t even notice the money leaving your account.
Wally is an app for tracking your expenses. It is the sort of app you may use if you like to be organized with regards to your money. It also suits people who are trying to track their spending because they have discovered they often spend too much. If you are trying to stick to a budget and you are having no success, then tracking your expenses may be quite an eye opener. At the very least, it will help highlight how many times you are spending throughout the day.
The Wally app is free, and is a semi-manual expense tracker. You will have to enter a certain amount of information manually. However, the app does allow you to photograph your receipts, which means you may be able to log your real-world expenses a little more quickly, conveniently and efficiently. The Wally app is fairly streamlined, but it does require a fair amount of work/commitment from you. It will not do all of the boring stuff for you. If you are not committed to it, then Wally becomes a waste of space on your phone. I suggest that if you do use it, then you make a point of entering every single expense/expenditure the moment after it happens. That way, you will not build up a backlog and are therefore less likely to give up on the app.
So far, you are able to use the H&R Block apps to track your tax progress, your Wally app to track your expenses, and your Personal Finance app to track your wealth. The CreditSesame app allows you to track your credit rating and your credit history. It is one of the best money management apps for people who are interested in improving their credit rating, or for people who are looking for creditors who will lend to them. You cannot actually see your bank balances via the CreditSesame app, but you can see your credit history, such as where companies have run hard searches on your credit, or where you have missed payments on your credit card bills.
The CreditSesame service and its app allow you to run a soft search on your credit. It showsw you the information that lenders and websites see when they run a soft search on your credit. Running soft searches doesn’t harm or mark your credit history. The CreditSesame service and its app are free and completely free. It is not the same as dealing with the credit bureaus in that there is no free trial or catch. You may use the CreditSesame app to stay up-to-date with your credit rating, or to look for information that may help you rebuild your credit. The service is also able to set you up with lenders who may be willing to lend to you.
Your Own Bank’s App
Consider your own bank’s app for two reasons. Firstly, it allows you direct access to your accounts without having to go through a third party. Secondly, in terms of security, your bank’s app is slightly safer because you are not putting your password through a third-party system. Obviously, there is little risk if you are using money management apps that do not link to your bank accounts. But, if you are using apps such as Mint, which links to your bank account, then you are putting your information at risk.
Consider the fact that your bank may offer all the money management tools you need. There many not be any need to sign up with another company or download a third-party app if you are simply looking for an app that allows you to check your balances and move your money around.
Clarity Money is not my favorite money management app, but our researchers feel that it deserves its place in our, “Best money management apps” article. At the moment, it only works on the Apple iOS. The app helps you look at your finances with a view to changing the way you manage your money. It does things such as encourage you to set up savings accounts and cancel subscriptions you no longer need.
Clarity Money reminds me of the first time I did a budget. I saw a big template, I entered all my numbers into it, and when I was finished I saw how I actually needed a large sum each month to simply keep on living; my first budget was a real eye opener for young me. The Clarity Money app analyzes your spending habits and offers ways to help you lower your spending and/or reach your savings and/or outgoings goals. Also, if you have an allotted budget, then the Clarity Money app works to help you keep to it. The app also does things such as help you lower your credit card bills by helping you find one with a lower rate. Clarity Money it helps you control your spending habits.
There are two reasons I do not like Clarity Money. The first is because I am already very wary of linking any of my financial accounts to an app, and I feel even more nervous of apps that are free to download and use. Even if I took a massive leap and trusted the company/developers who made the app, I do not know if I trust their security and their efforts to keep hackers off their databases. The second reason why I do not like Clarity Money is because I think the app has a nice idea, but it is poorly implemented. For example, spending categories are not nearly customizable enough for me, and the app doesn’t help people like me who have a variable income and expenses that vary each quarter. Plus, what I believe they have installed as their budgeting function is so shaky that I am not even sure I can call it a budgeting function.
The Mvelopes app allows you to set up a budget and keep to it on your own terms. It also helps you lower your credit card spending and may help you eliminate any hidden spending habits that you have.
The Mvelopes app is set up using the old Envelopes budgeting method. The Envelope method includes labeling an envelope “Rent” and another “Gas Money” and another “Car Insurance” and so forth. When you are paid, you are supposed to put the correct amount into each Envelope. The aim is to ensure you only spend the money in the envelopes on what is labeled on the envelopes. Plus, it allows you to see how much you have left over once you have filled your envelopes. Finally, it also offers a level of reassurance where you know you have the money for upcoming bills because it is stashed away in envelopes. The Mvelopes system works in a very similar way to this except that you are doing it digitally via the Mvelopes app rather than with cash and paper envelopes.
I do agree that for some people this sort of budgeting process works. It works for people who frequently miss bills because they do not have the money, and it works for people who are worried about not having enough money for their bills. The Envelopes/Mvelopes method never worked for me because I had a nasty habit of “Borrowing” from my envelopes to the point where by the third week I had no money and a stack of empty envelopes.
Transferwise or CurrencyFair
I have lumped Transferwise and CurrencyFair together because they are both very similar money-transfer apps with two very good (and unique) qualities. The first is that on a dollar-for-dollar basis, Transferwise and CurrencyFair offer excellent value for money when exchanging money and transferring money overseas. The second is that both Transferwise and CurrencyFair offer a fully transparent service. They are one of a very small minority of exchange and transfer companies that show you exactly what you are sending and how much will be received right from the start with no catches, tricks, hidden fees or lousy rates.
Both Transferwise and CurrencyFair have their own apps, which have the same benefits as the Western Union app that I covered earlier. The reason why the Western Union app is on this list of the best money management apps is because Western Union is a well-known and trusted brand, whereas Transferwise and CurrencyFair are less well-known. Your clients, customers, and even your suppliers may be less willing to use Transferwise and CurrencyFair because they do not know who or what they are. However, if you are looking for completely transparent transactions and a great dollar-for-dollar rate, then Transferwise and CurrencyFair are the services for you.
I knew that I would have to have at least one regular budgeting app on this article. After all, we are trying to cover the best money management apps, and most people think of budgeting apps when they think of those. Instead of going for Budgt, YNAB, Pennies, or any of those other budgeting apps you have already read about, I have opted for Spendee.
Before you accuse me of being paid to promote this budgeting app (rather than settling for a more popular one), let me point out that I do not use this app myself. It is a fine budgeting app, but I am just not comfortable allowing a budgeting app to sync with my bank accounts.
I am aware that apps such as Spendee, Mint, and many others are made more efficient when they are linked with bank accounts because they can auto-update your budgets and budget plans, but I am just not personally comfortable with entering my financial information through a third-party app. I am not even a fan of using the apps my own banks provide.
Nevertheless, Spendee is a brilliant budgeting app because it keeps things simple. The visualizations make it easier and more convenient as a mobile app. I don’t mind being blinded with budgeting numbers when I am sat at a computer, but when I am using a mobile app, I want it fast, efficient, bold, big, and very easy to understand—and that is what Spendee offers. The GUI is smoothly designed in a way that makes it intuitive. It is intuitive because you have seen this sort of interface hundreds of times before. Almost every icon is recognizable and your screen swipes do exactly what you would expect them to do. It is no more difficult to pick up and understand than an email app. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I find the Gmail app harder to operate than the Spendee app.
Final Note – A Warning
As always, do thorough research before you decide to start using an app, especially if the app requires any of your financial information. Plus, use Google search tools to find posts and complaints about the apps from very recently.
In June 2017 we tried and reviewed an app called Level Money. I was considering using our findings in this article, and since then the app has been closed down. Even if an app was the toast of the town last year, you should still conduct recent research on it because the company that owned it may have been bought out by an online malcontent or identity theft ring.
My point is, do not let your guard down. This article and our reviews may be 100% correct today, but any of the apps listed on this article may be hacked tomorrow or bought out by a nefarious development company.