Managing your financial well-being on your iPhone can become a more complex task than it should be. It seems like every bank and credit card provider has their own separate app, and you might find yourself jumping from app to app just to get a grasp on your finances when on the go.
That’s why we think using a single app for all your financial needs is much more convenient. Most apps are free and give you a more complete picture on one screen. Most apps even pull data in real-time from your various accounts, important if you’re standing in line at checkout trying to figure out which card you want to put that purchase on.
Here’s our five favorite financial apps out there for the iPhone, in no particular order.
Mint is produced by Intuit, the makers of the popular QuickBooks and Quicken financial software. The big difference between the two is price: While you’ll end up paying quite a bit for either of those software programs, Mint is completely free.
Mint’s best feature is that you have the option to either use Mint’s app or the website. We’ve found in our own experience that it’s easier to deal with Mint on the web for more complex issues, like entering multiple transactions at once or setting up budgets and goals. We like the cleanliness of the app though, and the Apple Watch tie-in, Mint’s key features are available right on your wrist.
If you’re looking for an app that is simple to use, Mint is it. However, the app is somewhat limited in the personalization department, and those that want a bit more fine tuning might want to look elsewhere.
Another free app that we like is Wally. What makes Wally different is its capability to scan in and decode receipts. Considering most of us these days don’t write checks anymore and often have more receipts than we know what to do with, Wally is a godsend and makes keeping track of your spending a whole lot easier.
Small business owners and professionals will find Wally quite useful, since they may need to save receipts either for tax or reimbursement purposes. In many cases, you’re able to submit digital copies of these receipts, so why waste time fumbling around for that receipt when it is stored in a central location?
In addition to the receipt-saving features, Wally also has extensive budgeting capabilities, and all data can be exported to Excel and backed up to your iCloud account.
3. Level Money
Setting up a budget can be a real pain in the you-know-where (so is sticking to it), so it’s always nice to see apps or services that help you in this regard. Level Money is an iPhone app which does exactly that, but with the added benefit of automatically adjusting your budget based on day-to-day variations in income and expenses.
Say you splurge one day on a new TV. Level will adjust subsequent day’s budgets to make up for the unexpected spending. While Level doesn’t necessarily track your accounts like a check register, it is a good app for those that have trouble keeping their spending under control.
Currently the app supports about 18,000 banks nationwide, including all the major ones. Support for smaller banks is hit-and-miss: We weren’t able to connect to our local credit union.
If you use Quicken on your Mac or PC, there’s really no reason to reinvent the wheel and download a completely separate mobile app. Intuit has a companion app with looks and behaves a lot like Mint but instead syncs with your Quicken files on your desktop.
You’ll be able to add and modify entries on your register, and categorize transactions just like you would in Quicken itself. To get the app to sync with your Quicken files, you’ll need to enter the Quicken ID you use on the desktop software and everything else from there is automatic.
Like Wally, the Quicken app can store pictures of receipts for purchases, making this app another good choice for mobile professionals.
While we’ve focused on banking apps so far, this last app actually gives you an easy way to start investing in your future. Acorns monitors your bank accounts, rounding up your daily purchases and allowing you to invest that remainder in a variety of funds based on the amount of risk you’re willing to take.
While the service costs $1 per month to maintain, there is neither a deposit or withdraw fee, nor a minimum amount you must invest like a lot of investment services. Better yet, if you’re under 24 or have a “.edu” email address, Acorns charges you no fee at all.
Acorns says it follows two principles when choosing how to invest your money, one being the time-trusted concept of “diversification,” where your money is spread across a variety of company types and risk profiles, and “automatic rebalancing,” where your stock portfolio is automatically rebalanced if the service feels you might be too heavily invested in one area.
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