There’s an app for everything nowadays. There’s an app for finding apps even. Most of the apps you’ll come across are awful, but some are amazing. Below is a list of the 5 most amazing apps that I’ve found for money management
MINT The MINT app is a budget tool. It’s literally like having your own electronic personal financial advisor 24/7. The first thing MINT does is gathers all of your financial data- checking accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, CDs, IRAs, 401k, mutual funds, and Credit Cards. This app will calculate your average spending by category- categories like food, entertainment, utilities, transportation, education- it’s unlimited (it’s not unlimited, but there are hundreds of options). Once you’ve linked all of your accounts to the app you’ll be able to set budgets and monitor where you stand against those budgets on a live basis. The app also will offer investment advice. But the best part of the app is the savings: 1st- MINT will alert you of all the hidden fees you’re paying in your accounts. 2nd – MINT will alert you of how much you’re paying in ATM fees, it will alert you when you go over budget, it will alert you of unusual spending, AND it will remind you when you have bills due to help avoid late fees and interest. 3rd – MINT gives you your credit score for FREE. MINT security has been verified by Norton Antivirus and is constantly improving their security. Any time you’re giving someone all of your financial data, you should be most cautious about the security. So all that being said- if you don’t 100% trust the app’s security, don’t use it.
RetailMeNot This app is for the bargain shoppers. It’s a repository of coupons and discounts on tons of name brand options. Some of the brands included are Amazon, Old Navy, Macy’s, REI, Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks, just to name a few. So what’s the point? Cotter Cunningham, the founder and CEO of RetailMeNot, Inc. is a marketing mastermind. His vision is to drive customer engagement through digital coupons, and I think it’s working. This app gives you 100% free access to thousands of coupons and deals. It’s definitely worth a shot- and again, it’s FREE.
Grocery iQ I can’t give you a better description than what groceryiq.com does: “Grocery iQ is an intuitive shopping list that allows you to build new lists quickly with features like predictive search and barcode scanning. Customize and arrangement of categories within your list so you can check off items in an orderly fashion as you navigate the store.” This tool will help you quickly create a budget for one of your most adjustable expenses within your monthly budget- the grocery store. You can add items to a “favorites” list which will help you quickly develop your list for next week. You can also work the list as if it were a piece of paper by tapping items on the list as you toss them in your cart- then the app will close them off of the list. You can also get coupons and Savings Cards from Grocery iQ which is a huge benefit in grocery shopping. Grocery iQ will definitely keep you on budget.
DebtTrackerPro This is the only app on my list that costs money. It’s a $1.99 download in the iTunes store. This app helps you stay on top of your finances by tracking your debt. You can set a payoff timetable and this app will keep you on pace using the Dave Ramsey “Snow Ball System.” This system is simple; sort your debts by highest to lowest. For example, if you’ve got $6,000 in credit card debt, $15,000 in auto loans, and $125,000 mortgage, the Snow Ball System will tell you to pay the minimum payments on the auto and mortgage and pay all of your extra cash on the credit card. Let’s say you’re paying $50/month on the CC, $200/month on the Car, and $1000/month on the house, and you’ve got an extra $250. Put the entire $250 on the credit card so you’re paying $300/month there. Once the credit card is paid off, you take that entire $300 and move it to the car payment- now you’re paying $500 on the car instead of $200. Once the car is paid off now you can pay $1500/month on the mortgage. DebtTrackerPro will help you stay on track with this method of paying down your debt. Some of the key features are: payment history, payment reminders, account balance vs credit limit ration, percent of debt paid dashboard, and an account balance for all of your accounts.
Ibotta This app pays you. What? Yea, it pays you. This is the money-making app of the list. The other 4 apps are about managing money, saving money, and paying down debt- this one will make you money. It’s quite basic: download the app, shop, scan your product bar codes and submit a receipt… 48 hours later you have cash in the Ibotta account. Ibotta is currently in 80 retailers and 310 different stores, and it’s growing. A friend of mine used Ibotta and bought a 12 pack of beer… Ibotta paid him $3 for answering 1 question about the beer then scanning the QR Code and the barcode on the case. The better piece of Ibotta is that it doesn’t tell you the name brand to buy 100% of the time. You can get $0.50 for eggs, any eggs, $0.75 on bread, any bread. It’s great. Now, once you get up to $20 in your account you can get your money via PayPal, Venmo, or you can get them to send you a gift card from somewhere like Amazon, Walmart, or even iTunes.
There are lots of other apps used for tracking and saving money; but I honestly believe these 5 are the best of the best, at least for me. You probably have different needs than I do and there are other apps that will do better for you. The last piece of advice that I’ll re-iterate is, when you’re downloading an app that you’ll give personal bank info, make sure it is 100% secure. You’ll need to do the diligence and research on that. Let me know if you find any that top these!