From college students to business owners, everyone knows the importance of having a budget and sticking to it—or at least trying. But with expenses coming from nearly every direction, it’s not always easy to do so. Fortunately, there are plenty of smartphone apps available that can lend a hand with personal money management, and maybe even earn you a few bucks.
One of the most well-known personal finance apps in the market, Mint by Intuit keeps a real-time record of your bank account transactions and categorizes each expenditure. You can set budgets for different categories, such as groceries, restaurants, gas, clothing or student loans. Mint tracks how much money you spend in each of these categories during the month, providing graphs displaying how close you are to meeting your budget limits. The app can be synched with multiple bank accounts, offers financial advice, budget alerts and a series of easy-to-read charts and graphs.
Level Money provides you with a clear picture of your day-to-day finances that can help you make spending decisions in a split second. The app uses your bank transactions and allows you to set trackers for certain categories or merchants, so that you can manage bad spending habits and keep yourself within predetermined limits. You can also program the app with the amount that you expect to spend on bills, and it will set that money aside and display the rest as what’s “safe” to spend. Level also offers monthly and yearly projections to help you see the long-term impact of your spending or saving habits.
The perfect app for the frequent business traveler, Expensify allows you to easily track expenses, billable time and mileage right on the app. You can track travel by time or distance, with the ability to change the reimbursement rate when on the road. For any credit card purchase, simply input the merchant, date and amount, then take a photo of the receipt. You will be able to quickly add purchases to an expense report that can be exported upon returning to the office. The app also allows users to build multiple expense reports at the same time, which can be helpful when working with multiple clients or projects.
Next time you need to grab some cash from an ATM, avoid the extra fee by using AllPoint. This app helps users to find more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs in its network. Simply enter your bank provider and AllPoint will lead you to an ATM, often located within retail and convenience stores like Target, Walgreens or 7-Eleven.
Acorns takes saving one step further and helps you to make money on everyday purchases. This app rounds up small purchases to the nearest dollar and invests your spare change in a diversified portfolio. Watch your money grow and cash out whenever you need to, for a maintenance fee of just $1 per month for accounts up to $5,000.
For those who struggle to maintain a savings account, Digit offers an easy solution. Every few days, the app takes a few dollars from your checking account and moves it to savings, as long as you can afford it. For the price of a coffee, start growing your savings one dollar at a time. You can transfer money from your Digit savings account back to your checking account at any time with a quick text message, making the account easily accessible for emergencies, big purchases or a vacation.