The Best Personal Finance Apps and Tools

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best personal finance apps

There’s many personal finance apps and tools available but which one is best? This article introduces some of the most popular personal finance apps that people use for net worth tracking, budgeting, and investing.

Net Worth

Net Worth is a measure of one’s financial health. It’s a key indicator and data point of financial health – similar to data points collected when a doctor takes blood pressure or weighs you on a scale to help understand your physical health. A person can use his or her net worth information to learn about his or her situation and improve. A high net worth indicates greater ability to weather financial challenges or invest in future opportunities. On the other hand, a negative net worth suggests that a person owes more than he or she owns, indicating financial stress and potentially risky financial decisions.

A 2019 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances estimates the average Net Worth of All Families to be $746,820 and the median figure was $121,760.

I find it helpful to measure progress. You can compare your growth over time or benchmark to others. The key is to track net worth to see where to improve and set financial goals.

To calculate your net worth, you add up all your assets and subtract your liabilities. There are lots of different sources of this information so a tool that aggregates this together and updates automatically.

Personal Capital (Empower Net Worth Calculator)

My favorite is Personal Capital (Empower)

Personal Capital (Empower) is a personal finance and wealth management app/website that allows you to:

  • Aggregate your assets and liabilities and connect accounts to dynamically track your net worth.
    • Analyze your cashflow, budgeting, and bills and understand your spending habits.
    • Track investment holdings and performance.
    • Analyze your current situation and provide recommendations for diversification, risk mitigation, and removing hidden fees.    

Cons: Although the platform is “free”, occasionally you’ll receive annoying and sometimes pushy sales urging you to sign up with a financial advisor.

Budgeting

Mint

Mint is a personal finance app owned by Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, QuickBooks, credit karma, and MailChimp. The app aggregates and connects your accounts to paint your full financial picture. It has tracking functionality to help you manage cashflow and see where to cut back spending.

To use Mint, you connect your financial accounts, such as your bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts. Mint then automatically categorizes your transactions and provides you with a detailed breakdown of your spending. You can use this information to create a budget and set financial goals.

Mint also offers features such as bill tracking and alerts, credit score monitoring, and investment tracking. It is a popular choice for people who want to get a better handle on their finances and make informed decisions about their money.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a personal finance app that helps users create and stick to a budget by tracking income and expenses, setting financial goals, and providing financial education and resources. YNAB uses a zero-based budgeting approach, which means that every dollar earned is assigned a specific purpose, such as paying bills or saving for a vacation.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using YNAB:

Pros:

  • Comprehensive budgeting: YNAB provides a comprehensive budgeting system that helps users track income and expenses, set financial goals, and create a personalized budget that fits their lifestyle.
  • Real-time tracking: YNAB tracks transactions in real-time, so users can see where their money is going and adjust their spending habits accordingly.
  • Educational resources: YNAB provides educational resources and support to help users improve their financial literacy and make informed financial decisions.
  • Goal tracking: YNAB allows users to set financial goals and track their progress over time, helping them stay motivated and on track.
  • Easy to use: YNAB has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to set up and use.

Cons:

  • Monthly subscription fee: YNAB charges a monthly subscription fee, which may not be affordable for some users. As of 2/23/2023, $99 per year or $8.25 per month; If you don’t go with the annual plan, it’s $14.99. Although the app is great, the cost is pretty steep for something that is supposed to save you money – it’s just another expense. If you need the structure, $8-15 per month might be worth it if you are able to leverage the features to save and grow your wealth.
  • Steep learning curve: YNAB’s zero-based budgeting approach may take some time to understand and implement effectively.
  • Limited investment tracking: YNAB focuses on budgeting rather than investing, so users may need to use another app or service to track their investments.
  • Limited customization: YNAB has some limitations in terms of customization, so users may not be able to create a budget that perfectly fits their needs.

EveryDollar

EveryDollar is a budgeting app that helps you track your income and expenses, create a budget, and achieve your financial goals. It was created by Dave Ramsey, a financial expert and author known for his books and radio show on personal finance.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using EveryDollar:

Pros:

  • Simple and user-friendly interface: EveryDollar is easy to use and has a simple interface that makes it easy to create a budget and track your spending.
  • Customizable budget categories: EveryDollar allows you to customize your budget categories to fit your specific needs and goals.
  • Syncs with your bank accounts: EveryDollar can connect with your bank accounts to automatically track your transactions and keep your budget up to date.
  • Provides financial advice: EveryDollar offers financial advice and tips to help you achieve your financial goals.
  • Offers a free version: EveryDollar offers a free version of its app with basic budgeting features.

Cons:

  • Limited features in the free version: While the free version of EveryDollar is useful, it has limited features compared to the paid version.
  • Monthly fee for the paid version: The paid version of EveryDollar has a monthly fee, which may not be affordable for some users.
  • No investment tracking: EveryDollar does not have investment tracking features, so it may not be the best option for people who want to track their investments.
  • No automatic categorization of expenses: EveryDollar does not automatically categorize your expenses, so you need to manually assign each transaction to a category.

Mobills

Mobills is a personal finance management app that helps you track your income and expenses, create a budget, and manage your bills. It has a variety of features to help you manage your money and stay on top of your finances.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Mobills:

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface: Mobills has a clean and easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to create a budget and track your expenses.
  • Budget tracking: Mobills allows you to create a budget and track your expenses against it, so you can see how you’re doing and adjust your spending as needed.
  • Bill reminders: Mobills can send you reminders when your bills are due, so you can avoid late fees and stay on top of your payments.
  • Syncs with your bank accounts: Mobills can connect with your bank accounts to automatically track your transactions and keep your budget up to date.
  • Offers a free version: Mobills offers a free version of its app with basic budgeting features.

Cons:

  • Free version has limited features: While the free version of Mobills is useful, it has limited features compared to the paid version.
  • Monthly fee for the paid version: The paid version of Mobills has a monthly fee, which may not be affordable for some users.
  • No investment tracking: Mobills does not have investment tracking features, so it may not be the best option for people who want to track their investments.
  • No automatic categorization of expenses: Mobills does not automatically categorize your expenses, so you need to manually assign each transaction to a category.

Prism

Prism is a personal finance management app that helps you track your bills and payments, and manage your money. It allows you to see all your bills and account balances in one place and provides helpful features to help you stay on top of your finances.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Prism:

Pros:

  • Bill tracking: Prism tracks all your bills and payments, including due dates and payment amounts, so you can stay on top of your bills and avoid late fees.
  • User-friendly interface: Prism has a simple and easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to manage your bills and payments.
  • Bill payment: Prism allows you to pay your bills directly from the app, so you can avoid the hassle of logging in to multiple accounts to make payments.
  • Automatic bill syncing: Prism can sync with your billers automatically, so you don’t have to manually enter bills or due dates.
  • Free app: Prism is a free app with no monthly fees or subscription costs.

Cons:

  • Limited features: While Prism is great for managing bills and payments, it doesn’t offer budgeting or investment tracking features.
  • Limited payment options: Prism only allows you to pay your bills using your bank account or debit card, so you can’t use credit cards or other payment methods.
  • Limited biller coverage: Prism doesn’t support all billers, so you may not be able to use it for all your bills and payments.
  • No investment tracking: Prism does not have investment tracking features, so it may not be the best option for people who want to track their investments.

Spendee

Spendee is a personal finance management app that helps you track your income and expenses, create a budget, and manage your money. It has a variety of features to help you manage your finances, including budget tracking, bill tracking, and account syncing.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Spendee:

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface: Spendee has a clean and easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to create a budget and track your expenses.
  • Budget tracking: Spendee allows you to create a budget and track your expenses against it, so you can see how you’re doing and adjust your spending as needed.
  • Bill tracking: Spendee tracks your bills and payments, including due dates and payment amounts, so you can stay on top of your bills and avoid late fees.
  • Syncs with your bank accounts: Spendee can connect with your bank accounts to automatically track your transactions and keep your budget up to date.
  • Offers a free version: Spendee offers a free version of its app with basic budgeting features.

Cons:

  • Limited features in the free version: While the free version of Spendee is useful, it has limited features compared to the paid version.
  • Monthly fee for the paid version: The paid version of Spendee has a monthly fee, which may not be affordable for some users.
  • No investment tracking: Spendee does not have investment tracking features, so it may not be the best option for people who want to track their investments.
  • No automatic categorization of expenses: Spendee does not automatically categorize your expenses, so you need to manually assign each transaction to a category.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets – Google Sheets is a free spreadsheet software that can be used for budgeting and financial planning. It’s a great option for people who want a customizable and flexible budgeting tool.

Investing

best personal finance apps robinhood

Acorns

Acorns is an investment app that automatically invests your spare change. It’s a great option for beginner investors who want to start investing but don’t have a lot of money to invest upfront.

Here are some potential pros and cons of using Acorns:

Pros:

  • Easy to use: Acorns’ mobile app is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for anyone to start investing without needing extensive financial knowledge or experience.
  • Low cost: Acorns’ fees are relatively low, with a monthly fee ranging from $1 to $5 depending on the service level chosen, and investment management fees of 0.25% per year.
  • Automatic investments: Acorns enables users to set up automatic investments, which means they can save and invest without thinking about it.
  • Diversification: Acorns’ investment portfolios are diversified across different asset classes, which can help reduce risk and volatility.

Cons:

  • Limited investment options: Acorns’ investment options are limited to exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which means users may not have access to specific stocks or other investments they want to invest in.
  • Limited control: Users have limited control over their investments, as Acorns’ investment portfolios are determined by the app’s algorithm.
  • Risk of loss: As with any investment, there is a risk of losing money. While Acorns’ portfolios are diversified, they are still subject to market fluctuations and losses.
  • Small investment amounts: While Acorns allows users to invest small amounts of money, the returns may not be significant enough to make a noticeable difference in their financial situation.

Stash

Stash is a personal finance and investing app that helps people start investing with as little as $5. It offers a variety of investment options, including stocks, bonds, and ETFs, and provides educational resources to help users make informed investment decisions.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Stash:

Pros:

  • Low minimum investment: Stash allows you to start investing with as little as $5, making it accessible to people who may not have a lot of money to invest.
  • User-friendly interface: Stash has a simple and easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to invest and manage your portfolio.
  • Variety of investment options: Stash offers a variety of investment options, including individual stocks, ETFs, and bonds, so you can choose investments that fit your goals and risk tolerance.
  • Educational resources: Stash provides educational resources to help users learn about investing and make informed investment decisions.
  • Automatic investments: Stash allows you to set up automatic investments, so you can invest regularly without having to think about it.

Cons:

  • Fees: Stash charges a monthly fee, which can add up over time and may not be affordable for some users.
  • Limited investment options: While Stash offers a variety of investment options, it may not have the same level of investment options as some other brokerage firms.
  • Limited control over investments: Stash does not allow you to pick individual stocks, so you have limited control over your investments.
  • Limited investment research: Stash does not provide in-depth investment research, so you may need to do your own research to make informed investment decisions.

Digit

Digit is a personal finance app that helps users save money by automatically analyzing their spending patterns and moving small amounts of money from their checking accounts to a savings account. The app uses an algorithm to determine how much to save based on a user’s spending habits and income.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using Digit:

Pros:

  • Easy savings: Digit makes it easy to save money by automatically analyzing your spending habits and moving small amounts of money to a savings account. This can help users save without having to think about it.
  • User-friendly interface: Digit has a simple and easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to set savings goals and track progress.
  • No fees: Digit does not charge any fees for its service, making it an affordable option for people who want to save money.
  • High savings potential: Digit’s algorithm is designed to save users the maximum amount possible without causing overdrafts or other financial issues.
  • FDIC-insured savings: The savings account used by Digit is FDIC-insured, so users can feel confident that their savings are safe.

Cons:

  • Limited control over savings: While Digit’s algorithm is designed to save users the maximum amount possible, users may have limited control over where their savings are going or how much is being saved.
  • Limited savings goals: Digit’s savings goals are limited to a few broad categories, so users may not be able to set specific savings goals for things like vacations or other big purchases.
  • Limited investment options: Digit does not offer investment options, so users who want to invest their savings may need to look elsewhere.
  • Limited financial tracking: Digit’s focus on savings means that it may not be the best option for people who want to track their overall financial picture, including expenses and income.

Robinhood

Robinhood  is a commission-free trading app that allows you to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies.

Pros:

  • No commission fees: Robinhood offers commission-free trading for stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies, which can save investors money.
  • Easy to use: Robinhood’s mobile app is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it accessible to anyone.
  • Fractional shares: Robinhood offers fractional shares, which means users can invest in expensive stocks without having to buy a whole share.
  • Quick account setup: It’s relatively easy to set up a Robinhood account, and the app allows users to start trading quickly.

Cons:

  • Limited research tools: Robinhood’s research tools are limited, which can make it difficult for users to perform in-depth research on the stocks they want to invest in.
  • Limited investment options: Robinhood’s investment options are limited to stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies, which means users may not have access to other types of investments, such as mutual funds or bonds.
  • Risky trading behavior: Robinhood’s user interface can encourage risky trading behavior, such as day trading or investing in volatile stocks or cryptocurrencies.
  • Technical issues: Robinhood has faced technical issues in the past, which can prevent users from trading or accessing their accounts.

Summary

There are many personal finance apps and tools available to help individuals manage their finances. Some of the best options include budgeting apps like Mint, which offers a comprehensive overview of an individual’s financial situation, and You Need a Budget (YNAB), which focuses on helping users create and stick to a budget. Investment apps like Acorns and Robinhood provide easy access to investing, while credit monitoring apps like Credit Karma and Experian can help users stay on top of their credit scores and reports. Overall, the best personal finance apps and tools are those that align with an individual’s financial goals and provide a clear, user-friendly interface for managing their finances. See what works best for you!

Sections of this article

Net Worth Apps

Budgeting Apps

Investing Apps

Published
Categorized as Invest

By Adam

Hey, I'm Adam. I started Wonder of Compounding in 2021 to help others learn about financial literacy and achieve their financial goals. I’m a lifelong student and eternal optimist with a passion for investing, technology and entrepreneurship. I’ve worked in the financial services industry for more than a decade. In 2008, I earned my Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and in 2015, I received my MBA from New York University.

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