Love them or hate them, you have to admit that smartphones have made life more convenient. You can accomplish almost anything from your phone; order food, adjust your thermostat, book a vacation, schedule a medical appointment, or refill a prescription. So shouldn't manage your day-to-day finances on your phone?
There are plenty of personal finance apps out there. Not all of them are created equal. If you want to manage your finances from your phone, these are the best personal finance iPhone apps.
A budget is the cornerstone of personal finance. Everyone, (no matter how much money they make) must have a budget. Out of all the things technology has made easier, budgeting is one of the most prominent.
Many may not remember how much of a chore budgeting was- keeping a check register and balancing your checkbook, saving receipts, or trying to remember what you spent and where. It was not ideal to wait until all of your bank and credit card statements arrived in the mail each month.
Budgeting apps have made this whole process much easier and Mint is a good choice. Create a Mint account, link your bank and credit card accounts while Mint does most of the work for you. It pulls in all of your transactions and categorizes them so you can see your spending at a glance.
With that information, you can create a budget and track spending. If you choose, you can create and track long-term financial goals (like saving for a home). Mint provides your credit score and shows you a breakdown of the factors that compile your score.
You can create alerts for when bills are due, track your investments, and schedule payments. Mint is like a dashboard for your overall financial picture. Even better, it’s totally free to use.
If you have an irregular income (work on commission, are a real estate agent, freelancer, et cetera), You Need a Budget will be a better option than Mint. There is a steeper learning curve when learning to use the app, but for people who don’t make the same amount of money month-to-month, it’s worth the effort.
YNAB works on the premise that you are budgeting for this month on what you made last month (which is a known number). This is in contrast to other budgeting apps that allocate money you’ve not yet made. This is fine if your income doesn’t fluctuate, but not accurate for those whose income does.
It can take a month or two to get on track. When you do, you’ll see that budgeting gets much easier and your finances get less stressful. YNAB is a paid program ($11.99 per month or $84 per year) but there is a free trial period of 34 days.
Quick, how many subscription services are you paying for each month? Gym memberships, music streaming, television streaming, movie streaming, meal kits, razor blades, makeup boxes, and dog food. How many of those services do you use on a regular basis?
Here’s another question. When is the last time you called up your cable, internet, or cell phone provider and negotiated a better deal? I bet the answer is “Never!”
Trim is an interesting app that will save you money without having to lift a finger. Connect your checking and credit card accounts, then Trim will comb through them looking for recurring monthly charges.. The app will show you how much each subscription is costing and ask if you want to cancel it. If you do, Trim does the rest.
If you want Trim to lower your bills for the utilities listed above, submit a bill and they will try to get you a better deal. Typically they can. These companies have high customer acquisition costs and will usually offer a special promotion that lowers the cost of your service.
The subscription canceling service is free, but the bill negotiation is not. If and only if, Trim saves you money, you pay 33% of what they saved you in a year.
This is a great app to share or split expenses. Whether it's partners who live together but keep their finances separate, or siblings paying for their parent’s anniversary party, you can take the awkward feeling out of asking for money. It could also be great for a group of friends going out to dinner or on vacation together. Settle Up is a bit more organized than Venmo.
Settle Up allows for various scenarios. Whether there is one person or various people paying, it will split the payments evenly based on the amount (or you can choose individual amounts each person owes). You can send expenses through e-mail, social media, and WhatsApp.
If you’re traveling abroad, the app will factor in the exchange rate to transaction totals. Settle Up is free, but you’ll see ads. If you upgrade to Premium, the app is ad-free. It costs $1.49 a month, $10.99 per year, or $19.99 for Lifetime Group Premium.
I’m certain that you have homeowners insurance to protect your household against theft, fire, water, or any of the other calamities that could befall your belongings. Sortly helps you document what you own, so that in the event of a disaster, your insurance can reimburse you.
Sortly makes things easy. You can create a home inventory and categorize it by location or type of item. It also lets you record a great amount of detail for each item (serial number, date of purchase, bar code, and warranty information). You can take up to eight photos of each item while sending all of the information to a CSV file, Dropbox, PDF, or Evernote.
The basic version of the app is free, Advanced $39/month, and Ultra is $99/month. Unless you own multiple homes, the free version should be sufficient.
Did you spend part of your time during lock-down cleaning out your closets, basement, garage, or shed? If you did, you may have a big pile of items you wish to get rid of. Sure you could dump it in the trash, but why not make some money and let someone find a good bargain?
Letgo is a simple app that lets you buy or sell all kinds of items in your local area. That means no packaging things and trips to the post office. Just take a photo of what you want to sell, let the app categorize it, and you can start receiving messages from potential buyers. Letgo has automated responses so you don’t have to message back and forth constantly.
You set (and negotiate) the price and the pick up of the item. It is free to post listings on Letgo and the company doesn’t take a cut. If you choose to, you can pay to have your items featured (the cost ranges from $0.99 to $4.99).
Put Your Phone to Work!
Your phone is for much more than texting! Put your phone to work for your wallet with these personal finance apps.