The first step towards financial freedom is organizing your finances and setting up a budget. Fortunately there are plenty of applications that can work with your financial accounts to help you keep track of where your money is going.
These apps can help you set up a budget, track your spending, and make sure your bills get paid each month, all from your smartphone or computer.
Mint is probably one of the most popular budgeting tools out there and among the oldest. The app works by connecting with your bank accounts, giving you an accurate view of your cash flow.
Owned by Intuit, the app itself is very intuitive and easy to use. It’s a great option to use if you’re new to budgeting and need a bit of extra help. You can set spending limits for various categories and Mint will send you a notification when you are near the limit. The app not only keeps track of spending, but also helps you set up a budget, gives you reminders that your bills need to be paid, and can give you a free credit score. You can even customize categories by adding tags to really know what you’re spending your money on.
Mint works best through syncing up with as many accounts as possible. It will analyze your accounts and give you suggestions on where you can cut back on spending, like if you spent a lot of money eating out and buying clothes. It also syncs with services like TurboTax to make it easy to do your taxes.
Mint is free to use but makes money through affiliate links in its “Ways to Save” program and advertising.
Simplifi is a budgeting tool recently created by Quicken that includes a personalized spending plan and monitors your cash flow.
It works by consolidating all of your bank accounts, loans, credit cards and investments in one place so you have a clear view of your financial situation. It can connect with over 14,000 different financial institutions, with all of your transactions automatically categorized. It also tracks things like recurring payments and subscriptions so you can cancel services you no longer use.
The app can monitor bills and project cash flows and send you a notice when you need to pay a bill. You can even set up a savings goal for specified milestones.
With graphs and a watchlist, you can keep track of every penny going in and out of your accounts.
The first 30 days are free, but after there is a $3.99 monthly charge or an annual fee of $39.99.
Copilot is an iOS app designed by a former Google engineer that uses machine learning to give you insights into your personal finances.
Transactions are organized automatically and are divided with emojis to help you quickly spot trends and filter them. The app also links up with multiple accounts, and sends you weekly and monthly summaries. A notification is sent if anything immediately needs your attention, like an overdraft account or an overdue bill.
It also links up with upcoming bills so you know exactly what you have to spend and when.
The app is relatively new and was just launched in January. The app is available for $2.99 a month, although the site indicates that the price could go up at some point.
Like the other apps mentioned previously, PocketGuard syncs with your financial accounts and categorizes your spending so you have the full-picture of your finances. Its features vary after that, with a “In My Pocket” section to let you know what money you have left to spend after bills and other necessary items, ensuring you stay on budget every month.
PocketGuard also automatically sets up a budget for you, based on your spending habits and financial goals. You can also use hashtags to further categorize your spending and set spending limits.
It will also suggest ways to improve your finances, like high-interest savings accounts, lowering bills and more.
It’s general service is free, but the app also has a premium service for $3.99 a month or $34.99 for a year that includes features like exporting data, adding unlimited goals and changing dates of transactions.
Backed by Goldman Sachs, Clarity Money works with Goldman’s Marcus banking app to set up a high-yield savings account and track your spending.
The best feature is that you can cancel subscriptions directly through the app itself, saving you time and money.
Setting up is easy and you can link to any of the financial accounts from the 9,000 instructions supported. The app is free to download and use. It earns money if you use a recommended loan product from Goldman Sachs or another affiliate product.
The only big downside is that you can’t customize your data like you can with other personal finance apps.