Personal Finance Apps
Welcome to the end of the work week and the beginning (well, almost) of the weekend! For this weeks Financial Tip Friday, we wanted to focus on something that it seems we can’t live without; our smart phones! With the increasing operating capabilities of our phones and the prevalence of apps, we see our phones being used beyond the basic functions of calling and texting (remember when texting was a cutting edge feature?). We see smart phones increasingly playing a larger role in our day to day routine. In fact, according to an ABC News Report:
We check our phones over 150 times a day (That comes to on average about 12.5 times per hour for a 12 hour day).
Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the myriad of other apps we download for our enjoyment, it’s hard to believe that our phones are actually utilized for more than social media and Candy Crush. Given the frequent nature in which we utilize our phones, we have selected some useful personal finance apps that will make managing your budget much more convenient.
Your Personal Bank’s App
If you haven’t already downloaded your bank’s smartphone app, you should. It’s a great way to manage your account instantly and efficiently. You can pay bills, check your balance, and transfer funds online. Some banks also offer features such as online check deposit to give you even more financial control in the palm of your hand. It’s also much more convenient to use than going through your phone’s Internet browser to access your bank account information.
Mint allows you to link with your financial institution so that you can view all of your accounts and transactions and see exactly where your money is being spent. Users can create a customized budget that the Mint app will keep track of. This allows Mint users to manage and monitor their spending habits. For example, you can view charts that display trends in personal spending, and the app will notify you when you are exceeding your budget limit. You can adjust your budget constraints month to month, allocating yourself more money for food and less for clothes and alcohol (although some may argue it should be the other way around). With Mint, you can keep track of your personal finances and allocate your budget effectively.
The Venmo app makes it much easier to manage spending when going out with friends or if you’re short on cash. Venmo allows you to connect with other users, and once you’re connected you can transfer money instantly with one another and leave a note stating why the money was transferred. Splitting a check or going to the grocery store with your roommates no longer requires the awkward “I’ll get you back later, bro” and situations where one unfortunate individual is stuck with covering the cost.
The Google Wallet App allows the user to create an online wallet that stores your bank account information. It also allows you to use your phone to pay for online purchases in lieu of your physical credit/debit cards. The app also lets users transfer money to any email address for free and store their loyalty programs such as airline miles and gift cards on their smart phone. Google Wallet essentially digitizes your financial information onto one secure app instead of carrying around numerous cards. Furthermore, in the event of a lost phone, the user can go online and cancel the Google Wallet account to prevent any unauthorized purchases.
Keeping track of every bill and bank account you may have can be a tedious and stressful process. There’s nothing like having your water shut off in the middle of a shower or incurring a late fee because you didn’t get that car payment sent before the due date. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Check is a free app that keeps track of all your bank accounts, credit cards, and monthly bills. Check will monitor your bills, sending you alerts on upcoming payments that are due. The app also allows you to pay bills on the spot or set up scheduled payments for the future. Check ensures that your bills will be paid on time by automatically so that you don’t overextend your monthly budget.
In this day and age, using your phone for personal finance has never been easier,and with these apps, being on top of your budget is easier than trying to think of a witty Twitter update.