There's an App for That: Money Management

January 7, 2013

Smartphones can now do everything from telling you how to get from point A to point B to offering face time with loved ones that live miles away, but did you know they can help you create and stick to a budget, manage your bill pay, and set financial goals all with the tap of a finger? 

Mint (iPhone, Android)

The masses have spoken and the vast majority of them would opt for the free app from Mint over anything else.

Features:

  • An up to date list of all your accounts (cash, credit cards, loans, investments, etc.)
  • Automatic categorization of your expenses and spending habits
  • Bill alerts sent directly to your phone
  • Graphs that show your spending over time
  • A place to help you establish and track financial goals
  • Personalized recommendations for credit cards, home loans, etc. that would help you save money
  • Tracking of your investments

Cons: Accounts can’t be modified from the app, only from the larger parent site at Mint.com

Credit Karma (iPhone only)

There are a multitude of “free” credit reporting services out there – “free” meaning they offer you a trial run before charging your card monthly for something you probably aren’t using.  Credit Karma, on the other hand, actually follows through on the “free” part.

Features:

  • Free look at your TransUnion credit score
  • Ability to check your score as often as you want
  • Credit simulator to help you better understand what will help or hurt your score
  • Credit snapshot to see how lenders would view your score
  • Credit compare to see how you compare to others in various categories

Cons: While you don’t have to provide any credit card or bank account info, you do have to share other sensitive information – i.e. your social security number – which many people are wary about.

Adaptu (iPhone only)

While not quite as user-friendly as Mint, Adaptu goes above and beyond with one notable feature – the ability to take snapshots of important cards you might normally carry in your wallet, i.e. insurance cards, business cards, Social Security cards.

Features:

  • Snapshot of your cash flow from month to month in an easy-to-read graph form
  • Ability to manually add in cash transactions from your phone
  • A summary of each of your credit cards: next payment, available balance, etc.
  • A bar indicating your current standing for the month and how much you have left to spend/save
  • Ability to take snapshots of important cards for easy storage
  • Bill alerts set directly to your phone

Cons: Not quite as established as apps like Mint, Adaptu has a few kinks to work out before it becomes truly user-friendly.

Money Center (iPhone, Android)

Money Center has been around longer than most other money management apps, so they have a long list of features that have developed over time.

Features:

  • Links to banks, credit cards, investment companies, lenders, email, real estate,  and rewards programs
  • Allows you to group accounts related to each other
  • Customizable alerts based on your specifications
  • A snapshot of your net-worth
  • Portfolio manager shows performance, summary, etc.
  • Bill reminders sent via e-mail
  • A snapshot of your home value supplied by Zillow.com

Cons: While this app is rich with features, the interface is outdated and less attractive than some of the newer apps.

Debt Minder (iPhone only) 

If you’re in the process of paying off debt (as many people are), Debt Minder can help you create a plan modeled after Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method and keep you accountable for your money habits.

Features:

  • Ability to sync more than one device so your entire family can track your progress
  • Choice between a highest interest or smallest balance debt repayment plan
  • Charts and reports to help you visually track your progress
  • Automatic backup in case your phone gets lost or stolen

Cons: Users report an inability to load or sync credit card data and no way to track loans whose payments have been deferred.

If you’d rather not have a third-party accessing all your financial info (all apps listed above boast top-notch security and reviews seem to back this up), your bank or credit card provider likely has their own app to track your account standing.

Here are just a few:

Banks -

Credit Cards -

Any apps we missed? Let us know below.

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