Getting the Most out of Life

The 6 Best Personal Finance Apps

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Staying on top of your finances is crucial to the well-being of your financial health. Gone are the days of saving receipts and relying on a calculator: Personal finance apps are here to make life easier. They help you find deals, collect debts from friends, and keep your bank account healthy — plus, they’re free to download. The following are six of today’s best personal finance apps.

1. Venmo

Venmo reduces the stress of splitting a dinner bill or being paid back by a friend who always asks you to spot them cash. Instead of collecting cash or a check from people who owe you, the money can simply be transferred into your bank account for free through Venmo.

Simply set up and sync a bank account or debit card to Venmo. If you use a credit card, it will cost you to transfer money. You can cash out your payments at any time, and send your friends reminders to pay you. Additionally, the app uses bank-level security to keep your information safe.

2. Your Bank or Credit Union’s App

A lot of financial institutions now offer apps that allow users to access their bank account on the go, deposit checks with your phone’s camera, and receive alerts when accounts are dipping low. This will allow you to monitor your bank account and avoid any extra charges or fees.

If you only download one personal finance app, it should be your bank’s app.

3. Mint, the online budgeting software, offers an app to help keep you on budget at all times. It puts all your financial information into one location to give you an overview without needing to visit various apps or websites. You can also add bills, credit cards, and input cash spent by hand. Mint updates in real time to consistently provide users with a comprehensive picture of their finances.

4. How Money Walks

Personal finance management may also mean looking at where money is going in the U.S. and deciding for yourself if you are living in the right place. Many people find that moving to states with lower (or no) income taxes save them a little extra every paycheck. Want to know how many people are making this move and how much they are bringing with them? Check out the How Money Walks app (for Android users only) or this interactive map which uses IRS data to chart this great income migration. If you’re considering moving, this app may shed some interesting light on a new location.

5. Acorns

Feel like you don’t have any money to invest? Acorns helps you put money toward investments without even thinking. The app is linked to a credit or debit card, and when you make a purchase, the total is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the spare change is automatically invested.

Acorns puts the money in exchange-traded funds based on an investor’s risk tolerance. Customers are charged $1 a month for portfolios under $5,000 and 0.25 percent on accounts larger than $5,000.

6. RedLaser

RedLaser helps you keep more money in your pocket by price comparison shopping, even when you’re already at the store.

You can use the geolocator to see current deals at local stores or scan products to see if another store nearby offers it at a better price. It also offers online comparison shopping between thousands of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and you can load your loyalty cards onto the app so you don’t have to carry them on a key ring.

The best personal finance apps allow users to plan, budget, and keep track of finances anywhere, any time. If having up-to-the-minute details on your finances at your fingertips sounds helpful, check out these apps and take advantage of all they have to offer.