My Favorite Money Apps for Managing Finances

There Are Many Money Apps to Choose from, Here Are a Few I Like

mobile money apps
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With literally thousands of money apps available, how could you possibly pick a favorite? The good news is, you don’t have to. No one money app can do everything anyway. We’ve come up with a pick for each of five categories that can help you manage your finances on the go.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should be a great place to start if you want to manage money on your phone. We’ve focused on iPhone apps, but many of the apps are available on other phones as well.

 

Money Apps for Tracking Personal Finances

No list of money apps would be complete without probably the most popular and best-known of them all: Mint (free on iTunes  and Google Play). Owned by Intuit, long a leader in personal finance software, Mint is a web-based account aggregator.

Here’s how it works. You sign up for Mint, either on your computer or your mobile device, and then connect your accounts, including banking accounts, credit cards and retirement accounts. Mint connects with most, but not all, US financial institutions. Once your accounts are connected, you can view and monitor all account activity in one consolidated space.

The service is free and supported by advertisers, with highly targeted advertising that will tell you, for instance, that you are spending too much, say, on insurance. In addition to being available online and for the iPhone and Android phones, Mint is available for the iPad, Apple Watch, Amazon devices and Windows phones.

Money Apps for Personal Banking 

All the major US banks now have banking apps, where you can check your balance, transfer money, pay bills and much more. Possibly one of the greatest innovations in money management is the ability to deposit checks through these apps, with the use of your camera phone.

All the banks seem to be investing significant resources into developing reliable, secure, feature-rich apps. Of those we have tested, however, our favorite is the Chase Mobile app (free on iTunes and Google Play). Judging by its rating on iTunes—a full five stars with more than 23,000 votes for the current version as of August 2015—we aren’t alone in our opinion.

The user interface is clean and simple, and check deposit is a breeze. Chase is constantly adding new features, with the latest one being access via the iPhone’s Touch ID, on compatible devices. It’s also available for the iPad.

Money Apps for Calculating Tips

Sometimes it’s nice to take a breather with something simple. Tip calculator apps can help you split up the bill for a large dinner group, and make sure you don’t shortchange (or overpay) your server.

Our favorite one for the iPhone is called, predictably, Tip Calculator (free on iTunes). Developed by iHandy Inc., Tip Calculator has a clean interface, with only two options—one that lets you set how many ways you want to split the bill (from a single payer up to 50), and another where you can choose a tipping percentage from 5 percent to 25 percent. Then, just enter the check amount, and see the total to pay, total per person, total tip and tip per person.

The only thing the app doesn’t do is let you figure out the tip amount pre-tax. But that seems like a small price to pay for the convenience.

Money Apps for Tracking Work Expenses

For those who travel for work, especially internationally, an expense tracking app is another must-have. These apps let you easily track where your cash goes—all those tips, cups of coffee and other small incidentals that are so hard to remember when it comes time to fill out your expense report.

Of these, Expensify (free on iTunes and Google Play) is a favorite. By Expensify, Inc., this app lets you take a picture of your receipt, and scans and “reads” the image, reducing data entry. The app also supports global currency conversions and can track your time and mileage. At the end of your trip, you can download the report to submit your expenses, or submit electronically if the service is supported by your employer.

In addition to the iPhone and Android phones, the app is also available for the Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It’s free, but to unlock all the features you’ll need a monthly account, with prices starting at $5 per month.

Money Apps for Following the Stock Market

Our final must-have money app is one that allows you to track your stock portfolio on the go. You probably have a basic stock tracker included on your iPhone. But a more full-featured favorite is Real-Time Stock Tracker from developer W. Tang (free on iTunes).

There’s no registration required—just download the app, and enter the details about your stock portfolio. You can get streaming live quotes, and track whether your portfolio is up or down. You can dive down into technical details if you’d like, or connect it to your Apple Watch.

The app is supported by advertising, but if you’re serious about stocks, you will likely want to pay $14.99 for the full, ad-free version, which also offers unlimited push alerts.

That’s it for our list, but there are lots of other apps out there, and new ones being added all the time. You just never know which money app will end up being your favorite, today or in the future.