Managing personal finances has always been difficult. But these days, it seems to be getting more challenging all the time. Fewer people are growing up with adequate financial education, entire generations have learned to question the security of investments, and we now have so many ways to store and spend money they can be hard to keep track of.
As a result, more people are financially insecure (or at least more so than they need to be). Analysis by CNBC suggests that the average person overspends by about $7,400 a year — which to most of us is a significant chunk of change!
Avoiding that kind of problem and mastering personal finance takes care, dedication, and personal education. It also takes time. But in the process of developing a better strategy and mindset for personal finance, there are a number of apps that can help a great deal.
Look up the top financial apps for individuals, and you’ll be sure to see Mint mentioned on just about every list. It’s essentially a personal financial tracking tool, and reviews for Mint tend to praise it for helping them to categorize and then visualize their expenses.
The app does more than just that. It will manage your budget, for instance, and even track investments if you want it to. But by and large, it’s an app that serves to give you a more complete and in-depth picture of your own financial habits. This alone can go a long way toward helping you to stop overspending.
Robinhood has also become a very trendy personal finance app in recent years, though it serves more of a niche purpose than Mint. In the simplest terms, it’s an investing app. But Robinhood is built to be intuitive and straightforward, and that alone can help it to make investment more accessible — particularly to people who are new to managing personal finance.
The app can hold your entire portfolio, from stock shares to cryptocurrencies, and enable you to make transactions in small amounts and with no fees. It also includes features that help to advise you in your trading efforts. None of this should be mistaken to mean that Robinhood automatically turns you into a good investor. But it can be a helpful tool while you’re learning, or if you simply want to have your investment portfolio in your pocket at all times.
Petal is an app specifically for people with compatible credit cards, but it nonetheless gets our vote as the best credit card tracking app on the market. This app will manage your budget, track your credit score, show what you owe (including interest), and help you to plan out expenses for each month — all within a very smooth and intuitive interface.
Additionally, Petal’s “insights” feature is one of the best tools you’ll find for making your own financial activity more transparent. Through spending charts and categories, it provides a crystal clear picture of spending habits that allows users to identify potential problems and generate savings more effectively.
»Bloomberg: Business News
The first three apps on our list are essentially tools that help directly with your financial activity. But your personal finance efforts can also involve apps geared more toward news and education.
Frankly, there are a ton of good options of this kind, but the Bloomberg: Business News app gets our vote. It’s basically a mobile version of Bloomberg’s online website, which provides one of the internet’s more comprehensive views of international business and financial news and advice. Taking a more active role in managing your personal finance should involve constant education about relevant financial topics, and you’ll find plenty to learn with Bloomberg: Business News.
Our final recommendation is the HabitNow to-do lists we’ve actually profiled previously on this site. This is not specifically a finance app, but it is one of the best mobile tools you’ll find for managing your day-to-day routine and establishing better habits.
And believe it or not, these efforts can have a profound impact on your financial outlook. A more orderly routine, with practiced, healthy habits, will make you less vulnerable to impulsive expenditures or unexpected activities that affect your wallet. Plus, the mindset can become part of how you operate. In other words, working to establish better habits in your life can effectively train your mind to consider your financial habits as well.
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