Updated! Popular since we first published this list of some of the best financial iPhone apps in early 2009, we refresh this list periodically to help you keep tabs on at least a few of the best financial apps in the Appstore. -DW
|Personal Capital is quickly becoming our favorite free desktop and mobile money management app. The app is a full-featured personal finance manager — showing of all of your bank, credit and investment accounts in one place. Where Personal Capital really excels, however, is investing insight: Free portfolio analysis tools provide creative ways to view your investments and give you real-time suggestions for balancing your portfolio. For an optional fee, a team of advisors can provide tailored advice. Free from iTunes with a free Personal Capital account.|
|While automatically updating apps are nice, manually entering your purchases can make you feel more accountable for what you spend. Balance is a basic app to help you manage the balances on all of your accounts. Whenever you make a purchase, pay a bill, or deposit a check, you simply enter the transaction into the app. It then recalculates your new balances. The app also supports recurring transactions—like that monthly gym membership—and enters them automatically. Just the exercise of writing down all of your purchases might make you spend less. With this app, you’ll really learn how quickly those three-dollar lattes add up. Plus, you’ll avoid overdraft fees by always knowing how much is in your accounts. Free from iTunes.|
|With this handy app, you’ll never pay a bill late again. BillTracker tracks due dates, amounts owed, and confirmation numbers for payments. You can set up reminders so that your phone will alert you when a payment is due soon or overdue. It also lets you set up recurring bills and view bill history to confirm when you sent a payment. Use the app for all of your payments, from water and electric fees to cell phone bills and insurance expenses. The company also makes a free, lite version, but it does not handle recurring bills. $1.99 from iTunes.|
|If you’re struggling to pay credit card debt and student loans, Debt Minder will help put you on the debt-free track. The app tracks debts for big purchases—like cars, houses, credit cards, and student loans—and monitors how you pay them off. It even creates personalized plans, including highest interest and smallest balance, to help you pay off debts when and how you want. With color-coded graphics and charts, the app lets you visualize where your money is going and how you are handling your overall debts. $0.99 from iTunes.|
|Your credit score can make the difference in many of life’s biggest moments, from buying a house to getting a new job. This app tracks your score in real-time so that you can be in charge of your financial future. To use the app, you must be a member of freecreditscore.com—which costs $14.95/month—but the immediate updates and alerts provided by the app may pay for themselves in terms of your peace of mind. The app provides detailed information about what’s hurting and helping your score. If you pay a credit card bill late, for instance, the app will track how your credit score responds. It also includes a Score Estimator to help to make smart financial choices. Free from iTunes.|
|Mortgage Calculator Free|
|iTunes contains a handful of mortgage calculators, but this one is the most popular because of its ease of use and simplicity. The app provides multiple mortgage options to figure out whether you can afford to buy your dream house. You can also use the app to configure monthly and yearly fees, including private mortgage insurance and home insurance. It will calculate property taxes using a variety of settings, including how frequently taxes are paid. Whether you’re in the market for a new house or just interested in learning whether you could afford that condo down the street, this is the app for you. Free from iTunes.|
|While compiling expense reports is typically an annoying and unorganized process, this versatile app makes it a breeze. Expensify syncs with your various credit cards and bank accounts to track business-related purchases. It also collects digital receipts from merchants and lets you send copies of paper receipts using your phone’s camera. Simplifying organization, the app sorts expenses by customized categories like meals, mileage, and company. When you’re ready to send in an expense report, Expensify will compile all necessary purchases and email a PDF to the appropriate contact. You can even be directly reimbursed to an online checking account. Free from iTunes.|
|A long-time leader in personal finance management, Mint.com provides efficient and user-friendly budgeting tools. This mobile version, which securely connects to your bank accounts to track and categorize expenditures, optimizes the budgeting program. The mobile software allows you to manually enter pending and cash transactions on-the-go, meaning that your accounts are always up-to-date. Mint’s app will let you quickly check how much you have remaining in, say, your food budget, so you can smartly decide to grab a can of beans or splurge on a nice cut of meat while standing in the grocery-store aisle. Free from iTunes but you’ll need a free Mint.com account first.|
|If you own an automobile, car maintenance and gas expenses are probably taking their toll on your wallet. Download this app to save money and keep your car in tip-top shape. The app uses your phone’s GPS to chart car mileage and how much gas you’re using. It also tracks gas prices at different locations so that you can get the best local deals. In addition to recording gas usage and mileage, the tool has customizable service updates. Use it to get reminders about when to change your car’s oil and other maintenance needs. By keeping up with basic automobile upkeep, you’ll save money on larger expenses and your car will run for years to come. Free from iTunes.|
|If you want to learn more about the stock market without putting your finances at risk, look no further than iTrade. The app lets you manage a virtual stock portfolio, compete with information from other members, and research stocks with news and history graphs. Although just a game—at the end of the month, the app calculates top players—iTrade looks and feels like a real trading platform. It only operates during actual trading hours and even includes virtual broker fees. Practicing on the app will prepare you for the real stock market while eliminating risks—even the app is free. Free from iTunes.|
|If you already have investments in the stock market or are looking to join in, check out Real-Time Stocks. While there are many stock-tracking apps for the iPhone, Real-Time Stocks is probably the most basic and easiest to use. The app displays real-time quotes and charts for most U.S. stocks. It even lets you monitor multiple stocks at once. Using the app, you can create a watch list for stocks most important to you and track global indices. It also allows you to manually enter stocks in non-U.S. exchanges. Even if you don’t have a stock portfolio, the app is an excellent way to track the market and learn more about its ups and downs. Free from iTunes.|
|If you have one or several stock portfolios, Wikinvest Portfolio, which monitors all of your investment accounts in one place, is the app for you. The secure interface automatically imports your holdings from over 60 common brokerages, including Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, Etrade, Moran Stanley Smith Barney, Schwab, and more. The app lets you compare your portfolios’ performance to major indices and view real-time quotes and news for all of your investments. You can also research future investments with the app by viewing company charts, community analysis, and news. Free from iTunes.|
|iTunes contains tons of apps for sales, freebies, and group-based coupons, but iSlick combines all of these categories into one smooth interface. The app lets you track sales from shopping and deal websites, like Amazon.com and Groupon, to get the best prices on everything from electronics and household products to spa services. It also lets you choose from specific deal-types—such as freebies—and enter keywords. On the hunt for a new laptop? Use the app for up-to-date deals on the best machines. Free from iTunes.|
|Ask Dave Ramsey|
|With this app, Dave Ramsey’s popular financial radio show is at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. The app has a database of hundreds of popular calls made to the show with real-life money questions and answers. You can read a short summary of the question or listen to the actual radio clip. Financial concerns are sorted into categories, like taxes, insurance, and budgeting. You can also choose to listen to a random clip to deepen your knowledge about all things money. Want to learn more about how to save when unemployed or how much you should budget for pet emergencies? Grab this app for answers to these and many more money predicaments. Free from iTunes.|
|PayPal’s app is one of the most popular financial apps available for the iPhone, and for good reason. The app lets you send money to people as gifts, collect funds for a group gift, and receive payments. You can also use it to create and manage fundraising campaigns. The app’s “split bill” feature is particularly convenient when dining out with friends—it even has a tip calculator. Download this straightforward app to save time writing checks and trekking to the ATM. Free from iTunes.|
|Your Financial Institution’s App|
|Mobile banking makes it easy to check balances, transfer funds, and pay bills from anywhere. Almost all major banks now offer banking apps that make managing your money simple and convenient. Some of these apps, like the one from Chase, even let you take deposit funds by taking pictures of checks with your iPhone’s camera. You can also use your bank’s ATM-finding tool to locate the nearest cash machine, saving you extra dollars in fees. Here are a few of the major banks with apps in the iTunes store: Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, ING, SunTrust, Wells Fargo.|
Rebecca Kutzer-Rice is a freelance technology writer living in Brooklyn.
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