Our 11 favorite personal finance apps will keep your spending, saving and investing on track.

There are thousands of personal finance apps for iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets. So many, in fact, that choosing the few that will make a difference in your life is no easy task.

Here are 11 we consider among the best personal finance apps that will help you:

  • Manage your investments
  • Budget and track your spending
  • Save or invest more automatically
  • Manage your bills
  • Track your credit score and protect yourself from fraud

Personal Capital (Investing)

Use this app if you are looking for a better understanding of your investment holdings.

Personal Capital is a great app if you have accounts in more than one place. The app will pull in your investments from multiple companies and give you an overall view of your holdings. But it doesn’t stop there. It will also link to your checking and savings accounts to track your spending and balances, which helps give you a full and complete picture of your financial situation. Another great feature of Personal Capital is its fee analyzer. It will scour your accounts, including your 401(k), for any fees you are paying. This is nice since fees can be hidden, especially in 401(k)s. It will also analyze your portfolio and give you tips for improving your returns.

Read our full review or get Personal Capital here.

Acorns (Investing)

Acorns croppedUse this app if you want a painless way to invest.

Acorns links to your checking and debit card and rounds up any purchases you make and transfers the change into an investment account. Pretty neat! So if you buy a coffee for $4.23 Acorns will transfer 77 cents into your investment account. All day long quarters, dimes, and nickels are being tucked away from your future. You register your account on their website and then manage your account from the app. After filling out a questionnaire, Acorns will recommend an investment portfolio for you, so don’t worry about choice overload, they do the hard part for you. Then you just go about your life and Acorns starts filling up your account, hopefully without you even noticing! You can also sign up for a debit card, which will round up purchases in real-time.

Read our full review or get Acorns here.

MoneyPatrol (Budgeting)

If you take a more data-driven approach to your finances, MoneyPatrol is the app for you. MoneyPatrol monitors your financial accounts and delivers the information right back to you, giving you insight into how you’re spending on a daily basis.

But don’t worry–the information MoneyPatrol delivers to you is in a visually-appealing format. You’ll get charts and graphs, along with tables that show your most recent transactions. You can also pull reports and filter data by factors like category and retailer.

You don’t even have to log into MoneyPatrol to monitor your spending. You’ll get alerts whenever there’s unusual activity on your account. Once you’ve set your monthly budget, the app will also notify you as you go over your spending limit in a particular category. As the app gets to know your behaviors, your notifications will become more tailored to your regular habits.

Get MoneyPatrol here.

Mint (Budgeting)

 mint croppedUse this app if you want a solid budgeting app.

Mint is the mother of all budgeting apps. It’s been around forever and it’s still going strong. With Mint you can see all your accounts in one place, including investment accounts, and it will categorize all your transactions automatically so you can keep track of your spending. Over time Mint will give you your average spending amounts in each category to get you started on a realistic budget.

You can also set up bill reminders and will get alerts if your cash gets too low or your credit card balances get too high. You will also get alerts if one of your accounts is charged a fee.

Read our full review.

Toshi (Bugeting)

Toshl-Screenshots croppedUse this app if you are looking for a super simple manual budgeting app.

Most budgeting apps link to your accounts and automatically categorize your transactions for you. That can be good for some, but others find that it’s not accurate enough. If you are looking for a budgeting app that gives you more control over your budget Toshi might be for you. As you make purchases you manually enter these purchases into the app and categorize them. If there is money left over in a category at the end of the month you can transfer those funds to the next month. You can set up recurring expenses, like rent or car payment, and in the pro version you can also setup recurring income.

Read our full review.

Mint Bills (Bill Tracking)

Mint Bills cropped

Use this app if you want help keeping track of all your bills and due dates.

Like all the other budgeting apps on this list, Mint Bills gives you all your account balances and transactions, but it’s stand-out feature is that it also keeps track of your bills. You can hook up all your bills to the app (cable, credit card, cell phone, car insurance, etc.) and it will alert you when a due date is coming up. Then you can pay your bill right from the app. You can also set up auto pay for the bills. The app will send alerts if your bank accounts get too low or credit card balances are gett too high.

Note that the bill pay option is only free if you use your checking account to pay the bill and choose the standard speed option. Paying from a credit card or using the expedited time frame costs extra.

Empower (Budgeting and Automatic Saving)

Managing your spending is easy with Empower, which “empowers” you by providing real-time updates on how you’re doing.

With Empower, you set up categories and input spending limits. Empower then automatically monitors your spending, displaying your progress toward reaching that limit. That can help you determine where you need to pull back on your spending to make sure you stay on track. As you budget and spend, Empower monitors your finances and can automatically save money where you can afford it through their Automatic Savings feature.

Empower also offers Cash Advance for anyone who needs a little extra cash. Empower will float you up to $250sent directly to your checking account and pay no late fees or interest. Plus, you won’t be subject to a credit check either!

Read our full review.

^Eligibility requirements apply. Minimum direct deposits to an Empower checking account, among other conditions, are necessary to qualify for instant delivery and advances greater than $50. Banking services provided by nbkc bank, Member FDIC.

Digit (Automatic Saving)

Digit croppedUse this service if you want a painless way to put money into savings.

Digit isn’t technically an app. But you do run it from your phone, so I’m putting it on the list anyways. Digit links to your checking account and runs quietly in the background of your life. It watches your spending patterns and transfers small amounts from checking into your digit savings account. It does this behind the scenes and the idea is that you don’t even notice. You run the whole service via text message. You will receive text messages from the service with weekly balance reports and you can send a text to request a withdrawal from your account. Simple.

Read our full review.

Level Money (Automatic Saving)

Level money croppedUse this app if building your savings account balance is top priority.

Level Money keeps track of all your account balances and transactions but focuses on getting money into savings. You say how much you want to put into savings each month, and the app watches your accounts and tells you how much you have for discretionary spending each day/ week/ month. As they on their website “Level seamlessly and automatically tracks cash flow, reinforces positive habits and provides necessary insights about spending and saving behaviors for an empowered, do-it-yourself approach to personal finance and long-term financial success.”

Bill Guard (Fraud Protection)

 bill guard croppedUse this app if you are concerned about fraudulent charges on your accounts.

In addition to tracking your spending by linking to your accounts, Bill Guard will also alert you to any suspicious activity on your accounts. It does this in a few different ways. For one, the app uses your phone’s GPS to pinpoint your location. If your card is used when you aren’t there you will get an alert. Pretty neat. It also crowd sources common fraud charges and notifies you if one shows up on your account. Lastly, the system keeps track of any known data breaches at retailers and will notify you if your information may have been compromised. It then allows you to dispute suspicious charges right from the app.

Since the app knows where you shop it will also send you coupons to the places you frequent.

Credit Karma (Credit Score Tracking)

 credit karma croppedUse this app if you want to keep a close eye on your credit score.

Credit Karma will give you your credit report and credit score for free. The credit score is updated weekly, which is pretty frequent! You can also compare your credit score to others in your demographic, such as age, location, and income. This app is great for keeping a close eye on your credit score. If you ever wondered about how your credit score is calculated this app is for you. Since you get relatively quick feedback about decisions that affect your credit you can start to get a feel for how credit scores work. Of course, the lender still has to update your account status to Transunion before you will see any changes to your credit.

Read our full review or get Credit Karma here.

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5 comments
Jim Lysate says:

There are a ton of good apps this year I’ve tried on Google playstore, mint, goodbudget are pretty decent. One I’m thoroughly impressed that’s not as known is Bluecoins. It has good visual and powerful feature set that met my personal finance need.

Emily says:

I like PocketGuard most of all. They are new and have fresh ideas. It tracks funds across all my financial accounts, categorizes spending’s into pockets (so I can see which takes a lot and reduce it) as well as detects and organizes your monthly bills and recurring subscriptions. And now they have new feature, which is “Can I buy it”. It helps me to decide whether I can buy what I want or no. Try it, it is really nice and simple to use. They also have AppleWatch app. I found it on App Store, here is the link http://bit.ly/1MiYmOn. Or just google and you will find their website.

Erik says:

I really appreciate you bucking the trend and not doing a stupid slide show for your content.

Adam Porter says:

I’d like to give YNAB (You Need A Budget) a mention. Yes, it does require a desktop installation (Mac or PC) and Dropbox to sync, but it’s really helped me evaluate exactly where my money is going.

Ashley Barnett says:

I love YNAB and had it on the list originally. I ended up taking it off since it’s not free (well the app is but the desktop part isn’t) and the rest were free. But I agree 100%, YNAB is a wonderful tool.

Another app I had on the original list was Dave Ramsey’s Every dollar. It’s only for iPhone right now (which is why I cut it) and I haven’t personally tried it but I hear great things.