Being smart about money means being organized—knowing exactly where your funds are coming from and where they’re going.
Organizational skills can help you save, and even earn, more than you thought.
To get you started – I’ve come up with some of the best personal finance apps on the market today. Since you likely spend a ton of time on your phone anyway, you might as well use it to help you keep your money in order!
Overview of the best personal finance apps
|App||Best for||Cost||Organization features|
|Acorns||Making and tracking investments||$3, or $5/month depending on subscription level||Saves and invests small amounts for you after you connect a credit/debit card|
|Unifimoney||Saving and investing||Free for account holders with at least $2,000 in monthly deposits or who keep at least a $20,000 balance||Automatically moves money to your portfolio, with cryptocurrency trading as an option|
|Stash||Making and tracking investments||Free for the first month; after that it charges $1/month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25%/month for accounts over $5,000||Saves and invests small amounts for you after you connect a credit/debit card|
|Personal Capital||Making and tracking investments||The app is free. For wealth management services, Personal Capital charges modest fees based on portfolio size||Tracks all your investment accounts in once place|
|Money Patrol||Monitoring your finances||$59.99 per year after a 15-day trial||Monitors all your bank accounts to keep you from missing bill due dates|
|Mvelopes||Extra help budgeting and saving||$6/month for the basic version, $19/month for the "plus" version with additional resources, and $59/month for the "complete" premium version||Track your spending daily, weekly, and monthly with real-time budget matching|
|PocketGuard||Big financial picture||Free for the basic version and $4/month for PocketGuard Plus||Link your bank accounts and cards to PocketGuard, and the app keeps tabs on your account balances|
|Charlie||Setting a budget to meet financial goals||Free||Monitors your spending and text messages you ways you can save money|
|YNAB||Extra help budgeting and saving||$7 a month after a 34-day free trial||Create a budget that gives every dollar you have a job|
|Neat||Easy expense tracking||$29 annually or $35 per month after a 15-day trial||Scan receipts to reduce paperwork and track spending without manual entry|
All the apps above give you plenty of tools to manage your money, whether you’re tracking your daily expenditures or progressing toward a savings goal. Each app has a unique approach, so you’re likely to find one designed to fit your organizational needs.
Several are free to use, and most are compatible with both Android and iOS phones. Unless otherwise noted, all of these platforms are available in mobile and web (or desktop) versions.
For anyone stressed about investing or struggling to save money, Acorns does some of the organizing for you. It uses your spare change – your “acorns” – to grow large funds over time.
- Acorns links easily with your bank account and credit cards.
- As a “robo-advisor” Acorns picks your investments and manages your portfolio automatically.
- Acorns picks exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for you to invest in based on your financial stats and goals.
- The app takes spare change from your purchases with linked accounts/cards, rounds them up to the nearest dollar, and invests the difference in ETFs.
- There’s no minimum initial investment required.
- You can make one-time or recurring investments, whichever you choose.
- Once your portfolio grows you can opt to set up an IRA.
The cost: Acorns charges $1, $3, or $5 per month, depending on your subscription level.
*Editorial Note: This offer is no longer available. Please visit the Unifimoney website for current terms.
Unifimoney serves as a one-stop digital money management app for iOS users (they hope to add Android and desktop accessibility later). Unifimoney can meet all of your financial needs including banking, investing, insurance, credit cards, loans, and mortgages. You can even invest in cryptocurrencies through Unifimoney.
- High-yield checking account with no monthly fees for accounts with a monthly deposit of at least $2,000.
- No-commission trades of stocks, ETFs, crypto, and precious metals directly from the app.
- Put your finances on autopilot with Autoinvest -invest at least $25 per month into your Unifimoney investment account.
- Free ATM transactions at more than 55,000 Allpoint ATM locations in the U.S.
- Cash back credit card can direct rewards toward your investment portfolio.
- Money Transfer Platform – ensuring that funds sent to your account will arrive the next working day.
The cost: Unifimoney is free for account holders with at least $2,000 in monthly deposits or who keep at least a $20,000 balance.
Learn more about Unifimoney.
Stash uses the “micro-investing” approach of setting aside small amounts to build into large investments.
Plus, it focuses on responsible investing by letting you pick companies with values that match yours.
- The app comes with a built-in “Stash Coach” to help you out.
- No minimum balance is required, but you’ll need $5 or more to start investing.
- Stash offers 30 different “investment themes” drawn from 40 different ETFs. These options range from global healthcare and clean energy to cybersecurity and blockchain technologies.
- You can open an IRA or a Roth IRA with a minimum $15 investment.
- Stash promo: Get $5 when you sign-up for a Stash account today!
The cost: Stash is free for the first month. After that it charges $1/month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25%/month for accounts over $5,000.Disclaimer - Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.
Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.
¹For securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares start at $0.05.
²Debit Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC and Stash Visa Debit Card issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC. pursuant to a license from VISA U.S.A. Inc. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Green Dot Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.” because the article mentions the debit card.
³You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.
⁴Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.
⁵Stock-Back® is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A, or any of their respective affiliates, and none of the foregoing has any responsibility to fulfill any stock rewards earned through this program.
Personal Capital‘s wealth management app is great for serious investors who want a hand organizing their portfolios.
If you’re brand new to investing, Personal Capital helps you get started. The app is especially helpful for those who are managing multiple accounts.
- Personal Capital tracks your net worth in real-time.
- Once you link your bank accounts, Personal Capital sorts your spending into categories and tracks purchases to show your cash flow.
- Set spending goals, and Personal Capital’s money tracking dashboard will keep you on target.
- See all your accounts at once with a graph for each spending and earning category – loans, mortgages, real estate assets, retirement savings, etc. – to easily see growth and decline.
- If you link to your stock portfolio, Personal Capital will help optimize your investments.
- You can monitor portfolios in multiple ways – by individual security, asset class, or account.
The cost: Personal Capital’s app is free. For additional wealth management services, including a personal financial advisor, Personal Capital charges modest fees based on the size of your portfolio.
MoneyPatrol monitors your financial accounts to help you gain insight into your spending habits. The platform displays the information in an easy-to-read interface that motivates you to save money.
- Connect all your financial accounts to monitor everything in one place.
- Never miss a due date with bill payment reminders.
- Alerts notify you if you’ve exceeded your budget or suspicious activity is detected.
- Review spending trends to show where you can make cutbacks.
The cost: $59.99 per year after a 15-day trial.
Once you spend all the money in that category – you have to move money from other “envelopes”.
- Track your spending daily, weekly, and monthly with real-time budget matching.
- Link to an unlimited number of accounts, including credit, debit, and bank accounts.
- A universal accounts screen offers a quick view of your checking, savings, and credit card balances all at once.
The cost: $6/month for the basic version, $19/month for the “plus” version with additional resources, and $59/month for the “complete” premium version. Both the plus and complete versions come with a personal finance trainer.
PocketGuard is another all-in-one budget and bank account management tool. Though it lacks some fancier functions, it provides most of the necessities.
- Link your bank accounts and cards to PocketGuard through a secure, encrypted connection, and the app keeps tabs on your account balances.
- Based on your spending patterns, PocketGuard will estimate what you can afford to spend in a typical day.
- Visual aids show both your overall purchases and your spending in specific categories.
- The app sorts purchases, subscriptions, and bill payments automatically so you see exactly what’s being deducted from your account and when.
The cost: PocketGuard is free for the basic version and $4/month for PocketGuard Plus, an upgrade with extra features like cash tracking.
Charlie makes budgeting accessible to everyone, starting with the fun cartoon penguin that helps you get your account set up.
Instead of downloading an app and setting up an account, Charlie uses text messages to help you manage your budget. You’ll provide your account information and Charlie takes it from there.
- Charlie accesses only the account information necessary to help you save money.
- All connections are secured via the same 256-bit SSL encryption banks use.
- Receive notifications whenever suspicious activity is noted on your account.
- Provide information on your goals and Charlie will help you set monthly spending limits to help you reach them.
- Use the savings calculator to determine what you need to spend in each category each month.
The cost: Charlie is free to use.
YNAB (You Need a Budget)
Sometimes cleaning up your finances means a total shift in your financial mindset. If you’re ready for a change, YNAB will walk you through the best way to manage your funds.
The YNAB app is a companion to the popular personal platform You Need a Budget.
- True to their rule “every dollar has a purpose,” YNAB sorts each dollar you earn into an “envelope” for a specific use. Each envelope is a budget category you select.
- To get a sense of how much you usually spend in each category, you’ll link the transactions from your checking account.
- Your budget is planned around the money you actually have, encouraging you to spend within your limits.
- Category amounts are adjustable if you spend more or less than you planned.
- See your accounts and budget categories with a quick glimpse.
- Regular reports show how your budget is progressing through the month.
- Track repayments on any debts.
- In addition to weekly and monthly budgets, you can set up budgets for one-time projects.
The cost: $7 a month after a 34-day free trial. Students get 12 months free.
Automate your bookkeeping with Neat, an app that makes tracking expenses easy. The app lets you scan receipts and other documents, with the information converted into log entries.
You can also connect your financial accounts to track everything in one place.
- Scan, upload, or email receipts. Input a category and other information to add the item to your bookkeeping.
- Connect to your financial accounts for automatic tracking.
- All entered receipts will be automatically reconciled with your account transactions.
- Neat’s categories match IRS categories to simplify things when it’s time to file.
The cost: Neat offers a 15-day trial, and then subscriptions start at $29 per month annually or $35 monthly. You’ll get two months free if you pay annually.
The benefits of getting organized with personal finance apps
It’s no secret- staying organized takes a little bit of work. But, if your money is in order, it becomes much easier to:
Track regular expenses
A good system monitors your everyday cash flow, from morning coffee to electric bills. You can identify pricey patterns or unnecessary expenses more easily – freeing up cash to spend on other things.
After missing more than one utility payment deadline because I couldn’t find the payment info, I’m a big fan of keeping all your virtual bills in one place.
Consolidation might mean closing unused checking accounts or rarely used high-interest credit cards as well.
Spend and invest consciously
You want to ensure your money goes where you need it to go. Whether you’re paying down the student loan with the highest interest, padding a retirement account, or investing in a cause that’s meaningful to you, organization aligns your money with your long-term financial goals.
And rather than making big purchases on credit and incurring debt, you’re able to see at a glance whether you have the funds and how much you need to save.
Minimize late fees and missed payments
All of us have a ton of bills and it can be easy to lose track. These days bill payments are easier to automate than ever before—and with some planning ahead, you can make sure the funds are always there for withdrawals.
Fortunately, gone are the days of hand-drawn budgets and Excel spreadsheets (though if you prefer managing your funds the old-fashioned way, go for it!). You can access a ton of money management apps to help you organize your finances.
Make your side hustle more profitable
Freelancers, self-employed entrepreneurs, and holders of multiple jobs know time is money. Organization helps you stay on top of missing payments, prioritize responsibilities, and see opportunities to make more profit.
One of the best perks of organizing your money is discovering how much you have to work with. Any of the apps above will help you put every cent to use, so you can pay bills and grow wealth at the same time.