Top 4 Mobile Apps for Personal Financial Management

Are you struggling to save money? You are not alone.  A recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com revealed that 60% of respondents would be forced to empty their savings in the event of a financial emergency such as a job loss, an unexpected medical bill or car repair.

One of the main reasons why most of us can’t save money is failure to budget. Budgeting, particularly via the pen-and-paper method – which is typically tiring, time consuming and cumbersome, can be a daunting task. And, of course, we all know that tracking finances in our heads never works out, whether it is due to forgetfulness, impulse, or a myriad of other things.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to keep on top of our finances. There now exists a wide range of mobile money-saving apps that make it simple, easy, quick and convenient for people to create a budget, track their expenses, find ways to spend less, and save more. Most of these apps are available free of charge, which means you can download and start using them without worrying about extra expenses.

Here is our pick for the best three free personal finance apps to help you manage your cash, control your expenses and save more.

1. Digit

Digit is the app you want if you are among the 33.33% of Americans who haven’t saved a single dime for retirement. This web- and SMS-based digital piggy bank app offers an automated, easy way to put smaller amounts of money away for retirement. By utilizing this app, you’ll have more money in your savings account in no time!

The app connects to your checking account (with your permission of course) and analyzes your spending habits and income history. Then, it uses an algorithm to crunch the data and determine how much you can afford to save. This amount – usually between $1 and $150 – is automatically deducted from your checking account and transferred into an FDIC-insured Digit savings account every 2-3 days. The app looks at all aspects of your personal finances, including any expected paychecks, upcoming bills, your typical day-to-day expenses, etc., and calculates an amount you can afford to put away on that particular day. While at it, Digit will notify you via SMS text messages. You can also use SMS to access your savings accounts and check the balance any time of the day or night.

All Digit transfers are absolutely free of charge and unlimited. There also no minimums. The only drawback to using this app is that you don’t get to earn interest on the money you’re saving; but you can always look forward to getting some cheeky congratulatory messages when you reach your savings goals.

2. RetailMeNot

Taking advantage of available discounts and coupons when shopping is one of the ways to save money; and RetailMeNot is the best app to help you do it. This app is a mobile spin-off of the popular deals and coupons website retailmenot.com. It scours the web for the latest in-store and online discounts and coupons from over 50,000 retailers. RetailMeNot then delivers these deals as printable and scannable coupons that you can easily redeem right from your smart device’s screen.

With this app, you can search for the best or most popular deals in major stores, such as Amazon, Target, Home Depot, Kohl’s, and more, as well as discounts from leading restaurants. What’s more, you can set up personalized notifications so you can keep up to date with the latest deals from your favorite retailers. To make things even better, categorized searches that allow you to look up just the right deal and location-based search features that make it easy to find deals at nearby or local establishments are available.

3. TransferWise

With this service you can send money all around the globe for almost nothing. If you are used to make regular payments abroad, stop using your local bank and start doing it the smarter, easier and cheaper way.

TransferWise has revolutionized the way international money transfers work and how much the P2P (peer-to-peer) system can reduce costs and providing faster transfers at the same time. This has brought together investors from some of the biggest investment groups in the world and has made it one of the best company of its kind on the market. For more info about fees, currencies and where to get the app, be sure to read this TransferWise review.

4. GasBuddy

As well as taking advantage of discounts and coupons, saving money on gas for your car will definitely help you stay on budget. One app that can help you cut down on your gasoline expenses is GasBuddy. This user data-driven app provides a platform on which motorists can report gas prices in their locations. It incentives participation by allowing users to earn points and climb up its leaderboard and by providing a weekly drawing where people get a chance to win a $100 gas card. By becoming one of the users, you’ll have the opportunity to view locations with the lowest gas prices in your area. These prices are displayed on a map, but you can also undertake city- or ZIP code-specific searches view prices in a particular area.

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Author: Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.