As more of us use smartphones and tablets to manage our finances, apps are starting to handle much of the heavy lifting. That a good thing, since most of us (at least statistically) don’t do a great job of tracking what we spend and often spend more than we should.
Here are a few apps that may make life a bit easier, and are simple to use.
Best for: Organizing bills
What it does: Tracks due dates and statements from credit cards to Netflix subscriptions. Create custom accounts for anything.Organizes loyalty rewards and online coupons and store receipts and statements.
Added perk: Share your bills with friends and family; perfect for children of aging parents to monitor if Mom is paying her utilities and rent every month.
Downside: No document storage for receipts or statements.
Google Wallet https://www.google.com/wallet/
Best for: Streamlining shopping
What it does: Stores debit, credit and loyalty card information in one place, then use your smartphone to tap-and-pay at any merchant that accepts that type of payment.
Added perk: Google Wallet Card that acts as a debit card linked to your wallet balance; send money to people as an attachment.
Downside: Requires a Gmail account and Google charges 2.9% fee per transaction.
Square Cash https://square.com/cash
Best for: transferring money
What it does: Lets you send money to friends and family without paying fees. Handy when you need to borrow money from a friend or send money birthday money to grandchildren.
Added perk: It’s paperless. Recipients receive a link that lets them deposit the money into their bank account.
Downside: No support for credit card accounts.
Best for: Online shopping
What it does: For online shoppers, it tracks packages, manages receipts, and even provides customer service numbers. Alerts you if something you just bought goes on sale and you can get a price adjustment. Tracks online spending and shows you where you spend most of your money.
Added perk: Alerts you when a delivery is waiting on your doorstep.
Downside: Only works with receipts that can be emailed.
Best for: Tabulating shared costs
What it does: Creates group expense reports on your phone to track spending by person. When eating out or going to an event with friends or family, it splits up the cost from the total balance and sends each person a link to Tricount’s site for review.
Added perk:You can even track your grandchildren’s birthday gifts to keep a tally of what you’ve spent.
Downside: None that we could find.
Finally, our favorite app of all – Mint. Named by Wired, CNET and Digital Trends as the best financial software app available, Mints is a clear winner because it does so much.
Best for: Check bank account balances in real time, receive alerts when you’re about to surpass your budget, manage all your expenses.
What it does: Connects to all your financial institutions, create budgets, set financial goals, learn how to better invest your money. View multiple credit cards, loans, and retirement accounts.
Added perk: Helps you control your finances without guesswork for free.
Downside: Advertisements. But even these can be useful!