What To Know About Personal Finance Apps

Written by: Lauren Topper
05/24/2019

smartphones

Smartphones have become one of the most common pieces of technology on the planet. This has resulted in an increasing amount of companies and even industries shifting their priorities to marketing on them. Many have also gone a step further and developed a variety of apps designed solely for smartphones. The financial world is no different; banks have made their online services available for phones, and finance-focused websites are now mobile-friendly by default. This has also spread into the personal finance niche.

Aside from using their bank’s app, more and more smartphone users are using them to look after their personal finance. This has meant that they’re using a variety of different apps focused on budgeting, managing expenses, financial planning, and much more. However, there have been a few of these personal finance apps that have become increasingly more popular among both iOS and Android users. This has been for a few different reasons, which each of the apps offering unique benefits and features.

Tips For Picking A Finance App

As your finances are one of the most important things to look after, the apps you use to manage your finance should also be looked after. Because of that, many smartphone users will need to consider a few vital things before choosing which app they use. While the likes of features and benefits of a particular provider will be obvious to many, there are still a variety of things you should consider before you hit ‘Download.’

It Takes Work

With the number of personal finance apps that are on the market, it can often be difficult for companies to stand out from the crowd. This has led to these businesses to market their services and apps much more aggressively than they had previously. One of the aspects of many apps that are normally boasted about is how they need only a few minutes to set up. This typically shouldn’t be the case, as you’ll need to enter and then authenticate a variety of different things.

Some of the more notable of these include each of your bank and credit card accounts. This becomes increasingly more complicated when the likes of mortgages, investments, and even bills are taken into account. Because of this, if you should think twice before choosing an app based on how fast it is to set up. This also means that you should have a variety of different pieces of financial information at hand.

There’s also the fact that these apps are mainly designed to offer recommendations, at best. In the majority of cases, they’re normally used to help you more efficiently monitor and manage your finances. This means that you’ll still have to put the work into creating your budget and sticking to it. While this is made significantly easier through many of these apps, it’s something many of us will still have to put a considerable amount of time into.

Consider Security Issues

Security is the main reason we use and trust banks. After all, this is where we can rest assured that our finances are safe and that only the people we trust can access it. It’s also why the likes of ATMs and credit card machines require the use of a PIN to be used. This security is something that you should consider before you put your financial information into any app. Software breaches happen much more often than people would assume.

While very little of this may affect customers and users of these apps, this is primarily because of the efforts that many of the software providers take. This means that you should always check how secure certain apps are; a company’s trustworthiness can also play a significant factor in this. This not only affects your personal finance apps but any other apps that might be downloaded onto your smartphone. While finance apps may be secure, many others may not be.

This may allow hackers to gain access to your financial information through indirect means. Because of that, you should always ensure that you don’t download any malicious software or apps on a device that you access your finances with. Doing so will allow you to ensure that there’s almost no risk of fraud or any other financial crimes.

They Can Be Effective

While many people may naturally have some hesitations about using personal finance apps on their smartphones, there shouldn’t be much to worry about. Everyone who works in the financial world knows how important keeping your information safe can be. This means that the majority of these apps can be just as secure as the bank itself. Furthermore, apps can be an effective and affordable way to manage your finances better.

These apps are designed to combine disparate investments, bills, budget items, and other financial information to help you plan for your future. Because of that, they can be beneficial for a variety of occasions, whether it’s buying a home, planning a family, or any other significant occasion.

The Most Common Personal Finance Apps

Over the past few years, there have been countless apps released in the financial space. However, there have been three in particular that have become increasingly popular among consumers. Mint, NerdWallet, and Personal Capital have been a hit with a variety of smartphone users, thanks in large part to the benefits that each of the apps offers.

Mint

Mint has become increasingly popular for smartphone users who are beginning to take care of their finances. While looking after your finances can be difficult and somewhat complex, Mint has aimed to make it as simple as possible. This means that it presents a list of the accounts that you’re tracking in a relatively straightforward way. The app will let you create a detailed budget that you can plan out well in advance. By presenting users with expenses and costs that are pending, Mint can also send reminders to pay certain bills.

There are also a variety of other features. Some of the more innovative of these include the likes of automatic budgets that learn from previous patterns and much more. It will also let you to set financial goals and help you adjust your budget accordingly.

NerdWallet

NerdWallet has become increasingly popular among younger generations, especially those who are either still in college or have just graduated. This is because it offers a more engaging way to look after your finances. When a user first signs up, they’ll be presented with a variety of sample features depending on what their financial goals are. Some of the most common of these have been wanting to take control of debt, stay on top of spending, build credit, and more.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is perhaps the more professional of the popular personal finance apps on the market. This is primarily because it offers a perspective that’s straight to the point. This is done by offering a by-the-numbers approach that offers a clear representation of your overall financial health. This is further enhanced by the use of graphs throughout the app. For example, dent could be going up with income goes down.

This allows users to adjust their budget depending on what recommendations that Personal Finance is offering. As everything is done by-the-numbers, it can often offer a much more reliable picture of your finances, while allowing you to dig into the minutia of your income and expenses whenever you need. The app is increasingly used by professionals who are developing portfolios, as they can benefit from the use of financial adviser services.


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