Gone are the days of paper ledgers and tallying up your cancelled checks. With smartphones, people are emailing, making dinner reservations, destroying angry birds, and impressing friends with their words. Now, with advancing technology and increased security for mobile apps, smartphone users are also managing their finances safely and conveniently from the palms of their hands.
Here are some highly regarded apps that you can use to keep track of your finances:
Since launching in 2007, Mint has become one of the most popular money-management tools. In an informal Facebook poll for favorite mobile finance apps, Mint quickly gathered the most votes. Mint works by pulling information directly from bank, credit, investment, brokerage, and retirement accounts to show your entire financial picture. With all financial transactions stored in one account, you can easily monitor your spending, keep track of bills, and set savings goals. Mint is free to you, but it analyzes your finances to offer you new banking and credit card opportunities.
Cost: $3.99 for paid, free for lite version
If you’ve ever been out to eat or traveled with friends, you know the pain of splitting a bill. Someone always seems to end up paying more or less than his or her share. With Share-a-bill, you can enter in all your expenses and who paid what. The app keeps track of the running tally, and you can settle up at the end of a trip or night out. One iTunes reviewer said, “This app is a lifesaver. I used it on a vacation to New York with two friends. With this app, I was able to keep track of expenses without carrying around receipts.” Unfortunately, Share-a-bill is not available for the Android platform.
Any self-employed businessperson needs the Square app. Sign up and the company will ship you a free card reader. Once you receive it, you’ll be set to swipe credit cards and accept payments everywhere. Square is incredibly easy for buyers to use (they can even have receipts emailed to them after the transaction is complete), and sellers trade 2.75 percent of the transaction for ease and security of using the app.
TurboTax SnapTax® and H&R Block at Home™
H&R Block and TurboTax, the two biggest self-tax-preparation companies, each have mobile apps from which you can directly efile your taxes. Which one you choose is probably dependent on which you used last year. Both apps are easy to use; simply take a picture of your W-2, answer a few questions, and efile away.
If you need a higher-level analysis of your investment accounts than the previous apps offer, check out Wikinvest. Wikinvest imports all of your investment and brokerage accounts into one view and updates them nightly. You can compare your performance to major indices and research your next investment with company charts, analysis, and news, right on the app. An iTunes reviewer said, “I’m very happy that I can consolidate all of my different brokerage accounts into one account and instantly learn their collective value in one centralized place.”
What’s on your smartphone? Leave your suggestions and recommendations in the comments.