You work hard for your money. Now it’s time to make it work for you. Whatever your financial goals—cutting back on your spending, saving up for a vacation, or investing for the long term—finance apps make it easy to take control of your money, all in the palm of your hand.
Today, it’s easier than ever to check your investment portfolio, pay your bills, and save up for retirement right on your smartphone. In fact, according to Bankrate, almost 2/3 of smartphone users in the U.S. have at least one finance app.
But how do you know which apps are worth your time, energy, and money? We’ve compiled the best budgeting, cost-cutting, and investment apps to help you cut through the noise and find the one that’s best for you and your financial goals.
The Best Budgeting Apps
A budgeting app is designed to help you create and stick to your budget every month. It tracks your expenses and spending habits so that you can better achieve your financial goals. But everyone’s budget style is a little different, so you can find the app that matches yours.
You Need a Budget – $14.99/month or $98.99/year
You Need a Budget, or YNAB, specializes in zero-based budgeting. Rather than retroactively looking at your expenses once the month is over, YNAB encourages you to budget proactively at the start of each month by creating virtual envelopes where every penny from your paycheck is allocated for a specific purpose. This ensures all of your money does its job and none of it goes to waste.
Mint – Free or Premium ($4.99/month)
Available in both free and premium versions, Mint is a financial tracking app that captures your total financial picture and is created by the same people who made TurboTax. The app syncs all of your financial accounts—from your bank accounts to investment accounts to credit cards—so that you can easily manage them all in one place. Use the app to track expenses, stay on top of bills, and build strong financial habits. Who needs a real-life financial advisor when you can have Mint?
PocketGuard – Free or Premium ($4.99/month or $34.99/year)
Guilty of overspending? Try PocketGuard. Just like the name suggests, PocketGuard is a simple, easy-to-use app that will help you guard against overspending. Simply connect all your bank accounts and credit/debit accounts to track your everyday expenses. Set savings goals to ensure you’re on the right track.
The Best Cost-Cutting Apps
From Netflix to Amazon Prime to Spotify to your local gym membership, there are countless subscription-based services out there you may not even know you’re paying for. That’s where a cost-cutting app comes in.
TrueBill – 40% fee on successful negotiations
TrueBill sifts through your bank statement to find all your current subscriptions. From there, you can select which you’d like to continue paying for and which you’d like to cancel. In addition, TrueBill offers a negotiation service so that you can get a better bang for your buck on your subscriptions. Simply upload your phone bill or cable bill to the app, and the TrueBill team will see where they can save you money.
Trim – 33% fee on successful negotiations
Similar to TrueBill, Trim saves your money automatically. The app analyzes your bank statement to find and cancel all those unwanted, pesky subscriptions for you. Plus, their negotiation services are some of the best. Originally created to negotiate Comcast bills, this service now handles any subscription negotiation for any company.
The Best Investment Apps
Investment apps are designed to help you grow money on your own terms. Whether you’d like to be hands-on or hands-off, these apps make it easy to customize how you invest.
Acorns – $3/month for personal, $5/month for family
Inspired by the idea that the mighty oak grows from a tiny acorn, the Acorns app will squirrel away any spare change you make on a purchase and invest it in an ETF (exchange-traded funds) portfolio. While it’s not currently possible to pick and choose which stocks you’d like to invest in, they offer about 25 expert-designed diversified ETFs featuring 7,000 different companies.
Digit – $5/month
If you’re looking to save a little bit of money for a vacation or car payment, Digit may be for you. This micro-savings platform uses a special algorithm to analyze your checking account and spending habits and extract a tiny portion of money into your Digit account every few days. You can then invest that money as you see fit with Digit’s selection of ETFs. Soon, you’ll see that your pennies have grown into a nice little nest egg.
Ellevest – $1/month for essential, $5/month for plus, and $9/month for executive
Ellevest is an investing app made by women, for women. Not only do they offer top-tier personalized investing, retirement investing, and financial planning, they also provide their women+ members with a myriad of learning resources, professional financial help, and even unlimited access to a Certified Financial Planner. Their mission is to empower women with the knowledge they need to grow their wealth, and with their tools, it’s easy to do just that.
Betterment – No fee, 0.25% annual fee, or 0.40% annual fee
Betterment is a smart money manager and robo-advisor for beginners and experts alike. Their mission is to help you make the most of your money and achieve your dreams, whether that’s buying your first home or retiring early. Their robo-advisor is one of the highest rated on the market and uses algorithms to crunch the numbers and find the optimal investment approach for you.
Once you’re ready to start saving, investing, or cutting bills with these apps, you might realize you’re overpaying for internet service. Tons of providers offer great introductory rates, but then raise your bill every few months so you wind up paying more and more for the same service. (I mean, Trim invented an entire app because of a cable provider!) That’s not EarthLink’s style. With no unnecessary bundling and predictable billing, you know how much you’ll be paying every time. Call 866-383-3080 or explore our home internet plans online to get started today.