In order to manage your personal finances on the go, you need to have apps that cover 4 major areas.
First is the most helpful to have on the go. A good budgeting app will tell you where you are in relation to your budget wherever you are, and tell you exactly the amount of money in your account. If you are at the mall, and you REALLY want that pair of shoes, you can open up your budget app and see how much you have left to spend for clothing for the month.
Keeping track of when bills are due, and view on a calendar which ones are upcoming, and the ability to pay them directly from the app is a great tool to have on the go.
Expenses – If you need to keep track of certain expenses, like for a business trip, or other expenses that can be tax deductible or reimbursable, this is essential. The ability to store the receipt and assign a certain expense to one business is a definite must.
If you are serious about reducing your debt, then you need a tool that can help get you motivated. A total with all of your balances, then the ability to choose which debt you want to put extra money towards by selecting your payoff method (ie high interest cards first, lowest debt amount first, etc)
This is for extras that are nice to have to help you in your financial goals, but not essential at all.
Here are my top 10 apps for managing your finances:
Mint – FREE; Android & iOS; Budget, Some Bills & Expenses – While Mint.com nails the budget category right on the head, and is available for the 2 major mobile operating systems, it lacks only slightly in the Bills and Expenses. You can set up bill alerts, but can’t view a calendar on the mobile version. Also you can categorize your spending into business expense, it’s not as robust as a fully featured expense app.
iXpenseit – $4.99; iOS; Budget & Expenses – Great tool for tracking your budget, and your cash flow status. Reporting tools in this app are fantastic.
Virtual Wallet – FREE; iOS; Bills, Some Budget & Expenses – Virtual Wallet is EXCELLENT for keeping track of your bills and your current cash flow. While it doesn’t let you break your budget down into categories, you are able to see what you have available to spend after all the bills are paid. Also you can pay bills from the app, which I love.
PageOnce – FREE; Android, iOS, WP7, & Blackberry; Bills, Some Budget, Expenses & Debt – While a great tool for bills, it does not have the ability to pay the bills from the app. Also it only gives you a window to your budget expenses and debt, not a tool for managing them.
EEBA – FREE; Android; Budget, Some Expenses – Great for people who use the “envelope” system of budgeting.
Expensify – FREE; Android, iOS, webOS, Blackberry; Expenses – Hands down the best app for managing business related expenses.
Debt Free – $0.99; iOS; Debt – Does everything I would want it to do to help reduce debt.
SnapTax – FREE; iOS & Android; Misc – File your taxes from your phone! Just take a picture of your W-2, and the app will import the right data. Awesome for simple tax returns.