When you were younger than 17 years old, chances are your wallet was the most comprehensive personal finance tool you needed. Open it up and you knew exactly how much cake you were working with. After you started working full time, maybe you got by, by keeping mental tabs or waiting for the ATM to stop spitting out cash.
When you start paying bills, your bank account balance can no longer be reverse engineered by retracing how many drinks you had last week and subtracting from your paycheck.
Budgeting is easily the most stressful habit required to be an “adult.” Yet, these three personal finance apps are sure to take some of that trauma out of your financial life.
Pageonce is the ultimate personal assistant. Its financial tools are slightly inferior to Mint’s, but the breadth of accounts that Pageonce can track is unbeatable. You can keep an eye on cell phone usage, get flight updates, monitor your stock portfolio, track your Amazon, eBay, and Netflix accounts, manage frequent flier miles, view friends’ status updates and more.
So much surveillance can induce an instant headache, but Pageone does its best to keep it from becoming a migraine. The app is refreshingly simple and intuitive. With just a few touches you can easily view the information most important to you and pay those nagging bills.
Pageonce is available for Android and iOS devices.
You can track every penny spent, coupon offered and mile accrued, but if you can’t use that information to improve your financial standing, it’s completely useless. iExpenseonline is a free service designed by financial advisors that helps you not just monitor your finances, but coaches you on how to get the most out of them.
IEO helps you make “correct and clever financial decisions based on your financial standing” by “systematically identifying and correcting bad financial habits.” For example, IEO prioritizes your expenses and urges you to limit spending on items of little importance.
As helpful as IEO is, it requires a bit more time and effort than Mint or Pageonce. In order to get the most out of the service you’ll need to spend a bit more time entering account entries.
No matter how in-depth a financial assistant app goes, it can never monitor those, “Hey, I’ll buy you a six pack next time,” or “I bet you $100 Big Papi hits a homer today” claims. Peer payment system Venmo looks to fulfill these unpaid debts.
The service had originally been designed to allow friends to send small sums of money via text message from one linked bank account to another, but released its own native apps to improve user experience.
You may have heard rumors of Venmo’s existence for a few years now but been incapable of finding the app in any marketplace. The service spent two years in beta testing before finally hitting the mainstream market in March. Don’t let the release delay fool you, however. Venmo’s founders told the New York Times, “the company is now processing around $10 million in payments monthly, a figure that grows by 30 percent each month. They expect that figure to total out at $250 million for the year.”
Ok, I had to do it. Mint tops every personal-finance-app-list out there for good reason. Mint is a comprehensive resource for monitoring every aspect of your financial life including your bank, savings accounts, credit card accounts and investment accounts.
While many apps offer similarly comprehensive monitoring, Mint does an impressive job “reading” transactions and categorizing them appropriately — arguably the most important aspect of personal budgeting. Knowing that you spent half of your paycheck last week is important, but knowing that you spent it all on dates is far more insightful, Casanova.
One downside to Mint is the fact that it isn’t self contained — if you want to add accounts you have to do it on the website. While the website provides additional analytical tools, the extra step is frustrating to many.
[UPDATED to reflect that Pageonce is available for Android devices.]