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Ahead of National App Day, Here Are 4 Finance Apps to Consider

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There are tons of approaches to managing money. Some consumers may find solace in their budgeting spreadsheet, while others may prefer a more hands-off approach.

With National App Day coming up on Dec. 11, you may consider downloading one to help you reach your financial goals.

“These money apps can provide a great service,” says Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst. “They can help you get organized and take greater control of your finances. That’s something that most everyone can benefit from — especially folks new to managing money. Just know that one size doesn’t fit all with these apps. Some of them are geared toward newbies, while others target more savvy consumers. And some are cheaper than others.”

In honor of National App Day, here are four money apps to consider.

4 apps to help consumers manage their finances

General budgeting: Mint

The Mint app connects various accounts for consumers to track income and spending, with automatic categorizations. The more people use the app, the more ways it can suggest to help them save, based on their habits.

Mint also tracks bills and subscriptions, so consumers don’t fall behind or waste money on a recurring charge they intend to cancel. Further, it allows users to set goals, like saving for an upcoming trip.

Mint is available for free on iPhone and Android devices.

Managing money with a partner: Honeydue

Budgeting with a partner can be tricky, especially with joint and separate accounts. Honeydue is a free budgeting app that lets users gather all that information in one place. Each person can choose what their partner sees, ranging from account balances to individual transactions, or even nothing at all.

Honeydue also offers features like bill reminders, as well as a transaction review that lets users check in with their partners about purchases and minimize potentially costly financial mix-ups (like buying two of the same item).

There are iPhone and Android versions of the Honeydue app.

Hands-off investing: Acorns

Acorns can be a solid option for those new to investing and looking for a simple, hands-off approach. Among its features, it lets users set up a recurring funds transfer (which can be as low as $5) to an investment portfolio.

The key feature, however, is called Round-Ups: For every transaction on a linked account or card (debit or credit), Acorns rounds up to the next dollar and deposits the remainder in the account once it totals at least $5. That can add up over time, and doesn’t require any effort. Plus, Acorns gives users access to discounts from partner companies, and doesn’t require an account minimum to get started.

But there can be drawbacks. Acorns is a robo-advisor, so users won’t have access to a human financial advisor for guidance, while the $3 to $5 monthly fee can feel steep for account holders with low balances.

“It’s really important to understand the costs associated with these tools, because they can be quite different,” Schulz says. “Some may charge fees based on your assets, while others may charge a flat monthly fee and others may opt for an ad-based model.”

Users can log in to Acorns online or access iPhone or Android versions.

Tracking a portfolio: Personal Capital

Personal Capital is an investing and financial tracking app — it includes features like a net worth tracker and cash flow tracker, plus savings and retirement planners.

For paid accounts, users can also get access to fiduciary financial advisors. And once advisory clients retire, the app offers Smart Withdrawal to help them avoid depleting those accounts. Depending on the account balance, Personal Capital charges management fees ranging from 0.49% to 0.89%.

The Personal Capital app is available via desktop, tablet and mobile (iPhone and Android).

Financial apps aren’t one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to do your homework to make sure that it’s providing the features you need and the costs don’t outweigh the benefits.“The best app for you is one that fits your lifestyle, your budget and your goals,” Schulz says. “So make sure that you’ve given that some thought before you dive in. Otherwise, you may find yourself let down.”


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