Personal Finanace

Best personal finance apps for clueless millennials

Get smart about managing your money: These are the best personal finance apps for clueless millennials.


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Millennials, avocado toast, bad spending habits, blah blah blah. At this point, the dead horse has been thoroughly beaten and shipped off to the glue factory.

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 knows all too well that millennials get a bad rep when it comes to all things personal finance — as if we *wanted* lifelong student loan debt, a housing affordability crisis, or a gig economy in which well-paying jobs with benefits are basically unicorns. 

… But we digress. The thing is, millennials are when it comes to money management and financial planning, or at least way more so than most people think. We budget and save almost as much as baby boomers do, and more than half of us have a savings goal. (The same can’t been said for older generations.) Plus, we can spot a bad value a mile away — sorry, — and we know a scam when we see one. (See: , .)

Still, there’s always room for improvement in terms of setting and keeping your long-term financial goals. Maybe you’re fresh out of college and having trouble creating a budget for your newly adult self, or you need some help opening an investment account. Maybe you want to explore the crypto market. Heck, maybe your checking account (still) requires some serious TLC after last year’s Black Friday sales. 

Whatever you and your hard-earned dollars need, there’s probably an app for that. We’ve scoured the internet and app store reviews to compile the following list of the 10 best finance apps, at least one of which is sure to make your financial life a whole lot easier. Thanks, technology!

Gorgeous design • Puts all of your info in one place • You can make it as simple or detailed as you want

Reviewers report a few bugs in latest update

An all-in-one money management tool that’s both nice to look at and nice to use.

1. Mint

An all-in-one money management tool that’s both nice to look at and nice to use.

  • Price:
  • Availability:
    iOS and Android
Mint is an intuitive financial tracking and budgeting app with a near-perfect rating in the App Store. Designed to help you take total control of your financial life, it puts all of your funds, transactions, and account balances on one beautiful, clean interface, and uses this information to calculate your total net worth. 
Mint gives you plenty of options for customization, including tools to create a realistic budget and set bill reminders, and even provides personalized tips on how to improve your credit score, reduce banking fees, and find new ways to save — all for the low price of free.

Jam-packed with features and tools • Capable of tracking funds in real time • Solid customer service team

Slight learning curve for new users • Desktop version is more comprehensive than mobile

As close as you’ll ever get to having a personal accountant who lives inside your computer.

2. Quicken

As close as you’ll ever get to having a personal accountant who lives inside your computer.

  • Price:
    Starts at $34.99 per year
  • Availability:
    Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
As the oldest app on this list at 36 years old, Quicken knows a thing or two about effective and convenient money management. Its massive lineup of features includes tools for organizing and tracking your spending, creating a budget, viewing and paying your bills, paying off debts, monitoring investments, planning for retirement, tracking the value of your home, and even taking care of transactions related to small business ownership. (Whew!) 
More than $30 a year might seem like a steep price to pay for something that’s supposed to save you money, but trust us — this powerful app is worth it and then some.

Updated regularly based on customer feedback • Makes a point of teaching you how to reach and maintain your financial goals

Expensive • Small learning curve

If you can get past its price, you’ll find it wonderfully supportive in ways that most personal finance apps aren’t.

3. You Need A Budget (YNAB)

If you can get past its price, you’ll find it wonderfully supportive in ways that most personal finance apps aren’t.

  • Price:
    Free 34-day trial, then $6.99/month (billed annually at $83.99)
  • Availability:
    Web, iOS, and Android
YNAB takes things a step further than most other apps of its kind by offering users helpful support and teaching tools for dealing with debt (among other financial woes) via instructional videos, newsletters, podcasts, workshops, help documents, and support forums. As you work your way through its training, it’ll track your debt-payoff progress in colorful graphs and charts. 
On the technical side, a practical budgeting tool serves as the focal point of YNAB’s interface; it has you lay out your income and expenses in great detail to determine how much debt you can realistically pay off each month, making sure everything you do with your money is intentional.

Puts all of your bills in one place • Will send you a notification if a bill looks suspicious (i.e., higher than usual)

Some reviewers report occasional bounced payments

Doesn’t do much besides helping you manage your bills, but it does that sole task very well. Besides, that might be all you really want and/or need in a finance app.

4. Prism

  • Price:
  • Availability :
    iOS and Android
Can you ? Can you pay my telephone bills? Can you pay my automo-bills? If you did then maybe we could chill — but in the meantime, let’s use Prism to settle our outstanding balances. 
Once you download the app on your smartphone, you’ll never have to worry about missing a bill again, as Prism tracks ‘em for you and sends you alerts about upcoming due dates. All of your account balances and expenses for the entire month are accessible anytime in the form of a calendar or list, and they’re paid using the method of your choice (credit card, bank account, whatever). Plus, Prism gives you the option of scheduling bills anytime you’d like, whether that’s the day they’re due or weeks in advance.

Paid plans support multiple users • Take your pick from different currencies • Modern and colorful (yet uncluttered) design

Reviewers say developer support can be iffy

At long last, you can stop fighting over who did or didn’t pay the electric bill last month.

5. Spendee

  • Price:
    Free 7-day trial and free for basic plan; paid plans for multiple wallets (users) start at $1.99/month or $14.99/year
  • Availability:
    Web, iOS, and Android
Calling all roommates and cohabiting couples: Spendee is about to make your life so much easier. 
Available at a variety of different price points, this top-rated app’s upgraded plans let family members, partners, and roommates share wallets for a complete picture of a household’s financial habits. Each user is given the option to track cash flows (both income and expenses) in the currency of their choice, set and maintain budgets, and take a peek at where money goes on easy-to-understand charts. All of this data can then be synced and backed up across devices for household-wide accountability and transparency.

Graphs visualize your expenses • Supports multiple currencies

Syncing info across devices requires a Dropbox account

See exactly where your money is going wherever you’re going.

6. Monefy

  • Price:
  • Availability:
    Windows, iOS, and Android
Good news: You no longer need to take a pen to paper in order to record your expenses, because Monefy will do it for you far more easily. It’s as simple as opening its app, filling in the expense amount, and tapping “Add.” Boom — you’re set. This data can then be safely synced between all of your devices (smartphones and tablets included) using your personal Dropbox account, and/or sorted using Monefy’s default categories for expert-level organization. (Although you can always add your own categories, too.) 
As the cherry on top of this practical functionality, Monefy just looks really nice: It uses fun typefaces, vivid colors, and whimsical icons in a fresh, clean way that enhances (rather than distracts from) your use.

Standard plan includes retirement planner, budgeting, and fee analyzer tools • You can upgrade to access to advisory services if your net worth is high enough

Fees for advisory services are pretty high

Skip the freemium services — the app’s standard version will still give you plenty of tools with which to build a solid financial plan.

For a finance app that gives you a comprehensive picture of your net worth and spending while helping you best manage all of your different investments, look no further than Personal Capital. 
Setup is super easy, as the app is integrated with more than 14,000 financial institutions. After linking to all of your accounts for a real-time view of your financial life, you’ll get access to a four-part collection of award-winning financial tools on its dashboard. Among them is the unique Investment Checkup feature, which analyzes your risk and shows you how well your investments are performing (plus the ways in which they could do even better). 
You can also sign up for Personal Capital’s personalized investment and wealth management services for an additional account management fee, provided your net worth is high enough.

Geo-location feature shows you reward possibilities nearby • Recommends best card to use based on each purchase

Some reviewers say banks can take a while to connect

If you’re already using a rewards credit card, giving this app a download seems like a no-brainer.

Did you know that the average shopper misses out on more than $200 a year in credit card rewards? Well, don’t be an average shopper. Instead, sign up for Birch Finance, a finance app that provides you with useful and practical insights on how to maximize your rewards. 
The process of getting said insights is simple: Just download the Birch app and log in with your financial institutions’ credentials to let Birch see your spending history. (Don’t worry — the bank account itself will be left alone.) Birch will then create a secure connection with all the banks you connect to so that your transactions are synced, and from there you’ll start getting advice on how to earn more airline, hotel, shopping, travel, and cash back perks with the cards you’re already using. Once you’ve been using Birch for a bit, you’ll get to see your spending trends broken down by different categories and merchants.

Instructional content is great for investing newbies • Saving is completely automatic

Portfolios are relatively small

Are you a college student, a shitty saver, or both? This app will be your saving grace.

9. Acorns

  • Price:
    Free to download, then $5 to begin investing; account management fees start at $1/month (college students can enroll for free by signing up using their .edu email address)
  • Availability:
    iOS and Android
You know that saying about how a little goes a long way? That’s essentially the philosophy of Acorns, a finance app/robo-advisor that lets you set aside your spare change or round up on purchases made using linked credit or debit cards. Whatever’s contributed is automatically placed in an investment portfolio for ultra-easy saving. You’ve also got the option of signing up for Acorns’ Found Money program, which gives you cash back whenever you use a linked credit card to purchase something from Apple, Hulu, and hundreds of other companies. 
As an extra bonus, every Acorns plan gives you access to exclusive content about budgeting, healthy money habits, and more that’ll hone your financial expertise.

No commission! • Non-crypto investment options are also available

Crypto feature is currently unavailable in certain states

No hidden fees and instant access to funds? Welcome to modern investing for the little guy.

Bitcoin and Etherium and Dogecoin, oh my. Whatever your preferred cryptocurrency, you can start tracking and trading it for free 24/7 when you download the Robinhood app. (That’s right — you never have to pay commission.) Your funds will be available as soon as you deposit or sell stocks to buy crypto so that you never miss out on a potential venture. 
Robinhood’s Crypto feature is currently supported in 30 states nationwide, and it plans on expanding that lineup in the near future. In the meantime, you can always build out your portfolio by investing in the stock market or ETFs, which are accessible on the same Robinhood dashboard as cryptocurrencies.


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