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. MintAn all-in-one money management tool that’s both nice to look at and nice to use.
iOS and Android
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. QuickenAs close as you’ll ever get to having a personal accountant who lives inside your computer.
Starts at $34.99 per year
Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
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.
Free 34-day trial, then $6.99/month (billed annually at $83.99)
Web, iOS, and Android
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.
iOS and Android
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.
Free 7-day trial and free for basic plan; paid plans for multiple wallets (users) start at $1.99/month or $14.99/year
Web, iOS, and Android
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.
Windows, iOS, and Android
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.
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.
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.
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)
iOS and Android
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.
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.