Saving money isn’t always easy, especially for the impulsive spenders among us. Sometimes it requires an intervention of a money-management service to reach our financial goals. These days, though, there’s an app for everything — especially when it comes to personal finance. Whether your goal is saving for retirement, contributing to a rainy-day fund, paying down debt, or saving for a trip to Paris, these secure apps for both iPhone and Android will help you think more mindfully about your spending patterns and empower you to get your financial health in check.
Cost: Free for 30 days, then $5 per month
Digit takes a "set it and forget it" approach to money-saving, which means all you have to do is establish a financial goal (anything from a down payment fund to a medical bill you’re working to pay off), and the app does the allocating for you. After you download the app, Digit will prompt you to enter your checking account information. It then analyzes your account balance, recent spending, income, and bills, and uses this information to determine a unique amount of money to set aside daily based on what you can afford. You can also withdraw your funds at any time or set manual limits as you see fit.
Cost: $1 – $3 per month
Acorns takes your spare change and helps you invest it, making it perfect for beginner investors looking for a hands-off way to grow their assets. This micro-investing technique works by rounding up your purchases on linked credit cards and investing the leftover change in a diversified portfolio. (You can also set a monthly amount to contribute, or make one-time investments of large or small amounts as you'd like.) If you’re looking for a more comprehensive money-management platform, Acorns' "Personal" plan has a built-in retirement account as well.
Cost: $3 – $12 per month
Qapital is all about goal-oriented saving, which means working toward tangible objectives rather than saving just because. With the app’s Goal and Rule tools, it’s easy to organize your spending and saving accordingly. For each of your goals, you can set up automated rules — for example, Qapital’s 52-week rule saves $1 your first week, $2 the second, and so on — and watch your savings grow automatically. All you need is an already-existing checking account that you can establish as your goal-funding account.
If you’re looking for an app that aggregates all of your financial information in one place, Mint is your best friend. From unlimited credit scores to budget-creating tools to bill reminders so you don’t lose track of payments and due dates, you can view your entire financial life — including your balances across all of your accounts and cards — at a single glance on Mint’s dashboard.
Cost: Free for 34 days, then $11.99 per month or $84 per year
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is more of a lifestyle than a money-management app. Its philosophy is unique in that it prioritizes proactive thinking before spending rather than analyzing past spending habits. The method centers around four rules: Give each of your dollars a role; identify and prioritize your biggest expenses in advance; adjust your spending in one category if you overspend in another; and spend less than you earn. You can choose to manually input your transactions into the app or sync your bank account and credit card info to YNAB for a more seamless integration. You Need A Budget also offers free workshops with financial experts on topics ranging from credit-card management to breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
Cost: Free for a self-managed account, or 30 days free followed by at least $4 per month for Albert Genius
From automated weekly savings to advances on your next paycheck of up to $100, Albert is the ultimate pocket financial assistant. You can self-manage your finances on the app for free, or pay to let Albert Genius manage your money for you. The free plan includes automated weekly savings, budget overviews, and even bill lowering for your linked external account. If you want more assistance, Albert Genius provides a text-based, personalized financial-planning service from real, live experts. For this plan, you can choose what to pay (although the minimum is $4 per month).
This AI-powered app, which is backed by Marcus by Goldman Sachs, helps you understand your finances holistically with easy-to-understand personalized visuals that break down your spending by category or merchant and track it against your income when you link your financial institution. You can also monitor your expenses at large, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and check your credit score for free.