Technology has been hit or miss when it comes to our money. While fintech apps promise to make managing our money simple, if not even enjoyable, not all of them deliver. I’ve tested hundreds of personal finance apps and tools over the years. Here are 5 of the best money apps I’ve found to manage just about every aspect of your finances.
Personal Capital is without question the overall best money app on the market. In fact, for many this could be the only finance app they use. For starters, it covers just about every aspect of one’s financial life, from budgeting to investing to retirement. Personal Capital includes tools to evaluate whether you are on track to retire and the effect fees will have on your wealth over time.
It does require users to link financial accounts. These accounts can include bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts and brokerage accounts. Personal Capital then imports data on transactions and balances. For investments, Personal Capital provides an interactive tool showing the asset allocation of a user’s portfolio.
Personal Capital’s dashboard is free to use. Keep in mind though, that Personal Capital’s business is as a registered investment advisor. As such, they will reach out to users of the dashboard and offer an evaluation of their portfolio. One can use the financial dashboard regardless of whether you accept its investment analysis offer.
Where Personal Capital handles just about every aspect of our finances, Kubera is focused on tracking net worth. It does so beautifully. Users can connect their financial accounts to pull in data. It also enables users to automatically import data on real estate, car valuations (using the VIN), crypto and even domain valuations.
Users can also enter ticker and share quantities manually. This is ideal for those who do not wish to enter login credentials to their financial accounts. It also offers a feature whereby a designated person will receive information about your accounts in the event of your passing. Finally, it offers a feature that enables users to track all of their insurance policies.
What I like about Kubera is its simplicity. It shows you a snapshot of your finances, using simple rows of data and graphs.
It may be odd to view Chime as an app. After all, it’s best known for its banking services. Yet these banking services come packaged in an app that is packed with a number of useful money management features. Most importantly, the Chime app makes tracking your spending very easy. You can set up both balance and transaction alerts.
The one feature I particularly like for those just starting out is its Save When You Spend feature. Similar to other round-up apps, this feature automates savings by rounding up purchases made with the Chime debit card. The round-ups go to a Chime savings account.
I started using Truebill about a month ago. Perhaps best known for its ability to negotiate lower costs on monthly bills such as a cell phone, I’ve been impressed with its spend tracking and budget features. After connecting a bank account and credit cards, Truebill imports and categorizes transaction data.
Overall I’ve found its categorization of expenses to be accurate, although not perfect. Changing or adding an expense category is simple to do. The user interface on a smartphone is one of the best among budgeting apps that I’ve used. And it’s very easy to see just where your money has gone and how much you have to spend until the next payday. You can also track your net worth and monitor recurring monthly bills.
The last tool on our list is New Retirement. This sophisticated software is designed for those wanting to plan for retirement. Unlike simple retirement calculators, however, New Retirement is also designed to help individuals who are already retired.
It offers a wealth of sophisticated retirement planning features. It handles Roth conversions, Medicare premiums and Social Security claiming strategies. It includes a Monte Carlo simulation to test a thousand potential investment returns and inflation scenarios. You can also run what-if scenarios to see how changes in your plan affect your retirement readiness.
New Retirement uses colored graphs to display financial projections. Here you can see projections of both your savings balances as well as your annual spending. It also shows tax projections, including your future tax brackets. As part of these projections, New Retirement includes required minimum distributions as well as any Roth conversions you’ve included in your plan.
It is the most sophisticated financial planning software designed specifically for individuals rather than advisors (although advisors use it, too).
Financial apps can help us better manage all aspects of our finances. The five tools listed above are some of my favorites. For more of my favorites, check out an expanded list here.