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5+ Mobile Finance Apps You Will Love

Nothing says 2016 like mobile technology. As I sit in a city coffee shop typing on my Chromebook, mobile-apps-1smartphone in hand, I see every other person nearby similarly staring at their mobile devices. We like being connected, everywhere. In our busy lives, mobile devices provide flexibility and convenience. Financial institutions are paying attention, designing mobile finance apps and websites that allow customers to do their banking and manage their money anywhere, anytime.

If you are looking for a convenient, easy way to stay on budget, track your balances, record expenses and invest on the go, these mobile financial management apps are worth a look. Of the hundreds out there, here are five (plus some bonuses) that our clients love and you will, too:

For Small Businesses

QuickBooks Online App (by Intuit)

What it does: QuickBooks is the gold standard business accounting software, and if you have a QBOQuickBooks Online account, you already know its value as cloud-based accounting software. QuickBooks Online allows you to track income and expenses, create estimates and invoices, manage and pay bills, as well as track inventory and prepare your 1099’s. The app isn’t quite as robust as the web-based version, but still allows you to view and edit customer info, create and send invoices and estimates, accept credit card payments, mark invoices paid and take photos of receipts to track expenses. It received the 2014 CPA Practice Adviser Innovation Award.

Security: Bank-level strong. QuickBooks does not store personal financial data on your phone; TRUSTe certification; 128-bit encryption and password/PIN.

Platforms: Android, iOS

Cost: Free with QuickBooks Online subscription (from $12.95/month to $39.95/month)

Bonus: Team Holly has developed a how-to guide on using QBO apps… Contact us for a FREE copy!

For Personal Use

Mint

What it does: Mint is an easy-to-use personal budgeting app that excels at keeping track of your money. Mint by IntuitYou link all your accounts and it updates automatically as long as you are connected to the internet. It categorizes your spending, alerts you when you go over budget in a category and allows you to set up push notifications about bills. It has a simple user interface, with brightly colored graphs and charts to help you see at a glance where your money is going by identifying your trends and habits. It even checks your credit score. 2015 PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award winner.

Security: Strong. It can’t transfer your money, it can only show you where it’s coming and going.

Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows phone

Cost: Free (which means you see ads)

Personal Capital

What it does: This app takes all your financial account information – mortgage, savings, credit cards, and Personal Capitalinvestments – and provides a summary of your financial situation, a picture of your net worth and gives investing advice. It’s better than Mint at tracking investments, and even includes some free fee-checking tools for your investments. A more comprehensive app than Mint, Personal Capital also offers fee-based asset management using real humans as advisors. It was listed as #18 on CNBC’s 2015 list of top disruptor companies – known as forward-thinking innovators.

Security: Strong. Fully encrypted, requires passwords and makes you register each device you use. No transfers allowed, all info is read-only.

Platforms: Android, iOS

Cost: Free (no ads)

YNAB 

What it does: YNAB stands for You Need a Budget. By following their four rules (1- Give every dollar a job; 2- Embrace your true expenses; 3- Roll with the punches; and 4- Age your money) YNAB can help you YNAB Logoset goals, manage your spending and change your relationship with money. It’s brilliance is in the rule that allows you to only budget with money you already have. It’s different for Mint and Personal Capital because you have to be an active participant. You have to think about your budget and change behaviors. A key feature of YNAB is that it allows sharing, so families can all use the app and budget together.

Security: 128-bit encryption; passwords

Platforms: Android, iOS

Cost: Free 34 day trial, then $5/mo or $50/yr.

Your Own Bank/Credit Union’s Mobile App

What it does: Most banks and credit unions now offer free mobile finance apps that allow you to make deposits, Suncoast CU Logotransfer money and check account balances on the go. Some even offer banking by text message. Even if you use one of the other apps to get the big picture of your financial situation, this app is worth having so you can move your money between accounts when needed. If you only have money in one financial institution, you definitely want to try out their mobile app. I love my credit union’s app (Suncoast Federal Credit Union) for its ease of use and for helping me find no-fee ATM’s when I’m out of their service area.

Security: Strong. SSL security. Encryption and data integrity verifies that data hasn’t been altered after you send it.

Platforms: Android, iOS

Cost: Free, although some banks may charge fees for certain features. Check with your bank to be sure.

Bonus: Spare-Change Investing Apps

If you are just getting started investing and want a really easy, no-brainer way to save money, take a look at these “spare-change” finance apps. They either round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put that money into an investment fund or they allow you to set goals or rules for investing small amounts. You don’t even have to think about it. How much easier can it get?

Acorns – The first mobile finance app to let you open an account via smartphone. How it works:  If you make a debit cardAcorns logo purchase for $3.25, Acorns withdraws $0.75 (rounding up your purchase to the nearest dollar). It invests the money in $5 increments in one of five portfolio options with varying mixes of equity and bond ETFs.

Qapital – You decide what triggers a deposit, then the savings add up. It could be a round-up rule, a set amount daily, weekly or monthly, or a guilty pleasure rule that saves when you spend on your defined guilty pleasures.

Stash – Their slogan is “All it takes to start is 2 minutes, $5, and a phone.” A real simple way for beginners to invest and learn along the way – all from your smartphone.

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