As I’m sure you’re aware, money is not the easiest commodity to get your hands on. So, when you do manage to put something in the bank, you really should be looking after it. Keeping accounts has always been the best way of doing this, but that seems a bit old-fashioned in the face of a new generation of money tracking apps.
For those thinking about keeping a tighter grasp on their balance sheet, I’ve put together this list of the very best personal finance apps for iPhone and iPad.
No money app list would be complete without Mint.com’s offering. After all, the service has revolutionized the landscape of digital record-keeping.
Designed to be an all-in-one home for your finances, Mint is capable of tracking your accounts, investments and retirement funds. Everyday money management is made easy by the automatic retrieval and categorization of your transactions, and, as a result, Mint can create data visualization of your spending, in the form of graphs (iPad only), which provide a clear way of working out where your money is going.
Also on offer is the ability to set yourself budgets and bill reminders, as well as the option to enter transactions by hand, which is useful for when you make a purchase with cash.
As the Mint app is an extension of Mint.com’s online platform, the app syncs to your web account, which is handy if you want to view your expenses on multiple devices.
To be honest, the only downside I can find in Mint’s offering is its current restriction to accounts held in the USA or Canada.
For those in North America, though, Mint is a fantastic tool for monitoring your balance sheet.
Mint is available on iPhone and iPad for free.
In many respects, Toshl is very similar to Mint. It provides transaction tracking, the creation of budgets, and it syncs to an online platform Toshl.com.
The differences between the two apps are notable, however. First of all, Toshl does not link into your various accounts, so incomings and outgoings have to be logged by hand. Secondly, as a result of this lack of connectivity, Toshl focuses entirely on transactions, which means that this app isn’t going to provide a full monetary hub.
On the plus side, however, this lack of complication makes for an easy-to-use app, and the interface – which includes plenty of Toshl’s signature creature mascots – is beautifully designed.
The manual method of transaction input also comes with one major benefit; you can use Toshl, wherever you are in the world, with your native currency.
Overall, then, Toshl isn’t as strong an offering as Mint, but it is a quality product in its own right, and it can be used anywhere in the world.
Toshl is available on iPhone and iPad for free (upgrades available via in-app purchase).
One of the main reasons many of us need to keep spending accounts is in order to claim expenses at a later date. Expensify has only this task at heart, and it attempts to make logging your expenditure as hassle-free as possible.
The easiest way of recording transactions in Expensify is via the SmartScan feature, which uses your iOS device’s camera to capture your receipt, although you can, of course, enter transactions manually as well. Similarly, car journeys can be logged manually, or for a more automated process, you can use the in-built odometer, or the GPS function.
Once you’ve recorded where your hard-earned cash has gone, you’re going to need some reports to claim your money back. As you create your expenses, you can simply select a report into which you’d like them to be included, and Expensify will compile a list, complete with the total to be reimbursed, ready to be signed off.
As with both of the apps above, the Expensify app also links in with a parent web platform. I did find that, at times, the app took a little while to perform actions that required uploading, but this doesn’t really detract from Expensify’s otherwise compelling expenses-tracking package.
Expensify is available on iPhone for free.
One major part of personal finance, unfortunately, is bill-paying, so it makes sense for there to be an app dedicated to this issue. Check – formerly known as PageOnce – provides just this service to iPhone users.
Once you’ve set up your payment details, you can assign Check to remind you about all of your bills, or even get the app to pay them automatically. Check has a large number of retailers, banks and utility providers in its directory for swift access, and although this directory is entirely U.S.-optimized, you can still enter manually the details of any debtor, as long as you have their email address or phone number.
Particularly impressive are Check’s various methods of bill-tracking. Payment due dates can be viewed on a calendar, for instance, and there’s also the option to view a pie chart breakdown of where your money’s headed to.
Overall, Check is probably the smartest method of bill-management I’ve encountered, especially so for U.S. citizens.
Check is available for free on iPhone.
Sometimes, though, you don’t need smart this and clever that – you just need a simple way of creating and sticking to a budget. For those who like a simplistic approach to their money management, Money Lover will suit their needs perfectly.
Setting up a budget is an incredibly simple affair, merely requiring a few basic details – giving it a name, setting an amount, and choosing whether you want the budget to repeat on an ongoing basis.
With that in place, you just need to start noting your incomings, outgoings, debts and payables. Sadly, there isn’t an Expensify-style receipt-scanning option to be had, but due to the simplistic nature of this app, entering transactions only takes a maximum of 30 seconds.
Once you start logging transactions, Money Lover offers a good range of statistics, such as a monthly breakdown, a budget check and an ongoing trend graph. What’s more, you can set up Campaigns, which are essentially long-term goals – saving for a new car, for instance – which your monthly budgets can be linked to.
Money Lover doesn’t know many clever tricks, but as a simple way of making sure you stick to a budget, it works beautifully.
Money Lover is available on iPhone for free.