Best for Budgeting: EveryDollar. The EveryDollar app uses the zero-based budget method recommended by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. The zero-based budget gives every dollar a purpose in the budget, hence the app’s name EveryDollar. A built-in monthly expense tracker allows you to connect to your bank to import transactions to keep up with your spending. You can even split expenses between multiple budget items. The tracker shows you the amount you’ve spent so far for the month and the amount you have left to spend. Through the app, you’ll be able to connect with money management experts who can help you with your financial planning. You’ll be able to access your budget through the app or via a desktop computer. All new users receive a free trial of the premium version of the app. You can permanently upgrade through the app menu.
Best for Bill Payment: Prism shows all your bills and financial accounts in a single app, giving you a complete picture of your finances. The app touts 11,000 billers – more than any other app – including larger banks and even smaller utility companies. Add your bills to the app and Prism automatically tracks your bills and sends due date reminders to help you prevent late payments. You can use the app itself to pay your bills by scheduling payments to be made the same day or several days in advance. Prism eliminates the need to login to multiple accounts paying bills.
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How to Avoid a Finance Charge. Since finance charges are the credit card issuer’s way of charging you for carrying a balance, the simple way to avoid finance charges is to not carry a balance. Paying your credit card balance in full every month will prevent your credit card issuer from adding a finance charge to your balance.
Consider a Robo-Advisor, One of the latest trends in investing is the use of robo-advisors, in which a company manages your investments with very little human intervention. Money is instead managed through mathematical instructions and algorithms. Some major discount brokerages including Vanguard, E-Trade and Charles Schwab have robo-advisors services, and there are a number of newer companies including Betterment and Personal Capital. The jury is still out on whether robo-advisors offer above-average returns. But in theory, using a robo-advisor will enhance your chances of making optimal and rational investing decisions. Moreover, as more investors turn to this automated approach, we may see the conventional finance models become more accurate as human behavior plays less of a role in how markets perform.
Best for Managing Subscriptions: Clarity Money. Clarity Money. Courtesy of Clarity Money. More and more companies are moving to subscription models. In the process, it’s easy to lose track of subscriptions you’ve signed up for. Clarity Money aims to help you stop throwing away on unused subscriptions by helping you uncover and cancel subscriptions you’re not using. On top of getting rid of extra subscriptions, the app analyzes your spending behavior and gives you recommendations to improve your financial health. Clarity Money allows you to make regular savings deposits and attach a goal to your savings. You can even create several savings funds with different goals. Your savings deposits are helped at an FDIC-insured bank and are insured up to $250,000. Stay on track with your monthly budget by showing how much you’ve already spent – provided you’ve linked your debit and credit cards. You’ll also get access to your free VantageScore credit score by Experian.