Best personal finance apps to invest in for New Year!

Saving money is never as much fun as spending money. That's because humans are great at mortgaging the future to pay for the present. One day, though, the future will come to cash in. So, it's best be budgeted and ready when it does. Here, then, are the best iPhone apps to help you take control of your personal finances in the New Year!

Mint

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Mint is more finance app than a budget app, but don't let that turn you off. I discovered shortly after I started using Mint that it automatically creates a budget for you. After you connect your credit cards and bank accounts, the app automatically creates a budget based on average spending habits. You can increase or decrease the maximum for each budget and add or remove categories. Income and expenses are automatically added when you make purchases with your credit or bank cards. Cash transactions must be manually added.

The only problem with this automated budgeting system is that it sometimes gets expenses wrong. So, you have to go in and adjust a category manually every once in a while.

If you don't really need a budget, but like having one, just to see how you are doing, use Mint for the finance tracking and take advantage of the budgeting feature.

YNAB (You Need a Budget)

Once you know how much money you have, you can figure out how you want to spend it and how you want to save it. Both BUDGT—which offers an Apple Watch app—and YNAB make that simple and easy. (YNAB does require you to go all-in on its service, so keep that in mind.) You can set your budget for all the different categories you want to use, track your expenses as they come in, and see how you're doing so you can adjust as things come up.

Acorns: Invest Spare Change

Investing is hard to plan and even harder to understand, but with Acorns: Invest Spare Change, you can start putting your spare change towards your future!

Acorns connect with your bank card and every time you use that card to make a purchase, it will invest the change up to the nearest dollar into a wide portfolio. That means, if you buy a coffee for $3.27, Acorns will take the other 73 cents and invest them for you, you don't even have to do anything.

You can track your investment progress in the app and see your growth over time, so you'll always know how your money is doing. Plus, Acorns algorithm and the information it gathers about you when you sign up can be tailor to your liking. Whether you want fast growth over a short period of time, or to gradually make gains over 25 years, Acorns can make it happen.

Daily Budget

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If your finances are so strapped that you must budget what you spend day-to-day, Daily Budget will help you out. Manually enter your income and recurring expenses, add a percentage of your income that you would like to save, and then each item is divided by the number of days in the month and added all together. This amount becomes your daily budget.

You can quickly see just how much you can allot for the day. It also shows how much you can spend tomorrow if you don't spend a dime today, and how much you can splurge on if you don't spend anything for two days.

Daily Budget is a fantastic companion to your budget and finance apps. It doesn't provide a monthly budget to stick to, but shows you in a real sense how much you can spend every day.

Your bank's app

If your bank has an app and you don't use it, consider using it. Many banks now have apps, and many of those have implemented things like Touch ID to make them both secure and convenient. With your bank's app, you can check your balance, pay your bills, check on your mortgage, investments, credit cards and lines, and any and all other financial services you may be using, if they're available to you. Some even have great features like scanning and immediately depositing physical checks (because people still write those). It's a great way to just make sure everything is where it's supposed to be, and that lets you relax get on with what you're supposed to be doing.

  • Search the App Store for the name of your bank

Your favorites?

Whether you've been using personal finance apps for a long time now, or are using New Year's as an excuse to get started, let me know which apps you like and why you like them!

Updated December 2017: We've revamped our whole list! Start 2018 off on the right foot!

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