Apps To Improve Your Finances (That I Use Myself)

I'll be honest, I'm not much of a smartphone fan and I resisted one as long as possible, primarily because I spend enough of the day in front of a computer. But now that I have a phone, I've downloaded a few finance apps to track my spending on the go. If you're looking for apps to improve your finances, these are a few good ones to start off with.

All of these apps are free to use! So it's a double reason to consider downloading these apps ASAP.

Trim

Cost: Free!

Trim made headlines about a year ago as a way to “trim” your monthly expenses as many people pay for subscription services they rarely use or thought they canceled long ago but somehow the company never got the memo.

I personally use Trim to send spending alerts and low account balance alerts to make sure I never pay an overdraft fee.

You can also use Trim to negotiate a lower cable tv, internet, or phone bill. They are also rolling out a feature to help you save money on car insurance, make a monthly budget, and receive financial help from their Concierge service from a registered finance professional.

Ebates

Cost: Free

My wife and I never shop online without Ebates. You can get cash back at almost any online store by going through the app or browser extension. With a single click, you're on your way to getting up to 40% cash back. Since we live in a semi-rural area and our only local shopping options are Walmart, Lowes, Tractor Supply, and Dollar General, you can imagine how much we buy online to find a better selection and better prices.

Whether you buy groceries, print photos, or choose a summer wardrobe online, Ebates has you covered.

Once your cash back balance reaches $5.01, Ebates sends you a payment quarterly via PayPal or paper check.

Ebates also gives a $10 cash bonus with your first $25 online purchase at the store of your choice. 

Ibotta

Cost: Free

When we buy groceries in town, we always check the Ibotta grocery app first. You will find many more discounts than the Sunday coupon sections. And, these Ibotta offers work in addition to any coupons you redeem at the cash register. All you have to do is activate the Ibotta offers and scan your receipt to redeem the offer.

You can also get cash back by shopping at select online stores too.

M1 Finance

Cost: Free

Although my retirement account investments are still with a full-fledged brokerage, I keep a portion of my non-retirement investments at M1 Finance. This is because you can buy and sell stocks for free! Other brokerages charge at $4.95 for each trade.

What I like about M1 Finance is that I can own partial shares of companies to create my own mini-ETF (M1 calls them pies.)  So if I want to buy a single Amazon share with the $100 I have to invest this month, I can get a partial share instead of having to pony up $1,600 at once.

I don't recommend only buy individual company stocks until you have a diversified portfolio. You can buy index ETFs from Vanguard, iShares, and other leading fund companies from M1 to add instant diversification. This can be a good idea if you currently have an account at Fidelity, but want to hold a Vanguard ETF. Instead of transferring a portion of your account to Vanguard, you can open one with M1 and have more investment options.

Personal Capital

Cost: Free

I personally like seeing “the big picture” for my finances from time to time. Because we have bank accounts at several different banks and two different investment brokerages, we have a few pieces in our financial puzzle. To track our financial progress and goals, we use Personal Capital.

They have very thorough calculators to help you calculate exactly how much you need to invest or save each month to reach your savings goals. This isn't a budgeting app to help you decide how to spend your money in each category like YNAB or HoneyMoney. My wife and I primarily use pen and paper to write our monthly budget. Since we've already put out to sea with our budgeting system and Personal Capital does a great job of helping chart us a path to reach the New World and serves as a compass.

Podcasts

Cost: Free

This technically isn't an app, but there's a “Podcast” button on my phone and I'm sure there's one on yours too. I listen to several financial and non-financial podcasts on a regular basis.

Two of my favorite podcasts are:

What Are Your Favorite Apps?

These are a few of the apps I use to improve my finances. What I like about all of them is that they are a free way to help you save money by spending less in your daily routine. They can also help you make a plan which is always very important if you want to stop worrying about money.

What finance apps do you use to improve your finances?

 

 

 

 


Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.