Personal Finance Apps You Can't Live Without

Aside from Outlaw‘s ever evolving credit card deals comparison tool, there are three categories of personal finance apps you should have loaded on your iPhone or Android in this modern age of digital finance.

Here are our top recommendations:

Type 1: The personal finance management app. These are “global view” apps which collect transaction and balance data from all of your accounts — credit cards, checking accounts, investment portfolios — and provide an aggregate snapshot of where you stand financially. The best of these personal finance apps, which include services such as Mint.com (free) and Personal Capital (also free), do more than provide a mere snapshot. They turn your data into visually appealing graphs, pie charts, and lists so that you can see exactly where your money is going each month.

Personal Capital also includes a “Universal Checkbook” feature which Outlaw is quite fond of; you can use the app to move funds from one checking account to another, even if the accounts are held at different financial institutions.

Type 2: The account management app. These personal finance apps are built by various financial institutions (banks, credit unions, brokerage firms) with the sole intent of allowing customers to access their account information — and execute trades or transfer funds — while on the go. Some of these apps, such as the intelligently designed Chase Mobile app, also allow customers to remotely deposit checks by taking a snapshot of the check with your smartphone’s camera. 

Other personal finance apps provide a wealth of data on the go for free, such as the E*Trade app, called E*Trade Mobile Pro, which provides free real-time quotes, mobile check deposit, ability to place trades, barcode scanning (“Snap a photo of a barcode and, if available, get details on the publicly traded company associated with the product”), CNBC on-demand video, access to analyst reports, along with other innovative features.

Type 3: The “money getting” app. It’s great to be able to manage your existing balances and accounts, but it is also (very) nice to acquire new money. A new generation of slick mobile apps allow users to get money from customers and friends with unprecedented ease. There’s the Square app, which interfaces with the company’s free Card Reader to allow individuals to accept credit card payments from an iPhone, Android device, or iPad. Then there’s the PayPal mobile app, which lets customers access their funds, transfer funds, and in the near future it will also allow users to locate merchants in the area who accept PayPal as a form of payment.

— provided by Credit Card Outlaw

Follow @d_seaman

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