To help you cut through the app clutter, here are four free apps you might want to think about installing on your phone.
Your Bank’s Mobile App
Many banks offer mobile apps now that allow you to not only keep track of your money, but also to pay bills, make electronic fund transfers and even deposit checks by taking a picture. (I’ve tried this. To warn you, mobile deposit functionality varies by app and phone model.) Downloading your bank’s mobile app is the logical place to start when building out your digital financial suite.
Mint is part of a class of apps striving to put all your financial accounts in one place. You can link your various bank accounts and investment and retirement funds within the app and begin to get a picture of your finances in one dashboard.
If you’re younger and don’t have a million accounts all over the place, apps like Mint can help. The app tracks your saving and spending habits for those of us that need a little nudge in the right direction. Mint also has a comprehensive budgeting feature if you really like to track and allocate every cent.
One thing to keep in mind is that Mint is supported through sponsored special offers, so make sure any advice given through the app makes sense for your financial situation.
Personal Capital Money and Investing is much like Mint in that it tries to provide a one-stop source for your financial life.
For people making over $100,000 a year, Personal Capital Money and Investing offers financial advising. If you choose this option, they can manage your assets at a rate of 1% per year. This is how they make their money, so any financial advice is unhindered by advertising deals.
“Green$treets: Unleash the Loot”
“Green$treets: Unleash the Loot” is a game for children that teaches them how to save, and the importance of giving back to charity.
In the game, children pick their favorite animal from a list. Then, they pick some things they might want to buy from the virtual marketplace. Children earn money by completing virtual chores. This money can either be saved, contributed to a charity or spent toward the toy of their choosing.
The game does a fairly good job of keeping the learning process entertaining. The weed-pulling mini game is reminiscent of “Fruit Ninja,” another popular mobile game. Parents can also keep track of their child’s activities within the game through email or Facebook. Unfortunately, this particular game is only available on iPhone and iPad, so Android users are out of luck.
Are there any financial apps you’d suggest? Leave us a comment.
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