Growing up is hard to do – especially when it comes to financial planning.
Budgeting and investing isn’t something millennials have learned in school. Many are at a loss for how to best manage their money, unless they had someone in their family or friend group show them the ropes.
Still, most are juggling student loan payments, cost of living expenses, and just trying to enjoy happy hour every once in a while.
The money adds up.
But the best financial planning apps can help this generation learn a thing or two about stretching their dollars.
Here are the top ten money apps millennials are using.
Mint is the go-to all-inclusive app to track expenses.
With this tool, you can see how much you’ve been swiping on all your debit and credit cards in one place. You can also factor in all your monthly bills, from paying rent to your Spotify subscription.
Mint tracks everything you owe and tells you how much you can pay and when you have to pay it. You even get payment reminders to keep you from getting late fees.
Over time, the app gets to know your spending habits. It then notifies you where you may be able to tighten your budget and save more money.
By the way, this is all at no cost whatsoever. The app is free and you can check your credit score with it, too.
You know the money jar you had as a kid?
It’s hard to keep up a similar practice now if all you ever use is credit and debit cards. But, acorns can turn digital transactions into well-invested spare change.
Here’s how it works:
- Say you go to the gas station and pay $1.55 for a bottle of water
- Acorns rounds your transaction up to $2.00 and invests the difference (45 cents)
- The investments go into a portfolio of low-cost exchange funds you have previously selected
In short, it’s a simple approach that makes a big difference. The money adds up over time, and many find it’s easier to track spending when transactions are whole numbers.
It can be hard to make use of the best financial planning apps if you’re almost always spending and rarely saving.
Thankfully, Digit turns saving into a simple process.
The app connects to your checking account to track your spending habits. It then determines how much you can afford to move to a savings account without an overdraft fee.
This amount gets moved to a Digit savings account once every couple days. It’s typically a small number you won’t even notice – like when you buy coffee every day or pick up fast food.
But, the little deposits add up!
Before you know it, your Digit account is much bigger than you might think. You can transfer the money back to your bank with a text whenever you need it.
4. Level Money
Most millennials have a good idea of what they can spend on basic goods food and gas each month. Others have no clue and wing it.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, Level Money can help you figure things out.
This is one of the best financial planning apps for everyday life.
It groups your bills and regular re-occurring habits into total monthly or annual numbers. This makes it easy to see just how much you’re spending on ride-sharing or groceries.
Level Money then turns these totals into a budget for every day of the week.
While this is happening, the app is also helping you reach a savings goal. Your budgets are based on the leftover, or spendable, money.
This way, you have everything taken care of in one place, and a simple way of analyzing it all.
5. Clarity Money
As great as it is to know your budget, you may be using it on things you don’t need.
Clarity Money helps you figure this out, and more.
After connecting to your checking and card accounts, it identifies where you may be spending more money than you should be. This could be a subscription you need to cancel or a tip on how to save on certain bills.
This app can even help you find better credit card deals based on what you normally use it for.
Remember, some points add up over time for travel deals, while others are great for cash back benefits.
If you don’t know which service is right for you, let Clarity Money help you decide.
One of the biggest benefits of using the best financial planning apps is being able to start investing.
It’s hard to talk yourself into a stock when you’re struggling to pay rent. But, once you’ve got a little more control of your budget, investing becomes much more accessible.
Where do you put your money now, though?
Learn can help you understand what to do.
This app takes complex investing concepts and turns them into simple stock lessons. No complicated industry terms or extensive spreadsheets, just 40 one-minute reads.
If you’d rather learn on audio, many of the lessons have been recorded so you can improve your stock knowledge hands-free.
Robinhood takes the principles of stock exchanging and helps you turn them into action.
It is among the best financial planning apps for those who are starting to invest and want to keep an eye on their stocks.
The app allows you to create a watchlist for free.
This means you have access to portfolio updates and market data in real-time. It’s almost like hiring an investment advisor to work for you, but at no cost.
There’s not even a commission fee charged, which is usually unheard of with regular brokers.
Cheddar goes beyond the updates available through Robinhood and gives everyday people access to expert advice.
The app creates daily updates that include exclusive interviews and industry insight. Speakers range from the CEOs of top companies to the founders of game-changing innovations – like Facebook, Airbnb, and Snapchat.
These are the kind of people whose brain you don’t get to pick as an average college student.
But, Cheddar bridges the gap to give you a seat at the table.
The updates aren’t all about stocks and finances, either. Your daily scoop will include this as well as media, technology, and entertainment news.
It’s one thing to access the best financial planning apps and learn the ropes yourself.
It’s another to have your friends and industry leaders help you along the way.
SprinkleBit turns investing into a team effort. It is basically where stocks meet social media.
This platform lets you follow investments on a leaderboard and activity feed. These include everything from what stock your sister just bought to what a CEO invested in – as long as they’re on the app, of course.
If you have questions or comments, just open up the chat feature to discuss an investment that perked your interest.
You even get access to a Value Prediction Index and investor ratings.
These are useful for finding the best new startups to invest in as well as taking advantage of some companies’ price drops. Users might even get to use SprinkleBit for cryptocurrencies in the near future.
The best part, though, is the app runs on no commission.
It’s not about making money off each other, but rather about helping everyone improve their investment knowledge and skills. No wonder this app has gotten the attention of money-making millennials all over the world.
Of all the best financial planning apps, Freshbooks is a must for anyone who’s running a side hustle.
In fact, this is something many millennials are doing. Between internships and full-time jobs, there’s an entrepreneurial spirit in this generation.
But, every successful startup needs some funding. Freshbooks helps you separate personal budgets from company finances.
It gives you an overview of your business’s projected income, expenses, and other operations. It’s basically like hiring an accountant, but without having to put someone on payroll or find a low-cost person to outsource.
Everything is cloud-based and simple to understand.
This is the tool you’ve been waiting for if you’re a freelancer or a new business owner.
Tell Us Your Best Financial Planning Apps
The secret to budgeting and financial planning is that there really is not one single way to get it right.
Some people may swear up and down by the 50/20/30 rule, while others need every detail laid out for them. But, you have to start somewhere, and the best financial planning apps can help you figure it all out.
What might begin as a little extra emergency funding can turn into much more. You just have to figure out how to make your money work for you.
Do you think there’s one we missed, though?
Share your top picks for the best financial planning apps below!