Keeping tabs on your money
A look at two personal finance apps that can help you manage, track spending
There are several apps available to those in need of a little help with personal finance. Here’s a look at two of them:
A hands-on approach
to saving, spending
If you need a hands-on way to look at where your money’s going each month, consider CoinKeeper. Starting out, you can let the mobile devices application know what your monthly income is and have it generate a budget for you – or you can set up your own. To keep track of your spending, just drag and drop a coin from one folder to another – from your checking account, say, into the “groceries” section – and CoinKeeper will record the transaction.
As you use the app more often, you can see your spending trends and break down your expenses by category. For some people, doing all this manually is probably better for tracking than having an app that sorts payments out on its own.
Another nice feature of CoinKeeper is that users can add individual savings goals to help them keep an eye on their progress toward one-time expenses like a new smartphone. Free for Android devices, 99 cents for iPhone.
App keeps track
of your finances
Looking for a way to track expenses and get some guidance about where to put what you don’t spend?
Many people have turned to LearnVest, a 4-year-old start-up, for advice about how to manage their money. The service’s app helps users stick to a budget by easily tracking what they’re spending and making while giving information on managing money.
Even the more promotional material in the app is fairly helpful – there’s easy access to LearnVest articles and a section of the app that lets you schedule a consultation with a financial adviser. (That’s not required to use the app, however.)
To really get the most out of the app, you can hook it to your bank accounts to track what you buy automatically, and match that against a monthly budget you set. LearnVest asks you to pick a pin number in addition to your login and username to access this information, but those who are wary about putting too much financial information on their phones should keep that in mind. Free, for iPhone.