Best Financial Apps and Tools for 2018

From sending money, to tracking expenses, to trading stocks and options; these are some of the best financial tools available today.

In no particular order, we now present…

Personal Capital

https://share.personalcapital.com/x/50KL83

This is probably #1 (ignoring the order above comment) since it is able to track almost every aspect of your finances. This app will automatically track your expenses, income, investments, net worth, and more. There is a full article here:

https://shane.pw/2018/05/14/track-spending-income-assets-investments-with-personal-capital/

Robinhood

Free Stock:  https://share.robinhood.com/shaner195

Robinhood, while not the best broker available, is my top recommendation and primary app for trading stocks and options. Enter the new world of zero trade fees on all stock and options trades. You even get 1 free stock just for signing up here. I have been using Robinhood all year and not looking back. There is a full article here:

https://shane.pw/2018/02/14/free-stock-trading-with-robinhood/

Cash App

Free $5: https://cash.me/app/BBWCDRD

Square is an amazing financial services company and their Cash App is just as amazing. This app allows you to send and receive money at no charge to friends, family or co-workers. Great for paying back lunch, splitting bills, or sending someone money. Square offers many other financial services as well. I have used it side by side with Venmo and in many instances Venmo has been up to 1 day slower to deposit funds in my bank, and up to 5 days slower to charge my card for funds sent; I also do not like supporting PayPal. Get $5 free after you send $5 if you sign up here.

Update: An alternative to Square that is instant, free and built-in to your banking app is Zelle. Use it to send money to your friends and family:

https://shane.pw/2018/05/19/zelle-a-faster-built-in-alternative-to-square-and-venmo/

Credit Karma

https://www.creditkarma.com/

Probably the best credit monitoring/tracking app available. You get weekly updates from TransUnion and Equifax. The app also presents your accounts and the details in a very easy to view layout. The score is VantageScore 3 but the goal here is to monitor what is on your credit, and not the number. For more information on monitoring your credit and credit scores see:

https://shane.pw/2018/04/27/credit-score-information-monitoring-and-its-importance/

Simple

https://www.simple.com/

Simply put (pun intended), Simple is a bank inside an app. If you don’t want a brick and mortar bank and want to do it all from your phone then Simple is for you. Turn most ATM’s into your local branch for withdrawing cash. Transfer money to and from accounts, including external accounts at no charge. If you already have a bank and it is working for you, then no reason to switch. I used Simple until they were purchased by BBVA Compass at which time I let the account go. I really have nothing bad to say about them and may start using them again in the future.

Dollar Bird

https://dollarbird.co/

Many of you won’t find a need for this app. I like it for its simplicity. The primary use for this app is to monitor the balance in my primary checking account. Not many transactions go through my bank since I run everything possible on a credit card for cash back. I am able to setup recurring payments like rent, loans and auto-pay credit cards, plus recurring income like salary. Everything else is super easy to manually enter like credit card payments, transfers, etc. You can also change the date or amount on a recurring payment with or without effecting the series. The only downfall is it shows your current balance in the primary display area and does not calculate future debits before credits (total before next pay day). You can however see the available balance for any day. To help visualize my balances I set my auto-debits for the pay period to deduct on the same day I get paid so the totals are more accurate.

Your Banking or Credit App

Regardless of your bank or credit card you should have your banks app downloaded on your phone. Most major banks offer useful features that usually include:

  • Mobile check deposits.
  • Deposit and spending notifications.
  • View, transfer, pay, and manage your funds.

You can usually download an app for each of your banks and credit cards. For me the most valuable feature is the notifications. I am instantly alerted any time a transaction is made that meets predefined criteria.

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