If the words “budget” and “retirement planning” give you heart palpitations, there’s good news. The kind of tracking and planning that used to rely heavily on spreadsheets or equally complicated tools can now be achieved on your smartphone or tablet. Yes, you read that correctly. If you need help with your money anxiety, there’s an app for that.
Whether you’re looking for a solution to help with budgeting, or to automate your savings or investing, or even to plan for retirement, apps available on both Androids and iPhones have you covered! In fact, there are so many personal finance tools out there that we’ve picked some of our favorites to get you started.
Best for budgeting
The You Need a Budget (YNAB) app has a near cult following, and for good reason. Born out of a popular blog, this app tracks your spending against your customized budgets, and identifies wasted spending. Much of the process is automated, with YNAB syncing with your bank and credit card accounts, but categorizing is manual. This encourages the user to remain engaged with their budgets on a daily basis, as actively managing your budget is a key tenet of the YNAB philosophy.
Best for saving
Like budgeting, saving isn’t really something that most people look forward to doing. And so, when it comes to saving, apps that make it more of a game have an edge. Enter Mylo, a Montreal-based company offering a saving app that rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change. This is a great solution for those of us who lack the self-discipline to save, or even physically move money from chequing to savings. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with saving your spare change, you can graduate to the Mylo Advantage program which lets you put your savings on autopilot and directs monthly contributions towards RRSPs, TFSAs or other investment vehicles.
If you’ve heard of the Personal Capital app that is popular with our neighbors to the south, Wealthica is Canada’s near equivalent, which currently tracks over $3.2 billion for its Canadian users. Like the other financial apps already mentioned, the Wealthica app syncs with your accounts to provide real-time data. This is a huge time saver for those with multiple investment accounts, as the app pulls all of your investment data into easy to read dashboards. Wealthica excels in the area of investment management, providing charts and other intelligence to help guide your investment choices. Its net worth tracking feature is also fantastic and provides for extra motivation as you challenge yourself to save and invest more and more.
If you’re looking for a single solution to meet all of your financial planning needs, Mint is likely your best bet. The app (also available on desktop) encompasses budgeting, trending, investment performance reporting, and net worth tracking in a single tool. It syncs very easily with your accounts, allowing for real-time snapshots of your financial performance. When larger transactions post, Mint will alert you with an email so you’re always in the know with what’s happening with your accounts.
So, if money anxiety is keeping you up at night, download one or more of these tools and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having your financial life under control.