As a teen or young adult today, you’re tech-savvy when it comes to living and learning. If you want to achieve success, you need to be money-savvy too. ‘Fintech’ (financial technology) apps can strengthen your money management skills and simplify your finances, allowing you to stay focused on personal, career, and life goals. SageVest Kids took a look at some of the best financial apps for teens and young adults.
Best Personal Finance Apps: Mint and Mvelopes
Mint’s a well-known personal finance app, with online and mobile versions. Connect your accounts and loans, create budgets, categorize transactions, and set spending limits. Alerts, graphs, and charts report your progress.
Mvelopes mimics the traditional ‘envelope’ approach to saving. Set up as many virtual envelopes as you want towards short- and long-term savings goals. The basic plan syncs with unlimited bank accounts and credit cards via web, iOS, and Android apps.
Best Budgeting App: You Need A Budget (YNAB)
YNAB is available online and on mobile devices, including Apple watches and Alexa. The app identifies how much money you have, what you need to spend it on, and when. It can track regular payments like monthly rent, plus larger or less frequent budget items like car insurance premiums.
Best Savings App: Acorns
Acorns is a micro-investing app for smartphones that invests your spare change by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the difference. It’s a great way to start saving for retirement. However, as your career and financial needs evolve, you should seek professional financial planning advice about your growing wealth management goals.
Best Credit Score App: Credit Karma
Credit Karma lets you check your credit score as often as you like for free. (Otherwise, you only get one free credit check per year per credit bureau). It offers insights on improving your score, and alerts you when your score updates. Credit scores are key factors for lenders: The higher your credit score, the better your loan terms.
Best Payment Apps: PayPal and Venmo
PayPal is a well-known payment app. Use it for online shopping, and for sending and receiving money e.g., reimbursing your roommate for last night’s cab fare, or receiving funds from your parents while on campus.
Venmo is a digital wallet app that also lets you make and share payments. It’s actually owned by PayPal, and has similar functionality, while being more socially oriented e.g., splitting bills, repaying friends, etc.
Best Spending Tracker Apps – Wally and Slice
Wally (for Apple) and Wally+ (for Android) simplifies financial record-keeping by letting you snap pics of your receipts. It then tallies your spending on a daily basis, helping you to see where your money’s going.
Slice tracks all your purchases, storing receipts (no more searching for the receipt for a refund!), and even providing delivery alerts – especially useful if you’re on campus and need to keep an eye out for the delivery truck!
Best Debt Payoff App: Unbury.Me
Unbury.Me is a free online app that’s basic, yet useful. Simply enter debt data such as your student loan balances. The program creates a colorful graph, showing interest paid, outstanding balance, payoff timelines, and more. Adjust the settings to consider different scenarios e.g., paying off debts with the highest interest rate first (the ‘avalanche’ method), or those with the lowest principal (the ‘snowball’ method).
Best Bargain Text Book App: Bigwords
Bigwords for iOS and Android (also online) comparison shops text books – new, used, and rentals. The app can search by author, title, publisher, or ISBN, across multiple online retailers. It even factors in promotional offers and coupons when calculating the lowest price.
Best Tips App: Tip Calculator %
Best Additional Income App: Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) lets you earn cashback for your purchases when you shop through their links. Each quarter, they send you a rebate check or PayPal payment.
Fintech apps and automated investment tools (aka ‘robo-advisors’) are great for teens and young adults just starting out, who have basic financial planning needs. However, as your wealth grows, you need a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to wealth management. Please contact SageVest Wealth Management to discuss how we can help you and your family achieve financial success.
Note: This list doesn’t represent SageVest’s endorsement of any of the products discussed, which you use at your own risk. Not all the apps mentioned are free.