Smartphones have done a great job of sorting out life’s wrinkles, and smartphones are pretty good at helping us with money too. There is a money app for just about everything. Read on to see what you can do with money apps as we cover some of the best money apps you can get for your phone.
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Apps can make it much easier to manage day to day transactions. Need to check your balance? Deposit a check? Monitor how much you’ve spent?
Your banking app will make it far easier. Yet it is hard to choose a banking app, there is an endless list of apps on both app stores. Your bank’s app could be pretty good, or one of the following top banking apps could be worth switching to if you do a lot of mobile banking:
- Ally bank. An online-only bank, Ally’s mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. Though Ally doesn’t have any branches you can use the Ally Mobile app for much of the banking tasks you do in a branch, including check deposits, bill payments and viewing your balance and transaction history.
- Chase. Prefer a bank with lots of branches? You’ll like the wide Chase branch network and the top-notch in-app features – for when you don’t want to go to a branch. Chase gives you all the standard banking services in both iOS and Android. You can also manage your Chase credit cards using the Chase Mobile app.
- Capital One. If you want to deal with a big bank but don’t need to go to a branch often consider Capital One. The bank provides popular checking and savings accounts and, of course, a solid mobile app. Just like Chase, you can do all your usual banking on the Capital One Android and iOS apps, and manage your Capital One credit cards.
One issue with many banking apps is this: quickly transferring small amounts of money to friends and family can be more difficult than it needs to be. Swapping bank details and authorizing a new recipient with your bank is just a fuss many of us can do without.
Thankfully there are money transfer apps that make sending money fast and effortless. Money transfer apps can whisk money across to a friend or family member in seconds, with no hassle whatsoever. Here are some you can try out:
- Square Cash. From mobile payments company Square comes Cash, an easy way to send small amounts. Larger amounts require account verification with Square Cash. Just download the Square Cash app for Android or iOS and you can send small payments free of charge, as long as it is for personal use only.
- PayPal Cash. Everyone knows PayPal and the company’s iOS and Android apps are great options to send money between friends. Yes, signing up with PayPal can take a minute but you get free transactions if you use your PayPal balance or bank account as a funding PayPal is a popular choice because it’s been around so long, with a trustworthy reputation.
- Zelle. If you prefer sticking more closely to your bank you can try out the Android or iOS versions of Zelle. The app works with a growing list of participating banks. You can quickly send money as long as both you and the recipient use one of the participating banks for everyday banking.
All three apps are quick and easy ways to send money from person to person. However always check whether the person you are sending money to can receive money with the app – they may need to sign up first.
We’ve discussed apps that can help you manage your money, but what if you have no money in the first place? Some money apps can help you borrow money at a reasonable cost. Check out these apps if you need to borrow money:
- MoneyLion. With MoneyLion you can borrow up to $500 at a low APR of 4.99%, but only if you commit to a monthly subscription service which includes a savings component. Use the app frequently and there’s no effective monthly charge. Use MoneyLion as your checking account and you could get access to $250 in loans at 0% APR. The MoneyLion app is available for both Android and iOS.
- RainyDay. For larger loans consider RainyDay which offers loans of as much as $2,500 or as little as $100. RainyDay will consider you for a loan even if your credit history is not perfect. The company is not a lender, instead, RainyDay connects you to lenders that can offer you a loan based on your personal credit profile. RainyDay doesn’t offer a phone app, but you can apply through the RainyDay website.
- Dave. Sometimes all you need is a small loan to tide you over a rough patch in the month. Dave can give you as much as $75 in paycheck advances and you won’t pay any interest. You need to pay $1 a month to get access to Dave but it’s a small amount compared to typical overdraft fees. Check out Dave in the App Store and on Google Play.
- Earnin. Another app you can try if you’re in a crunch is Earnin. New members can borrow up to $100 while you can borrow larger sums if you have been a member of Earnin for some time. You need to link your checking account to Earnin and Earnin is only compatible with certain types of salary payments. Nonetheless, check out the Earnin iOS or Android app if you frequently find yourself overdrawn.
You should never borrow money on a regular basis, it can easily lead you down a debt spiral. If you frequently find that you’re short at the end of the month you may want to think about ways to earn some extra cash.
Want to earn extra cash? It’s easy to earn extra cash using just your phone. Try one of these apps if you’re in need of some extra money:
- Swagbucks. Use Swagbucks to earn points that you can exchange for PayPal cash or gift cards of your choice. How do you earn points? It’s simple: watch videos, answer surveys or complete any of the other activities on Swagbucks and you can build up your points balance to return a healthy cash amount. Check out the iOS app, or visit Google Play if you have an Android device.
- InboxDollars. Similar to Swagbucks, InboxDollars gives you cash in exchange for doing online activities such as paid surveys. The company says it has paid out over $50m in cash so far. You need to complete plenty of surveys using the iOS and Android app to get real cash, but if you’re not busy, why not give InboxDollars a go?
- AppTrailers. Do you like finding out about and trying new apps? Earn cash watching app trailers with, you guessed right, the AppTrailers app. The trailers are just 30 seconds and will give you a full overview of the app. In return you collect points which you can redeem for cash or gift vouchers. Check out AppTrailers on Google Play and the App Store.
Clearly there are plenty of ways to earn money with an app. Another way to stop yourself from running out of money is to simply manage your money better.
Struggling to budget? Do you regularly overspend? Check out these apps for help with everyday money issues including budgeting. They are all free to use and are packed with advice and useful tools:
- Mint app. Intuit is an established financial software brand, and so is their sub-brand Mint. Mint offers comprehensive advice to help you manage your money and to track your finances. Analyze your balances and spending and monitor your credit score and budget using the Intuit Mint app for Android and iOS.
- The Secret to Money. Inspired by The Secret, Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book, The Secret to Money for Android and iOS can help you see your personal finances in a brand-new way. Get daily inspirations to help you develop a wealth mindset. The app presents a staged personal development program through the use of games and daily activities.
- YNAB. Need to figure out how you spend your money and fast? You Need A Budget (YNAB) connects directly to your bank account and analyzes your spending. YNAB shows you how much money you are spending in each spend category so you can figure out where your money goes. Try it for iOS and Android.
Money apps can be terrific at helping you make the most of the money you earn so you can avoid falling into debt or paying unnecessary and expensive overdraft fees.
We’d like to tell you that you can download an app that will simply hand out money in exchange for nothing. There isn’t anything like that, unfortunately. Even the earn money apps we mentioned require you to do a little bit of work in exchange for the money you earn.
Instead, try the apps we listed to help you improve your knowledge of money and finances so that you get more out of the money you have. Avoid borrowing, but never borrow at a higher cost than you need to. It’s also worth trying to top up your income by using apps to take surveys and complete other tasks that earn rewards.