The days of paying with cash and coins are long gone, especially with the present worldwide pandemic. Figure in hectic schedules, limited banking hours, and the everyday complications of adulting, and there is even less chance that you will make it to a physical bank anytime soon. With so many obstacles to in-person banking, we are always looking for alternate ways to get our finances in order – and the app world has delivered.

Which banking and personal financing apps are the best? What are the pros, and are there any cons to banking apps? Here’s what’s what when it comes to the new world of personal finances.

1.BANKING APPS

If you haven’t already downloaded a banking app, it’s certainly time! Not only will you be pleasantly surprised with the ease of transactions and straightforward processes, but you will also be relieved to know that, yes, it is secure.

What is a banking app? | A banking app is like having your very own teller in your pocket…well, on your phone. Installation is simple, instant access to your daily banking needs, as well as a few extra features that you will quickly rely on like never before. Download your financial institution’s mobile app either directly from their site or in your mobile app store. With a banking app, you can instantly:

  • Check your balances.
  • Pay bills.
  • Transfer money between accounts, credit cards and lines of credit (of that same bank).
  • Send e-transfers. (You’ll never go back to cash!)
  • Open new accounts.
  • Communicate with customer service.

Are banking apps secure? | Understandably, you may worry about the security behind an app that holds the key to your personal finances. You can rest easy knowing that official mobile banking apps are the safest of all personal financial apps, especially as they don’t store any data on your physical device. “Well-designed mobile apps don’t store any data, and you’re less likely to hear about a virus on a smartphone. There are some exceptions to this, but in general, bigger banks will have better mobile apps and stronger security on them.” – Forbes. If you want to be extra, super secure, you can:

  • Use two-factor authorization when available.
  • Never access your online finances using public WI-FI.
  • If ever there was a time to use one of those obnoxiously long passwords made up of random characters, it would be for online access to your finances.
  • Set up alerts for any abnormal behaviour on your account.

2.PERSONAL FINANCE AND BUDGET APPS

Budgets are a must for every household. Everyone has their go-to method of budgeting. The fabulous thing about a budget app is that it replaces stock-piling receipts, the tedious process of going over statements and grouping your spending habits, all with one click of a button!

What is a budget app? | A budget app is like having your own personal secretary and financial advisor on your phone. You can safely link the app to your financial accounts, such as chequing and savings accounts and credit card accounts. “Some go beyond basic budgeting and provide other services, such as helping you reduce your bills, save money, or even give investment advice.” – Money Under 30. These financial apps, in general:

  • Track your spending habits.
  • Group your spending. (Ex. Groceries, Fuel, Clothing, etc.)
  • Offer notifications when you reach set limits.
  • Round your transactions up to the nearest dollar and invest the difference.

What is the best budget app? | The best budgeting app for you will largely depend on your personal needs and preferences. While they all offer the same essential services, they each have their strong points. Here are the top personal finance apps:

  • Mint. Mint is the best app to start with. It securely links to your financial accounts and is relatively straightforward and user-friendly.
  • YNAB (You Need A Budget). YNAB assigns, every single dollar you earn, a job. This is an excellent app for type A personalities that love going all out.
  • Good Budget is perfect for couples. This app offers combined budgeting, individual budgeting, all in line with an online version of the envelope method.

3.WEALTH MANAGEMENT APPS

Once you have a decent handle on banking and budgeting via an app, you can move on to managing your investments that way too. We’re not suggesting you go all in without any professional counselling, but based on your personal circumstances, you may be able to manage or even make investments on your phone.

What is a wealth management app? | A wealth management app helps you oversee your investments from the convenience of your own…anywhere you take your phone. Apps like these provide:

  • Graphs of your investments, broken down by assets and accounts.
  • The opportunity to round up your transactions and invest the difference.
  • Investment options with little or no fees.

What is the most reliable wealth management app? | Not all apps are created equal, but there are some fantastic options out there. For example, Forbes list these as the top five go-to apps for investing:

  • Best investment app for high-end investment management: Round.
  • Best investment app for minimizing fees: Robinhood.
  • Best investment app for student investors: Acorns.
  • Best investment app for data dissectors: E*Trade.
  • Best investment app for banking features: Stash.

Regardless of how you choose to use these financial apps, make sure you keep in mind that quick and easy isn’t always fool-proof. Decide to log everything you earn and spend for a month or two, then make a conscious effort to learn from your spending habits.

If you are looking for ways to improve your financial situation, 24Cash can help you with a small loan. We are a Canadian company dedicated to supporting hard-working residents to get through hard times and back on their feet.