Page: 4 of 6

Mobile apps enable on-the-go personal finance management

Most major personal finance websites offer apps for iPhones and Android phones, as well as some other devices, including BlackBerrys. Most of these apps, however, only let you read your financial data and not update it from your mobile device.

Mint.com's mobile apps (Free) receive positive reviews for their clear design and ease of use, although you can't update your financial data from your mobile devices. In several reviews at PCMag.com, reviewers praise the mobile app from Mint.com for various platforms. Sara Yin gives the iPhone app 4.5 out of 5 stars, calling it "the fastest, easiest way of checking account balances on the fly," while fellow reviewer "Brotha Tech" praises the iPad app's graphics and navigation.

MoneyStrands.com's app (Free) wins a gold medal from TopTenReviews.com in its 2012 roundup of finance iPhone apps, ahead of Mint.com's mobile app. They especially like the functionality of the information presented in pie graphs and the ability to view the details by pie segment. However, MoneyStrands' app doesn't do a good job of letting users create a long-term budget and helping them stick to it -- something About.com's reviewer also notes.

Yodlee.com also offers a mobile app (*Est. $3.99) that works on Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices. It lets you view your financial data in real time, but user feedback at the Google Play store and at iTunes isn't overly positive. Artem Russakovskii, writing at AndroidPolice.com gives the app a thumbs-down as well: "In the end, the Yodlee MoneyCenter is a glorified spreadsheet of your account info, with an awfully unpolished UI and a login process so cumbersome that I don't see myself ever opening up the app again," he says.

Mvelopes.com offers free mobile apps for iPhones and Android devices. Unlike most other mobile apps, it allows you to update all your data, create manual transactions and transfer funds between accounts from your smartphone. Jason Price of OneMoneyDesign.com gives it a general thumbs-up, saying that it includes "the features most important for active money management which are managing your envelope balances, conducting transfers between envelopes and adding new transactions." User reviews at iTunes are relatively limited, though the latest version seems to be meeting with more satisfaction.

An alternative to these apps is the Adaptu Wallet (Free). Available for iPhones and Android phones, as well as the Amazon Kindle Fire, Adaptu Wallet functions as a virtual wallet. You can take photos of any card in your wallet (Social Security card, credit card, etc.), and upload them to your Adaptu account to keep a record of them. Sara Yin of PCMag.com recommends Adaptu Wallet for "entry to mid-level budgeting enthusiasts," but says that it's not as user-friendly as Mint.com.

Like Mint.com's mobile app, Adaptu Wallet lets you monitor your accounts and spending in real time. Unlike the read-only Mint.com app, Adaptu Wallet allows you to update your spending limits and expected income with a swipe of your finger on your phone's screen. It also accesses the same kinds of accounts as Mint.com: checking, savings, credit cards, investments, loans and mortgages. In addition, Adaptu Wallet will also keep track of any loyalty and rewards cards you have. However, Adaptu Wallet doesn't offer goal tracking.

Back to top