Improve your personal finances with these top budgeting apps
If being able to better manage your personal finances on top of your 2020 resolution list, you might want to start with one of these easy-to-use apps that make it simple to see how much you’re spending.
Whether you’re planning for retirement, managing debt payments or saving to buy a home, staying on top of your finances can make your head spin. Luckily, these apps, available for iOS and Android, can help you get a handle on things. However, disclosing your PIN or other account information may violate the agreement with your financial institution, so make sure you check with them first before using any third-party services.
Buying a home? The Canadian Mortgage App makes it easy! Used over 5+ million times. Raved about by Financial Post, CBC News, Toronto Star, and others. Best of all? It’s free! With some of its features, you can:
Get pre-qualified without a credit check: Estimate the maximum house price that you can afford to purchase. It’s super easy, discreet, and happens all on your phone.
Budget better with a super calculator: The Purchase Calculator gives you an accurate estimate of your total monthly cost for your new purchase. It also takes into account mortgage payments and insurance (CMHC).
Stress Test your purchase with the latest rules: The Stress Test calculates the maximum loan you can qualify for using advanced industry rules to give you an accurate idea of how much you can borrow.
Avoid surprises with a closing cost estimator: The Closing Cost includes a list of items such as legal fees, land transfer taxes, and moving costs, which is often overlooked when planning for your new purchase.
Mylo was created with the social mission of helping Canadians achieve their financial goals. It essentially leverages the snowball effect of small savings by rounding up every purchase made to the nearest dollar. If C$68.25 is spent on gas, the app will take an extra $0.75 and deposit it into the user’s Mylo account made up of ETFs managed by Tactex Asset Management.
It starts with roundups, but micro-saving is just the beginning. Mylo uses machine learning in conjunction with financial and transactional data to make personalized recommendations that help users make smart decisions with their money. A $1 monthly fee applies.
Advantages of using Mylo:
- Automatic roundups make investing effortless.
- Invest with a TFSA or RRSP to benefit from valuable tax savings.
- Choose the Mylo SRI Fund to make a positive impact with your investments.
- Withdraw money whenever you want for free and access the funds within a single business day.
Pocketguard links your credit cards, checking and savings accounts, investments and loans, so that you’ll be able see all your finances in one place. The app updates and categorizes your transactions as they happen, to help you understand where your money goes and discover opportunities to save.
Pocketguard uses encrypted token system, to download and categorize your data from your bank. This means your login credentials are never stored on their servers, and the app never has access to make any changes to your accounts.
Most of the tracking functions are free but subscribers can pay (US$3.99 per month, or US$34.99 for the year) for additional customized functions.
Goodbudget is a perfect option for couples that want to share their budgeting process together.
The app budgeting software is based on the envelope method. You make envelopes for all your budgeting categories – rent, groceries, eating out, date night, etc. After that, you set aside money up front in each envelope to spend based on categories and not your account balance. It’s a way to plan your spending instead of just tracking your spending.
Because you can share and sync budgets with budgeting partners across the iPhone and Android spectrum, it’s great for a household with shared finances. When you deduct money from an envelope, the person you’re sharing with knows what was spent, where, and when, every single time.
Budget by category (called envelopes in the app), with up to 10 for free. Or pay a $6 monthly fee for added options and unlimited envelopes.
Managing debt is the second biggest financial concern for Canadians, according to the 2018 CPA Canada Finance Study. By using the Debt Payoff Planner app, which is available on both Androidand iOS, you can create a step-by-step plan for paying off your debt.
The Debt Payoff Planner and calculator will determine the optimum payment plan and how long it will take until you will be debt free. View a summary of your complete debt picture including the total amount you owe, your total monthly payments, interest, the date you’ll be debt-free, the total payments you’ll make, and the total amount of interest you’ll pay.
Choose from two different payoff strategies – the debt snowball (pay the smallest amounts first), or the debt avalanche (highest balance first).
Mint brings together all of your accounts, bills and more, so you can conveniently manage your finances from one dashboard. With this app, you’ll be able to:
- See all of your bills and money at a glance
- Create budgets easily with tips tailored to you
- Enjoy access to unlimited free credit scores, without harming your credit
Mint is also great at helping you track your bills. Simply add them to your dashboard to see and monitor them all at once. With multiple safety measures like secure encryption and multi-factor authentication, you can rest assured your information is being protected.