Technology, these small devices we carry in our pockets all day have made life easier in many ways. It’s nearly impossible to get lost in this day and age, you can book tickets or summon a taxi almost instantaneously, and all the information known to mankind is at our fingertips.
While online and mobile banking isn’t a new concept, as with anything, the tech world and Silicon Valley is constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to simplify and improve our lives through the use of technology.
“You have to, to serve these markets, re-imagine how money can be managed and moved because there’s going to be more change in the next five years in financial services than happened in the past 30,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.
The present and future of banking and personal finance is in a state of flux. The good news is that at the center of the innovation is the consumer, and every new development is created with the intention of improving the lives of its users. These three apps seek to improve our lives by simplifying and changing our relationship with our money.
“When you’re on top of your money, life is good. We help you effortlessly manage your finances in one place,” reads the company’s website, and they certainly deliver.
Mint was acquired by Intuit in 2009 and serves as the company’s powerhouse personal finance arm. With the Mint app, users can link all of their bank accounts, credit card accounts, and monthly bills. The app puts virtually all of a users personal finance information in one easy to use platform, providing simplicity and peace of mind.
Using the Mint app allows a user to know when bills are due, and where the money is that you’ll be using to pay them, even sending push notifications to avoid late payments.
Another great feature of the Mint app is that it gives you a free and up-to-date credit score.
Acorns, which was founded in 2012, may seem like a virtual piggybank, but it is much more. Similar to “Keep the Change” programs implemented by Bank of America and other large banks, Acorns rounds transactions to the next dollar, and transfers the difference into another account. The kicker is that rather than simply having the spare change sit in an account or collect interest as savings, Acorns invests it into a portfolio of ETFs of your choosing, based on your risk preferences.
The app is free for current college students, and costs $1 per month for non-students.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget is for consumers who are sick of being straddled with debt.
“Stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money,” reads the company website.
The app functions on the simple financial principle that every dollar an individual has has a job to do. While the app isn’t free, and cost $6.99 per month billed annually at $82.99, the average user reportedly pays off $500 in debt in the first month, so it should pay for itself in interest.