Apps that make managing your money easier

5 Best Money Management Apps

by Ted Hunt

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With the latest apps, you can do everything related to managing your money right from your smartphone without having to get back to your desktop computer at home or the office. In fact, today's apps give you even more power and flexibility than the computer banking of yesterday and all in the palm of your hand.

1. Banking Apps

Does your banking have to be done 24-7 and on the go? Most banks offer their own app to manage your bank account, and these apps are almost always free. All of the major banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, offer these apps to their customers with accounts. Many of the smaller banking chains provide banking apps, too.

Most of these apps give you the same options as your online banking software designed for desktop computers, including transferring money among accounts. If your bank offers instant update, you can check your balance immediately after using your debit or ATM card and the transaction is already reflected. Availability for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices varies from bank to bank.

Three of the many banks offering mobile banking apps:

  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
  • Chase Bank

2. Money Transfer Apps

Need to get money to someone quickly without going to the bank or paying Western Union's fees? PayPal provides a smartphone app that is highly flexible and incredibly secure. This app allows you to do everything you can do on the desktop version of PayPal right from your phone. This is ideal for both business and personal transactions, including sending money to kids in college, paying for office supplies, and honoring contractor invoices.

Here are four of the best money transfer apps:

  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Bump Pay
  • Square Register

PayPal is available for iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry and others. This app is free to download and use, but normal PayPal transaction fees still apply. Other popular money transfer apps include Venmo, Bump Pay and Square Register. Venmo is free. Bump Pay requires you to be physically with the other person to transfer money and Square Register is just a really cool app ideal for street vendors taking payments away from a brick and mortar establishment.

3. Check Deposit Apps

No time to get to the bank? No problem with check deposit apps. These apps allow you to take a photo of the front and back of any signed check with your camera phone and send it directly to the bank. The app even checks to make sure the photos are high enough quality to be accepted at the bank. Currently, Chase, PNC Bank, Charles Schwab, and USAA Bank offer checking deposit apps for the iPhone. Check your bank for their app availability and Android compatible apps.

These banks are currently offering check deposit apps:

  • Chase
  • PNC Bank
  • Charles Schwab
  • USAA Bank

4. Stock Apps

Want to keep track of stocks, commodities, and currencies without being chained to a desk or TV? Keep track of Wall Street and get alerts when stock values hit the mark you choose with a free app for Android phones, such as Stock Alert by PocketTools. Find the best deals with the app Finance or link directly to your portfolio with Wikinvest Portfolio. This app features over 60 top brokerage firms.

Five of the top stock market apps are:

  • Stock Alert
  • Wikinvest Portfolio
  • Stock Quotes
  • Google Finance

Stock Quote app lets you get real-time prices on stocks, markets, currencies and commodities, even after hours and pre-market quotes. Google's Finance app gives you real-time quotes along with news and information. Some of these apps are also offered for iPhone.

5. Credit Card Apps

Tired of not knowing what your credit card balance is before making a purchase? For an all-in-one app for keeping track of credit card balances, bank balances, loans and investments, Mint has established a solid reputation for itself. Mint allows you to organize your spending into categories so you can see how much you're spending on food, fuel, personal or business expenses. This app is available for new and prepaid cell phones, including the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. HelloWallet and Square Wallet are similar apps that do much of the same thing.

Three apps for managing credit card apps are:

  • Mint
  • HelloWallet
  • Square Wallet

With these apps, you have all the >money management tools you need, anywhere you go and every time you need them.

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