We’ve all got a ton of bills to juggle and pay every month. From rent or mortgage to utilities, to credit cards — keeping track of it all can seem like a full-time job.
Luckily, we’re living in the digital age, and technology has risen to the challenge of helping us deal with our monthly money obligations. There is a plethora of money management apps out there. Some of them can help you manage and even pay your bills.
So if you struggle with budgeting to get your bills paid or are missing your monthly payments just because there’s so much to keep track of, don’t worry: There’s an app for that.
Here are some of our favorites.
Free personal finance app Mint can make budgeting, expense tracking and online bill paying easy. It can even track your credit score. However, when it comes to investing, there are many more sophisticated products, and users have complained about problems with the bank synchronization functions.
- Weekly Summaries via Email
- Alerts via Email or SMS
- Budgeting and Goal Setting
- Automatic Downloaded Transactions
- Credit Score Tracking
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Bill Notification and Payment
- Lack of Investing Features
- Synchronization Issues
- Lack of Report Generation
- No Reconciliation
- No Import Option From Quicken
Mint is truly an OG in the app money management world. It’s been around since 2006, and it is still one of the biggest names in the game.
How it works:
Mint is a top-to-bottom money app. First, you’ll register an account on Mint.com and then you’ll link up your financial accounts. Checking, savings, investments, mortgages, Venmo, credit cards — they can all go into Mint.
Once all of your information is in the app, it organizes it for you. It will list all of your accounts with their balances. It will create a pie chart with all of the categories of spending you’ve done in the past month. It also tracks your past monthly spending on a bar graph so that you can see in which months you spent more or less. Mint automatically categorizes each purchase you make, though you should always double-check the categories to make sure they’re accurate. You can manually input cash spending.
Mint built its empire by helping people get organized and stay on top of their money. That includes paying your bills directly from Mint. Mint will send you a reminder when a bill is coming up and gives you the opportunity to pay through the app. You’ll click the orange “Pay” button and link up a payment channel for the bill, and Mint will pay it. It also remembers your payment details, so that next time all you have to do is press the “Confirm” button.
Prism collects all of your money data in the app, including your bills and the method you use to pay them.
How it works:
You connect the app with all the bills you owe — aka your “billers.” This is everything from your credit card companies to Netflix. Then you link up your payment systems — like your checking account or a credit card (or both!).
Once you’re connected, Prism syncs your account balances and bills and shows them to you in the app. When your biller has a new bill for you to pay, Prism sends a notification to your phone asking you to schedule a payment. Open the app, and you can pay right away or schedule a payment for later (maybe once a paycheck hits your account). You can also customize the amount you pay — you can pay off the entire bill or pay a different amount.
It’s a four-step payment process in the app: Select the bill you want to pay, the amount, the date and the payment method. Then Prism makes the payment for you. Prism remembers your payment method so that the next time the same bill is due, you just have to confirm the payment.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is one of the more popular budgeting apps on the market, and for good reason. It costs very little and has great synchronization features. Although YNAB doesn't track your investments, it excels at creating and managing your budget.
- YNAB Is All About Budgeting
- Goes Beyond the Mechanics of Budgeting
- Low Cost
- YNAB Continues to Evolve
- No Phone or Email Contact
- Not a One-Stop Shop for All Things Financial
- Lacks Two-Factor Authentication
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is another top money management app. It’s dedicated to its four-rule system:
- Every dollar needs a job — With each dollar doing something specific, you can stay organized, on top of things and reach your goals.
- Embrace your true expenses — Understand how much you really spend on things and when those bills come due.
- Roll with the punches — Mistakes happen. Don’t give up because of them.
- Age your money — Pay your December bills with money you earned in November.
How it works:
Much like Mint, you hook up all of your different accounts to YNAB. The app color-codes your purchases and goals so that you can see when you are on track or are overspending or a goal is underfunded. It helps you define your financial goals and categories and assign each dollar a job. It offers recommendations to help you reach the goals you set.
It helps you break down large purchases and goals into bite-sized amounts of money. For example, your biannual car payment of $600 becomes $100 a month set aside.
YNAB helps you manage your money and your bills by helping you look at them without all the negative self-talk. It gets you to look at your bills, plan for them and actually have the money for them when those due dates come up. The app is easy to use, and the four-rule system is all about building a healthy relationship to money.
Penny bills itself as a financial assistant.
How it works:
Penny tracks your money, categorizes your spending and provides insight into your spending habits. You can chat with “Penny” herself, a little automated bot in the app. It can do things like tell you how much you’ve spent this month compared to last and which days you spent the most on. She can even tell you the average of what you spent at certain stores.
The app observes your spending habits, and after enough data has entered the app, it gives you end of month projections to help you plan for next month. It also gives you a breakdown of the categories you spend in monthly (aka a budget).
Penny helps with bill pay by tracking your bills and spending and alerting you to bank transactions within a 24–48 hour window. Penny is more specific than some other money management apps when it comes to categorizing spending, so you can really hone in on your spending.
Penny is all about sorting and predicting your money. It takes your current and past spending habits and uses that information to help you form a new plan for each month. This is good because you won’t miss a bill, and you’ll be intimately acquainted with your spending habits.
If you need help making each bill payment every month, one of these apps is the one for you. They’ll help you get your financial act together and manage your money like a pro.
What apps do you use? How do you like them?