I’m often ask about my financial toolkit and the specific apps I use. The reality is I’ve tried so many and learned the best apps that work for my situation. I finally decided to share them with you.
I want you to know that many of these apps do have monthly service fees. I am okay with paying for a service that does the work I need it to do. The saying is true: you get what you pay for. But, these apps are robust and for a few dollars a month makes my life easier and helps me achieve goals.
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I want to be that person that says I love budgeting. I don’t. I use budgeting (cash flow calculation part) as part of my financial planning and goal setting process. However, I use net worth and spending trackers to keep me on target to achieve those goals.
Truebill – I love the simplicity of the spend tracking app. I connect all my accounts and it monitors and give alerts based on my spending. Additionally, they can negotiate or cancel subscriptions.
Personal Capital – the app connects with my accounts and can track my net worth. It has other features but I simply use it to get a bird’s eye view of my net worth.
I bank with a credit union, USAA and Capital One. The credit union offers great deals with savings rates. I only got started with Capital One because my online checking account was acquired by them. But, they’ve proven to be great banking service and I like the branch access.
My strategy when it comes to savings includes having multiple and purposeful savings accounts. I use my primary bank to hold my emergency funds as it offers a very competitive interest rate. But, I use the following accounts too.
Stash – I use Stash for automatic savings that includes auto-transfers, round-ups, and rules. I like how its integrated with investing.
Honorable mentions: In the past, I used Digit which is an artificial intelligent app that analyzes your spending and decides how much to save daily. When I was struggling to save this app helped me. But as I got more intentional with saving money, I no longer needed it. Additionally, I was an Acorns user until a few months ago. I like the simplicity of their app but I prefer to invest my money into other index funds. Acorns is a great app for anyone looking to start investing and want to start off by rounding purchases.
I have a 2 household checking accounts used for variable and fixed expenses. And have an additional checking account for side hustle income. I prefer multiple checking accounts for security reasons. I prefer not having too many apps or services accessing one checking account.
Chime Bank – I’ve been using Chime for 4 years as my side hustle checking account. When a side hustle app offers direct deposit or requires a link checking account I use Chime. I like the separation and peace of mind that I limit the number of companies or organizations that access my primary checking. You can’t go wrong with no fees either and a simple app.
If you’re interested, I outlined how to use the dual checking account method in my book, you can get a copy of You Only Live Once here.
I am all about long-term passive investing. Recently, however, I’ve gotten into some active investing. These are the apps I use that help me continue to build wealth.
Public – I really enjoy their community feature. You’re able to view the stocks I own and stocks on my watchlist. So if you want to see what I’m doing publicly, get started with this app (iOS only right now). Follow my Public portfolio. Promo: Get $10 worth of DIS, PTON, TSLA, SHOP, ZM, AAPL, AMZN, etc > Public
Stash – Been using Stash for years and they’ve evolved to encompass robust banking and investing app. I like the app much more than Acorns and costs about the same per month. Stash offers a checking/debit card and many more automated savings and investing features. I particularly like their “stock-back” rewards for using the debit card.
Webull – My primary trading account although I buy and hold and not “day trade.” It’s best for the active trader which I must add I am not. But I do like the features and out of the many stock trading apps available Webull is fast and has more features. No minimums and zero commissions. Promotion: get 2 free stocks with a $100 deposit > Webull
M1 Finance – This is where I house my index and ETFs. An easy to use app that lets me set it and forget it. I’ve set automatic transfers per week and it’s auto-invested. There are no minimums and no fees.
Credit Monitoring & Scores
Self – My credit got hit really hard one time and it seemed like the scores were never going to go back up. The issue was my lack of credit use. I didn’t own a home, finance a car, or have any loans or kept balances on credit cards. I discovered Self and it’s help me strengthen my score. After six months my score jumped 87 points. It’s a unique idea that merges a secured personal loan that requires no security deposit. You pay into the account and it’s reported to all three credit bureau. After the term ends, your money with interest is sent back to you.
Credit Karma – I’ve used Credit Karma forever and I like seeing where my scores are with 2 bureaus. Getting alerts is my favorite part of the app so I know what’s happening with my credit on a monthly basis.
Experian – I started using Experian’s free credit score app because none of the free credit monitoring apps that offer scores use Experian. This allows me to get an idea of where my scores are with all three bureaus.
Learn more about credit reports and scores here.
I don’t like spending more than I have to spend. So, I use cashback apps to reduce the cost of an item. I’ve used these apps to help me save money that I was able to add to savings goals or debt payoff.
Rakuten – it’s my primary shopping portal and cashback app. It’s very easy to use. Every purchase I make online starts with Rakuten. And with their Chrome extension I’m alerted if potentials cashback or coupons are available. Promotion: $25 Signup bonus > Rakuten
Ibotta – I use this app to get back rebates from my groceries. I’ve received closed to $500 back in rebates without much work.
For the Kids
I have 9 nieces and 3 nephews. You can imagine how expensive that can be. So, instead of buying toys I’ll buy little trinkets and save money for them in separate accounts. They’re getting older and now use Goalsetter which allows them to set up their own savings goals. I can easily contribute to their goals and send them cash gifts. What I love about Goalsetter is the focus on financially educating these kids. Promotion: $5 signup bonus > Goalsetter
I’ll continue to update this list. Let me know your thoughts. Do you use any of these apps? Do you have suggestions?