If you’re the C.F.O. of your household, then you’ve probably wondered if there isn’t a techie solution for managing your finances.
The problem is that there are probably too many options out there. The onslaught of offerings that you’ll find when you visit the app store can be overwhelming–but we’re here to help!
We’ve scouted six free apps (including ours!) that are easy to use and work wonders to streamline your life and your wallet. Then we asked Jennifer Jolly, a tech expert and blogger behind Tech’s Appeal, to fill us in on what makes these apps so helpful—as well as some things to consider before you download.
Best for: Organizing bills
How it works: Get rid of that accordion file busting at the seams in favor of Manilla, a digital filing cabinet for your bills that keeps track of due dates and statements for accounts ranging from credit cards to your Netflix subscription. You can even create custom accounts for things that you might not be able to link to online, like your rent or dog-walking services. Added perk: The app organizes loyalty rewards and online coupons.
What the pro thinks: “Manilla is organized so simply that it’s easy to go paperless,” Jolly says. “It’s super simple to sign up, it lets you consolidate every single bill and you can use one password for everything.” Added plus: Document storage, so you can look up your old statements. “This means that you can forget about keeping paper copies for your records and just access them via the app,” Jolly adds.
2. Google Wallet
Best for: Streamlining shopping
How it works: We all knew it was coming soon—the day that you could go shopping and leave your wallet behind … or at least the physical one. With Google Wallet, you store your debit card, credit card and loyalty card information in one place, and then use your smartphone to tap-and-pay at any merchant who accepts such payments. And if you don’t have a phone with the necessary NFC technology, you can get a Google Wallet Card that acts as a debit card that’s linked to your wallet balance. You can also use the money in your Google Wallet account to pay for online purchases, and Gmail users can send money to people as an attachment.
What the pro thinks: “This app offers lots when it comes to simple convenience,” Jolly says, adding that there are some caveats. “You have to sign up for a Gmail account first. You’ll also pay for each and every debit and credit card transaction (Google charges a 2.9% fee per transaction), and you currently can only send money in the U.S.”