If you’re stuck in debt, the most effective way out is to start tracking your expenses. Think of it this way: if your canoe was sinking, wouldn’t you locate the leak first? You have to plug the hole before you can start bailing out the accumulated water.
For most folks, debt isn’t the problem — spending is. Even if someone were to wipe out your debt balance, are you confident that you wouldn’t plunge right back into that hole? If you can get your spending under control, then your debt problem will become much easier to manage.
These apps can help you with that. Not only will they help you see where your money is going, but they’ll make your life more organized through automated bill reminders and other useful features. Check them out!
Prism is an awesome app that connects to all of your financial accounts (namely credit cards and billed services) and automatically tracks all of your due dates and amounts each month. You can also pay it all through the Prism app itself, meaning you no longer have to juggle a million websites and logins! It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
2. Mint Bills
Formerly known as Check, Mint Bills is just like Prism: enter all of your bills, hook up your bank accounts, and let the app automatically manage and notify you when due dates arrive. You can pay through the app, either on demand or scheduled ahead of time. Whether you choose Prism or Mint Bills comes down to your preference for interface design. And now that Mint Bills has been integrated into the main Mint app, you can manage all of your finances from one place.
Monefy is like Prism and Mint Bills with a big difference: no automation. Instead of hooking up your accounts and letting the app take care of everything, you input your expenses manually as they occur. You’ll miss out on the bill reminders and pay-through-app features, but you gain more control and you end up being more involved in the process (which can actually help curb spending).
Download: Monefy for Android (Free)
4. Money Manager
Money Manager is closer to accounting software than it is a bill tracker. It’s best when you have money and assets flowing between multiple accounts. Money Manager has visualization features (graphs, charts, statistics, etc.) that can come in handy for seeing your financial progress on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. It’s excellent for perfectionists.
Download: Money Manager for Android (Free)
5. Bills Reminder
If all you want is an app where you can input your recurring bills and have it send you reminder notifications when those due dates are up, then Bills Reminder is the one for you. It’s a lot simpler than the likes of Prism and Mint Bills, and you don’t have to worry about the security risks of hooking up your financial accounts. The setup is done by hand, and the notifications are automated.
Download: Bills Reminder for Android (Free) [No Longer Available]
TimelyBills is a slightly more complex alternative to Bills Reminder. Its main function is a reminder app, but it has the ability to pay bills through the app if desired. The other big feature is the ability to see your bill spending trends over time, which can help you slash unnecessary household expenses.
Download: TimelyBills for Android (Free)
7. Bills Monitor
If you’re an iOS user who’s disheartened that some of the apps above are Android-only, this one’s for you. Bills Monitor is an excellent app that lets you input various bills and makes them easy to track through notifications and a calendar view. Its closest analog among the apps above would likely be Bills Reminder.
Download: Bills Monitor for iOS (Free)
8. Prosper Daily [No Longer Available]
Formerly known as BillGuard, Prosper Daily is really good at helping you get your financial life back on track. It acts as a central location for all of your accounts with its Smart Inbox, and comes complete with detailed analytics, transaction maps, alerts of suspicious activity, and even free credit score tracking.
9. Expense IQ
Expense IQ is an advanced money management app. Manually input transactions as they occur and supplement them with photos if you’d like (e.g., receipts). Get reminder notifications for your recurring bills. Set up monthly budgets to limit your spending. Analyze your habits with detailed reports. Synchronize everything to the cloud so your data stays safe and secure.
Download: Expense IQ for Android (Free)
Goodbudget is unique on this list because it employs a special kind of money management: the envelope method. By splitting your budget into “envelopes,” it’s easy to see how much money you can spend in various categories without going into debt. Use it to track bills or pursue financial goals. It seamlessly syncs across all devices for your convenience.
If you live with roommates, or if you don’t share finances with your spouse, then Splittable is an effective way to split and track various bills between parties. It’s great for rent, bills, groceries, trips, nights out, and more. This app will tell you when somebody owes somebody else. One glance is all you need to know if everyone is paid up.
Expensify is for those who need to track many expenses but don’t want to deal with the hassle of spreadsheets and the like. Its key feature is the ability to snapshot a receipt and have the app pull all relevant information off of it, thus automating the expense tracking process. It’s especially nifty for small business owners and frequent business travelers.
13. Debt Tracker
Debt Tracker is a minimalist app for — you guessed it — tracking your debts. Everything is inputted manually. Use it to manage your personal debts to friends and family and your other debts like loans and bills. It also has the ability to track savings for individual goals, like vacations or purchases.
Download: Debt Tracker for Android (Free)
14. Level Money [No Longer Available]
Level Money is one of the best apps for streamlining your personal finances. You input your income, your bills, and your other regular expenses, then Level Money keeps a running tab on how much “spendable” money you have. It’s a not-as-strict way to be responsible and prevent accidental overspending.
Pibi is a web-based money management app that focuses on power within minimalism. It’s really easy to use, and thanks to its responsive design, can be used in any browser regardless of device. It may not be enough for heavy-duty usage, but it’s perfect if all you need to track is occasional personal spending.
How Do You Track Bills and Expenses?
You only need one or two of these apps, so don’t go crazy. What’s more important is that you develop an understanding of where your money goes and how to rein that in.
These TED Talks on money can definitely help with that, as well as these podcasts on good money habits. Just remember that not all personal finance advice is good advice. Some of it can be harmful when taken out of context.
What do you use to track your own expenses and budgets? Are there any good apps that we missed? Share with us in the comments below!
Image Credit: George Fairbairn via Shutterstock.com