With budgeting, half the battle is getting organized. For some, the pen and paper method works just fine, while for others spreadsheets are more efficient and practical. Then, there are those who are always on the go and if you are one of these people, you probably know that pens, papers and spreadsheets are tough to keep up with. Luckily, your smartphone can present you with a more efficient game plan. If you haven't explored the world of budgeting apps yet, here are some places to start.

TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics

1. Mobile Banking
If you think that online banking

5 Savings Tips For Pet Supplies
Savings Strategies For A Healthy Budget
Money-Saving Spring Cleaning Tips

has been the best thing for your budget, think again. Banks have reinvented the wheel with mobile options that allow you to check your account balance and recent transactions. Mobile apps can also help you pinpoint nearby ATMs. Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo are three banks that have free mobile apps, so check with your bank to see whether there is an option for you. Mobile banking apps are available for both iPhone and Android platforms.

2. Tipulator
This iPhone app costs 99 cents, but it is a practical option that takes the guess-work out of tipping. If you're the type of person who has trouble deciding how much to tip, this app might be for you. Keep in mind, however, that many of this app's features are achievable through your phone's calculator (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are what you need). It's up to you to decide whether Tipulator is worth the money.

3. Financer
If you spent years balancing a paper checkbook, adapting to new interfaces might be tough for you. If this sounds like you, check out the Financer app, which turns the screen of your phone into a checkbook ledger. You can track your spending from multiple bank accounts while maintaining a record of your deposits and withdrawals. Financer costs $1.99.

4. Loan Shark
If you're buying a car or are out shopping for anything that requires a loan, Loan Shark can be helpful. When you're out and about, it's tough to shop for competitive interest rates, but Loan Shark helps to streamline this process. For instance, you can research how much an extra payment will cost you over time, compare up to nine loans and search through nearby banks for the best rates. Loan Shark costs $4.99.

5. Grocery iQ
This app helps to streamline your grocery store errands. It is a versatile app that is available for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms. The app allows you to quickly and easily create grocery lists that you can manage online. Grocery iQ is available for free.

6. Key Ring
Your store club cards should be an important part of your budgeting process since rewards programs frequently come with coupons and savings opportunities. Unfortunately, it's tough to keep all of these cards in one place. Keyring is an app that helps to organize your rewards cards in one digital place. It is available for both iPhone and Android - and it's free.

7. BillTracker
This app can help you manage your car payments, subscriptions and utility bills from one place. It lets you synchronize your payment due dates with your calendar so that you can easily see what you need to pay and when those payments are due. BillTracker costs $1.99 at the iTunes store and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad interfaces with iOS 3.0 or higher.

The Bottom Line
It takes significant time and effort to effectively manage your money, but your iPhone can help streamline the process. Make the most out of your waiting room or down time by giving yourself the ability to manage your money while on the go. When you're deciding whether to pay for an app, think about whether the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. For instance, you might want to assess whether you will end up saving more than what you're paying upfront for the app. Pick and choose different apps to achieve a balance of resources that work well for you.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How To Get That Entry-Level Financial Analyst Job

    Landing a job as a financial analyst takes study, strategy and a lot of hard work. Here's how to hone your competitive edge.
  2. Economics

    Understanding Switching Costs

    Consumers incur switching costs when they receive a monetary or other type of penalty for changing a supplier, brand or product.
  3. Investing

    What’s Holding Back the U.S. Consumer

    Even as job growth has surged and gasoline prices have plunged, U.S. consumers are proving slow to respond and repair their overextended balance sheets.
  4. Economics

    Explaining Market Penetration

    Market penetration is the measure of how much a good or service is being used within a total potential market.
  5. Economics

    Calculating the Marginal Rate of Substitution

    The marginal rate of substitution determines how much of one good a consumer will give up to obtain extra units of another good.
  6. Home & Auto

    4 Areas to Consider Roofing Material Types

    Roofing your home is very important, that’s why you should choose a roof specifically designed to handle your area’s climate.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Is the Apple Watch a Real Threat to Fitbit?

    Examine the potential for marketplace competition between Fitbit and the Apple Watch in the rapidly growing consumer wearables industry.
  8. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  9. Savings

    All About Income

    Income is the money you or a business earns by providing goods or services, or through investments.
  10. Stock Analysis

    3 Stocks to Protect Your Portfolio from Inflation

    Discover three stocks to protect portfolios against inflation. The best companies to protect against inflation are those with pricing power.
  1. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
  2. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the ...
  3. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
  4. Back Pay

    The amount of salary and other benefits that an employee claims ...
  5. Contingent Commission

    A commission with a value dependent on an event occurring, and ...
  6. Collection Commission

    The percentage of premiums that an agent is owed for collecting ...
  1. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What role does the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) play in the finished product?

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) do not typically play much of direct role in determining the finished product. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and a VAR ...

    An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company that manufactures a basic product or a component product, such as a ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Is the retail sector also affected by seasonal factors?

    Generally speaking, the retail sector is highly seasonal. Almost invariably, sales in the retail sector are highest in the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!