We all enjoy making money, but keeping track of it can be a real chore. Fortunately, there are now lots of software applications available to help you with all things finance. Some of the more popular apps will help you with finding loans, paying bills and trading stocks. Here are a few iPhone apps to help organize and hopefully simplify your financial life. (For a background, check out Money-Saving Smartphone Apps.)
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- Mint - Free
Mint is a free online application that allows you to track your credit cards, investments and bank accounts. All you have to do is plug in your information and the program will create a personal budget. It also features an IRA Advisor that will help you select an IRA and monitor your allocation of investment risk. The app provides trend analysis of how you are performing against traditional market indicators.
This app will also assist you with debt management and dealing with loans through its connections with hundreds of lenders. It allows you to establish budgets and spending goals and will alert you when you are in danger of exceeding them. Every night, it downloads your transactions so that you can review your spending patterns by category.
- E*Trade Mobile Pro - Free
Full-service brokerages have moved to the mobile arena and E*Trade has produced a comprehensive trading platform to keep you connected to the markets. Its "Dashboard" is your personal gateway to all the information you will need to manage your account:
- Complete account access
- Market summary with major indices
- Place buy and sell, stock and option orders from anywhere
- Access to breaking market news and commentary
- Real-time streaming quotes with volume data and other details
- Fully integrated historical and intraday charts
- Portfolio tracker and custom watch lists
- Flags stock market movers
- Updated balances and buying power
- Automated cash transfers
- LoanShark - $2.99
Don't let the name of this app scare you away. For about three bucks, you arm yourself with a handy tool that will save you more in time and trouble. It can be used to calculate loan payments as a function of the amount, interest rate and payment schedule. It will instantly create an amortization table showing the amount of principal and interest paid each month. If you want to know how much money you will save by making an extra payment or two, just input the amount and it will calculate the interest saved.
The tool is interactive and will calculate desired data fields. For example, if you know how much you are able to pay each month for a loan, it will determine the size of the loan you can afford. You can input the balance owed on your credit card and calculate how long it will take to pay it off at various payment levels. Loans can easily be compared to assist in making important financial decisions, and the results can be saved for future reference.
- Save Benjis - $2.99
For shoppers looking for an easy way to save money, this three dollar app may be the answer, and it does it in real-time. If you're out shopping and see an item you like, just enter the complete barcode. The app instantly searches the internet looking for the best price available. If that happens to be an online retailer, you have the option of using that information to negotiate with the store where you are shopping. If that doesn't work, you can place an online order before leaving the store.
The system uses FindersCheapers as the data source for all price information for millions of products. You can filter the results to include only new items and to exclude certain stores. The system is currently functional only in the United States. (Learn more in Managing Your Money: There's An App For That.)
- ATM Hunter - Free
When you need cash in a hurry and you're in unfamiliar territory, this app will find the closest MasterCard, Maestro, or Cirrus ATM. There's no need to enter an address because GPS technology will steer the locator automatically. MasterCard states that coverage is currently available for over a million ATMs worldwide.
There are many more iPhone finance-related apps available and others in the pipeline. These include Tipulator (calculate tips), Bloomberg Mobile, PocketMoney (budgeting), PayPal, BillMinder, Pennies (expense tracker), DailyFinance (financial markets) and Quicken Online (budgeting and finance).You can now find an app to help you with virtually every financial chore that used to require hours of manual labor, and you no longer need to be tied to a desk to do it. (For more, see 6 Professional Apps Worth Buying.)
Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: Goldman Fined, Financial Fixes And Apple's "Apology".