4 Personal Finance Apps a Former Banker Uses

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Gone are the days of doing all of our banking at a brick-and-mortar building. Sure, sometimes we still stop by our local bank branch to get a cashier’s check when we need one, but for the most part, our banking these days is done online.

The world of online banking is growing, and if you’re more than a little confused by all the different banking apps you can find in iTunes, we’re right there with you. Lucky for you (and us), Nick Clements, MagnifyMoney’s co-founder, spent years working for banks before launching his own business, so he knows a thing or two about the better products out there. The following are the personal finance apps he recommends trying out.

1. LevelMoney

Cost: Free on iTunes and Android
What it does: For staying on budget, Clements likes the way LevelMoney helps him track his cash flow. “I don’t like making a plan by expense category,” he said. “Instead, I like knowing how much I can afford to spend each day to ensure that my discretionary spending remains on target and within budget.” The LevelMoney app helps him accomplish this by calculating a daily “spendable” amount to help him stay on track. “So, if I spend a bit more than I should one weekend,” Clements explained, “my daily spendable allowance goes down.”

2. CreditKarma

Cost: Free on iTunes and Android
What it does: Whether you’re trying to grow your credit score or not, it’s a good idea to keep your eye on it, and the CreditKarma app gives you free access to your VantageScore, which is calculated using TransUnion and Experian credit reports. “It also gives me access to a summary version of my credit reports from those two bureaus, updated regularly,” says Clements. “This helps me ensure my identity hasn’t been stolen.”

3. Ally Bank

Cost: Free on iTunes and Android
What it does: While Clements admits that the app itself could use some upgrades, it’s the perks of sticking with Ally Bank that have him continuing to use it. “I’m with Ally because of the great rates,” said Clements. “So I primarily do all of my banking and paying bills with the app.” (Check out what’s great about the online bank right here … hello checking accounts with interest!)

4. Betterment

Cost: Free on iTunes and Android
What it does: While it’s a nice idea to combine all of your retirement accounts into one system where you can quickly glance at the overall balance, try not to fall into the trap of checking them too often. “I have rolled over my old 401(k) accounts to Betterment, and I have the app on my iPhone, but I try to ignore it,” said Clements. “I don’t expect to use these funds until the year 2045, so daily stock movements are not that important to me.” However, when curiosity gets the best of you and you do take a peak, at least Betterment has a great user interface to help you out.