Need to track your Finances? There’s an App(s) for That

A recent New York Times article (“Your Money: Review: Apps to Track Income and Expenses”) highlights several new apps to help you keep track of your money. Here is a summary:

LEVEL MONEY is a very new app available for iPhone and soon for Android.  It acts as a meter for your spending.  On the first day of the month, it shows your estimated income based on previous information. It automatically subtracts your bills and a 7% recommended savings rate.  It then shows the remaining money broken down on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  One warning:  you have to trust the app to access all your accounts because each time you make a transaction, your meter is adjusted accordingly.  This app works best for people 18-35 who do not have complicated finances.

BILLGUARD, originally a security app, has added a spending analysis tool.  It gives you a picture of your monthly spending and works best if you frequently use credit and debit cards.  The advantage is that if you go beyond a spending threshold, it lets you know. It also looks for coupons on the Web based on products you frequently buy.  It will be available for the iPhone and Android in February.

MINT and LearnVest are older apps that help you keep up with where your money is going, know your net worth, and provide financial planners.  LearnVest has a budgeting tool that guides you to spend no more than half of your income on essentials and no more than thirty percent on optional expenses.

There are dozens of other apps like Spendee ($1.99 on an iPhone) and Bdgt (free) which operate like electronic notebooks.

Of course, there is also the old-fashioned pencil and paper method of getting a handle on where your money is going.  The important thing is to make a budget and stick to it.

There are also several useful apps to keep track of your business mileage and driving expenses so that you can give a detailed report to your accountant

MILE TRACKER is an app for your iPhone or iPad that has been available for purchase through iTunes since 2009.

MILEAGE LOG+ is another great app for iPhone or iPad.  It has a great user interface that allows you to view lots of data very quickly without having to search through reports and entries.  It also has the ability to provide nicely laid out graphs that breakdown the types of expenses you have, what items are paid and unpaid, and graphs of your mileage that can be broken down by certain weeks, months, or years.