Tablet with the words "FinTech: Financial Technology" displayed on it.

FinTech for Personal Financial Success

By Darren Liddell & Chris Moreno

Have you ever looked at your bank account balance a week after being paid and wondered where all your money went?

Or thought to yourself, I have no idea what is affecting my credit score and when it changes?

These are questions that have led the development of specific FinTech (aka Financial Technology) applications. These apps are designed to make easier than ever to know exactly where your money is going (how how much you are spending on eating out for lunch or on happy hour drinks with coworkers).

A recent Huffington Post article defined FinTech companies as “businesses that leverage new technology to create new and better financial services for both consumers and businesses.” In this blog post, we will highlight financial apps that our financial professionals have tested personally. Ready to try them out and become a better manager of your money, credit, debt, and savings?

Disclaimers: It important to note that the apps we listed below are not owned or developed by us. Each of these apps uses bank-level security, meaning that all apps are as secure as online banking. Clients will be required to log-in with their account information to use/get the most out of these apps.

All apps are FREE (unless otherwise noted). Many of the apps make “recommendations” to enroll in credit cards, savings accounts, or other financial products. This is often how these companies make money.

Also, FinTech apps are just one strategy on the path towards achieving your financial goals. Automating your financial goals and having their progress tracked through apps is often easier than using pen, paper, or envelopes; however, it is important to find the method that works best for you. All apps are available for both iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) devices and can be found in your apps store (unless otherwise noted). Many of these apps require a small amount of storage space on your device.

Money Management Apps

Mint (

Type of app: Budget & Money Management, BillPay, & Basic Credit

Description: This is the most popular budgeting, goal setting, bill pay & money management app. Transaction history, budget and goal progress can be monitored for various categories. Bill tracking and paying is also available inside the app. Your Equifax credit score (credit scoring model not published) is available through the app.

What to know: Mint is one of the most comprehensive financial apps available. It allows you to set up and track your budget by category. Because Mint offers many features, some find it too complex and stop using it. We recommend starting with money tracking and budgeting features of the app before exploring the bill pay and credit features.

GoodBudget (

Type of app: Budget & Money Management

Description: Goodbudget takes your grandma’s budgeting style and brings it to the modern world. With Goodbudget, you create digital envelopes for each of your expense categories and every time you are paid you can allocate funds into each of your envelopes. Goodbudget also will let you know if you have overspent in a certain category with a notification and an envelope emoji with a sad face to pull on your heart strings and help hold you accountable.

What to know: Goodbudget is free for the first 10 envelopes. If you need to create more that 10 envelopes then there is a cost involved but check it out for yourself at

HoneyDue (

Type of app: Budget & Money Management

Description: Honeydue helps couples to track bills, savings and expenses across accounts. Bills and expenses can be assigned to each partner and used for accountability. You choose the level of access you partner has for each account.

What to know: Honeydue is the only app we listed aimed at helping couples manage their money together. This is app is a great way to stay on the same page as a couple with shared expenses and bill reminders.

Chatbot-Based Apps

These apps let you talk back and forth with a computer to learn more about your personal finances. These usually communicate with you via text message and do not require you to download any applications for your phone.

Penny (

Type of app: Money Management, Tracking Spending

Description: This chatbot app messages with you inside of an app you download to your phone. Penny tracks your spending and notifies you of your spending habits. You chat with the app to learn more about your sending behavior and trends.

What to know: Penny is one the only chatbot we’ve listed that has a visual element and requires downloading an app. It is helpful for many clients who prefer to see pictures and graphs.

Change (

Type of app: Money Management, Tracking Spending, Automated Saving

Description: Change sends you reminders via text message (SMS) to encourage you to spend more wisely and stay on track financially. You control how often it sends you text messages about your finances.

What to know: It uses its algorithm to help you improve your cash flow and increase your available balance to avoid an overdraft fee or a late fee. You can also use it to help you build an emergency fund in an FDIC insured account. 

Trim (

Type of app: Money Management, Tracking Spending

Description: Trim looks at your reoccurring expenses and remind you of bills you have on auto pay and can help you cancel subscriptions.

What to know: Sign up at Trim can be used to cancel subscription services like music subscription services, gym memberships, cable/internet bills, and more. 

Credit Monitoring

Credit Karma (

Type of app: Credit Monitoring

Description: Credit Karma provides free credit scores and credit reports from national credit bureaus TransUnion and Equifax, alongside daily credit monitoring from TransUnion. Users can see updates to their credit scores and credit reports on Credit Karma once a week. Credit Karma also provides credit tools, such as a Credit Score Simulator, which simulates the effect of potential financial actions on a user's credit score.

What to know: The credit score provided by many of these apps are not necessarily the exact same score that credit providers use. Credit Karma and some others use what is known as the VantageScore. Many banks and credit providing institutions use FICO scores which may differ a bit from the VantageScore. Please speak with your credit providing institution to see what credit models are pulled and used to make credit decisions.

Credit Sesame (

Type of app: Credit Monitoring

Description: is an educational credit website and application that provides consumers with a free VantageScore credit score from Transunion. No credit card or subscription is required to register or obtain the credit score, which is updated monthly. More frequent credit score updates and other features, like 3 bureau credit monitoring, are offered at a cost.

What to know: One of the features that stands out in Credit Sesame is the Home Buying Power feature. With the Home Buying Power feature in the Credit Sesame app, learn how much house you can afford and what steps to take to improve your credit to qualify for a home loan.

Automated Saving

Qapital (

Type of app: Automated Saving

Description: Qapital is a personal finance mobile app developed by Qapital Inc. The app is designed to motivate users to save money through a gamification of their spending behavior. It moves money from a user's checking account to a separate Qapital account, when certain rules are triggered.

What to know: There are many different types of rules that you can create that will trigger movement of your money from checking to savings. From achieving your daily exercise goal to your favorite sports team playing. There is even a rule that will trigger a deposit to your “rainy day” fund when it’s raining outside. All funds in the Qapital Savings Account are FDIC insured. 

Digit (

Type of app: Automated Saving

Description: Digit is another personal finance app. You connect your accounts and Digit saves according to how much you can afford to put away. It looks at your deposits, upcoming bills, and spending habits to figure out set amounts you can save every couple of days. As your income and spending change, it automatically adjusts your savings to match.

What to know: A little similar to Qapital but Digit does all the work. This may be a great option for those that are self-employed and whose income may vary from week to week or season to season so that it moves set amounts that should not affect daily spending. Digit does also offer a Savings Bonus. Saving with Digit rewards you with a 1% annual Savings Bonus, paid every 3 months. Your bonus amount is calculated from the average daily balance in your Digit account over the previous 3 months — including Rainy Day savings and money accrued toward goals or bills.  This app does charge a fee of $2.99 monthly.

Basic Investing

Acorns (

Type of app: Basic Investing

Description: Acorns a micro-investing app. It is an easy-to-use app that makes it simple for anyone to set aside and invest spare change. Acorns allows customers to automatically invest in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds. Customers grow their wealth in one of five portfolios that have been constructed.

What to know: This app lets you enter the world of investing by allowing you to round up your debit card transactions to the nearest dollar and allocating that spare change into a portfolio based on the level of risk you are willing to take. In the world of investing, these deposits are not FDIC insured and earnings or losses are all based on portfolio and market performance. This app does charge a fee based on how much is saved in your account. 

FinHabits (

Type of app: Basic Investing, Retirement Investing

Description: Finhabits is a digital investment platform for people who want to get into the habit of investing and saving for their retirement. Its founder knew that many families don’t often talk about building good money habits – and that leaves young adults at a disadvantage when it comes to investing and saving for their retirement. Finhabits’ goal is to make good financial habits the new norm in the country.

What to know: Similar to Acorns, Finhabits have created a number of different portfolios based on risk and aggressiveness but you are able to invest into three different types of accounts; basic investing, a traditional IRA, or a roth IRA. This is a great option for individuals and families to begin building a nest egg for the future at a minimal cost and very easy to use. This app does charge a fee based on how much is saved in your account.

This is just a small sample of the many options out there that FinTech has to offer in order to help you succeed with your personal finances. Remember that this is an everchanging field where apps are open, closed, bought out, rebranded, etc.  Make sure that you keep up to date with your apps and update them regularly on your smartphone.  These innovations are not intended to improve your finances overnight but rather are tools that will help you become more financially fit if used properly and often. Hopefully now you will have a better idea of where your money is going and how to better save it!

Let America Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.


Not entirely sure what "fintech" is? Learn here, and how it can help you achieve your savings goals >> @AmericaSaves

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