Story highlights

– “Checkbook” focuses on tracking all your financial transactions

– “Billguard” is the protector of your accounts that always keeps you alert

– “Spending Tracker” aims to keep you on track with your budget

Mint, a free budgeting tool, allows consumers to sign up and within minutes, have their accounts securely connected and spending patterns broken down in easy-to-understand charts.

However, does that really encapsulate the public’s general needs in the realm of money management? We’ve already picked three other apps that deserve to stand alongside Mint, but we’ve chosen three more (Checkbook, BillGuard and Spending Tracker) that are similar to Mint or may benefit you in other ways.

personal finance apps image
Mobile apps are used more and more to help you manage money on the go. Photo: Flickr

Checkbook

The differentiating factor between Mint and Checkbook is that Checkbook doesn’t solely read information the way Mint does — it lets you make financial decisions within the app, such as transferring funds from one account to the other, in addition to tracking your spending the way Mint does, but focusing on balancing transactions in greater technical detail.

In order to take the place of a traditional checkbook, Checkbook was built to track credit card charges and cash expenditures, which are depicted through beautiful graphs and reports that can be dispensed in both bar and pie charts, all the while offering you a myriad of capabilities that allow you to fully manage all your financial transactions.

Transactions, displayed as points on a monthly calendar, can easily be manipulated by tapping a date on the calendar. There are plenty of things you can do once a transaction is tapped — repeat transactions can be saved to be used repeatedly according to time ranges from daily, weekly, monthly, and more in order to save you the trouble of typing the same numeric details on a regular basis.

Checkbook also allows you to quickly search for transactions by using dates/name/payee/category, both search and edit transactions within the same screen, and even export your transactions via email to desktop applications like Excel and Quicken (the transactions can be exported in CSV, QIF, and HTML formats). Checkbook even allows you to transfer funds from one account to another, and allows you to set up however many accounts you wish.

While perusing your transactions, you can reconcile each one in detail by editing “cleared/uncleared status” and adding details to help you keep track of your transactions. The app also supports multiple currencies, protects your private information, and supports multiple categories with beautiful icons to choose from.

Compatible with: iPhone and iPad

Cost: Free

BillGuard

Rated a best app of 2013 and 2014 by TechCrunch and PCMag respectfully, along with a best app to manage your money by CNNMoney, BillGuard addresses a significant niche namely, security.

Aside from allowing consumers to track their spending, it also protects debit and credit cards from fraudulent charges and errors, which according to the app, cost American cardholders $14.3 billion in gray charges every year.

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BillGuard allows you to catch charges on your credit cards so you can flag the ones that are unusual and mark them for followup, an effective alternative to the time you may spend diligently checking your monthly credit card statements in order to make sure there are no erroneous charges. What’s more, you can even connect directly to merchants within the app to resolve billing questions and issues, making this app incredibly useful.

Aside from security, the app also uses your spending patterns to scour the web for coupons that can lower your bills. BillGuard also offers the spending tracking Mint does (to help you budget), and allows you to quickly see balances, recurring charges, and charges flagged by others in the BillGuard community.

What’s nifty is that BillGuard becomes “smarter” each time you verify/flag new charges. After doing this, BillGuard begins automatically organizing your alerts into a quick-review priority list. Not only is the app helpful, but its website is as well.

Compatible with: iPhone and iPad

Cost: Free

Spending Tracker

Spending Tracker is an app that allows you to budget by tracking your spending and offering you tools to construct and stick to a budget.

Spending Tracker can be confined to flexible time periods, such as weekly, monthly, or yearly. If you choose to set a fixed budget amount to help you meet your goals, any remaining budget left over from one period can be carried over to the next period.

Spending Tracker’s “summary view” can help you travel backward and forward in time to see your areas of spending, and allows you a general overview of your current spending progress.

Like Checkbook, Spending Tracker offers you personalized spending and income categories, has a built-in log expense and income section, in which you can use easy and quick transaction entries, sort by date, name or amount. It also allows you to export transactions (pro upgrade required).

Finally, just like the other apps, you get beautiful and interactive charts with spending, grouped by category.

Compatible with: iPhone and iPad

Cost: Free

These three personal finance apps have demonstrated their own value, and with approaches that give new meaning to money management, you should downloading them right now. Have any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

  • Daryl

    My friends always ask me what apps I recommend besides Mint, you know, being a personal finance writer and all. So I’m constantly on the lookout for other personal finance apps. I am going to have to check these other recommendations out!

  • http://thewalletdoctor.com/ Leonard Carter

    Great apps to investigate. I’m always looking for ways to maximize my management with my technology. I’ll be looking into these, thanks.

  • Ryan L

    Who still uses iPhones? I thought the secret got out that Apple was crap. There’s a reason Android has taken over market share.

  • Elena

    Another good one is MoneyStream – http://www.moneystream.com – connects to checking accounts and biller accounts and helps you track bills, always be on time, and see how much money you have coming up. Free iPhone app and the Android app is coming soon.

  • http://brendaharjala.wordpress.com Brenda Harjala

    I use BillGuard on my Android… You might want to add that :). Anyways, it’s clean to look at, simple to use (lets me know about payments, how much I owe where, etc.) and just sharp. It’s probably the best looking app on my M8.

    • http://www.mybanktracker.com Simon Zhen

      I use BillGuard on iPhone. While I think the app is very clean, I don’t feel that it is quite as comprehensive as Mint, YET. I’m sure the capabilities will expand. But for now, I use it mainly to spot any potential fraud on my accounts — BillGuard’s specialty.

  • Matthew Heaney

    Does anyone have links for Checkbook and Spending Tracker? There are lots of apps named “Checkbook”.

  • Alex Quach

    After using Mint for a long time and constantly being frustrated, I’ve built something simpler and easier to use: a personal finance app called Penny (https://www.pennyapp.io). Penny chats you to keep you update to date with your spending, and also alerts you whenever you spend, so you’ll never miss an unexpected charge, fee or overdraft again. Try it out!

    • http://www.mybanktracker.com Simon Zhen

      Very interesting, but people like me, who want their financial information quickly at a glance, may not warm up to texting a virtual assistant to retrieve such information.

      • Alex Quach

        I think you’d be surprised how quickly you can chat with Penny. The cool part is that the interface is completely adaptable—Penny tells you what you need to know when you need to know it. Out of curiosity, what kind of information would you want to surface at a glance? We’d be glad to make that as easy to access as possible.