Stocks took a serious tumble this week, and it's no secret the global economy is precarious to say the least. But there are small things we all can do to make at least our home finances and debt management work better and start saving for the future. We have collected our favourite four apps for that purpose, with the hopes that making small local changes prompts everyone to push for big global changes too.
For most of us, making heads or tails of all the information, and misinformation, on the US economy is all but impossible. Cascade Software offers a quality at-a-glance solution for making sense of the headlines and reports, and more importantly, what they mean to us. The app, while not officially endorsed by any federal or state agency, is powered by FRED API which is the Economic Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The app provides users with information on key economic indicators and visual data in the form of easy-to-read graphs that track everything from GDP over time, to which party was in power during any dips. Find employment, housing, inflation, manufacturing and other stats, as well as current North American exchange rates. All 50 states are tracked by five key economic indicators as well, to make sure local information is as clear as national trends.
Pageone Pro - Money And Bills
Pageonce - Money and Bills allows users to track and organize credit cards, investments, bank accounts and cash. The app sends real-time alerts when a payment is due or other action is required. It's a very versatile expense tracker allowing for monitoring of frequent flier miles, cell minutes, data usage and other features, iOS will users will find especially helpful. The app even alerts users to potentially fraudulent charges, and helps track and mange debts, The free version is ad-supported, for the $12.99 Pro users get an ad-free interface as well as a "refresh all" option and unlimited tracking of manually entered expenses and bills. Both versions sync securely with many major US banks, credit unions and credit card providers.
Bills ~ on your table
Looking for something a bit simpler to just stay on top of recurring bills? Bills ~ on your table has a beautiful interface, especially on iPad. This award winning financial app lets users track regular expenses with ease. The app is not meant to track one time charges, it's a monthly (or weekly) reminder system that sends a push notification and accompanying sound-alert to remind users when it's time to pay that credit card bill, mortgage or car payment or tuition. The app uses clound syncing to make sure all members of the household have the same information, and it allows for partial payments which is helpful for managing large debts. There are 170 currencies supported making it a truly global app. A free online user account is required.
iAllowance (allowance and Chore Tracker w/Sync)
Remember piggy banks? Well, while teaching kids the value of money has never been more important, leave the breakable cute containers in the past and get serious about money with kids using iAllowance. It's a universal app that allows parents to create banks for multiple children and sync those accounts with the rest of the family across devices. The app can handle automatic payments, chore tracking and even calculate interest on the various banks as required. This app allows not just for multiple kids, but multiple accounts, so if your teen has an iTunes allowance and a recreation allowance they can be easily created, managed, and funded separately. In lieu of actual money, parents can opt for a star rewards system, and the app has AirPrint and Dropbox support and parental controls.