Watch out for These 10 PFM Apps in the US

Keeping a budget and managing personal finances can be a time-consuming task and often a struggle for many people. But thanks to personal finance apps, tasks like paying bills and balancing accounts can be as simple as texting someone. PFM (personal finance management) apps act as effective tools to track your data across multiple sources like banks accounts, payment cards, etc.

Here are some companies working towards developing such amazing apps:

1. Learnvest: Founded in 2009, it is a financial planning company with its proprietary software, The Money Center, focusing on changing behavior cutting expenses to budgeting for goals for investment. The Money Center is an online tool that lets users track their spending, visualize their budgets and financial goals. In addition to the built-in budgeting system, full goal tracking, full trends and analysis, and a financial inbox, Money Center allows live co-viewing of user’s account and dashboard between the user and his or her LearnVest financial planner. At its core are three goals: credit card debt, emergency savings, and retirement, allowing additional goals. It provides customized financial plans with 24/7 support along with online classes. The company has received a total funding of $69 million from investors such as Accel Partners, Northwestern Mutual, American Express Ventures, Caritas Capital, Ed Mathias of The Carlyle Group, and Todd Ruppert of T. Rowe Price. In 2015, Northwestern Mutual acquired Learnvest for $250 million.

2. Mint: The company has an account aggregation tool to pull all financial accounts—credit cards, banking, investments—in one place allowing users to track financial information in one place, track spending, create budgets, and receive customized advice on saving on fees. It also has a bill notification feature. Customers receive a free credit score and advice on how to improve it along with the alerts for any unusual account activities. Mint Bills is a separate application to manage actual bill payment The company was founded in 2007 and has received a total funding of $31.3 million. It was acquired by Intuit in 2009.

3. LevelMoney: Founded in 2013, it is a personal financial management mobile tool that allows users to track income and expenses via Spendable, knowing what can be spent on any day, week or month. It shows insights on what you have been spending based on trackers, as well as plan tracking cash flow, eliminating the need for budgets. The LevelMoney application aggregates financial account information from over 18,000 US financial institutions and credit unions. Customers set up plans to track income and expenses; the app also allows the tracking of irregular income for individuals such as contractors. LevelMoney provides many notifications such as paycheck deposits, low account balances, etc. The company has received the funding from investors like Klein, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers. Capital One acquired LevelMoney in January 2015.

4. You Need a Budget: This is a budgeting software that allows users to track income and expenses based on a four-rule methodology: 1) Every dollar has a job, 2) Save for a rainy day, 3) Roll with the punches (for unexpected events), and 4) Live on last month’s income. Uses Cloud Sync as part of its technology platform to keep all PCs and mobile devices connected based on any transaction entry. Functionality includes scheduled transactions, splitting transactions, unified account view, reconciliation wizard along with global currency support including calculating and viewing net worth. It does not automatically connect to any financial institutions; it requires users to manually import files and offers free online classes not only on using product but financial management workshops such as "Handling Credit Cards.

5. HelloDigit: Hello Digit connects to a user’s primary checking account to analyze income, expenses, and recurring bills to determine funds that can be set aside as savings based on savings algorithm. Savings are deposited to a Digit bank account held either at Wells Fargo or Opus Bank for customer’s benefit and can withdraw or transfer to checking account at any time by texting to Digit. Users have the ability to save more and less by setting a rule. Digit Plus rewards program that pays you for saving. The user will get 5 cents for every $100 they keep in Digit for three months. Bonuses are paid every week for as long as you keep saving. The company connects to over 2,500 US financial institutions and credit unions. The company has received a total funding of $13.8 million from investors such as Baseline Ventures, FreeStyle, General Catalyst Partners, Upside Partnership, Operative Capital, Initialized Capital, NYCA, Google Ventures

6. Even Responsible Finance: Even analyzes three months of income to determine an average determine how expenses can be covered, automatically saving extra funds or providing "boosts" when income falls under. It connects directly to bank accounts and starts its analysis. Any savings is directly deposited on one of Even’s partner banks on behalf of the account holder allowing withdrawals at any time. These savings are used as "boosts" if income is expected to fall under; otherwise Even advance funds interest fee. Even savings accounts do not earn interest. It targets a specific demographic that primarily earns hourly wages. Till now, the company has raised a funding of $3 million from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, Rothenberg Ventures, Homebrew and Slow Ventures.

7. Qapital: Founded in 2012, Qapital opens an interest bearing savings account on behalf of the account holder at Lincoln Savings Banks; it is used to deposit savings based on rules established. It requires a funding account which can only be a checking account which also can be linked to credit cards. Qapital account holders create wants vs. needs as well as create goals and rules to establish savings; once goals are reached, funds can be transferred from a funding source account to a Qaptial Visa Debit card to spend immediately; savings are processed as ACHs via their partner, Social Money. Rules are used to make savings goals as either Money Saving based on everyday activities, Guilty Pleasure (to stop overspending), Spend Less (capping amount to spend), Round-Up for every purchase on accounts linked to Qapital account, or Set & Forget (auto-set daily, weekly, or monthly towards goals). Qapital allows account holders to invite friends and/or family to join in goals.

8. Debitize: It is a free app that automatically sets money aside from your checking account to cover credit card purchases, combining the benefits of both credit and debit cards. It will automatically pay your credit card bills. Debitize works with most credit cards allowing customers to earn rewards whether cash back, miles, points, etc. The app is still In private beta and is not yet launched.

9. Accorns: Acorns connects to a user’s primary checking account along with credit/debit account(s) including other spending accounts (PayPal). It round-ups each purchase to create investable savings into an Acorns investment account. Additional savings amounts can be added at any time to an Acorns account either as a lump sum or recurring transfers. An investment portfolio is developed by Acorns based on Modern Portfolio Theory based on your investment profile and invested in ETFs (low-cost funds) either in BlackRock, Vanguard or PIMCO based on five diversified portfolios. The app is available only to US citizens and residents with plans to deploy globally.

10. CashPath Financial: This startup has built a cash flow management (CFM) technology platform that drives a new CFM mobile app, currently available in the App Store as numys, that makes achieving savings and positive cash flow a breeze. While the foundation of the app is built, they will be introducing a series of additional game-changing features that, like a technological agent. The numys application is a forward-looking guide to personal money management by predicting next month’s income and expenses eliminating budgets as Free Spend for positive cash flow. The app calculates in real time and allows account holders to determine savings goals, including monitoring all bank and credit card balances, including bills.