Best Personal Finance Apps in Canada in 2019
Irrespective of your personal financial situation or goal, there’s an astonishing variety of smartphone software to match almost every fiscal need. Whether you want help to boost your savings, gentle reminders about budgeting or want a detailed to-the-minute overview of your net worth, there’s an app for that. Here are seven of my favourite personal financial apps.
Best Personal Finance Apps for Canadians in 2019 At A Glance
|YNAB||General personal finance||$83.99 / year||Read more|
|Google Pay||E-wallet||$0||Read more|
|Round Up||Savings starter||$0||Read more|
|Drop||Accumulate rewards||$0||Read more|
|Checkout51||e-couponing/cash back on groceries||$0||Read more|
|Epost||Bills and statements organizer||$0||Read more|
|Splitwise||Debt management||$0||Read more|
Best Overall Personal Finance App
When it comes to seeing the big picture of my financial universe, for me there’s no better app than You Need A Budget. It helps you set—and then stick to—a budget and monitors your spending. It does all these things by linking automatically to your financial accounts, so it can provide an accurate, real-world overview of how much money you have (or don’t have) at any given moment. If you don’t feel comfortable giving the app access to your account information automatically, you also have the option of synching your accounts manually.
YNAB also prides itself on its mission to educate the world about the importance of budgeting. To this end, it offers a wide spectrum of free tutorials on money management and I always find the email customer service responsive and eager to help. You really do get the sense that the people behind the YNAB app are sincere about teaching others the value of smart fiscal planning.
At US$83.99 a year, it’s one of the most expensive personal financial apps out there, but I feel it’s money well spent. Also, YNAB offers a free 34-day trial period, so you can decide if the app works for you before you invest in it. Available for iOS/Mac and Android/PC.
Best E-wallet App
Aside from YNAB, this is the financial app I use most frequently. I don’t know why—maybe because tapping a terminal with your smart phone to pay for something is still a novel experience—but I get a rush of joy whenever I use it. Essentially, Google Pay is an electronic wallet (or a ‘payment app‘). The app eliminates the need to use a traditional wallet and search through dozens of credit cards or loyalty cards to pay for something. It manages the information of all your credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards and even plane passes or event ticket information. To make a purchase, you simply open the app and then tap it as you would a credit card via tap-enabled payment terminals at merchants throughout Canada. Google Pay can be linked with most Canadian bank cards, credit cards and rewards cards.
While some people may be hesitant to use a cell phone to pay, the app (and other e-wallet apps like Apple Pay) uses a system called tokenization to hide your account and password information. Furthermore, if someone gains access to your phone, any unauthorized use of the app to make fraudulent purchases is covered by your financial provider’s zero liability provisions, just as your physical bank or credit cards are.
Google Pay is free. Apple Pay works much the same way for those with Apple phones.
Best Savings Starter App
Sometimes the best of intentions isn’t good enough. This is certainly true for many people when it comes to growing their savings. We all know we should be putting money aside for things like emergencies and our retirement, but it’s easy for savings to get sidetracked when there are so many other financial obligations to meet. This is where RoundUp comes in. This personal financial app was developed by Wealthsimple, a financial investment company often referred to as a robo-advisor. In line with the company’s mandate to automate financial services, RoundUp essentially makes saving money an automatic—and incremental (so you don’t feel the pain)—activity.
The app will automatically round up every purchase you make with your bank or credit card to the nearest dollar. It then takes that extra bit of change and deposits it into your Wealthsimple account. Voila! Next thing you know, you have the start of a nice little nest egg without lifting a finger. The app is free to use but you will need to have a Wealthsimple investing or Smart Savings account in which to deposit the money.
Best App to Boost Your Purchasing Power
This app is another smart bit of software that works in the background to supercharge your spending with rewards. Every time you make a purchase at an eligible retailer, Drop rewards you with a specified number of points. Slowly but surely your points add up to redeemable rewards. Points range from small per-dollar rewards or big one-off offers. For example, at Well.ca, there’s an ongoing offer that earns you 40 points per $1 you spend, or you can join Hello Fresh and get a one-time offer of 20,000 points. There are also times where Drop will “Boost” an ongoing offer to net you more points for a set period.
Once you reach a threshold of 5000 points (equal to $5.00) you can redeem them for things like Amazon, Old Navy or Tim Hortons gift certificates. I find it to be the simplest way to earn rewards for shopping I would do anyway. You may not see massive earnings, but they really do add up; I’ve earned $100 worth of Amazon gift certificates since I started using Drop in November of 2017. Free for iOS and Android.
Best Money-Saving App
What if when you did your grocery shopping, the stores weren’t the only ones to cash in? This clever e-couponing app (developed by a Canadian company) gives you cash back when you buy eligible weekly grocery items. You don’t even have to worry about clipping coupons. Once you sign up it will tell you what discount promotions are available in your area. You can then download offers you’re interested in to your Checkout 51 shopping list. When you’re finished shopping you take a picture of your receipt and send it for confirmation of your eligible purchases. When your savings add up to $20, the company will send you a check.
Offers are available at major stores across the country like Walmart, No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, Costco and more. Promotions are updated weekly every Thursday so there’s always fresh chances to earn cash back. The app is free and available for both Android and iOS.
Best App for Bill Organization
Never pay a late payment fee again. You may be surprised to learn that Canada Post is an app-embracing organization. Though it does represent one of humanity’s most antiquated forms of communication (I mean really, when was the last time you sent someone a letter?), it also has one of the most functional and user-friendly bill delivery apps on the market. One of the easiest ways to get caught in the debt trap is for forgotten bill payments to add up and start accumulating interest (not to mention hurt your credit score). The Epost app does away with bill bedlam by organizing all your bills and statements in one place.
It uses a secure encryption system to send you your bills and you can also link the app to your bank to pay invoices via the app. You can also set up reminders to ensure you pay amounts owed on time. The app will even store your statements from all your various mailers for up to seven years. The app is free and available for both Android and iOS.
Best IOU Manager
Make sure all your debts—both those you owe and those you are owed—are organized with this debt management app. You can use this user-friendly software to divide household bills with your roommates, divvy up the amounts owed for group gifts or keep track of who owes you money for charging the bill to last night’s takeout. It’s like having an super-organized IOU assistant in your pocket.
The personal finance app will even let you monitor not just who owes you money but also who owes you things. Use it to ensure you never forget who borrowed your favourite book or who still needs to return those ice skates you lent out last winter! It will also manage any debts you owe and even send out monthly reminders, so you can be sure you (and your friends) always settle their debts. Free for Android and iOS.