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Financial Apps as Tools for YOUR Success: Part 1 of 2

August 3, 2017
By Darren Liddell

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?

Have you noticed that many major banking apps have recently started offering you a version of your credit score for free? Well, FinTech companies did it first and still do it better in many ways.  These technology innovations have made it easier than ever to keep track of what is happening in your financial life passively and effectively killed balancing your checkbook (no shade to those still using checkbooks… okay, maybe a little shade).

At Catalyst Miami, we recently completed a study of FinTech in partnership with the University of Miami that revealed that our one-on-one Financial Coaching clients found “increased sense of organization and control over their finances” after using financial apps and the “apps and the coaching process helped raise awareness of good and bad financial habits.” Our goal was to make it easy for clients to choose apps that would meet their needs and to see if technology can help clients to achieve their goals even when they are not meeting with a financial coach.


Disclaimers: It important to note that the apps we listed below are not owned or developed by Catalyst Miami. 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 progresses 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.


For the remainder of this blog post, we will give you the run down on money tracking and budgeting apps. There will be a follow up blog post released next month that will highlights the best credit monitoring, bill tracking automated savings and basic investing apps.

Money Management Apps

Level Money

Type of app: Budget & Money Management

Description: Level focuses on variable expenses. Enter your income, fixed monthly expenses and desired savings, then Level visually presents you with monthly spendable amounts. Level presents you with one amount to spend monthly and as long as you don’t spend more, you know you will stay within your budget. You will also receive accountability notifications.

What to know: What makes Level unique is its presentation of your monthly spendable money. It allow you to spend your money however you like and encourages you stay under that monthly spendable amount.



Type of app: Budget and 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.



Type of app: Budget and 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.


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.

Type of app: Money Management, Tracking Spending

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: Sign up at


Abe AI

Type of app: Money Management, Tracking Spending

Description: Abe AI automatically creates a personalized spending plan and tracks spending for you based on your cashflow, debts, and loans. Abe send your text (SMS) notifications with how much you have left to spend based on the plan it creates for you.

What to know: Sign up at



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.


Each of these apps can help to raise awareness about how your money is being spent and show trends in your spending.

Want to learn about apps to help address your credit, savings, basic investing, and debt management needs? Stay tuned for next month when we'll publish part 2 of this guide to financial apps!


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