iPhone apps to help you stick to your budget

Oct 27, 2009
Finance

Staying on budget is a real concern for many Americans, especially as the holiday season approaches.  As you run your errands, you may find yourself trying to calculate things in your head, ensuring you remain on budget.  I am not the best at this, so I find myself turning to my iPhone on several occasions, […]

Staying on budget is a real concern for many Americans, especially as the holiday season approaches.  As you run your errands, you may find yourself trying to calculate things in your head, ensuring you remain on budget. 

I am not the best at this, so I find myself turning to my iPhone on several occasions, such as calculating my grocery list as I shop, or checking on which upcoming bills I have before buying those shoes.

There are several iPhone apps that can help you stay on budget when you’re on the go.  I find this especially helpful as it aids me in making real time decisions about my spending.  Read on to see some general-purpose calculators that can help you stay on track financially.

Personal finance iPhone apps

Mint is a well-known app that will keep you focused.  Free for the iPhone, you can set goals, add reminders and track your cash flow according to the categories you set. Mint can securely link with credit card and bank accounts, limiting the amount of data entry and separate tracking on your end. 

Cha-Ching can also help you stay on track financially, but with fewer integration options, you are still left doing most the work.  The process is simplified by adding location-based transaction entry and Cha-Ching does have multiple account support.  For $2.99 you can see all your accounts at a glance, with tabs for scheduled payments and payees as well.

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Day Bank combines your payment history, scheduled payments and budget into a single iPhone app.  View charts to better understand your spending behavior.  Calculate your budget across multiple accounts. Camera integration offers photo receipts, documenting cash spending. For $1.99 you get a good deal on the Day Bank app.

If you need something basic and non-specific to a given errand, Add It Up may be all you need.  Create a list for anything you would like, insert the prices and add everything up.  This can be helpful for managing your budget on site, though additional syncing options would improve this 99 cent iPhone app.

Out and about with iPhone apps

Bread and Milk is an iPhone app for grocery shopping. With two entry modes, you can calculate your budget at home and at the store.  Ordering groups make repeat shopping easier, with a few built in to get you started with the app.  It is worth the 99 cent price tag to calculate your food budget before and during your errand run.

The Groceries Grocery List iPhone app will also manage your items while on the go.  For the same 99 cent price point, however, you get more automation for calculating prices from your iPhone.  A preloaded dictionary and automatic group organization calculates more than prices, helping you achieve an efficient shopping experience.

Tipulator gives you quick answers for the tip dilemma, according to the percentage amount you would like to tip.  Support for multiple currencies keeps you in the know even as you travel.  Added features also help you calculate the tip for split bills amongst friends. If you dine out frequently, the $1.99 app may be a good investment.

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iPhone apps for special occasions

My Christmas Gift List is great for managing the gifts you need to buy and the prices for all those gifts.  For 99 cents, this app connects with your iPhone contacts and creates lists for groups of people. Assign a gift and allocate a budget for each gift. If you have yet to select a gift for a person, adding a budget cap can help you in your decision-making.

Weddings are notorious for escaping budgets, so stay focused with the WeddingWire iPhone app.  WeddingWire, which is a free app, tracks past payments and helps you schedule upcoming payments as well.  Combined with a wedding checklist and local search, the WeddingWire iPhone app covers all the major bases.

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