9 Ways To Get Your Financial Life In Order, Straight From Your Phone

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
Your phone is already your mall, your matchmaker, and, courtesy of Spotify's "Discover Weekly" playlist, your personal emcee, so it makes sense that it can also serve as your financial advisor. And we're not talking about Siri serving up investment advice, although she can help you make Venmo payments. Instead, we're referring to the many apps and chatbots that sync with your bank accounts and credit cards, to give you total control straight from your homescreen.

Of course, as is the case for shopping and music apps, there are plenty of banking apps that aren't worth downloading, and that will only make you more frustrated with your finances. But there are a select number that not only help you stay on top of paying bills, but also work behind the screen to find areas where you can automatically be saving more. And once you put in the minimal legwork required to download the app, set up an account, and sync it with your finances, you can sit back and let the app do its work.

So, where other New Year's resolutions might require more time and energy, your money-related goals can, in many cases, be easier, simply by automating the process. We talked to Priya Malani, a partner at Stash Wealth, for her input on apps that can help. Ahead, nine downloads that will put more money in your savings account, rescue you from stepping foot in the bank, and make sure you never pay another overdue fee again.
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Photo: Mint.
If you want to pay all your bills in one place.

If you only want one good all-around finance app, go with Mint. While it can take longer to set up than others, it's a comprehensive way to look at your investments, bank accounts, credit card statements, and more. The app is also the easiest way to stay on top of bills — you can pay them directly through your Mint account and set up reminders when a due date is fast approaching.

Mint, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Spendee.
If you want to see where your money is going.

Spendee is similar to Mint, but with fewer bells and whistles, meaning that it's a bit easier to navigate. Useful infographics let you visualize exactly where you're spending all your hard-earned cash. And if you share any expenses with friends or family, you can invite them to add expenses to the graphs, too.

Spendee, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Trail Wallet.
If you're planning a trip.

The last thing you want to think about when exploring the streets of Paris is money. That's where Trail Wallet comes in. The app (free up to the first 25 entries) lets you easily enter and keep track of expenses — and deal with exchange rate conversions — so you can get back to eating, shopping, and sightseeing.

Trail Wallet, Available on the App Store.
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Photo: Digit.
If you want to save more.

Put concerns about saving on the backburner and download Digit. The app takes care of all the work for you. Digit connects to your checking account, looks at your income and spending patterns, finds small cash amounts you can afford to squirrel away and won't miss (typically between $2 and $17), and moves the funds to an insured savings account. It's secure and simple.

Digit, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Tycoon
If you're a freelancer.

Any freelancer knows that one of the hardest parts of the job is tracking payments. Tycoon simplifies that process by letting you create entries for all of your different jobs, and sending you notifications when payments are made and when they're overdue. You can also set up an automated email that will go out to employers in the case of the latter.

Tycoon, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Expensify.
If you file a lot of expense reports.

Ah, the monthly joy that is an expense report. Filing receipts is never fun, but Expensify at least makes it easier and more efficient. All you need to do is create a new report and take a photo of your receipt. The app's SmartScan technology gathers the important information, such as the place's name and total cost, and adds them to the entry for you.

Expensify, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Madeline Buxton.
If you have a banking question.

There are bots for just about everything nowadays, from ones that offer up recipes to others that give gift ideas, but one of the most useful is Kai. The financial bot connects securely to your Venmo account, bank account, and credit cards. After setting it up, you can text Kai at any time, asking both personal questions ("what did I spend last month on dining out?") to more general finance questions ("what is APR?").

MyKAI, Available at Kasisto.
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Photo: Venmo.
If you owe a friend.

The days of struggling with splitting bar tabs and bugging a friend to pay back cab fare are long gone, thanks to Venmo. It's the easiest way to deal with smaller transactions, and keep track of what you owe others without payments piling up. Plus, in September's iOS 10 update, Venmo became integrated with Siri and iMessage, allowing you to make secure payments on-the-spot, without even opening the Venmo app.

Venmo, Available on the App Store and Google Play.
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Photo: Bank of America.
If you want to find deals, ATMs, and more.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people don't take enough advantage of their primary bank app. Most major banks, including Citi, Chase, and Bank of America, offer free apps that let you see your statements, find nearby ATMs, and check out nearby cash back deals. The best part, though, is the ability to deposit a check simply by taking a photo, meaning you don't even have to step foot in the bank.
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