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Top 3 Personal Finance Apps to Keep Your Budget on Track

Now that Tax Day is behind us, it’s time to figure out what to do with your refund.

And if you’re not expecting one, you now have time to fix those finances for next year.

There are many apps available to help you get organized with your budget. Nearly all the major banks offer mobile banking.

But by far the most popular app – at least, if you’re asking Twitter and Facebook – is Mint. The company currently boasts more than seven million users.

Mint is a free app that brings together financial accounts either online or through a mobile device. (In February, it became available on Android.)

“I heart Mint!” said Suzanne, in Richmond, Va. “It's like having my own personal CFO. The pie chart graphic that tracks spending in categories showed me I was spending enough on groceries to support a family of 10. Needless to say, Mint is a blessing and a curse. I've decided to reduce my grocery trips and stay in a budget, and that hurts! But at least I'm no longer wondering where my money goes every month.”

Upon sign up, Mint automatically pulls your financial information and categorizes transactions. It shows users what’s happening in their accounts – checking, savings, investments, and retirement. I personally appreciate how Mint allows you to see what’s left in your budget for each category (food, gas, shopping, etc.).

PearBudget is another popular app that starts out free (after you try it, you can sign up for $4.95 a month.)

Like Mint, PearBudget allows you to set up an account quickly within a secure online site. It also allows you to export your budget to a file, so you can track spending in Excel.  

If you visit the site, it talks about the start of PearBudget – “a husband-and-wife team of indie web developers named Charlie and Sarah Park.”

“Five years ago, we created PearBudget as a spreadsheet to help us track our spending,” the site says. “On a whim, we posted it online, in case other people might find it helpful. It was downloaded over 100,000 times, and was written up in the Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, and dozens of popular websites and blogs.”

The rest is history. PearBudget now is a fully customizable web-based app.

BudgetSimple is another free, web-based app that works under the philosophy that “to create a balanced budget you must spend less (or equal to) what you earn.”

The site allows you to see what a budget looks like in action. The charts include helpful graphs that show current income and expenses by month.  

BudgetSimple reports how you’re spending money and how well you manage income vs. expenses. 

This is a lot to process. So, if you’re undecided on a personal finance app for you, just remember that you’re not alone.

Choosing an app to help you right your financial wrongs likely could take longer than signing up for one of these budget-friendly sites. 

Thankfully, here’s a not-so-short list of apps that you can check out and be on your way to financial wellness: http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios-finance/id6015?mt=8

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

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