College Connect: Troubled in managing your financial accounts? These mobile apps may help.

By Huiqi Xu

An international student may have many accounts. I’ve found it difficult to manage my accounts as well as credit cards. Using an app on your smartphone or tablet is one way to put everything in one place.

I found these which might be helpful:

1. Clarity Money: I started using this app three months ago when my favorite financial management app “Prosper Daily” was disconnected. It supports many banks in the U.S. and provides different features, including overview of all accounts, spending and saving analysis, free transaction between different bank accounts and etc. The app uses card-design layout, which is clear to present each single piece of information. You may choose to keep the features you like on the main page and discard other features. Also, it provides evaluation of your credit scores as well as notifies you to make payments to credit cards. If you would like to explore how you spend your money, “Clarity Money” is one of the best apps you could use.

2. Penny: I found this app interesting because of its style of presenting information. Just like texting with a friend, the app uses texting-style (dialogues) to inform you the financial situation. For example, if you would like to know your spending breakdown by category, you could type “breakdown by category” in the text box, then the app would text you back with the graphic of the information. In addition, each spending would fall into a category automatically, which would be easier for you to review you spending weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. If you are interested in a fun financial management app, “Penny” would be your go-to choice.

3. Truebill: This app is a little different from the other two. In addition to features of keeping an eye on spending and account activity, it also manages bills and subscription services such as Netflix, Spotify and even Microsoft office. For example, I’m a subscriber to The New York Times, Netflix and Spotify at the same time but always forget when my subscriptions end. Therefore, I could add my accounts of these platforms to this app which would remind of the payment due day and related information. Another helpful feature of the app is that it would detect unwanted charges, such as a late fee, and help you request a refund in only one click instead of making you write long emails to the business. If you would like to save your time on financial management, “Truebill” could be a good option.

Huiqi Xu is a graduate student from China at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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