Nancy Phillips

Success Starts with Awareness

You can’t improve something you’re not aware of, so becoming aware of your financial choices and outcomes is critical. This is true now more so than ever before because of the ease and speed with which we can spend money. It wasn’t so easy to spend back when you had to have the cash on you,  or gold, or wheat… (depending on how far back you go). Tracking results is a part of mastering the best actions to take, whether you look at athletic training, nutrition, corporate initiatives or … taking care of your money. It is our time and energy that creates our income, we want to make sure we use it according to our values and priorities, not the infinite media influences bombarding us each day.

Personal finance apps have become the new way to balance checkbooks, monitor spending, and stay on track. But with so many options out there and the sensitive nature of our banking information, how do you choose the right one?

The team at released a guide to the best personal finance software ( that addresses the concerns of online budgeting and guides you through what to look for in a provider.

They recommend keeping the following in mind:

  1. Safety first

If your app will be handling credit card and banking information, security has to be the number one priority. Look for these key indicators of safe data handling:

  • Https, not http in the web address. This is the “secure version” of http, which protects login information. “S” stands for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts your connection to a website so hackers can’t get to your data.
  • Multi-factor authentication. Confirming your identity through another device provides an extra measure of security and ensures that it is really you logging in.
  • 128- or 256-bit encryption and TLS 1.2 for transmissions. These ensure that your data can’t be hacked or stolen while it’s in transit. Encryption keys process your data with a secret formula; anyone who intercepts it will just see a string of meaningless numbers and letters. The longer the encryption, the more bits of key length there are.

2. Direct syncing

Every person has a different system for tracking their finances. Those who rely on an app because of its automated tracking will want to ensure the app syncs directly with their bank accounts and credit cards. By allowing the software full access, there’s less busy work on your end and ultimately, smarter tracking for your finances.

Keep an eye out for cross-platform functionality as well. While most apps work on both your phone and desktop, some options are strictly designed for mobile devices. And while it may not matter that much to you now, being able to login if you lose your phone may be a deal-breaker later on.

3. Customer Support

Finances are confusing and personal. In the event you have questions regarding security, connection issues, or even to seek advice, you’ll want to look for apps with customer service that will quickly meet your needs. The best providers will offer that lightning-fast service with multiple ways to get support (i.e. chatboxes, emails, and phone lines).

All-in-all, personal finance is a matter of what works best for you. How you take care of your money; your income, spending, saving, giving and investing, is extremely personal. This is why it is so important you pay attention to your cash flow in and out, and not just “let it be” to run itself, that’s how people get into real trouble in today’s consumer culture. An investment of a bit of time and learning in this segment of your life can lead to huge benefits in all areas of your current and future life, not just your finances.

Read the complete review here:


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