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Real Money, Virtual Wallets

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The editors at Master of Finance Degrees decided to research the topic of

Real Money, Virtual Wallets

While only about 1 in 3 Americans even keeps a household budget, times may be changing as new tools make it easier than ever to keep track of income, bills, loans and credit cards. But are we too slow to embrace these tools?

Our Finances Are Complex

Average monthly mortgage payment
Average utility bills per household
Average monthly student loan payment (standard 10-year repayment plan)
Average monthly payment for new car
Average credit card account balance per household
Average credit cards per cardholder

Lots of Help Is Available - But Many Aren't Using It

Dozens of software programs and even free websites exist to help keep track of income, spending and savings. But most Americans still aren't taking advantage of the available tools.

Americans who do not use a website to manage their money
Americans who don't use a smartphone or tablet app to manage their money
Generation gap
Financial management app usage is about three times higher for younger adults than for older generations.
Age group Percentage using smartphone or tablet app to manage money
18-24 33.3%
25-34 25.3%
35-44 30.7%
45-54 11.3%
55-64 11.1%

What We Could Be Using

Best money management apps:
Cost: Free
Special features: Link bank and credit card accounts; create budgets; spending notifications
Cost: $1.99
Special features: See overview of all expenses; track income and expenses
Cost: $0.99
Special features: Track budget and/or income
Cost: Free
Special features: Track investments and credit scores
Cost: $1.99
Special features: Calendar view; track income and expenses
Cost: Free
Special features: Track income and expenses
Cost: Free
strong>Special features: Link bank and credit card accounts; create budgets; spending notifications
Expense Manager
Cost: Free
Special features: Monitor spending in categories; see detailed reports
Cost: Free
Special features: Simple account management
Cost: Free
Special features: Enter balance and income
Best personal finance programs (software and Web-based):
Program Price Platform
InEx Finance - Free - Online/mobile
Mint - Free - Online/mobile
iBank - $48 - Mac/mobile
CommonCents - $35 - Windows
Checkbook Ease Premium - $9 - Windows
Money Manager Ex - Free - Mac/Windows/Linux
ManageME 7 - Free - Online
iMoney - $40 - Mac/Windows/Linux
Checkbook Ease - $9 - Windows
Boachsoft Finance - $49 - Windows