Technology has made things amazingly simple for us people, be it booking a cab, ordering a meal, getting weather updates, everything is just a tap away. Smartphones and smart apps allow receiving quick updates regardless of the time or location.

Same way to manage money, there are many kinds of apps such as bank account management, financial planning or personal financial management apps, such as Good Budget, Acorn, Mint, etc., to help us with the money and manage a budget.personal finance managment app

Also, recently a study revealed that more than 70% of the youth have financial literacy and this in itself talks about the potential of finance applications in today’s times, and hence financial firms are more than eager to invest in money management and personal finance apps.

In this blog, we will be discussing personal finance management apps, and how you can develop one for your business, and several other aspects. To start with, let’s find out what exactly is a personal finance or expense tracker app.

Table of Contents

What Is A Personal Finance Management App?

A personal finance app is created with the purpose of managing private money, track the spendings, and plan out a budget. Often these apps are also called Money Saving apps, as they enable the app users to borrow, lend, and even invest money. Now the target audience of the personal finance apps is the end-users, hence their business model is B2C. These apps help people in wisely managing their money, and they are for the personal use of people and not to establish business goals.

A report from AppsFlyer states that these days an increasing number of people are installing and deploying finance apps on their smartphones. In 2019, it was registered that the users’ activity on these apps had increased by 354% as compared to the year 2014. This kind of popularity in itself explains the many benefits these finance apps bring to their users.

What Are The Benefits Of Personal Money Management Apps?

Here, we are talking about some of the advantages of a personal finance app, like:

Efficiently Organize Finances & Monthly Budget

The personal finance app allows in keeping track of how much money is spent on certain purchases, analyzing incomes & expenses, and making overall smart decisions. It also helps in evaluating financial behavior, and make the necessary adjustments.

Securely Manage Finance

Having a personal finance app allows the users to feel more confident and secure with their finances as they are exactly in the know-how of it. It is useful in distributing money between must-buys and occasional luxuries. And at the same time, a certain sum of money can be kept aside for saving.

Helps Make Sound Financial Decisions

The further benefit of good money management apps is that it prevents from impulsive purchases. The app allows for proper monthly budget planning and funds distributions, and with this, the risk of wasting money reduces tremendously. This way, one can save for things they really need instead of spending at the wrong places.

73% of smartphone users have used an app to manage their finances in the past month. ThinkWithGoogle

Types Of Personal Finance Management Apps

  • Basic money management apps with manual data entry
  • Peer to Peer Payments App
  • Full Service Banking App
  • Money Investment Management App
  • Daily & Monthly Budgeting Apps
  • Financial Management Software
  • Bookkeeping Software
  • Financial Forecasting Apps

Types Of Financial Apps Used In The United States In 2018

Types of financial apps used in the United States in 2018
Source: Statista

Why Create A Personal Finance Or Expense Tracker App?

personal money management appWell, the aim here is to understand why one should create a personal finance or expense recording app. As per AskWonder in the year 2015, the United States money management apps market was estimated worth $24.5 million dollars while the number of users aged over 18 was 12,816,140. The most prominent apps in this domain turned out to be:

With an increasing number of personal finance apps in the app market, a plethora of opportunities are opening up for the assets/finances industry).

Market Statistics Concerning Personal Finance Management Apps

  • It is projected that by the year 2020, the total transaction value in the personal finance segment is going to be more than $700,000 million.
  • Reports say the finance apps have generated 24 billion downloads in the second quarter of 2020.
  • By 2026, the personal finance software is estimated to be $343 million in the US personal finance software market: GlobalNewsWire.
  • 53 percentage of the users surveyed by the Business Insider budget use a mobile banking app.

What Apps Are Used By The US Citizens

Frequency Of Mobile Banking App Usage In The United States In 2017, By Age

Frequency of mobile banking app use in the United States in 2017, by age
Source: Statista

Popular Personal Finance Management Apps

Among the many popular personal finance applications, the most popular are:

Acorns – Invest Spare Change

Acorns personal money management and investment app logoThis personal finance app is known for democratizing investing. In this app, the program rounds up each of the expenses to the nearest dollar, while investing spare change. As the amount is usually insignificant, the users barely notice any difference, hence the appealing factor of the app is painless saving.

  • Acorns educate its users with the basics of investing, FAQs, and a glossary.
  • It offers a round-up multiplier where the users can take up their investment tempo by more than 10 times.
  • This app offers reward bonuses that are invested automatically when purchased from Acorns’ partners. Acorns’ monetization strategy consists of paid subscriptions and referral bonuses from the purchases that the users make from the app partners.

Qapital – Smart Personal Finance Manager

Qapital smart personal finance manager app logoThis app helps its users in saving money, in a way that they can reach their goals easily. It also allows the users to work together towards the shared goals. There are several investment options offered by the Qapital app where the users can easily enter an amount & investment period and automatically the product will invest and diversify the funds of app users.

Among the many offerings of the app some are, it allows creating personalized ad shared goals, check amounts without any bank fee, and a spend tracker that guides on how one can save more. In this app, the monetization strategy they have picked is through transactional fees.

Albert – Budget, Save, Invest

Albert budgeting and money management app logoThis personal financing application offer automatic savings, budgeting, guided investments, and a lot more. Now, most of the app features are for free, however for some extra features, one can subscribe for premium service, which starts at $4/month. Among the many offerings of the app, some are commission-free investments, financial advice from professionals, optimized savings for reaching the predefined goals.

Meanwhile, the Albert app earns via the referral fee, where it partners with some of the lending & insurance service providers. And at the same time, it offers a subscription for human-assisted guidance.

Mint – Budget, Bills & Finance Tracker

Mint Budget, Bills, & Finance Tracker app logoThe Mint personal finance app has been here for years. In the beginning, it was simply an expense tracker with several categories, and now it has turned into this AI-enabled financial advisory platform spanning across the web & mobile platforms. Among the several offerings of Mint, some are:

  • The app monitors the credit scores of the users
  • The app allows to set goals and track investments
  • It aggregates the bank accounts of the users for a single budget view
  • As it comes to the subscription strategy, the app earns through user credit monitoring and referral fees. Also, it monetizes aggregate consumer data.

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

YNAB budget and personal finance app logoThis prominent budgeting app has a massive YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook following. However, YNAB is not just a plain budget management app, but also an educational platform teaching its users a lot about finance and how they can be smart with their money.

This app exclusively focuses on budgeting and is able to track shared budget with the partners. And then another interesting feature is the goal tracking and reports. The monetization model used is a subscription-based model.

Walnut – Money Manager & Expense Tracker App

The Walnut personal money management app is a great choice for any person who wants to automate expense tracking and save some money. It offers a few unique features such as the user can split any expense with friends when going out for dinner or shopping.

The app also offers a way to integrate bank accounts and find nearby ATM’s. It has tie ups with more than 50+ Indian banks which makes it very useful. For users who are eligible are also offered a line of credit for shopping, travel, and other expenses.

General Features To Include In Personal Finance Management Apps

  • User authorization and account creation
  • Profile with all user details
  • Linking to bank accounts and credit cards
  • Track transactions and view history
  • Double-entry bookkeeping accounting system
  • Secure Passcode (Pin, Fingerprint Sensor, OTP via Mail & SMS Authentication)
  • View financial statistics and analytical reports for a specific time period
  • Manage Spending categories & Sub Category like “food”, “travel”, “clothing” etc.
  • Search & Filter expenses by category, payment method, status, description, tag, etc.
  • Backup/Restore & Synchronization: Auto backup on Dropbox, Google Drive, and Cloud, Automatic sync between multiple devices
  • Connect to PC and use all features via desktop app
  • Manage Investments: Mutual Funds, Real estate investments, Stocks

Features In An Expense Tracking App

personal expense tracking app

  • Track expenses, allowances, and incomes
  • Track Multiple bank accounts
  • Scan receipts and bills
  • Manage taxation
  • Track liabilities or debts like loans and credit card EMI’s
  • Parsing SMS messages of Credit/Debit Card and bank
  • Export income and expense report to email, excel sheet, HTML, CSV, and PDF
  • View expense reports via desktop app
  • Bookmark function for frequent expenses

Features In A Money Management App With main Focus On Budget and Bill Organizing

  • Bills organized on the basis of categories, week, month, and year
  • Manage & Schedule Recurring Payments: Credit card payment, Electricity & Water Bills Payment, Mortgage, fines, IRA investment, etc.
  • Send alerts via Push Notifications: future bill payments, Change of cost standard, Low-balance alert, etc.
  • Manage daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly budget
  • View expenses and income on a calendar

Additional Tools To Make An Intuitive Financial Management App

  • Currency converter
  • In-App Calculator
  • Loan calculator
  • Credit card payoff calculator
  • Interest calculator
  • Create Notes on Calendar
  • Create a Shopping list

Financial Data Aggregation

Aggregating all financial data helps the user view the information and data of all accounts in one place. So, financial aggregation lets the user combine data of checking accounts, IRA investment, loan accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, credit card accounts, mortgages, health savings account (HSA), and Flexible Spending Account (FSA). The data is shared via screen scraping and APIs.

Some Of The Best Financial Data Aggregators in the United States

financial data aggregators chart
Source: TearSheet
  • MX clients: Ally, BBVA, Borrowell, Synovus, BECU, Robinhood
  • Finicity clients: FICO, Maxwell, Experian, Volly, Freddie Mac, Ellie Mae, Roostify, Fannie Mae
  • Fiserv clients: FinLocker
  • Envestnet/Yodlee clients: PayPal, Venmo, Cash, Mint, Prism, Birch, You Need A Budget
  • Plaid clients: Acorns, Betterment, Coinbase, Simple
  • Intuit clients: TurboTax, Mint, QuickBooks Self-Employed, Turbo, Credit Karma

Advanced Features To Include In Personal Finance Management Apps

personal budgeting app dashboard desktop

Cross-Platform Functionality

This is a great functionality in a personal finance app, as this streamlines the proceedings and helps users in saving time and effort as they transact.


Another essential feature to be present in the app, and to strengthen the security in these apps, by building Blockchain based apps do thet can be introduced as it cuts out the middleman transactions while changing how transactions take place at the fundamental level. Blockchain offers transparency with authentication which is unique for a personal finance app. Mint stores user information and data in a secure database with 128-bit SSL-encryption.

Artificial Intelligence

This is again a useful feature for a finance app, as it notifies the users each time their spending exceeds the limit set by them. For this, the AI-powered chatbots can be created as they notify when transactions go over the limit.


In order to provide sound financial solutions, adequate user information is required by the app, so that personalized solutions can be offered. Hence, app personalization is essential in the case of personal finance apps.

Tracking & Analytics

This functionality allows the users to keep a track of their financial activities so that their funds and money can be properly managed. The app can provide history and other useful information for the comprehensive analysis of all the transactions.

Points & Rewards

It is essential to motivate the app users from time-to-time and hence offering rewards and points can help in attracting the users. The rewards can be like discounts, coupons, cashback, credits, and more.

Track Spending & Expenses

This expense management functionality helps users in keeping track of their spending in real-time. For instance, if a user is required to check its transactions in two different accounts, both of them can be checked in the same app via expense reports. This way all of their finances can be managed under a single roof.


Using this feature, the app can send alerts via push notifications to its users every time they overspend or as they transfer funds or receive funds. Besides, the users can also be notified in case of pending dues or payments, electricity payment, mobile bill payment, etc.

Set Financial Goals

Here the app users can set financial goals, like buying a car, or a house, or save a particular sum of money for a trip, and hence their spending can be according to these financial goals. Also, the online budget planner can help the user achieve their financial goals. The monthly budget planner will also inculcate a habit of saving money and prevent frivolous spending.

Financial Advice & Consultation

This feature is helpful for the users requiring financial suggestions or advice from the experts in this field. This functionality can further be categorized on the basis of various categories.

Transaction History

This functionality allows to manage money and allows the app users to track their spending or transactions.

These were some of the advanced features that can make the app more meaningful and attract more crowd. Hence, let’s jump onto the monetization strategies.

Monetization Strategies For Personal Expense Tracker Apps

There are several ways to make money through financial apps, such as:


Definitely one of the best ways to make money and monetizing a free app. The app owners can choose to sell advertising space on the platform for a specific fee. This can greatly benefit the app.


Here the app owners can choose to charge the referral fees and this way they can earn revenue through the downloads.

Partner Network

There are online retailers who are looking for customers to buy their products or services. So, in this monetization model, the app owners can choose to partner with the merchants and earn a commission on every particular sale.

Premium Fee

In this model, the app owners charge a fee from the users and in return allow them to unlock the app’s premium services.

Hire mobile app developers

Technology Stack For A Personal Finance Management App

technology stack for mobile app

  • Marketing Stack: Google AdMob, Google Tag Manager, Mailchimp, Google Sign-In, Mandrill, Segment
  • Developer Stack: PHP, NGINX, Bootstrap, Amazon Cloudfront, Adobe Flash, Angular JS, Apache Commons, CoffeeScript, EmberJS, Github, Google Maps, HTML 5, Node.js, Play Framework, PostgreSQL, RawGit, ReactiveX, Ruby on Rails,
    SQLite, Stylus, TypeScript, jQuery
  • iOS mobile app: Swift, Objective-C
  • Backend/API: Ruby, .NET, Postgre DB
  • Admin panel: React, Angular, jQuery
  • Analytics & Data Science Stack: Amplitude, Google Analytics, VWO
  • DevOps & IT Stack: Jira, Bugcrowd, Cloudflare, Comodo SSL, Crashlytics, ExpressionEngine, Fabric, Facebook Comments, Gravatar, Heroku, Jenkins, Phusion Passenger, Rollbar, Wistia, Zencoder
  • Productivity & Operations Stack: G Suite, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Slack
  • Product & Design Stack: Font Awesome, Trello, clipboard.js
  • Customer Support & Success Stack: Forumbee, Intercom, Help Scout
  • Finance & Accounting Stack: Recurly, Square
  • Other Stack: 1Password, TripActions, Mixpanel, ClickTale

How Much It Costs To Develop A Personal Finance App?

There are a number of factors on which the cost of a personal finance app depends, such as:

  • App Features
  • Location of the development team
  • App Design
  • App Complexity
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Certifications & Compliances
  • Development Platform (iOS, Android or Hybrid)
  • Duration of the development project
  • Tools & Technologies used
  • Size of the app development team (Project Manager, Developers, Designers, Testers)
  • Maintenance & Support

When all the above-mentioned factors are considered, an app with basic features for a single platform should app development cost around $25000-$35000, whereas an app with advanced features, third-party integrations, and created for more than one platform should cost around $50000-$7000.

Wrapping Up

We hope that this post has provided you a good idea of what you need to create an app for personal money management. If you have a plan or idea that you think could help the users get better at expense tracking, budgeting, investing and financial management then you should build your own app.

We at Emizentech are well versed in developing mobile apps and our app development team has experience in developing personal financial management software and app. So, for any such project please get in touch with us.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.