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Currently, only 16.4% of U.S. high school students are required to take a personal finance course to graduate. This means most teens and young adults aren’t improving their financial literacy through school.

A survey of parents with children under age 21 showed almost half of the respondents (46%) would grade their personal financial literacy as a C or lower. Clearly, many young adults aren’t getting comprehensive financial advice from their parents either. 

When youth can’t necessarily rely on their parents or their schools to learn about finances, they need to teach themselves. Fortunately, there are a variety of financial apps for teens and young adults that can help them manage their money, teach them how to be financially responsible, and make saving for the future easier. 

In this article, we cover the best money apps for teens, under 18 year olds, minors, young adults or whatever group to which you feel you belong where you can manage your money, invest and watch it grow. Below are some of the best financial apps geared towards young adults.

Best Investing Apps for Minors/Teens and Young Adults


Wanting to learn how to invest as a teenager or young adult? If so, numerous options provide easy ways to invest but may require overcoming some legal roadblocks depending on your age.

By beginning your investing journey early, even with modest gains under your belt, you will have a major advantage on where your finances will start as a young adult.

Despite major headlines affecting stock markets on a daily basis, holding money in stocks for the long-term has made many individuals wealthy. Therefore, using one of your best advantages, your age, makes complete sense for getting ahead.

To have the best chance of success, you’ll need to hold an incredibly broad, low-cost investment portfolio (with investments like VTI or VTSAX, or even VFIAX) and make regular contributions as early as possible.

However, if you wish to use investing apps as a minor, you’ll need to understand that you will encounter one basic problem as an investor under 18 years old: you can’t open your own brokerage account.

Many investing apps look well-suited to young investors (e.g., Webull, Robinhood, Acorns, etc.), but you still need to be at least 18 years old to invest by yourself in the United States.

This legal restriction relates to the investment industry and has no true workaround without the help of a parent or legal guardian.

To get around the roadblock, you will need to invest using a custodial account opened and maintained by your parent or legal guardian.

These accounts let you use investing apps for minors and through adulthood (18 or 21, depending on your state’s laws) and will then revert to your name.

Two of the apps mentioned also appear in the following sections because these services offer multiple products.

App Rating (out of 5)FeesBest ForPromotions
Acorns Earlyacorns logo4.8$1/month - $5/monthAutomated investing in the background into diversified investments; Round Ups$10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
Greenlight + Investgreenlight logo4.7$7.98/monthTeaching investing fundamentals with guidance from parents; allows individual and index fund investingFirst month free
Stashstash logo rebrand4.7$1/month - $9/monthEveryday people looking to start managing their finances$5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more
UNestUnest Logo4.5$3/month - $6/monthAge-based investments in custodial investment accountMatching bonus with $25 initial deposit ($25 bonus)
M1 Financem1 finance logo4.3$0 trading or automated investing; $125/year on M1 Plus subscription for custodial accountFee-free active trading and automated investing$30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit
Firstradefirstrade logo4.5Commission-free tradesMutual fund and target date fund investorsFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Webullwebull logo4.7Commission-free tradesSelf-directed investors and intermediate tradersTwo free stocks with $5 deposit, valued between $11 - $2,300

1. Acorns Early ($10 Bonus)


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Lite: $1/mo, Acorns Personal: $3/mo, Acorns Family: $5/mo

Acorns is an investing app geared toward minors, young adults and millennials by offering “round ups,” or when the app rounds up purchases made on linked debit and credit cards to the nearest dollar, investing the difference on your behalf. 

For example, if you purchase a coffee for $2.60 on a linked credit card, Acorns automatically rounds this charge up to $3.00 and invests the $0.40 difference in selected investments.  

Users have seen an average of $30/month invested this way and makes the service one of the best investments for young adults who are looking to get started with saving and investing, especially if they have a .edu email address or are under the age of 24 because Acorns is free.

The investing app allows minors to have custodial accounts managed by their parent or legal guardian through their product Acorns Early available under the Family Plan ($5/mo).

Making regular contributions over long periods of time can go a long way toward building lifelong wealth. Using an app like Acorns could also be the best way to invest $1,000 for a child‘s future.

Learn more in our Acorns review.

Related: Best Acorns Alternatives: Micro-Investing Apps to Use

2. Greenlight App


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $7.98/mo after for Greenlight + Invest

Greenlight + Invest is an investment account for kids that comes paired with a debit card and bank account.

It’s easy to use and can double as a savings account and banking apps for teens. The app will teach the basics of investing, how to invest in stocks and ETFs, etc.

It works best if parents and/or grandparents are involved in the process because it requires linked accounts from the custodians’ banks or brokerages. Plus, parents and guardians will need to approve trades made in the investment account.

The all-in-one plan teaches them important financial skills like money management and investing fundamentals — with real money, real stocks and real-life lessons.

You can use the investing feature to:

  • Buy fractional shares of companies your kids admire (kid-friendly stocks)
  • Start investing with as little as $1 in your account (with fractional shares)
  • No trading commissions beyond the monthly subscription fee
  • Parents approve every trade directly in the app on individual stocks and ETFs with a market capitalization of $1 billion+

Consider opening a Greenlight Card + Invest account to start investing in a custodial brokerage account for your kids today. The first month is free to trial the product and see if it meets your needs for giving one of the best investments for kids.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

Related: Best Greenlight Alternatives [Debit Cards for Kids & Teens]

3. Stash Invest ($5 Bonus)


stash sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Beginner: $1/mo, Growth: $3/mo, Stash+: $9/mo¹

Stash is a personal finance app complete with investing, money management and banking features². The app may have a special appeal to young adults because of its powerful platform of financial services.

On the Stash+ plan, Stash offers custodial accounts (UGMA/UTMA) for you to invest for your children or other kids in your life. When a child reaches the majority (typically age 18), they can use the money saved in their Stash account to pay for education and other opportunities³.

As you contribute money to your Stash account, these amounts can be used to purchase fractional shares of companies, meaning you can invest in as little as $1 worth of Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), or other companies you think may help you build wealth over time4.

Stash has thousands of individual stocks and ETFs for investors to choose from. The Stash Growth and Stash+ plans offer you the ability to contribute to tax-advantaged investments like Traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs)5.

To proceed with investing, you will start by answering some simple questions to understand your investment preferences, risk profile and financial objectives.  Based on these answers, Stash makes recommendations for you.

If you sign up from the link below, Stash will deposit a $5 bonus into your personal portfolio after you deposit at least $5 into your personal portfolio*. To get you started, use this link or click the button below.

For additional details and disclosures, please see the fine print at the bottom of this article.

4. UNest ($25 bonus)


unest sign up

Parents using UNest have the flexibility to save for all the important life stages that their children will experience — college, first car or a home.

This money app acts as a great investment app for under 18 year olds because it allows parents to invest under the names of their kids through a custodial account.

UNest offers the UNest Investment Account for Kids through an app that makes it easy for families of all income levels and backgrounds to set up and manage savings and investment plans for their kids.

UNest account holders can receive bonuses for their children’s UNest accounts from companies like brands like Disney, AT&T, Uber, DoorDash, Levis etc through the UNest partner program.

For a limited time, new users of the app who open and fund an account with at least $25 can receive a matching $25 credit.

 

5. M1 Finance ($30 Bonus)


m1 finance

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free to download, no commissions on stock/ETF trades; requires M1 Plus plan

M1 Finance has the tools you need to help build a strong financial future. And, now, your children can reap the benefits, too with this top stock trading app for beginners.

Recently, M1 Finance launched custodial accounts (including custodial Roth IRAs for kids), expanding access to my top-rated robo-advisor app to minors. The service knew how important it was to plan for your future- that means for your family’s future as well.

Now, M1 Finance allows you to manage your family’s investments all in one place. The app also has stock news stories to learn about the market as minors grow up.

For more in-depth investing, consider pairing this account with a stock analysis app or investment research website to learn how individual stocks trade.

Custodial accounts are exclusively available to M1 Plus members, and you can get started when you join today. If you open an account and fund at least $1,000, you’ll also get a free account bonus to get you started.

Read more in our M1 Finance review.

 

6. Firstrade


firstrade sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free to download, no stock/ETF trade commissions

Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors improve their financial position through sound investing practices.

Firstrade offers custodial accounts, which can help you to save for your child’s education and build a nest egg that will contribute to their future financial stability.

Custodial accounts allow you to manage a minor’s assets on their behalf while also giving you a gift tax advantage and flexibility to invest in any combination of stocks, mutual funds, bonds and ETFs.

Firstrade provides high value and quality services meant to inform your investing strategies and build long-term wealth.  And it does so with free trades.

Firstrade allows you to set up your custodial account and hold the best investments for teenagers and kids under his or her name and social security number.

These assets revert to the account beneficiary once he or she reaches the age of majority (18 or 21, depending on the state in which you live).

Accounts held under the minor’s name and social security number only allow one custodian per account, which is common when investing for kids.

Additionally, if you have a lump sum of money ready to deposit on behalf of the minor, you may qualify for a bonus from this free stock trading app.

 

7. Webull (Age 18+ Only – Investing App for Young Adults)


webull sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free to download, no stock/ETF trade commissions

Webull is a fairly new market entrant in the investing space, launching in 2018.  Despite this, they’ve created a very powerful self-directed investing experience for anyone looking to cut their teeth on trading and long-term investing.

As an added benefit, they offer a robust paper trading product to allow you to learn about market and stock movements without exposing your own money to loss.

The company is a free stock trading app that also has free trades of ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies through their mobile app or desktop site.  In other words, no commissions for the trades you would like to make in your portfolio.

Webull does not currently offer custodial accounts, but young adults can use this app once they reach the age of majority and make their own investment decisions. The company also offers free stocks for users who sign up.

Learn how to get free stocks by signing up for the app and making an initial deposit of at least $100.

Read more in our Webull review.

Best Money Apps for Teens


Money apps are ideally used starting at a younger age and are still useful for teenagers. The ones I’m mentioning are specifically geared toward teens.

With cash, it’s easy to forget how you spent it. Unless you go directly to a bank or use one of the many banking apps for minors or young adults, it’s difficult to convince yourself to save money in your pocket.

Credit cards can feel unlimited and that leads to overspending. Plus, credit cards are just about spending and teach you nothing about saving.

In many ways, the money apps below are better than cash or credit cards. Find some more money apps for kids here.

8. Greenlight App


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $4.99/mo after

While Greenlight gets highlighting above for its investing functionality, the company first started as a money app for teens focused on managing their money through establishing parental controls and oversight.

Specifically, Greenlight provides parents control over where their teens can spend money by limiting the stores where their cards work.  Parents can get alerts when money is spent.

Teens who want extra money can request it and include a photo of the purchase they want to make. Teenagers who have jobs can add their own funds to the card as well.

The Greenlight debit card for teens and kids is a good choice for parents with interest in teaching kids about money, including the importance of saving money and being prudent with their personal finances. It can be useful for teaching teenage money management skills.

This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority and how to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores.

As far as safety concerns with Greenlight, your child would need permission to move money out of the associated account due to built-in safety features.

Further, Greenlight encrypts the data and pictures of your child, preventing that information from being accessed by anyone but yourself.

For security and fund protection, each Greenlight card comes with a PIN number (like any debit card) and also has FDIC insurance coverage.

Greenlight works like a prepaid debit card, allowing you to transfer money onto the card for your child to pay for expenses at approved locations.

You can choose how much money to load onto the card and it will be cleared to make approved purchases so long as a money balance backs up the card.

Finally, your child may use the Greenlight card at any ATM which accepts Mastercard, Visa, Interlink or Maestro cards. However, most ATMs charge withdrawal fees and these fees will be charged per withdrawal.

Consider Greenlight’s debit card if you want to have control over what your kids buy and also teach them about responsible spending.

Related: 11 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

9. Acorns


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Lite: $1/mo, Acorns Personal: $3/mo, Acorns Family: $5/mo

Acorns has become one of the most popular money apps for teens and young adults by offering a robust money management platform. That’s why we’ve included it here for a second time.

The full suite of offerings includes the ability to establish custodial accounts for minors to invest, regular and retirement investment accounts for adults and a bank account with linked debit card.

If you sign up for the Acorns Spend product, it creates a bank account that carries FDIC Insurance protection for up to $250,000.

Further, it uses the Acorns “Round Ups” feature which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar, investing the difference between the transaction amount and the whole dollar. The service claims to help users invest an average of $30/month using this feature.

While not a free stock investing app, Acorns does give you the following subscription options:

  • Acorns Lite ($1/mo): Includes the Acorns Invest plan, which invests spare change through the popular “Round-Ups” feature, earns bonus investments and provides access to financial literacy articles
  • Acorns Personal ($3/mo): Everything on Acorns Lite (Investing), plus it also includes Acorns Later for tax-advantaged investment options like Roth IRAs and Acorns SpendThis service acts as your bank account, offering free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs nationwide and no account fees and the ability to earn up to 10% bonus investments
  • Acorns Family ($5/mo): Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Spend), plus Acorns EarlyThis allows you to open a custodial account for your child and begin investing for them as a minor.

For a limited time, the service also offers a $10 sign up bonus for people who open an account.

 

10. goHenry


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  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free, then $3.99 per child/mo

goHenry is a banking app for teens that comes paired with a debit card. You have an online account which comes linked to individual accounts for each of your children.

You can manage all of the money held in each account through the company’s app and online account portal.

Each child will receive their own goHenry debit card which comes paired with parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about goHenry is the ability to spend only the money available on the card, meaning you don’t need to worry about costly overdraft fees or accrue debt.

You open a goHenry account, receive your children’s debit cards in the mail 7-8 business days later, set up an automatic weekly allowance transfer into your children’s accounts and can set up one-off or weekly spending limits.

This will keep your children’s spending in check and you can block/unblock the card as needed as well as choose the stores where your kids can shop.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids to earn, save, spend and give with good money habits.

Learn more by reading our goHenry debit card for kids review.

Related: goHenry vs. Greenlight: Who Has the Best Debit Card for Teens?

11. Current


current sign up

Current is a banking app designed for all families. The Current app allows you to track your teen’s spending in real-time, set limits on how much they can spend, and even block specific merchants.

You also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their money is safe because it’s not cash. Plus, the company doesn’t charge any fees or interest for student accounts so there are no surprises when bills arrive.

Current helps parents teach teens financial responsibility while giving them a way to learn without having cash around the house and all its temptations.

That means less worry for both parents and kids! With Current, your teenager will be able to do everything from paying friends back to buying groceries at the store–all safely with only her phone!

And teens will have the opportunity to learn financial responsibility and budgeting from an early age. This will allow them to grow their savings and move one step closer to financial independence.

Read more in our Current bank and debit card review.

 

12. Stash


stash sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Beginner: $1/mo, Growth: $3/mo, Stash+: $9/mo1   

Another app to grace this list twice is Stash, a leading all-in-one financial platform, offers a mobile-friendly banking account6. With no hidden banking fees, no minimum deposit or balance requirements, and fee-free ATM access7, Stash may be a strong choice for consumers who prefer to do their banking and investing all through the same platform2.

Plus, you’ll earn Stock-Back Rewards® at places like Walmart, Amazon and more when you make qualified purchases with your Stock-Back® card8.

If you are a young adult, you may want to use Stash to invest money with regular automatic transfers or even “round up” purchases you make on a linked debit card so that the spare change goes to your personal portfolio.

Stash also offers financial education resources that can help you improve your financial literacy. It covers numerous topics like investing, managing and planning money.

The specifics on the Stash banking account:

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum daily balance requirement, but you do need to open a Stash Invest account to use your Stash Online Banking account7.
  • Yield: None, but you’ll earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible purchase made with the Stock-Back® card8.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible debit card purchase. Earn 0.125% Stock-Back® rewards on everyday purchases and up to 5% Stock-Back® rewards on purchases with certain merchants that are eligible for Stock-Back® bonuses9. Plus, you can get paid up to two days early when you direct deposit your pay into your Stash banking account10 and enjoy access to thousands of fee-free ATMs7.
  • Possible Fees: Fees for use of out-of-network ATMs2.

 

13. FamZoo


famzoo sign up

With FamZoo, parents release money into their teen’s accounts and can get them prepaid cards as well. Money can be loaded onto the cards at any time.

It works similarly to the teenager having a regular checking account and debit card, but FamZoo makes it so you can’t overdraft and end up with overdraft fees.

Adults are able to monitor the transactions being made. After a free trial, this app costs $5.99 per month, but the price goes down if prepaid.

Related: Greenlight vs. FamZoo: Who Has the Best Debit Card for Teens?

Best Savings and Debt Apps for Teens & Young Adults


According to the 2018 Planning & Progress Study by Northwestern Mutual, Americans are twice as likely to have accumulated between $5,000 to $25,000 in debt, rather than in personal savings. Saving money can be challenging at any age. 

The more money you save, the less likely you are to go into debt. Unfortunately, even the most diligent savers run into debt when they have major expenses to pay, such as college tuition.

The following apps strive to help teens and young adults save money and/or get themselves out of debt as quickly as possible.

14. Splash Financial


splash financial sign up

Splash Financial is a refinancing marketplace and technology platform that partners with credit unions and banks to help consumers save money on their student loans. The company carries a simple and straightforward mission: help people save money on their student loans.

My wife and I refinanced her student loans on a loan marketplace, we received much more competitive rates than we would have by going to banks individually.

We refinanced her medical school student loans and saved 515 basis points on our interest rate (8.00% to 2.85%).  Over the life of this line of student loans, we saved thousands of dollars in interest!

Several lenders compete in this space like First Republic Bank, the bank which partnered with my employer and which we used on my wife’s second set of student loans.  However, Splash Financial avoids the hassle of getting separate, personalized quotes from different lenders.

Instead, you can receive personalized rates from up to 10 lenders in 2 minutes.  To see a simplified view of why you should refinance with Splash Financial, look at the infographic below.

splash financial why refinance

If you need help taming your student loans, you might consider looking on the Splash Financial marketplace to see if you can receive more competitive loan terms through refinancing.

 

15. Meet Tally


meet tally

Tally is an automated debt manager which automatically works on your behalf to lower your credit card payments. 

By monitoring your linked credit cards and taking stock of your payment history, the debt payoff app develops a better understanding of whether you would be best-served by consolidating your high credit card debt into a loan from Tally.

Tally aims to help you pay off your credit card debt sooner and for less than you would paying off the debt alone. Essentially, Tally’s debt consolidation product helps to make it easier for you to stay on top of your credit card balances and pay them off faster.

You link your credit cards to the Tally app and have it keep track of your due dates, minimum payments and APRs for each card. Based on what Tally finds, the app’s algorithm calculates the best payment strategy for handling your credit cards every month.

As an additional feature of the app, Tally offers late fee protection to prevent overdraft fees or penalty fees.  If you remain in good standing with Tally, you won’t need to confront a late fee on a linked credit card again. 

 

16. Mvelopes


mvelopes

  • Available: Play Store, iOS
  • Price: Free, offers in-app purchases

The mobile app Mvelopes allows you to set up virtual envelopes to place money in for short and long-term savings goals. It gives your money a purpose. You aren’t just saving money in general, but towards specific money goals, such as:

  • Your dream wedding
  • A buying or leasing a car
  • Loan repayment
  • A down payment for a house

This simple concept can make saving money much easier as you see yourself getting closer and closer to your goals.

 

17. Debt Payoff Planner


debt payoff planner

  • Available: Play Store, iOS
  • Price: Free, contains in-app affiliate links

The Debt Payoff Planner mobile app works similarly to Unbury.Me. You enter your debts and monthly payment budget. The app will figure out the best payment plan strategy and how long it will take to be completely out of debt.

You’ll be able to see a payoff scenario where you only pay the minimum amounts compared to one where you pay more than the minimum every month.

 

Best Money-Saving Apps for Young Adults


When I was a kid, phones had cords and often had to be hung up when you wanted to use the internet in the other room.  Now, it seems like you can live your life directly in your hand with a smartphone.

One such improvement to highlight is the creation of money-saving apps young adults can use to trim their expenses and keep more of their money in their pockets.

These fintech companies provide personal finance apps to assist you cut down on your spending by automatically capturing savings on your behalf or making use of money that would otherwise go to waste.

Have a look at the following money-saving apps to see if any of them might help to improve your bottom line.

 

18. Truebill


truebill

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free, Premium subscription costs $4.99/mo or $35.99/year

Truebill acts as money-saving app dedicated to reviewing your expenses and automating potential opportunities to uncover the true cost of your bills.

By working as an automated financial manager, it will proactively work on your behalf to reduce your monthly bills on items like cell service, internet connection, and other utilities and on-going subscriptions.

When you employ Truebill effectively, the money it saves in the background causes it to double as a great productivity app.

As another powerful feature, Truebill can right-size your subscriptions if you find yourself having been upsold on services you no longer need.

For example, if you subscribed to a service provider’s premium package but haven’t used many of the included benefits, Truebill can slash the cost by reverting you to a lower service tier.  This saves you money by removing unused service offerings.

One related service offered by Truebill is the ability to negotiate your bills.  Not only will Truebill do this on your behalf, but it will do so for free. Of note for how Truebill makes money, it earns a fee by keeping a percentage of your savings.  This costs you nothing out of pocket.

A Truebill subscription will cost you money should you choose to upgrade to Truebill’s premium service, however.  This service level charges an ongoing subscription for monitoring your bills, potentially saving you more money over time.

The cost comes to $4.99 per month or $35.99 per year.

 

19. Billshark


billshark

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free; Billshark keeps 40% of savings

Billshark offers some useful cost-savings services. The company’s goal is to save consumers and small businesses of $2.7 billion by 2025.

Users send Billshark copies of their bills and the company’s team starts negotiating savings. Unsuccessful negotiations cost you nothing. Couples can use these found savings to pad their monthly budget.

Following a successful negotiation, Billshark calls or emails you to tell how much you have saved, when the savings go into effect, and a detailed explanation of where you saved money.

Then you receive an invoice for 40% of the money saved during the associated contract period (meaning you won’t be charged indefinitely for the savings).

Billshark will also keep track of when your new savings expire so they can automatically restart negotiations to lower your payments again. 

It’s possible to negotiate bills on your own, but most consider this an extremely unpleasant task. If you’re unsure whether or not Billshark is for you, consider trying their savings calculator to see how much you could save.

 

20. Digit


digit sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free for 30 days; $5/mo thereafter

In a 2019 report released by Bankrate, the average American household had an average of almost $9,000 in a bank account (like a high-yield savings account or in a certificate of deposit). 

Digit can help you save more money with little effort on your end. The app considers your expected income, account balances, upcoming bills, recent spending, and personalized preferences as a young adult to calculate how much money you can spare for savings. 

Next, it automatically transfers that amount into your Digit savings account a few times a week or month, depending on your spending patterns. This eliminates the guesswork on how much you can safely save towards vacations, paying off debt, or anything else.

Every three months you save with Digit, you receive a 0.5% saving bonus. 

The app prevents overdrafts by automatically transferring money to your checking account, and in the event an overdraft still occurs, Digit will cover the fee.

There are no account minimums and you can withdraw money at any time. You can try Digit free for 30 days and then the cost is $5/month.

 

Best Budgeting Apps for Teens and Young Adults


Budgeting is one of the most useful financial skills you can develop. Because young adults may not have substantial funds, they often consider budgeting unnecessary.

However, building budgeting skills early on makes it easier to handle money once you make more and gives you insight into where your money goes.

21. You Need A Budget (YNAB)


you need a budget

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 34-day trial, then $11.99/mo on Monthly Plan or $84/year

YNAB determines how much money you have, what your expenses are, and when your expenses need to be paid. It can track regular payments as well as budget for less frequent costs.

YNAB makes managing a budget simple. In addition to keeping track of expenses, it can help you establish goals and plan savings. You can try YNAB for free for 34 days and then it costs $84 per year or $11.99 per month if paid monthly.

 

22. Personal Capital


personal capital landing page

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free, for accounts over $100,000 in investments, 0.89% annual fee for Wealth Management

Personal Capital has quickly grown into a popular financial app for teens and young adults because it aggregates several accounts in one comprehensive view. This allows it to be one of the best stock tracking apps.

The budgeting app for young adults offers free budgeting software, helpful notifications to indicate monthly progress, and management services for your investments.

The basic version of the app is completely free and used by more than 2,000,000 individuals, speaking to the app’s reach and popularity. The app doesn’t just stop as a budgeting tool, however.

It can also implement a Fee Analyzer which shows the fees you pay on your retirement plans alongside personalized asset allocation recommendations and tools.

If you have $100,000 or more in assets to invest, Personal Capital also offers a Wealth Management plan for an annual fee of 0.89% of assets under management.  This service provides regular access to a financial advisor to assist with planning your finances.

 

23. Toshl Finance


toshl finance sign up

  • Available: Play Store, iOS
  • Price: Free, contains in-app purchases

Toshl Finance allows you to track all of your cards and cash in one place. You can create monthly, weekly, daily, or custom period budgets. Users log and categorize expenses.

You can check your budget progress at any point and Toshl will notify you if there are significant changes in your projected budgeting trajectory.

It has a “Left to Spend” feature very similar to the Left to Spend app. If you already use Left to Spend and are ready for more detailed budgeting, this might be a logical shift for you.

 

24. Mint


mint sign up

  • Available: Play Store, iOS
  • Price: Free, contains in-app affiliate links

Mint is one of the most well-known and comprehensive finance apps. It allows you to see all your money and bills in one place, quickly create budgets, and access unlimited, free credit scores. You’ll be notified if your funds are low, so that you can act accordingly.

Additionally, Mint will make recommendations for bank accounts, credit cards, types of investment accounts, and more, based on your goals and lifestyle. Mint is best for young adults who are ready to take full control of their finances.

How to Choose the Right Finance App


Now that you’ve reviewed this laundry list of various money apps for teens and young adults, how do you know which apps are right for you?

Undoubtedly, many of these apps offer similar features, from money management tools to financial planning for young adults and ways to cut down on your expenses, you’ll need to figure out which apps are truly worth your time – and sometimes money.

In all honesty, this might be easier said than done.  By simply scrolling through either the Play Store from Android or the App Store from Apple, the long list of apps can overwhelm even the most-discerning individuals.

Therefore, determining how to choose the right finance app becomes important by cutting through the clutter and focusing specifically on what you want your finance app to accomplish.

What’s great- and not so great- about money apps, is that money apps work better for different people according to their needs, tastes and preferences.

That being said, some universal truths still apply when deciding how to choose the right finance app:

  1. Focus on the goal you’re trying to achieve
  2. Review the features offered and determine if they’re worth the price (or time)
  3. Review the app’s scores on platforms from other users
  4. Carefully consider your time and money commitments
  5. Focus on keeping your personal information safe and secure

With these guiding principles in place, consider reviewing the list above again to dive deeper into the apps and companies offering them.  If any of them meet the grade for the five universal truths, consider downloading them and giving them a try.

Financial Planning for Young Adults


The apps listed here aim to address one or more financial problems you might face.  This can include financial automation, notifications, management, expense reduction, increasing your saving contributions and much more.

While none of these apps can instill financial literacy overnight, nor can they serve as a substitute for sound financial decision-making, they all work in some way to encourage good financial behavior.  If they didn’t I wouldn’t include them on the list.

However, some things you might want to consider are the following financial tips for young adults.

  1. Learn to live within your means
  2. Develop a sense of self-control
  3. Don’t financially handicap yourself by not saving for your future
  4. Understand where your money comes from and where it goes
  5. Save for your retirement now
  6. Start an emergency fund
  7. Don’t skimp on your health and investing in yourself
  8. Protect your wealth with the appropriate insurance (e.g., life insurance, etc.)

You’ll also want to invest in your future by learning about teenage investing and stock trading for kids (and the risks involved).

Final Thoughts


Teens and young adults who want to take charge of their financial futures can get basic financial assistance through some of today’s best financial apps.

Whether someone is in the stage of trying out a debit card, needing to start budgeting for expenses, or already deep into debt, there are apps that can help.

Teenagers have money goals and have lists of things to save up for. These apps can help them on their way toward achieving these goals for themselves and allow them to live like no one else.

Finances can be complicated, but you can learn the basics one app at a time. 

Disclosure: We scrutinize our research, news, ratings, and assessments using strict editorial integrity. In full transparency, this company may receive compensation from partners listed on this website through affiliate partnerships, though this does not affect our ratings. Learn more about how we make money by visiting our advertiser disclosure.

 

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