Financial organization is difficult for most of us, in most any sense of the term. Personal accounting is a demanding and never-ending process, but a vital one for anyone who wants to be financially independent. The trouble is it’s only getting more complicated over time. Nowadays, many of us are getting used to storing at least some amount of wealth online in a payment, investment, and/or digital currency program. And as silly as it may sound, it’s actually easy to lose track of where your finances are spread out.
We can’t cover every means of digital financial holding, but here we’ll at least sort through some of the main apps and websites and what they’re best used for, in the hopes it can help people to keep their finances as organized as possible, even if they’re a little spread out. So let’s get to it!
Formerly known as Square Cash, this handy app from Square, Inc. has been rebranded as the Cash App, and has become arguably the most comprehensive online transaction system out there. When the Cash App first emerged it was essentially an alternative to Venmo, the popular app to which you can deposit cash and send payments to friends. Now, however, Cash App is morphing into more of a full-fledged mobile bank account. The service recently rolled out its first debit card, can hold a hefty balance, still allows for peer-to-peer payments, and even now includes cryptocurrency investment options. If you’re interested in fully moving your finances to a digital platform, it’s a fairly complete option.
PayPal is perhaps the most well known of any financial app or web platform, and with good reason. It’s been around for a while, not only to facilitate peer-to-peer payments and store cash digitally, but also to help with buying goods and services. In many cases, online employees and freelancers are even paid through PayPal. Furthermore, it has some niche uses, such as being a favorite for depositing and withdrawing funds for online gaming sites, where it’s generally valued for a sense of security and anonymity.
Venmo was the trendiest option out there just a couple years ago, but it’s become clear that it’s more of a niche finance app at this point. All you need to know, really, is that it’s actually run by PayPal, and is less of a competitor and more of a branch. Now, it’s still a simple and convenient app for peer-to-peer transactions, and it can hold a significant balance – but it’s not suitable for much more.
Here we’re moving into a different category, and one aimed more at investment. Robinhood is frequently compared to Stash (which is next on this list), but on its own is meant to be a straightforward, no-fee investment platform. Basically it allows you to put funds in the stock market without dealing with a broker or serious fees. Naturally, a lot of people who try it wind up allocating significant funds over time. It’s mostly good just for storage and investment, but in these areas it has a strong reputation.
For all intents and purposes this is the same app as Robinhood, or at least a very direct competitor. You may want to read through comparisons, but broadly speaking they’re useful in the same ways.
This is the last service we’ll cover, and it’s one that’s definitely worth knowing about – but also one in which you can almost forget you have funds building up. Acorns is another investment tool, but instead of simply offering a platform for you to buy and sell stocks, it does the work for you. The trick is, it does so with only tiny amounts of money – the fractions left over on credit card purchases to round up to the nearest dollar. These fractions of dollars build up over time and are invested as part of an automated fund, such that you gradually make money. Just don’t forget it’s sitting there if you set up your card!