4 mobile apps to help you end the budget balancing act

With the growth of mobile technology, many free smartphone applications are available to improve personal finance for seniors.

These tools are more convenient than a manual check register or paper budget because they take care of all the calculations. Additionally, many apps help with locating areas where reduced spending and more saving is necessary – as well as suggest steps for achieving these goals.

Here are some of the top free smartphone apps available on most major smartphone platforms:

1. Mint
Mint, an Intuit subsidiary, is one of the biggest names in technology for personal finance, having online and mobile resources. Its app is available on the Android, Apple and Windows Phone app marketplaces.

The tool functions as an account aggregator. All balances, from checking accounts to retirement accounts, are viewable in the application. Additionally, the app provides helpful information to create plans for increased savings and reduced spending as well as push notifications if expenses start to exceed a planned budget.

PC Mag listed the app as its favorite personal finance application. This is because the Mint app is perfect for the on-the-go consumer, as it works faster and takes away the hassle of checking each individual account.

2. Check
This app's creators originally called it Pageonce, but the name change following Intuit's acquisition of the app didn't affect the tool's quality. It is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Windows Phone app marketplace and functions as a one-stop shop for paying bills.

Check doesn't provide a wide range of functionality, focusing on only its core purpose. This is a great benefit if bill management is your sole concern. Once you register payment cards or accounts with the app, you can take care of your bills from anywhere you have an Internet connection, which can reduce the chances of late fees for delinquent payments. Also, the app keeps you posted if your account doesn't have sufficient funds or credit to make a payment, according to CNBC.

"Expensify streamlines the record-keeping process by scanning and storing paper receipts."

3. Expensify
This app, which is downloadable for Blackberry, Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone devices, is perfect for business owners. Whether it's running a small chain of retailers or operating a day care at home, entrepreneurs must keep track of their expenses, which means hanging on to many receipts. These documents are essential for obtaining beneficial deductions at tax time and concise accounting.

Expensify streamlines the record-keeping process by scanning and storing paper receipts. Additionally, the app will automatically create an eReceipt verified by the IRS for transactions that don't exceed $75, according to Entrepreneur. Another seamless feature is auto Excel spreadsheet reports to add up all your expenses.

4. Level
According to CNNMoney, Level, which is available on only the Apple App Store, is similar to Mint. However, the app provides a simpler interface and tools for crafting a budget for each day, week and month. Level also supplies tips for creating a spending plan and has notifications if current spending exceeds the set budget.

Pete Blasi