Photograph by IanDagnall Computing/Alamy

New Apps Help You Save Money and Invest Smarter

  1. Beyond Mint
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    Beyond Mint

    The success of the website Mint taught the world that people want easier ways to get a grip on their finances. A new generation of apps pushes beyond Mint’s focus on tracking spending to provide tools for smarter planning and saving.

    Photograph by IanDagnall Computing/Alamy
  2. SavedPlus
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    SavedPlus

    SavedPlus has only one function: to make sure you always do a little saving every time you spend by creating an automatic link between the two.

    Setting a minimum balance makes sure you don’t overdraw your checking account with a transfer to savings.

    The app can be set to direct a percentage of your spending to a charity as well.

  3. Guide Financial
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    Guide Financial

    This recent startup scans your spending patterns to look for ways to spend less, such as refinancing to a lower-rate mortgage. It then provides step-by-step instructions on how to get the best deals on loans, credit cards, and other products.

    The guide for retirement savings determines whether you should fund a 401(k) or IRA first.

    The company is adding categories to analyze for money-saving tips. Next up: cars.

  4. MoneyDesktop
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    MoneyDesktop

    MoneyDesktop helps you set priorities by showing where you are out of line with your savings and budget targets.

    A function lets you put goals on a timeline and shows how spending delays progress in reaching them.

    It’s available from more than 400 banks that offer it under their own brands.

  5. Simple
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    Simple

    A full-fledged bank that runs exclusively online, Simple has tools that help you see how spending affects your savings goals.

    A feature called Safe to Spend tells you how much cash is available based on bills coming due and progress toward your goals.

    You fund your account via direct paycheck deposit or by photographing checks with your phone.

  6. FlexScore
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    FlexScore

    Based on information you provide it, FlexScore rates your financial health on a scale of zero to 1,000. It then spells out ways you can increase your score, from setting up a retirement account to paying down debts.

    Setting up recurring deposits into an IRA can earn you 20 points.

    The site offers brief financial planning lessons.