Consumers are challenged to keep track of the countless quantities of available apps. An app exists for everything, from diversionary to practical. In these challenging economic times, web apps and mobile applications are increasingly indispensable, practical financial management tools. The top 5 money managing apps of 2012 are Mint, Credit Sesame, CNBC Real-Time, Wikinvest, and E*TRADE Mobile Pro.

Personal finance, credit score management, financial news tracking, financial portfolio management and stock trading are easier said and done via mobile devices or the web. Before buying, conscientious shoppers should establish their financial objectives. Financial software may manage bill payment, debt or investment portfolios, for example. Additionally, before installing software, carefully review the security policy. User protections should be in place, such as password or PIN, to protect sensitive information. The technology market is brimming with options. Because a penny saved is a penny earned, listed here are free apps to manage money.

1. Mint Refreshes Personal Finance

This free, read-only app for Android, iPhone and iPad makes managing bank, investments, spending, payments, and loan accounts and bank accounts a snap. Though over 7 million users do not transfer money via the app, it does allow spend trending, analytics, budget alerts, and adding and tracking cash transactions. Mint tracks a half trillion in user assets and loans, and user financial transactions exceeding $1 trillion. For those who want to invest lunch money, there’s PageOnce, a Mint rival that’s highly recommended for Apple devices.

2. Abracadabra: Credit Sesame Unlocks Credit Management

Ahead of the curve when it comes to managing credit scores and score updates, Credit Sesame web app is all about convenience. Users can obtain free monthly credit scores, access loans, debt, and mortgage. Manage it all through this software tool. Along with the free score, users can receive complimentary advice without a trial period, subscription or credit card. This iPhone app has an Android version in the works.

3. CNBC Real-Time: Portable Finance News

The financial market is in a constant state of flux. CNBC Real-Time stands out from the crowd by keeping users on track with not only wide coverage of economic news but breaking global news alerts across all markets for free. Access custom “My Stocks” custom watchlist, and real-time, streaming stock quotes directly from the NASDAQ and NYSE any time via iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

4. Wikinvest Portfolio Manager Casts Wide User Net

Technology tools can solve a host of financial portfolio management needs. However, Wikinvest Portfolio Manager distinguishes itself from the tech pack by casting a wide user net to bring in various portfolio management skill levels. All financial investments can be tracked via this user-friendly app. The app does not jump to conclusions about the user’s ability to decipher stock data. The site pulls in real-time stock data, includes user-generated stock feedback, offers analytics, and allows searching for investments by concepts. Instead, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, iPad and Honeycomb users are provided convenient charts and news.

5. E*TRADE Mobile Pro: Stock Kiosk

E*TRADE Mobile Pro is the go-to app for financial managers and investors. The free installation for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and iPad app allows users to conduct stock transactions. Software includes 60 days of free trades when using iPad or iPhone or complimentary Android or Blackberry phone.

Mint, Credit Sesame, CNBC Real-Time, Wikinvest, and E*TRADE Mobile Pro are the top 5 money managing apps of 2012. These apps reduce financial management challenges and drill down to dollars and sense.

Author bio: Megan Stein is a financial consultant and occasionally blogs for, a great site that can help you plan your future with their loan calculator and percentage calculator apps! 

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