The Financial Services and Apps Real Simple Editors Tried and Loved This Year
Your wallet will thank us later.
As part of the 2020 Real Simple Smart Money Awards, we considered the pros and cons of around 300 financial apps and services—and even turned to Real Simple’s editors to put the best ones to the test. Read on to see what our staff members thought about the budgeting apps, shopping tools, and more we tried in 2020.
Cleo is like having a sassy but well-meaning money assistant in my pocket. The app sends me entertaining GIFs and messages about my spending a few times a week. I recently asked it, “Am I over budget?” before dropping money on a very necessary tie-dye kit during quarantine. (Luckily, I wasn’t!) While I’m still getting used to having a magnifying glass on my spending, it’s really useful for helping me get my finances in check. —Muzam Agha, photo director
Read more about great budget apps.
I struggle to keep up with everything from Netflix to Disney+ to Spotify. Clarity Money alerted me to a yoga app and a delivery-service subscription I was paying for but not using, and I was able to quickly cancel. The app also shows me just how much I’ve been splurging on food delivery. Seeing those hard numbers makes me much more conscious about hitting the order button. —Flavia Nunez, associate fashion editor
My husband and I recently had a baby and knew we needed to create a will, but we saw it as such a gloomy chore. I downloaded the Fabric app and went through the prompts. I had to put a little thought into who I’d want to be my son’s legal guardian and what I’d want done with my remains, but I’m happy I did. I created a will in under five minutes and now have peace of mind and a legally binding document. —Heather Muir, beauty director
Read more about top insurance apps and services.
Eno told me when my iTunes bill was higher than usual and when it looked like I’d been charged twice. (I had recently bought multiple computer games that were all the same price in a span of five minutes.) I tried out Eno’s free-trial alerts when I subscribed to a streaming service, and I got a message immediately after I entered my card information asking if I’d like a reminder to cancel before the trial ended. I absolutely said yes, because even with my own reminders, I forget to cancel those. —Leslie Corona, senior associate home editor
Read more about the best credit card management apps and services in 2020.
I wanted Acorns to help me save for a down payment. The pet website Chewy added $15 to my investment fund simply because I made a purchase. After a month of normal shopping—buying clothes, groceries, and other necessities—I had an extra $50 in my account. This is the kind of feature that appeals to me. I could do something good for my wallet without feeling like it was a big lift. —Brandi Broxson, senior editor
Read more about great shopping apps.
I was recently shopping for a bathing suit on a smaller retail brand’s website. I assumed Honey would only populate discount codes for larger, more well-known retailers, and I was pleasantly surprised when it gave me a promo code that saved me $12! I loved that it did all the work for me—I didn’t have to google “discount codes” and cross my fingers for something relevant. —Rachel Sylvester, senior editor