We Tried 300 Financial Apps and Services for the Real Simple Smart Money Awards—Here Are the 2020 Winners

These apps, accounts, and services will make your financial life easier.

Real Simple smart money awards 2020
Photo: Giacomo Bagnara

Budgeting, saving, investing, and shopping have never been simpler, thanks to some ingenious tools now at our disposal. Our panel of money experts sifted through more than 300 new options to find the 23 products and services that will boost your bottom line—and that of our editors, who took a few out for a spin.

Click here to see which smart money programs and services our editors tested and loved, or read on for the 2020 Real Simple Smart Money Award winners.

01 of 10


Best for spotting bad habits: Cleo

Best for managing subscriptions: Clarity Money

Best for couples who want to save and spend together: Zeta

Read more about the best budget apps.

02 of 10


Best for streamlining multiple savings accounts: SoFi's Money Vaults

Best for people with fluctuating incomes who want to save: Empower

Best for a big interest payoff: Level

Read more about the best banking apps.

03 of 10


Best for investors who want in on pricier stocks: Fidelity's Stocks by the Slice

Best for beginner investors looking for a value: Charles Schwab's Intelligent Portfolios Premium

Best for day traders who dread tax time: TurboTax Premier

Best for budget-conscious investors who still like premium trading tools: Ally Invest

Read more about the best investment apps.

04 of 10


Best for small-business owners and gig workers: Next Insurance

Best for young families who want to secure their financial future: Fabric

Best for getting a non-employer-based health savings account: Lively

Read more about the best insurance apps.

05 of 10

Managing credit cards

Best for paying down debt and starting an emergency fund: Tally

Best for 20-somethings who want to build their credit rating: Petal

Best for keeping tabs on your credit account: Capital One's Eno

Read more about the best credit cards and management apps.

06 of 10

Real estate

Best for home sellers who need to move quickly: Opendoor

Best for home buyers or refinancers who want simplicity: Better.com

Read more about the best real estate sites.

07 of 10


Best for rewards: Acorns

Best for making discount hunting a breeze: Honey

Best for Venmo devotees who want to earn extra cash: Venmo Rewards

Read more about the best shopping apps.

08 of 10

Financial services

Best for refinancing student loans: Earnest

Best for planning an impending retirement: Charles Schwab's Intelligent Income

Read more about great financial services of 2020.

09 of 10


To create the Smart Money Awards, we compiled a list of financial companies offering products that debuted (or were updated) between January 2019 and June 2020. A panel of 10 judges rated the products on innovativeness and relevance to Real Simple readers.

10 of 10

Meet the judges

Tiffany Aliche, founder and CEO of The Budgetnista, a financial education platform

Cathy Derus, CPA at Brightwater Accounting

Gideon Drucker, CFP, author of How to Avoid H.E.N.R.Y. Syndrome: Financial Strategies to Own Your Future

Ande Frazier, CFP, behavioral financial expert and author of Fin(anci)ally Free

Shannah Compton Game, CFP, host of Millennial Money podcast

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, money coach and author of Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom

Stephanie Mackara, certified divorce financial analyst, president of Charleston Investment Advisors in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and author of Money Minded Families: How to Raise Financially Well Children

Kevin L. Matthews II, CFP, founder of BuildingBread, a financial education platform

Luis F. Rosa, CFP, host of the podcast On My Way to Wealth

Katie Waters, CFP, founder of Stable Waters Financial in Athens, Georgia

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles