Financial Apps for iPod Touch

If you are an iPod Touch owner, you have probably shelled out hundreds for the phone itself, and you will spend thousands more in monthly AT&T bills over the course of your two-year contract. There are two ways to handle this:

1) Tell yourself that the expense is well worth it in. The value of all that entertainment and utility is just something you can’t put a price on.

2) Get proactive and prove the expense was worth it. Use your new iPhone to save money and get back what you spent by saving on fees, interest rates, and financial missteps in all other areas of your life.

If you’re of the latter inclination, here are the 5 best iPhone apps for managing your money.

Mint.com Personal Finance from Mint.com (free): Sign up at Mint.com, and get their iPhone app free; or, just download it from the App Store. Mint corrals all your every-day money management accounts in one app: bank accounts, home and car loans, credit cards, IRAs, you name it. It doesn’t just track them; it keeps your pass-codes so you can make payments or transfers. You can also use it for budgeting. No word on a spousal control feature; the technology’s just not there yet. But for everything else, Mint’s got your everyday finances covered.

Bloomberg Mobile by Bloomberg (free): Apple gave us a “Stocks” app with the operating system. They also gave us Macpaint, but someone invented Photoshop anyway. Now the big boys are here. Basically, this is a Bloomberg terminal in your iPhone. Financial news, stock tracking, Bloomberg’s world-renowned analysis, laggers, leaders–pretty much everything a stock market app needs to be a market junkie’s first click in the morning and the last one before bed.

PayPal from Paypal.com (free): Whereas Mint’s function is to get all your financial pass-codes in your phone and manage financial accounts from there, PayPal’s mission is the same as its website’s: just turn the money into ones and zeroes and buy things electronically. The PayPal app gives you mobile access to your PayPal account. It’s a handy way to always have an electronic wallet with you for online and (occasionally) on-site purchases. But get on board now; it’s only a matter of time before the PayPal logo shows up on the door of your local pizza joint.

Billminder by return-7 LLC ($0.99): Finance 101: pay things on time, and you don’t pay late fees. This is basic stuff, and Billminder is a basic app. It keeps a bill calendar, tracks the amount of the various bills you owe each month, remembers which ones you have paid and have not paid, and gives you alerts. Exports to Excel, works with Pocketmoney, blah blah blah. Bottom line: you forget. It doesn’t.

Pocket Money by Catamount ($4.99): This is like Mint, but without the connectivity. That means without pass-codes, and therefore without the nagging suspicion that some kid might get tired of hacking a HALO knockoff and take out a second mortgage on your condo instead. Track your accounts, visualize at a glance where you’re blowing the family budget, all from the privacy of your own phone. Never really trusted e-money? Pocket Money keeps track of all your financial information, then hoards it.

Poke around the web or the App Store if you have a special need. Want to locate ATMs or figure out the tip at dinner? Those apps are legion. Certain banks like Bank of America offer company-specific apps as well. But treat yourself to some of the best of the breed, above. Your balance will thank you.