That common feeling at the end of every month when you are wondering, "how did this happen that you spent all your money and there is still another week to get your paycheck?" Well, the answer is really simple: many of us don't pay attention to our finance flow and financial management. We get our money and easily spend it without any plan.

That's why it's hard to follow where all the finances go and how to manage the budgeting. Taking notes about money spent is messy; saving every check is not convenient also. Fortunately, we live in an era where all you have to do is get your smartphone and open a particular app that'll do all the work for you.

Personal finance apps came to the rescue. You can track all expenses, categorize them, plan your budget, analyze spending statistics, and take personal finance management to a new level.

Let's have a closer look at the personal financial apps and see what it takes to build one.

What is a personal finance app?

A personal finance app is an application that helps regulate and keep track of a user's financial flow. Its functionality is supposed to improve your money management.

Mainly it performs several basic functions:

  • Calculates expenses and income;
  • Allows planning the budget;
  • Analyzes the entered data;
  • Prepares reports.

One of the most popular financial tracking apps is Mint, with a user base of 30 million worldwide.

There are usually two types of personal finance apps: simple financial apps and more complex apps.

In simple apps, users need to enter all data manually, and it generally performs only expenses tracking. There are not so many features, and the development is much easier. However, simple apps are not productive and time-consuming as everything is done manually.

In more complex financial apps, you can rely on automation, use integrations, receive detailed financial reports, and even get some tips to improve your financial literacy. Developing such an app may cost much more and require implementing a more complex tech stack with APIs functionality and better UX design.

That is why it is important to understand your users' expectations as they directly impact the personal finance app development process.

What do people expect from financial apps?

People expect to see certain basic features in the personal finance app. Among them:

Visualization

Include charts, infographics, and dashboards in the app, making it easier to manage and understand the entered data.

Security

Make sure the app is fully secure. Financial data is a user's personal data, so you must create a safe environment within the app. Think of multifactor authentication, reliable cloud services, encryption.

Keep it simple

Users like it when it takes about three clicks or taps to do what they want. So make simplicity your priority; even feature-rich applications can be easy to use.

Additional tip: you can create interesting hints and add educational content for better budget planning.

Why do people love finance apps so much?

Personal finance apps keep people stay organized and predict their expenses. With such an app, you can be prepared for extra spending.

Financial management and expenses tracking by categories create a clear visualization of when and where the money was spent — all these just by looking at one chart in the app.

And, of course, having a personal finance app is crucial in budget planning and savings.

Key steps to create a financial app

Like any other app, the personal finance app development process starts with identifying the target audience and includes standard stages: competitors analysis, feature-set selection, choosing a tech stack, and development itself.

Understand your user

When we talked about user expectations, it was related to understanding your audience. Knowing your user well simplifies many tasks: helping to create a better product, identifying the features set, building a strategic and effective promotional plan.

Do the research and define critical demographical criteria to draw a user persona.

Think about security

Protect users' data with enhanced security. What you can do:

  1. Two-factor authentication enables verification through a password and one-time-use code sent via text message, e-mail, or call.
  2. Shorten the session mode to a particular time so that the application won't be running unprotected.
  3. Carefully display personal information. It will not be good for financial apps to use catchy and colorful fonts, so it could be safer to run them in public places.

What features to include in the finance app?

Start with the essential features that every personal finance app has.

Account authorization: make this process fast and easy, but remember that it must be secure as you are working with lots of private information.

User profile: for users to enter the general information about them with the ability to change it.

Income and expenses tracking: allow users to control all transactions, get quick access to them, and provide filtering by period.

Categorization: users need to categorize their expenses for better understanding and budget management.

Notifications: get them notified about upcoming payments, increased spending, or if they forgot to update information.

Besides this, you can add advanced features to your personal finance app.

Setting goals: let users set goals, like saving $100 a week, and take part in challenges to start good financial habits.

Linking to bank accounts/cards/payment services: link the app with other financial services to provide users with synchronization and automate some processes.

Calculator: the in-app calculator is an excellent addition to the feature list, allowing to make calculations without switching between apps.

Currency converter: that will be a great feature for people who travel a lot.

Choose a tech stack

Once you come app with the list of features and the overall image of your budgeting app, decide on the tools and technologies you will be using to build the app. These tools and instruments will include libraries, programming languages, frameworks, etc.

For the front-end part, it is HTML, CSS, or JavaScript combined with frameworks. Most used are React and Vue.js.

The backend stack includes the programming languages Ruby, C++, and C# considered the best for finance products.

Databases need to be secure and be able to process queries fast. Among the best options are MongoDB, Kibana.

Depending on the complexity of your personal finance app, you may need to consider APIs functionality AI solution integrations.

It is also essential to decide whether you go with native application or cross-platform as it will require adapting the technical stack.

Create a convenient UX design

Money management should be easy with the personal finance app. Think of the user flow and switching between screens. Show only necessary information at one moment to not overwhelm users.

We recommend using simple language to make everything easily understandable. The finance app does not have to be caught up in unknown financial terminology.

Test and launch

When the finance app development stage is almost finished, and you are ready to present the first MVP, have your QA team test everything properly. It will be useful to involve people related to finance in the process.

Once everything is checked and improved, launch your finance app. Keep in mind that launching doesn't mean just posting the product to stores. There is a marketing strategy behind the successful performance of the application.

Tips for creating a powerful financial app

To resume, here is the list of tips that will help you create a powerful personal finance app:

  1. Think about your customers and their needs. Always build the development process around the users' needs and expectations and provide them with an effective financial management tool.
  2. Keep it simple. Convenient UX design and data visualization will make users satisfied.
  3. Security is a must. Ensure the customers that their data is protected.
  4. Use gamification. Engage users with challenges, smart budgeting tips, and create awards for every completed goal set.

Making a finance app in 2022 is a great idea. Don't hold back just because of the high competition. The ability to control your money within the mobile app is what users need.