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How to Build a Personal Finance App: Essential Features, Useful Tips, and Tricks

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How To Build a Personal Finance App

People are mostly reluctant to keep track of their expenses and budgets. However, money management it is a vital issue on which our future and life quality may depend.

Personal finance mobile app development is a promising area for companies and independent developers because the demand for such products is currently growing. It is a convenient tool for users as it increases finance management and planning efficiency, reducing impulse purchases.

Some statistics on the topic:

  • The global personal finance app market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030. — DataIntelo
  • In 2009, fintech startups received $1.1 billion from venture capital investors. In 2020, the investment total reached $44.1 billion. — Pitchbook
  • 73% of smartphone users have used an app to manage their finances. — Google
  • Total transaction value in the Personal Finance segment is projected to reach US$1,474,351m in 2021. — by Statista
  • Only 24% of Millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. — National Endowment for Financial Education
US Mobile Finance App downloads statistics
Source: Insider Intelligence

In this article, we will show you how to make a personal finance app, describe what functions such a product should have, and share some useful tips.

The Most Important Features of a Personal Finance aApp to Build a Successful Product

This list will differ depending on how complex and broad in terms of app for personal finance management functionality you are going to make. However, the following functions can be called the key and most demanded ones among users.

1. Multi-factor Authentication

Making a simple financial management app is one thing, and making a secure financial management app is quite another one. Financial transactions and confidential data handling require the highest attention to security.

Two-factor authentication adds an extra security layer and makes it harder for intruders to access sensitive information.

2. Onboarding

The more functions your financial app will have, the more difficult it will be for users to figure out how it works. Therefore, it is worth trying to make people feel comfortable while interacting with your product. To do so, you have to think over the onboarding process when users launch the app for the first time. It would be best to offer them tips when they use various functions.

You can read some helpful tips in our article: Mobile App Onboarding: 9 Best Practices with Examples.

Financial App Onboarding Example

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3. Accounts Aggregation

The possibility to aggregate data from accounts on various services in a single window is an obvious advantage for this kind of app, as it will allow users to manage their personal finances and family budgets efficiently.

Consequently, the budgeting app should provide integration with various banks and payment systems (via API).

4. Managing Wallets

Dividing personal finances into several “wallets” is an important element of budgeting. This approach simplifies financial capabilities assessment for longer periods and reduces the likelihood of impulse purchases. For instance, you can create the following wallets:

  • Current budget;
  • Free cash;
  • Moneybox;
  • Loan payment, etc.
Digital wallet in a personal finance management app

5. Tracking Bills and Expenses

You can add records about your income and expenses manually or automatically. A combination of both methods is the optimal solution. A lot of financial info can be obtained due to integrations with banks and payment systems. However, you may occasionally settle some things using cash.

It is worth noting that cost classification is a very useful feature as well. It allows users to link expenses to one of the created categories (food, entertainment, utilities, etc.) and better understand what money is spent on.

Personal Finance App Dashboard - Bills and Expenses

6. Alerts and Notifications

That is one of the most important functions in any financial app to use for notifications about:

  • upcoming payments;
  • low account balance;
  • funds receipt;
  • new app version capabilities, etc.

You can read more on this topic in our article: In-App Messages vs. Push Notifications: What’s the Difference and How to Use them.

7. Informative Reports

If necessary, users should have the possibility to generate a report on various income and expense items for different periods, as well as build diagrams helping to manage money the best way possible.

A good-looking dashboard draws attention and makes information understandable and manageable. The possibility to create high-quality data visualizations and build informative reports is very important for a budgeting app.

Personal Budget App in Mobile Report

[by 540studio]

8. Synchronization among Devices

A modern individual often uses several devices (at work and home) and various scenarios while working with data. For instance, users can launch a personal finance app on a smartphone, view reports on a home PC, and enter additional data on a work tablet. Your product will become highly relevant if you plan to release its versions for different platforms.

Additional Personal Finance App Features 

In this article, we have listed the most important functions to implement in a personal finance app. However, you have to comprehend that there can be many more of them. Their number depends on your plans to include them in your multifunctional product. Consequently, you can implement the following functions:

  • currency converter;
  • family budget management;
  • voice data input;
  • tip calculator;
  • multicurrency support;
  • receipt scanner;
  • scheduled transactions;
  • cost-cutting options, etc.

Remember about UI/UX

Visual design and usability often have a decisive influence on the choice users can make. Be sure you also keep this aspect in mind and not just focus on the functionality alone when you develop a personal finance app.

Many case studies confirm that users mostly value simple, user-friendly apps minimalistic in style when it comes to design.

Good UX Design for Financial App Example]


To achieve this, you should study your target audience well, learn users’ habits, strive to simplify user scenarios, and adhere to mobile UX design best practices.

Monetization Strategies for Personal Finance Management Applications

Monetizing a personal finance management application can be achieved through several strategies. Here’s a list of the main monetization methods you can use for app for personal financial planning:

  1. One-time purchase. Offer a one-time purchase option that gives users lifetime access to all features and updates. This can attract users who prefer a one-time payment over a recurring subscription.
  2. Freemium model. Offer a basic version of the application with limited features and functionality for free, and a premium version with advanced features for a subscription fee. This encourages users to upgrade for advanced features.
  3. Subscription Model. Charge users a recurring subscription fee (monthly, quarterly, or annually) to access the full range of features and services offered by the application.
  4. Advertising and ad-free upgrade. Offer a free version of the application with advertisements and allow users to upgrade to an ad-free version for a fee.
  5. In-App Purchases. Offer additional features, tools, or resources that users can purchase within the app. For example, you could offer premium templates, custom budget categories, or investment tracking tools.
  6. Educational content. Create and sell educational content such as e-books, courses, or webinars that focus on personal financial management and investment strategies.

You can also combine multiple strategies to diversify your revenue streams and cater to different user preferences.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Personal Finance App?

The cost of developing a personal finance app can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the app, the features you want to include, the platform(s) you’re targeting (iOS, Android, web, etc.), the location of the development team, and the level of design and user experience you’re aiming for.

Here’s a general price range to build a personal finance app:

  • Basic app (simple features): $10,000 – $30,000
  • Intermediate app (moderate features) $30,000 – $75,000
  • Advanced application (complex features) $75,000 – $150,000+.

Keep in mind that these price ranges are approximate and can vary widely based on a number of factors. The complexity of your application and the specific features you want to include will greatly influence the cost.

Build an MVP

Taking into account high security requirements, integration with third-party services, and several other functions, the costs of personal finance app development can be rather high. Therefore, we recommend you start from an MVP, a product version with a minimum set of features and the most necessary functions.

The key idea behind an MVP is that you develop a real product to offer to customers. Then, you observe users’ reactions to it and tweak your solution, taking into account consumers’ preferences.

This approach allows checking product relevance in a short time and spending minimum costs.

As is the case with any other business, when you develop a personal finance application, you should keep in mind important factors affecting your project success.  They are an elaborate product requirements document, proper workflow arrangements, and quality communication between the customer and the developers.

If you are looking for a team that would become a reliable technology partner for you, write to us, and let us discuss the details.

August 29, 2023

Chief Technology Officer at Lvivity

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