With the perfect budgeting tool, you can begin to see your finances improving substantially. If you’re looking to find the right match, this article includes a carefully tested and sorted several apps to help you with your finances. Since there are numerous budgeting apps for different budgeter, choose the one that best suits your needs.
A lot of people handle their budgeting a similar manner that they handle how they count their calories. Although they know how important budgeting is, they tend to shudder every time they think of doing it. Same as tracking calories, once you begin sticking to a particular budget routine that is suitable for your lifestyle, you’ll begin seeing some positive outcome.
Using a budgeting app (just like using a food tracking app) will help make the procedure easier. Once you discover a tool that’s suitable for you, you’ll begin to see some significant improvement. This article will help you find the right match. It includes dozens of budgeting apps that are carefully tested and sorted apps for every type of budgeter.
Overview: The Best Budget Apps
- Best Overall: Empower
- Best for Spreadsheet Lovers: Tiller
- Best for Automatic Tracking: Mint
- Best for Keeping It Simple: PocketGuard
- Best for Zero-Based Budgeting: YNAB
- Best for Envelope System Budgeting: EveryDollar
- Best for Couples: Honeydue
- Best for Tracking Net Worth and Spending: Personal Capital
1. Best Overall: Empower
Price: Free for 14 days, later a $8 monthly fee
This app was voted as the best budgeting app of the year by Time magazine. Empower provides you with a feature that enables the user to customize their spending in categories, set some spending limits in every category and then be able to set alerts that allows you to go over allotments in every area.
If you don’t know how to begin, the app offers default categories that allow you to select from, which will then create spending limits on your behalf using your income. Later, when the month is over, you’ll be provided with an extensive breakdown that will help you make better and more informed decisions in future.
The app is a great tool for people that have never used a budget and may be overwhelmed thinking about starting a budgeting program. Since Empower does most of the work on your behalf, it performs as both a learning tool and a budgeting app that will eventually help you generate your own.
2. Best for Spreadsheet Lovers: Tiller
Price: 30-day free trial, following a $79 per year (or $6.58 per month)
Most budget tools have a common complaint being that they are very rigid and the users don’t have enough flexibility allowing them to customize particular areas of their budgets. If you’d like a higher level of control and like the use of spreadsheets opposed to cookie cutter apps, Tiller will be the perfect app for you.
Tiller gives automatic updates a set of customizable spreadsheets (up to 5 sheets) with your daily transactions, spending and balances of every one of your accounts inclusive of your bank accounts, loans and credit cards. You can choose to use either Excel or Google Sheets and can also opt for Tiller’s Autoc at feature which automatically categorizes your spending.
When it comes to Tiller, flexibility is its greatest selling point. This tool works well with numerous budgeting methods such as zero budgeting and 50/30/20 budgeting and many more. You’ll also be receiving an email daily with create spreadsheet as well as account balance summaries for tracking your freelance income, saving goals, net worth etc.
3. Best for Automatic Tracking: Mint
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive tool for budget management and also focuses on assisting users to track their spending automatically, then Mint is the app is for you. Although the app is free, it enables users to set their spending target on all the categories in their budget. All the transactions are specified in actual time.
A great thing about the Mint app is that it’s a centralized, clean place where users can view all their financial expenditure in a single spot. You’ll also be able to link other financial accounts to Mint including your credit cards, bank accounts, investment accounts and loans. Over 20 million people use Mint and this is what has helped it remain as one of the to tools since it was created in 2006.
4. Best for Keeping It Simple: PocketGuard
Price: Free or $3.99 per month for PocketGuard Plus
pocketGuard’s most likable feature is the “In My Pocket” that makes it shine. The feature enables users to quickly see the money that they can safely send after their all their bills have been paid, their saving goals and ongoing spending. For example, when a user would like to buy a pair of shoes at $65 but they really don’t know whether they are within their budget, they can take a quick look at their balance using In My Pocket in order to find the answer.
With PocketGuard, you’ll also have opportunities that allow you to save money through negotiating bills and cancelling some current subscriptions. The program also enables users to accrue points that can be traded for a month using the PocketGuard Plus service.
5. Best for Zero-Based Budgeting: YNBA
Price: Free trial for 34 days, later a $84 per month
YNBA also referred to as You Need a Budget, is a very popular and commonly used budgeting app. The apps functionality depends on the premise that each dollar has its own purpose. Ranging from buying a latte, paying mortgage bills to future savings, YNAB ensures that every dollar spent everyday is accounted for at the end of every month.
This is the perfect app for first time budgeters or people who’d like to track their expenditures when they’re trying to reach certain financial goals or pay off some debts. You’ll be provided with a center location for managing all your debts and accounts. You’ll also be able to share this information with your spouse or partner.
Since all the expenditures have to be entered manually, you’ll be forced to pay attention to how your money is allocated.
YNAB advises, “every dollar in your checking account is no longer at your reach because you’ll now be required to spend using a budget, a plan and the categories you selected.”
6. Best for Envelope System Budgeting: Every Dollar
Price: The basic version is free, followed by a free trial for 15 days, then Ramsey+ for $129.99 per year
The EveryDollar budgeting app was invented by Dave Ramsey, who is a very popular figure within the personal finance industry. Although the app is a bit pricier than most of its competitors, it offers admittance to Financial Peace University. This is a flagship personal course by Dave Ramsey that also offers features like spending insights and how to track your progress via Baby Steps.
The app operates through an envelope budgeting system which is the same as zero-based budgeting. If you’d like to assemble a payoff plan for your debts, EveryDollar comes with built-in features such as the Debt Snowball Tool for further assistance. Just like the other budgeting apps included in the article, Ramsey+ can be synced to a user’s other accounts and automatically updates your transactions.
This is the perfect budgeting app for people who follow Dave Ramsey’s program. However, if Ramsey+ isn’t withing your budget or you don’t need extra features, you can use the free version which enables you create a customizable but basic budget.
7. Best for Couples: Honeydue
The Honeydue app is basically meant for couples, unlike most of the other budgeting apps on this list which allow multiple users. It enables each partner to be updated regarding their bill due dates, account balances and also be able to split their bills using the app.
What makes the Honeydue app more unique is its messaging feature. For example, if one of your transactions seems fraudulent or suspicious, you can send a quick message to the other person which will clear up things. You’ll also be able to send emojis and encouraging notes to help with difficult conversations and assist couples to easily merge their finances.
The app includes some privacy settings that allow the user to decide the information they’d like to share with the other person. For example, if you don’t have the same account, you can choose to only share your account balances and not each of your transactions. This feature comes in handy when you’d like to surprise your partner with a gift or trip. However, if you want to avoid financial infidelity, go for a budgeting app that provides the both of you with more transparency.
8. Best for Tracking Net Worth and Spending: Personal Capital
Personal Capital is popular because of its investment software. However, the app also includes some powerful budget planning tools suitable for frequent users. With this app, you’ll be able to connect to your financial accounts, including savings, checking, loans, credit cards, mortgages etc.
Apart from the spending tracking, the app also includes a feature for net worth tracking which displays your net worth over time. Personal Capital also displays all hidden charges, help you to create a personalize planning strategy for your retirement and customizes the user’s investment portfolio.
Honorable Mentions: Other Budgeting Apps to Consider
There are several alternative budgeting apps that you can use for your finances. Below are some apps to consider.
Clarity Money will not only help you to identify any unwanted subscriptions and offer you with savings accounts. The app also has a budgeting feature which helps you in categorizing expenses, track all purchases and have insight to all monthly expenditure.
The app is a solid choice for people looking for a way to handle all their expenses, learn about budgeting and would like to all their financial information in one area. However, compare to competitor budgeting apps, this one can only be used to track your expenses. It cannot be used to set savings and spending goals.
It might not be as robust as the other budgeting apps, but it’s a great beginner budgeting app. The best part is that you’ll be able to cancel your subscription whenever you want.
Price: Basic plan is free, then Goodbudget Plus is $7 per month
This another budgeting app that can be used by someone who prefers to budget their finances by applying the cash envelope system. Instead of placing your cash in envelopes, you can use the app to create digital ones. You can select spending limits; categories and the app will allow you to develop envelops you can use to save cash and pay off your debts. You’ll also be able share and sync your spending and budget with your family members.
Goodbudget app includes both a paid and free options. Both versions offer the users with similar features. However, the paid package has more options than the free one. For example, the free package only allows the user to set 10 envelope categories. On the other hand, the paid version offers the user with an unlimited number of envelopes. You’ll also be able to link five different accounts using Goodbudget Plus compared to the free version which only links two.
The app also comes with a free online course for one month for first-time budgeters as well as two seasons of a budget living podcast.
If you’re a first-time budgeter and would like to manage your cash using the envelope system, opt for Goodbudget.
Price: Free trial for 60 days, Basic package at $6 per month, Premier package for $9.99 per month and Plus package for $19 per month
Another great option for zero-based budgeting and envelope budgeting systems is Mvelopes. The app will help you save for your future, avoid debts and make your financial life simpler ensuring that each dollar has a purpose. You’ll be able to track spending in every category and frequent updates of how much money is left in every digital envelope.
The version you decide to use determines the kind of features you’ll have. However, every plan allow you sync your bank accounts to your credit cards, develop a basic budgeting plan that uses unlimited digital envelopes and receive spending reports on a monthly basis.
The app has a free trial period that runs for 60 days, which can be cancelled before it expires saving you from having to pay for the subscription fee.
Price: Basic app is free, a lifetime membership for $19.99
Wally will help you budget, set saving goals, track your expenses and give you regular insights and updates of your expenditure. Also available is a feature that lets you scan important receipts and documents on to the app. Once the documents are scanned, the app will automatically begin tracking your expenses.
With the paid package, you’ll be able to track and monitor foreign currency accounts as well as digital wallets alongside your regular bank accounts. There are other premium features like developing advanced budgets using budget categories that are customized, scheduling reminders for payments, and managing joint finances with your family, business partners and friends.
If you’re looking for a budgeting app to help you track your spending and expenses and you have some basic understanding about budgeting, Wally is the best option.
When Using a Budgeting App Be Aware of:
If its your first time to use a budgeting app to manage your money, you should know the following things.
- Spear some time to setup an account. It may seem time consuming and tedious, spending about 15 minutes to an hour of your time for every app. It will be worthwhile after you’ve managed to sync your bank accounts to a budgeting app. The more information you avail, the more helpful the app becomes. If you’re looking to try out different apps, put aside enough time to set up every one of them correctly.
- Transactions may be miscategorized. Most budgeting apps depend on algorithms or Al in order to categorize all transactions. This is why they are susceptible to making mistakes, that’s why you have to inspect all transactions to be certain that they are categorized properly. When fixing errors, the app will “learn” and perform the right transaction next time.
- You may be required to re-sync your accounts sometimes. Between security questions, two-factor authentication, device settings amongst other factors, there are times when your accounts may disconnect themselves from the app. Although this can be frustrating at times, the additional security protocols are necessary for protection from fraud.
- Prepare yourself for numerous notification alerts. Several of the app will give you countless notifications throughout the day, which can be difficult to manage. Instead of deleting or ignoring them, adjust the alert settings to what you prefer. You can decide to set the notifications to be sent once a day or alternatively limit them to email alerts instead of direct ones. Depending on what you prefer, set the alerts in a way that allows you to attend to them.
- Free budgeting apps rely on adverts to make money. Though you’re not paying for the app, the company needs to earn some money. For instance, although Mint if completely free, it makes money through the customer referrals the give for other financial services and products. The app might be paid a referral fee for every customer that signs up for advertised service. Even though you’re being provided with legitimate products and advice, beware of this.
How to Select The Right App for You
There are numerous budgeting apps to choose from, and it can be quite challenging to find the right one. The best means of finding the perfect tool that can meet all your need is by trying it out.
It’s a great idea to conduct some research about the app prior to using it. Its also good to ensure that you fall into the app’s target market. This can be done by browsing the apps reviews or website.
For example, after going through PocketGuard’s website, you’ll be well acquainted with how the app caters to millennials. For professionals looking for long-term overviews on their finances and overall wealth, opt for Personal Capital. If you’d only like an app that can help you and your partner manage your finances, Honeydue will be the perfect choice.
Don’t forget, that there’s no problem with disliking an app after trying it out. It may be because it doesn’t work like you expected, be cumbersome or very expensive. There are many alternatives to choose from. Keep trying out both the free and paid versions until you find one that works best for you.