The Top 10 Best Budgeting Apps

For most people, budgeting is hard.  It takes time and forces you to dive deep into your spending habits – pulling your head out of the sand.

Finding a way to make budgeting your money as easy as possible may give you the nudge you need to follow through and conquer adulting.  Whether you earn $15 an hour or $200,000 a year, having a reasonable spending plan is key to financial success.

There are a lot of different budgeting apps on the market these days. While they all have unique features, some stand out among the rest. This article will learn about the best parts of the top 10 best budgeting apps and how to use them effectively.

Days of pulling out a  checkbook to sign over the funds in your checking account are gone.  Modern technology has brought you budgeting tools and finance apps to track your expenses from that tiny computer in your pocket.

If you’re looking for the best budgeting app for free, Mint is the most popular choice.  Goodbudgets is an excellent free choice that serves those who enjoy a digital cash envelope system.  Honeydue is the best free app for couples who want to tag team their finances and reach their financial goals.

Budgeting lets you know exactly where your money will allocate funds for family entertainment, unexpected bills, vacations, and holidays.

Best Budgeting Apps

Most budgeting apps will automatically connect to your bank account, making it easier to track your spending and see where your money is going.  Some of these apps do more than that.

1. Mint 

This app from the parent company Intuit is the most popular free budgeting app and is excellent for people looking for a simple and effective way to budget their money. Mint allows you to track your spending, create a budget, and see where you can save money. You can also set up bill reminders to never miss a payment.

Mint allows you to categorize your spending into fixed expenses like rent and cable, food including dining out and groceries, and transportation expenses like car payments and gas.

It also allows you to add your categories like children and pets.

Mint is relatively hands-off and almost magically tracks everything for you.  You have to look at it and make decisions based on what it tells you.  Bonus: it also gives you a free credit score

Because it’s free for you to use, there are advertisements.  Many find this a turnoff, but it is the price to pay for a free app.

Anika says:

“My husband and I have an app to track our daily spending. I love the Mint app because it’s free and very user-friendly. I like it because it’s very user-friendly with clearly categorizing expenses.”

Cost: Free

2. YNAB (You Need A Budget) 

This app is perfect for those looking to handle their spending and start managing your money. YNAB helps you create a budget and track your progress so you can see where you need to make adjustments. 

Using the zero-based budget theory teaches you to become more hands-on and intentional with your spending.  You can also connect this app to your bank account to see your transactions in real-time.

YNAB also has some great features like goal setting and personal support.

Tiffany writes:

“I love using YNAB!  I discovered You Need A Budget over a decade ago, and I still use it today.  It helps me keep my budget balanced to the penny.  It syncs between phones and desktop and enables you to be deliberate about every single dollar.  I’ve used it to pay off student loans, save for my children’s futures, and manage my small business finances”.

Cost:  $14.99 a month or $98.99 a year

3. EveryDollar:

Dave Ramsey and the Ramsey Solutions team created this app.  It follows the theory behind a cash lifestyle and promotes debt freedom.   It uses the zero-based budgeting platform yet simplifies the system for easier money management.

If you’re a fan of the Dave Ramsey budgeting style and work hard to get out of debt, this app may work well.  However, it’s pricey compared to the other apps discussed in this article.  When you’re working on paying off debt and organizing your finances, the price tag on this is a little hard to absorb.

EveryDollar helps you create a budget in just a few minutes and then track your progress to stay on track.

Cost: Free for a 14-day trial.  $59.99 for three months, $99.99 for six months, and $129.99 for one year

4. Goodbudget: 

Goodbudget is all about the envelopes, and if you’re a fan of dividing your money into buckets or envelopes, this might be an excellent choice.  For the price, it’s also an alternative to Every Dollar.  

This app doesn’t connect to your bank account, so the initial setup is a little more work.  Some people might find this a plus as privacy is essential.  Others might find that the least amount of work they have to do, the better the chances of success.

This app is perfect for those who want to share their budget with a spouse or partner. Goodbudget helps you create a shared budget and track your progress to make sure you’re on the same page financially.

Goodbudget offers free and limited use for envelopes, devices, and accounts. A free version is a great idea when struggling with money management.

Jessica says:

“Goodbudget is an easy app that anyone can use. The free version is perfect to start with and will help you plan your finances. You can enter your account balances, debts, and income and then portion out that income into different “envelopes” and spending categories. 

You can sync it with other family members so they can see the budget too. The biggest downside is that it doesn’t automatically pull your accounts and balance info; you must manually enter it. I love that it’s easy to use, and I don’t have to mess with syncing all of my accounts electronically. 

I also like that the other family members can see what is you spend, where, and which envelope money went.”

Cost: Free for limited envelopes, devices, and accounts. $8 per month for their plus account.

5. Mvelopes

Mvelopes is also a bucket or envelope type app.  Unlike Goodbudget, Mvelopes does connect to your bank account. 

This app is perfect for those who want to budget their money and stay on track with their spending.

Mvelopes help you create a budget and then tracks your progress so you can make adjustments as needed. However, unlike some other budgeting apps, Mvelopes allows you to set up a plan for your money before it;’s spent rather than tracking how much you’ve already paid.  

Cost: Basic Plan is $5.97 per month; Premier Plan is $9.97 per month and comes with a free 30-day trial.  The Plus Plan is $19.97 per month and comes with a quarterly meeting with a financial coach and long-term goal planning sessions.

6. PocketGuard 

This app is perfect for those who want a simplified version to ensure they’re not overspending. PocketGuard helps you create a budget and then track your progress so you can make adjustments as needed. You can also connect this app to your bank account to see your transactions in real-time.

Pocket Guard is a hands-off approach to managing money, so this might not work for you if you’re anting to micromanage your funds in a digital world.

Cost:$7.99 per month, $79.99 per year, or $99.99 for a lifetime membership. 

7. Simplifi

Quicken created Simplifi,  the same company that brought us Quickbooks – they know budgeting.  The app also handles IRAs,  401Ks, mortgages, other investments, and credit card tracking, so all your money management avenues intersect in one palace to easily access.

Simplifi will not only set you up with a budget but will also track your spending and help you achieve your financial goals. And it gives you the choice of what type of budget you choose to follow.

One of the thighs like about this app is the ability to give you insights into your spending.  It’s like having a financial coach in your pocket.

Cost:  $5.99 per month or $47.88 per year

8. Honeydue

Honeydue is great for couples who want to tag team their financial goals.  Your accounts will sync up, so you are on the same page.  It allows you to automatically categorize your spending, track what’s been paid, and set up custom limits, so overspending is a thing of the past.

Honeydue will also send reminders for upcoming expenses and bills so you both can tag-team your finances without logging into multiple sites.

It will sync up joint bank accounts, separate accounts, and credit card accounts.

Cost: Free

9. Digit 

Digit is an online bank account, and budgeting app rolled into one.  They call themselves a “smart bank account that constantly guides your money in the right direction.”  It’s a way to directly manage your money and physically move it around from bill paying to saving money and investing—all in one money management system for those who don’t want the hassle of multiple accounts.

Cost: Free for 30 days, then $5.00 per month

10.  Qube Money

Like Digit, Qube Money is an online bank that allows you to divide up your funds into envelopes.  Instead of connecting your present bank information, you set up a Qube account (similar to a Capital One 360 account).  And then create your budgets from there.

They have a basic plan that markets to individuals, a premium plan for individuals or couples to “up their game,” and a family plan that allows kids to have their debit card to dip their toes into financial education.  Their debit card is attached to their envelope.

Cost: Free for the basic plan. $8 per month for their premium and $15 per month for their family plan

No matter what budgeting app you choose, these apps can help you take control of your finances and start saving money. Be sure to check out the features of each app to see which one is right for you.

How do These Features Help you Manage Your Money Better?

You may find that you rather keep track of your personal finances in a budget planner or spreadsheet, never giving too much thought to different budgeting software.  But mixing it up and trying a budget app to manage your monthly expenses might inspire you to meet some goals a little faster.

The best budgeting apps can help you manage your money better. First, they can help you track your spending and make adjustments. Second, they can help you create a budget and ensure you’re not overspending. And third, they can help you keep an eye on your credit cards, loans, and mortgage as those balances slowly decrease.

How to Get the Most Out of These Apps and Use Them Effectively.

To get the most out of your budgeting app, use it regularly. Track your spending to see where your money is going and make adjustments as needed. And be sure to create a budget to see where your money needs to be allocated and ensure you’re not overspending. 

You should also connect your budgeting app to your bank account to see your transactions in real-time and make sure you’re not missing any payments. By using your budgeting app regularly, you can take control of your finances and start managing money.

What is the Best Budgeting App for You?

The best budgeting app for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an app that can help you track your spending and make adjustments as needed, EveryDollar or PocketGuard may be a good option. 

If you’re looking for an app that can help you create a budget and stick to it, YNAB or Goodbudget may be a better option. And if you’re looking for an app that can help you track your investment portfolio, Personal Capital may be the best choice. Whichever budgeting app you choose, check out the features to ensure it has everything you need to manage your money better.

Final Thoughts On The Best Budgeting Apps

Budgeting apps can help you pay your bills, teach you how to save, pay off debt, eliminate student loans, and find financial freedom.

In this article, you have learned about the different types of best budgeting apps, how to use them and which one is best for you. You should now be able to choose the app that will work best for your needs and start taking control of your family’s finances. These apps can help you save money by tracking your spending, creating a budget, and connecting to your bank account. Be sure to use them regularly to get the most out of them and save money.

This post originally appeared on Hello Sensible.

Sara Conklin (Frozen Pennies)

Sara Conklin is a Certified Financial Coach, wife, mama, Grammie, and founder of Frozen Pennies, a site that she started after a year-long spending freeze.  She’s passionate about frugal living, budgeting, and helping others.  She writes about ways to save money, get out of debt, and intentional spending.  When Sara is not working on the business, you can find her reading, drinking coffee, and spending time with her family.