Budgeting money is the most minor enjoyable thing ever. And let's be honest: a
majority of us are better at spending than we are at saving. There are many words
in the average person's vocabulary that can describe a budget.
If you're like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is "budgeting" and
stuff like "budgeting rules", "budgeting mistakes", or "budgeting tips". But what
are these things, and why should you care about them?
Luckily, various apps make budgeting not just more accessible but also kind
of fun. Here are ten of the best budgeting apps—saving, earning, and managing
your money is about to get so much better.
Related Article: The Envelope (Budget) System
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
It is a budgeting app that helps you save more money, pay off your debt, and
break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
YNAB helps you control your finances by enabling you to be flexible and
accountable regarding your budget and handle your finances with dynamic
responsibility. YNAB prides itself on being a proactive system that requires you to have a forward-thinking thought process with every dollar. YNAB goes beyond being just a tool to track your finances, keep on top of bills, and set savings goals. This app allows you to have an accountability/budget partner by sharing your finances with someone else. If you are the goal-oriented type, you can also set budget goals to keep you motivated. You can track your progress by generating reports (read: graphs or charts) over time. It's built around a four-step plan:
- Save for a rainy day
- Live on last month's income (no more paycheck-to-paycheck nonsense)
- Address overspending before moving into the next month
- Give every dollar a "job" in advance.
YNAB provides personal support with over 100 free, live online workshops every week.
If you're looking for more of a lifestyle switch regarding how you budget,
spend, and save your money, YNAB is the combo plan + software to try. YNAB has a monthly plan of $11.99 and an annual program of $84, saving you $59 annually. You have the option of trying YNAB for free for 34 days. This is an excellent opportunity to see if this app is an ideal fit for you. YNAB is available on iPhone, Android, iPad, Apple Watch, and Alexa.
Mint gives its users leverage in organizing a smooth budget. Mint categorizes your transactions to better track where all your money is going. You'll see that maybe you have $600 a month going towards "Restaurants" or $450 going towards "Entertainment". This could be a significant discrepancy in your spending, and Mint helps you pinpoint where that discrepancy is. The app has an upper-hand in aiding you to generate budget plans fast, receive credit scores, and track your expenses. You are required to link the app with your bank account and have your data synced to the app. When your account is in sync, the app uses the data to classify your expenditure into various expenses. The app allows you to identify how much money you can save in multiple categories.
One of my favorite features of this app is its ability to track subscriptions and when bills are due. Some of my bills I prefer not to be automatically drafted, so I appreciate this feature, so I do not get charged late fees.
Mint also gives you recommendations and insights (Mintsights) about how you can create
investment opportunities, manage your debt and pay your debt off. This excellent app has diverse resources like a home affordability calculator, loan repayment calculator, and mortgage refinance. Within the home affordability calculator, you'll provide your annual income, the down payment you plan to make on your perspective home, monthly debt, current interest rate with a choice of a 30 or 15-year mortgage. I like to live by a good rule of thumb to not spend more than 25% of my monthly income on a mortgage. Mint provides support on top questions asked, accounts and transactions, tracking your bills, and login/multi-factor authentication. Plus, the app is
free to use.
EveryDollar has been the North Star for people looking for practical ways to
establish healthy budgets and repay debts with constant determination. When
creating an account, you are needed to link your account, so the app automatically
understands what your finances look like. The income you make is then used to
create a simplified budget. You may create unlimited budgets and track your transactions as you go. The app adopts a zero-based budgeting method recommended by money genius Dave Ramsey. Once you create a budget, you may adjust the budget throughout the
Divide your expenses into budget categories and review the spending
and saving at the same time. With budget management as its forte, the app also
connects you with finance professionals and bolstered support. The app's free for
Android and iOS can be upgraded at $59.99/3 months, $69.99/6 months, $129.99/year.
The upgrade includes Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace and Baby Steps strategies.
To receive an even more in-depth experience on Dave Ramsey's budget strategies, check out his incredible book : Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide To Money.
My EasyFi is yet another savvy app that lets you push your budget skills. It
allows users to establish budgets through syncing their accounts. After connecting
your account, you can compute your expenses and calculate them into three major
categories. List your payments and bills, and the app will alert you before the due
My EasyFi records and keeps track of your budget and analyzes your data
from the previous six months, keeping your savings, debt repayment options, and
ideal goals intact.
The best part about it is that it offers an affiliate program that entails a 50% commission per referral. The membership plan entailed a basic (free) and paid ($100) strategy where users may use the affiliate program to generate a one-time payment. The paid users may use the app's features along with the affiliate program for a year. The users get paid for each paid referral they bring.
Mvelopes are suitable for those who prefer the conventional budget envelop
system. You assign your money in digital envelopes in distinct categories. Starting
at $6 a month, you are able to create an online envelope budget, monitor every
transaction sync, import your account details, and get interactive reports. If you
want an upgrade, you unlock more features, such as debt reduction tools, a personal
finance trainer, a learning center, and setup assistance for $19/month.
The complete plan offers monthly sessions with a personal finance trainer, a
customized plan, a trainer-guided financial education, accountability, and
motivation. All these plans can be availed at a trial of 30 days.
Pocket Guard allows you to link your credit cards, checking accounts,
investments, loans, and savings accounts— all in one place. When you have connected your accounts, the app keeps track of every transaction made, updates, and
categorizes it. The app gives you a 'pocket' where you can see and spend the
leftover money from your spending, debt goals, and savings.
What differentiates Pocket Guard from the other apps is the personalized yet
automatic budgets. This innovative app aligns your income, spending, goals, and budgets
to set the perfect plan for you. Pocket Guard has an Autosave feature that automatically saves the amount you set. If the safety of your private information is a concern, then you have nothing to fear. Pocket Guard secures your data with 256-bit SSL encryption. This is the same amount of security used on major banks.
Furthermore, Pocket Guard gives you real-time estimates to enhance your financial
health by discovering ways to land more interest in your savings accounts and
negotiate lower bills as well as save you money.
Albert is you're a money analyzer that tracks how your money flows from
your account to your expenses, savings, debt repayment, goals, and investment
options. The app uses its unique algorithms to unearth your current financial
situation and evaluates how you can become better at saving each passing month.
The most alluring bit is that the saved money automatically transfers into the app's
saving account (Albert Saving). Albert has another feature called Albert Investing that allows you to invest at a $1 minimum. The Albert Investing feature will enable you to invest in stocks in the U.S. and globally with no-commission fees, along with step-by-step guidance from their team of financial advisors.
Albert works with Billshark, a bill negotiating partner who directly communicates with service providers, locking the best possible rates. On average, Billshark has saved $250/year for Albert customers. Albert alerts you when a bill can possibly be lowered. The eligible bills consist of in-home services like internet, phone, cable, and security. If your provider agrees to a reduced rate, Billshark charges a success fee equivalent to 40% of your savings. This amount is calculated based on the term of the savings that your service provider agrees to, up to 24 months. The average savings term comes out to 13 months.
The remaining 60% of savings are yours. Once your savings are locked in, Billshark charges the success fee to the credit card you provided. If the success fee is less than $50, Billshark charges the total amount at once. If the total is more than $50, Billshark breaks the success fee into six monthly payments. The success fee is calculated based on the length of time the service provider commits to lowering your bill. The average savings terms are around 13 months, though some service providers can lock in your savings for up to 24 months.
You can transfer about $30 to $50 twice or three times a week. Moreover, the
account can hold up to $250,000 if you are keen on saving something big and giving you a 1% yearly cash bonus. However, Albert helps you draw instant cash of
$100 straight into your bank account in case you are using Albert Instant.
Clarity Money is an AI-integrated app that's 100% free to use and backed by
Goldman Sachs. You can open a high-yielding Marcus online savings account in a
few minutes. Once the account is set up, you are set to earn a 1.70% annual
percentage yield (AYP) considering terms and conditions. Clarity also provides a high yield certificate of deposits (CDs) and no-penalty CDs. Both high yield and no-penalty CDs require a $500 minimum balance.
If you are interested in loans, Clarity partners with Marcus, which provides debt consolidation loan options. Debt consolidation loans can put you on the right track for having a budget that does not break your pockets. To assist, a loan calculator is provided to help you get a better picture of what your monthly payments will be.
When it comes to investing, Marcus also provides investment/retirement accounts starting with as little as a $1000 deposit. Marcus will recommend a diverse mix of stock and bond ETFs that are aligned with your goal. You'll have exposure to a range of industries and economies, so you have multiple growth opportunities and won't be tied to the fate of a single stock. Your portfolio is monitored daily and is automatically rebalanced to stay aligned with your investment goals.
You can track your spending by organizing them by category and review them whenever you want. If you feel the need to save money on subscriptions, connect your apps and cancel the streaming service or the gym membership you do not use anymore.
If you are more into investing your money and require expert supervision
with a custom touch, Personal Capital steps up with intelligent hybrid advising
models. Sign up to connect with the app's free dashboard, whereby you can explore
the apps' budgeting features in detail. Personal Capital analyzes your assets, investments, and other information while giving you free and automated reports. While Personal Capital inclines more towards the investment side, budgeting and spending track aren't as convenient as the others, but they can still give you plans for your future and a complete financial check.
Personal Capital also provides a team of licensed fiduciary advisors to assist you with your goals no matter how unique they may be. This app's wealth management program includes a personal strategy opportunity that focuses on Smart Weighing, Tax Optimization, Intelligent Rebalancing, and Dynamic Portfolio Allocation.
Personally, I appreciate the financial tools Personal Capital has available. The net worth calculator, savings planner, retirement planner, investment checkup, and fee analyzer. The fee analyzer provides insight on the possible hidden fees you could be paying in your current 401K. Personal Capital's investment checkup offers a second opinion for your current investment portfolio. You never know; there could be some tweaks and peaks needed to optimize your investment growth.
Simple plays both bank account manager and budget. It creates the seamless
interaction between your budget and account transactions, thus eliminating the hassle of manual account checking.
Simple offers a Safe-to-Spend feature that keeps a regular check on your
additional expenses and your budget. As you keep saving, the app motivates you
through constant encouragement. However, since simple is tracking your income
and budget, it will help pinch your spending and save you time from creating
annual entries for each budgeting step.
Knowing what money is coming in and how it is being spent allows for a better understanding of the financial situation. This is the first step to budgeting and saving money, which will help you prepare yourself for emergencies, future financial goals, and a bright outlook for your future. Keep in mind when it comes to emergencies, you never want an emergency to cause an economic crisis but be a financial inconvenience.