Every year, more budgeting apps pop up, offering an array of features and benefits to help consumers manage their money. In this article, we will review our top 10 favorite budgeting apps. There is something for everyone here, from those running a small business to people that only want a simple digital system to manage their finances. Read on for our favorites.
1. You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a personal budgeting app that lets you access real-time information about your money across any device. This means you can use it on your PC, laptop, phone, or tablet at your convenience with a straightforward and simple sign-in.
While lots of apps automatically link your bank account transactions, YNAB allows you to add your transactions manually. This is especially helpful if you have a shared account and would prefer to keep some deals private. However, you can add most major US banks and credit unions of you want to automate the process. The app also lets you add each of your credit cards so you can set goals for paying off debt.
In addition to the user-friendly interface, the platform is intuitive and will help you create a budget with the money you have now as opposed to the money you expect to have in the future. This feature is ideal for freelancers or those who have a variable income. The app also offers a vast library of helpful educational resources.
You can access the app as a free trial for 34 days. If you decide to keep it, you will pay $84 a year. Although it’s a little pricier than some on our list, It ranks high among consumers for usability.
2. Personal Capital
Personal Capital comes highly rated and has gained in popularity over the past year. The app combines monthly budgeting with retirement-goal tracking and investment monitoring, making it ideal for those who are thinking more about their long-term finances.
When you join, you will be asked a series of questions like your age, retirement, and savings goals. Once you link all your accounts, the app will provide you with an overview of your spending. Handy charts and tables make it easy to visualize exactly what your monthly cash flow is. For those who are serious about retirement goals, this app is a hands-down winner.
Best of all? It won’t cost you a dime.
Created by Intuit, Mint was one of the first online platforms to allow users to sync their bank accounts and credit cards. The transactions are uploaded automatically, and then you manually categorize them according to how you want to set up your budget.
When the app was initially created, users were skeptical about its security. However, Mint has shown itself as a worthy ring leader in the realm of budgeting apps. The company uses 256-bit encryption, security questions, multi-factor authentication, and is monitored through both VeriSign and TRUSTe. If keeping your records private is your primary concern, Mint offers some of the best and most trusted services available.
Unlike personal Capital, this app is focused less on investments and more on tracking your expenses. The platform easily integrates with Intuit and QuickBooks, which can be super-helpful when tax time rolls around. Mint is free to use, and there are no hidden fees.
For small business owners, CountAbout is a new app and the only one that integrates with both Quicken and Mint. Users can download their transactions manually for $9.99 a year or connect their credit cards and financial institutions for $39.99 a year.
Of course, you don’t have to have a small business to use the app, but the low price point does offer one of the best values when it comes to business budgeting. As with most budgeting apps, you can customize your spending and income categories to keep track of your money. However, where CountAbout really shines is with some of their ancillary features, which include invoicing, financial reports, the ability to capture receipts, and more.
Another desirable quality of this app is it offers an easy-on-the-eyes experience that keeps things free of clutter and advertisements. This way, you can concentrate on the work at hand without distractions.
This cloud-based app is based in New Zealand and is highly accessible. Utilized in 191 countries, Pocketsmith has a refreshing company culture and interface that is upbeat and positive.
The unique thing about this app is that it can help you forecast your finances. And not just for next month or next year—but for up to 30 years into the future. For those who want to take total control over a timeline for their financial goals, this is the ideal solution. The app allows you to project future expenses, set up alerts, and create your own budget. The calendar portion ensures you will never make a late payment again.
Pocketsmith offers three plans. The free version allows you to import your transactions manually and gives you two accounts, 12 budgets, and six-month planning projections. The Premium and Super versions of the plan have more features and allow for longer-range planning.
For those new to budgeting, PearBudget offers a primary spreadsheet interface that can help simplify the process. Best for simple household budgets, the system uses the envelope method to keep things clean and straightforward.
The premise is simple. You customize your spending categories and “deposit” preset amounts into envelopes earmarked for each expense. If you run out of money in a given category, you stop spending or revise your budget. The app costs just $4.95 a month and takes only a few minutes a week to keep things organized.
Available for both IOS and Android, Mvelopes has become one of the most popular budgeting plans on the market. There are three different plans, at price points of $6, $19, and $59, respectively, but there is something here for everyone.
One of the main features of the Mvelopes app is the amount of support available. If you feel like you would benefit from in-person budgeting help, this app is ideal for you. Their highest level plan even offers monthly sessions with a personal finance trainer.
Mvelopes emphasizes creating a budget using a digital envelop system that gives each dollar a specific purpose. For those who like the old-fashioned Dave Ramsey system, the app is basically a digital format of this method.
For folks who love Google sheets, we are happy to announce the only budgeting app that can add your date to sheets. While much of the world is acclimated to excel, many still prefer Google’s suite of tools to get things done, and that’s where Tiller comes in.
Not only will this app connect your credit cards and financial institutions, but it will also pull the info neatly into a google sheets report. If you thought this was an impossibility until now, guess again. With over 10,000 financial institutions in its roster, Tiller has the capability to integrate with whatever template you need.
The app is perfect for those who rely on Google sheets. Instead of having to learn a new tool, you can integrate the app to meet your specific needs. The company offers a 30-day trial. After that, your fee is $59 a year. For individuals who prefer not to learn a whole new system, it’s well worth the cost.
If you are accustomed to the old-school style of budgeting, the Goodbudget app is the perfect place to begin. Many people still prefer writing their expenses down on pen and paper and balancing their checkbooks, and that’s where this app comes in. For people who want to move into the digital age without sacrificing privacy or independence, Goodbudget lets them manually enter your financial information.
With this app, none of your financial details are automatically synced. You choose the information you want to enter. Similar to the envelope system, you set aside specific amounts for each month’s expenses, such as groceries, rent, utilities, and more. Then, you choose the amount you want to spend, and the app keeps track of everything for you. You will get 10 spending envelopes with the free version and more with the upgraded version.
One helpful feature of the app is that it lets you sync your account with a spouse, child, parent, or friend if you choose. This can be handy if you are helping care for an elderly parent or disabled child.
We began our review with one of the most popular budgeting apps on the market—YNAB. However, for those who need a scaled-down version of this model, Pocketguard fits the bill.
The app allows you to look at new ways to “pocket” extra cash. It will enable you to set goals for saving or for paying off debt without going into too much detail. You can build a budget on the platform based on your personal spending habits, and it will provide you with some visuals like pie charts, graphics, and more. Interpreting your data on the app is simple as you will be able to see what you have for upcoming bills and expenses, as well as what funds you have available.
While the app does not offer the same comprehensive user experience as YNAB, it provides an ideal option for those who need to keep expenses low. It is free to use, with additional features offered at premium membership levels. However, the free version should work just fine for anyone looking for a simple way to manage their money.
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By BCR Staff