Whether you are starting a New Year’s resolution to get in a better financial position or continuing to work toward your financial goals, you’ll want to use a budget app to help you with your finances. Budget apps are a great tool for managing your money, sticking to a budget and reviewing your spending habits to identify where money might be wasted. If you are like most people, you have your phone with you almost every where you go, which makes it easy in this digital age to have control of your finances at your fingertips if you have a budget app on your phone.
Here are 9 budget apps (most of which are free to use) to help you keep track of your money so you can get a better handle on your finances and put yourself in a better financial position this year.
1 – Mint
Mint takes the hassle out of creating a budget. It helps you manage your spending, saving and earnings, and can even sync to all your accounts including your bank and credit card accounts, 401(k), IRA and savings accounts, as well as all your monthly bills, so all your finances are in one convenient place. Mint lets you know when bills are due, what you owe and what you can pay. The app can also send you payment reminders so you can avoid late fees. Mint gives you a big picture view of your financial situation. It shows you all the recent transactions you’ve made, how you’ve been using your accounts, your account totals, monthly budget, credit score, spending organized by category, and even alerts for when you go over budget. The Mint app is free to use.
2 – EveryDollar
EveryDollar was created by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey. The app helps you create a monthly budget and more easily facilitate the Dave Ramsey’s baby steps budgeting. I’ve read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book about the seven baby steps and it’s one that everyone should read to stay motivated on your journey to financial freedom. EveryDollar is based on the envelope method and the principle of giving every single dollar a job. The app starts you with eight main budgeting categories that include the following: Giving, Savings, Housing, Transportation, Food, Lifestyle, Insurance & Tax, and Debt. You can add more categories to tailor it to your budget needs. Then you assign available funds for each category, and as transactions are entered, the amount is deducted from the appropriate category. The EveryDollar basic version of the app is free.
3 – You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget (YNAB) helps you stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt and “roll with the punches” if something unexpected comes up. Plus, it forces you to live within your actual income and control where your money goes. YNAB focuses on four rules to help you get your financial life in order and to get out of debt: Give every dollar a job, embrace your true expenses, roll with the punches if you overspend, and age your money by learning to live on last month’s income. YNAB has a 34 day free trial, then after that it is $50 for the year or $5 a month to use the service.
4 – Goodbudget
Goodbudget recreates envelope budgeting for the digital world by having you digitally allocate your funds into different “envelopes” each month in order to divvy up your monthly spending. You set a budget for each category and spend from that designated category, and when the money runs out then you stop spending. Goodbudget helps you understand your spending habits and find out where your money is being spent. And it helps you to plan ahead and save for big expenses months in advance. The Goodbudget app is free to use.
5 – mvelopes
Mvelopes is another great spending tracker. Like GoodBudget, mvelopes has you create budget envelopes digitally with account integration. Mvelopes first has you complete a budget and define your income before you start adding a budget to your envelopes. This helps you determine how much you can spend on items, what you actually have in your accounts, and what a reasonable budget is for you. With mvelopes, you can link your bank account, pay bills, manage your budget and plan for future expenses. You can also capture your receipts to track spending in real-time. Mvelopes has a basic plan for the app that starts at $4 a month.
Wally is a good budgeting app for tracking money coming in and going out to cut down on excess spending. And it keeps track of purchases and income using a pie chart with color-coded expense categories. Instead of manually logging your expenses at the end of the day or week, Wally lets you simply take a photo of your receipts. And it saves the locations where you shop often so you can enter them quickly in the future. There’s a review section where you get a very basic overview of your spending habits. Wally doesn’t link to your actual financial accounts so what your app says and the money you physically have in the bank may not match up if you forget to input an expense. The Wally app is free to use.
7 – Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a budgeting service that is much more comprehensive than many other budgeting apps. It’s for those who want a financial plan. Personal Capital provides budgeting solutions using a set of tools and resources to help you manage your investment portfolio, asset allocation, retirement planning, college savings and other life events. After connecting your bank account, credit cards, mortgage loan, auto loans, investment accounts and any other financial accounts, the service will summarize your financial situation and offer personal financial planning guidance. Personal Capital has a free basic version of the app.
8 – LearnVest (No Longer Available)
LearnVest provides budgeting tools, financial information and investment services. You can sync up to your banking, investment and financial accounts and create detailed pictures of your budget. And you can categorize transactions by expense type, set and track goals and always have a handy net worth calculation on hand. You can also have access to an online financial planner for a cost. In addition, you have access to articles and videos with information about several financial topics. LearnVest has a free version of the app you can use.
9 – PocketGuard
PocketGuard connects to all of your financial accounts, automatically creates a simple budget, and finds actionable ways to save money and improve your financial health. The app helps monitor your spending habits, bills and organizes it all in easy to view tables so you can see where your money is going, and it also lets you know how much money you have left “in your pocket” and if you can spend or need to slow your spending. You can get insight into where exactly your money goes by category, compare your current month’s spending to your average, and track your net worth change over time. The PocketGuard app is free to use.
There are a lot of budget apps out there, and these are just some of them. Be sure to choose a budget app that will fit your needs and get you motivated to put your finances in order. What are budgeting apps you have used that have helped you with your finances?