No one likes to plan and stick to a budget, but budgeting is one of the easiest and best ways to not only figure out where your money's going, but to plan ahead so you can reach your financial goals. Finding an app to make budgeting easier can turn this chore into an easy, everyday task, especially if you find an app that works with your personal financial style and goals. Whatever type of budgeter you are, there's an app to help!
Best for: all around financial tracking and budgeting
The Mint app, from the financial experts who make QuickBooks and TurboTax, is one of the most robust budgeting apps out there, with automatic spending tracking and spending alerts available. Mint can even track your regular monthly bills and make sure you're paying on time. It also includes free credit scores and score updates and provides a lot of flexibility in how you track spending and opportunities for goal setting. Mint is a free app.
Best for: carefully tracking spending
Wally is a pretty no-frills budgeting app that will track your income and expenses so you can check your progress at any point and see if your spending is on track. You can take pictures of receipts with your phone and import that information instead of manually entering, which is a great timesaver. Wally is free, and ad-free.
Best for: those who don't want to link bank accounts
Using the classic envelope approach to budgeting, Goodbudget lets you plan spending on your own or with other family members by manually entering the amounts you want to allocate to each envelope (category). There's a little more work entering figures, but it's a good choice for anyone who doesn't want to link bank accounts to a budgeting app for automatic transaction information. Goodbudget has both free and paid account levels.
4. Clarity Money
Best for: clear tracking and additional benefits like subscription canceling
With Clarity Money, you can track spending and saving, with planning for future spending and debt payment. In addition, Clarity Money can help you with extras like credit score monitoring and tracking (and canceling) subscriptions and other less regular spending. Clarity Money is a free app.
Best for: all around tracking and offers for additional savings
One of the primary reasons to make a budget is to keep yourself from overspending. PocketGuard makes it easy by tracking all of your linked accounts and comparing it to the budget you set, your income, and your savings. PocketGuard can also analyze your recurring bills such as phone and internet and make suggestions on ways to save or offers for better deals. PocketGuard is free with optional additional services for a fee.
6. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Best for: detailed tracking and helpful visuals
YNAB works a little differently, starting with your income and making sure every cent of it is flagged for a budget role, from savings and loan payments to bills and groceries. In fact, YNAB's primary rule is "give every dollar a job". You can link bank accounts (but don't have to), share the budget with a partner, and set financial goals such as paying off linked credit card accounts, that YNAB will track and update you about. YNAB is free for a month, then has an annual fee.
Budgeting is an essential part of being smart with your money and achieving your financial goals. Make it an easier process by downloading a great budget app today.