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There are a lot of tools out there today to help you budget. What you choose to use all depends on what you find easiest! Some like apps, others like spreadsheets, and some just enjoy paper and pencil.
If you’re like a good percentage of people out there, you like the convenience of using an app on your phone to control your budget. Since your phone is likely always with you, it comes in handy if you need to look at your budget in a pinch!
But there are so many options out there today. How do you know which app will not only work best for you, but be trustworthy enough to handle something as important as your finances?
Check out the list below for some of the best budgeting apps out there today.
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Mint is one of the more popular budgeting apps out there and has been around for a while. It’s secure, and it offers a lot of useful features.
Take budgeting, for example. Mint makes it easy to be as hands-off as possible by tracking your spending in each category over time. From there, they calculate the average money spent to make sure you stay on track.
Or, if you want to be more hands-on (something I highly recommend when it comes to your money!), you are able to customize your categories and track at a micro-level.
You can even split one trip to the grocery store into several categories. Say you bought groceries, some toiletries, and some dog food in one trip. You can split the one trip into multiple categories, so you really stay on top of how much you spent on, say, toiletries for the month.
That’s pretty handy.
You’re also able to connect several different accounts, so you can keep track of all of your finances in one spot. And, if you need it, they have bill payment reminders. So you’ll only have yourself to blame if you’re late on your next bill!
Short for You Need A Budget, YNAB is a budgeting app that abides by the “give every dollar a job” principle. It is very much a forward-thinking app, instead of looking at what you did last week/month.
I really think that angle of budgeting is the most beneficial to coming out on top.
Before the month begins, you sit down to create your budget looking forward. Then, by the end of the month, you see how on track you were on your spending.
They even create cool pie charts to see where you are with your finances and goals! Does it make me a nerd that I get excited about a good pie chart?
YNAB is also secure, doting about their security measures on their website.
They have staffers available to answer your questions when you have them, free workshops about your finances, and some great educational YouTube videos on using the app and how you can make it fit your life.
The biggest thing I really like about this app is that it almost forces you to be in the driver’s seat. There is no “let the app do this for you”; it’s all you dictating where your money goes and keeping up with things.
I think that’s extremely important when you’re handling your finances. Otherwise, what if something happens to the app or the software? You’re left in the dark and not knowing what to do next. If you were already in control, you have a firm grasp on your budget and understand it.
PocketGuard combines all of your accounts, even beyond checking and savings (think retirement, credit cards, etc.) to help put together a complete picture of your finances.
It tells you how much you have left “in your pocket” after you have paid bills, put money toward savings, and added anything to your goals that you created.
This is good for the person who wants to have a more hands-off approach, but also good for answering the question “if you have enough money for something”, if you need to quickly know the answer to it.
As I mentioned above though, I gravitate more toward a hands-on approach to budgeting, but if that doesn’t speak to you at this stage in your budgeting, this is a good app for you!
EveryDollar was built by Dave Ramsey’s team, and is very similar to the principle YNAB uses (every dollar is given an assignment).
And, just like the other apps in this list, you are able to connect your accounts to the app for a more complete picture. If you do that, there is a fee for the upgraded version (again, that is similar to most other apps).
Before the month begins, you will create your budget and assign every dollar that comes in for the month a task.
It’s a clean, easy-to-use interface (which I can definitely appreciate!).
One thing I really like is, since it’s a Dave Ramsey product, there is a tab available for checking where you fall with the baby steps and keeping an eye out for your goals. I really like having all of that in one location.
That might not be your cup of tea, but since the baby steps (specifically the debt snowball method) are what we used to get out of debt, it’s something that I really like about the app.
This is technically an app for couples, but with the right tweaks (using two different email addresses to sign yourself up), you can use Honeyfi by yourself.
However, if you will be using it with your significant other, there are a lot of features that are pretty handy for two people using it together.
For example: if there was an odd purchase by one of you, you could add a comment to the purchase to explain what it was. Maybe there was a strange Venmo transfer; the comment feature helps clear any confusion!
You’re also able to add all of your accounts, but if there are specific accounts you want to keep private, you have that ability.
I’m not a huge fan of keeping accounts hidden from your partner. But one scenario I can think of that would be helpful is if you each have a private account for just buying gifts for one another. So you want to keep your purchases private, but it’s not for the wrong reasons.
It’s great that you can both have access to the account through your own login though! I think it’s super important for both partners to not only be on the same page but be in the know about the family’s finances.
One really cool feature of PocketSmith is that you are able to look into your financial future easily with their projections!
Say you want to know how your finances will look if you cut out all restaurant spending. PocketSmith will use your existing data to project how much you could save over 6 months, or even up to 30 years in the future.
It’s not the most practical feature a financial app could have, but it might serve as an inspirational savings tool if nothing else.
Beyond that, it does offer a budgeting system for tracking your money. It’s not quite as robust as some of the other apps on this list though.
Have you tried any of these apps and are finding them useful? Or do you have an app outside of this list that you love? Let us know in the comments!