That’s right. I said it. The dreaded “B” word. Budget. Call it what you like – budget, cash flow, spending plan. Whatever you choose, it is necessary to stick to a budget in order to make any type of financial progress. While setting and sticking to a budget isn’t always glamorous, budgeting apps can help make it easier and less time consuming. Here are 7 of the the best budgeting apps out there.
#theresanappforthat Sorry, I couldn’t resist….
1 – Mint
This is a free app that will help you track all things financial. It will link all of your different accounts. After your accounts are all linked, you can use the app to track your budget, pay your bills, schedule any payments ahead of time, and get alerts sent straight to your phone. There is also a feature to track your net worth month to month.
2 – Personal Capital
Personal Capital is another free finance app. It is very similar to Mint, but it comes with a few extra resources. With Personal Capital you can also dive into some investing. One of the perks that I love about this app is how it gives a snapshot of your whole financial picture, complete with pretty graphs and charts and everything. It is a great resource to show this info visually, if that’s your thing.
3 – You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget, affectionately referred to as YNAB, is a fabulous resource for anyone new to budgeting or anyone who is dead set on budgeting every dollar to help them reach their financial goals. It is a paid app, but in my opinion it is well worth the money. I guarantee it will help you save way more money each month than you are spending for the app. YNAB helps you set a budget and track every dollar so you can see how much is left in each budget category. It can also help with any savings goals you have by divvying up your money into the appropriate savings goals. You can try it for FREE for a month. No questions asked.
4 – Wally
Wally is another free resource available. It is an app that will help you log your expenses and track your budget categories. Some people are wary about linking any of their accounts. If that is you, Wally might be a good app to try since they don’t link anything! Instead you manually type in your expenses yourself. Treat it like a virtual checkbook where you reconcile your budget. You log how much was spent, how much is left in each category, etc.
5 – Mvelopes
Ever heard of the cash envelope system? Mvelopes is a virtual version of that. You can try it your first month for free. If you decide to keep it going, a basic plan is only 4 bucks a month. That is cheaper than people’s morning coffee splurges. One of their higher paying plans comes with a monthly check in with a financial coach. If you are looking for a stronger support system to help you stay committed and create a solid plan, this could be a great option for your family. Even if you only invest in this service for six months or so. It might be a great fit to help you get started on your budgeting journey.
6 – Every Dollar
Every Dollar is very similar to Mvelopes. It was created by Dave Ramsey to support the “cash budget” and “zero based budget” system that he encourages his readers to adopt. The basic plan is free, but you can upgrade to a premium plan with a small fee. Once you link your accounts, you can use Every Dollar to see at a glance what is left in all of your accounts with nice visuals. Because who doesn’t love pretty visuals? I know I do!! They definitely help me stay motivated and encouraged to keep on keepin’ on.
7 – Acorn
Acorn is a relatively new finance app that helps you invest money using your spare change. For every purchase you make, they round the transaction up to the nearest dollar, investing the difference. While this might not be something that can fully fund your retirement, it is an easy and painless way to save more automatically. An added perk: It is free to any college student for four years. Overall, this is a great option for hands off investors or people who struggle to save. I personally love that it is free for college students. As we all know, the sooner you start investing, the better off you will be in retirement.
So there you have it. The top seven finance apps used by millions of people to improve their financial health. There is no reason to claim ignorance in your finances when you can use any one of these tools to see at a glance your whole financial picture. The more we know where our dollars are going, the better we can manage our money and reach our financial goals.
And you know I’m all about financial goals!
What about you? What is your favorite money app? Are there any tools you use regularly to track your budget?