16 of the Best Budgeting Apps to Help You Save

Money can be tight for most people. According to an article by CNBC, 63% of Americans have been living paycheck to paycheck since COVID-19 hit. That included 60% of millennials making over $100,000 a year, according to BusinessInsider.com.

Budgeting can help and is a way to create a spending plan for your money. Keeping a monthly budget ensures that you will have enough for everything you need, like food, bills, other expenses, and keeps you out of debt. A budget doesn’t limit your freedom, but it can give you freedom. Here are some of the best budgeting apps to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Overall best free budgeting app: Mint

Mint is an all-in-one app from Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks, that brings everything together all your spending, cash flow, balances, budgets, credit score. Mint is a powerful app that connects to all your accounts; cash, credit, loan, and investment accounts.

Standout budgeting features:

  • Bill and subscription tracker: Let’s you know what you’re paying and when. You get notified before they’re due, if there’s a price increase, and when fees are detected. 
  • Cash flow tracking: The app helps you stay on top of your accounts, bills, and subscriptions. You get notified when your subscription costs increase and when bills are due.
  • Create custom budgets that help you save: You can easily create a budget in Mint. Mint automatically categorizes your transactions. You get notified before you go over and when the app spots budget improvements.
  • Mintsights®: The app gives you personalized insights to spend smarter, save more, and pay down debt. It tracks your net worth, spending, and budgets to find opportunities to save.

What’s good about it

With Mint, all your finances are managed through one powerful app. No need for multiple apps. Mint also has a free version, and you get access to your free credit score 24/7 and alerts you to any credit changes.

Cryptocurrency investment accounts are easily added, and financial institutions including Coinbase, Bitmart, Binance, and Gemini can be synced. They also have live chat support that can answer any of your questions.

What’s not so good about it

If your financial institution or bank does not connect and share data with Mint, you will have to add a manual account and then update it accordingly to keep it current. This list is constantly changing.

Budgeting tools

Tools include a retirement calculator, credit card payoff calculator, net worth calculator, grocery budget calculator, home affordability calculator, Loan calculator, budgeting calculator, investment calculator, travel budget calculator, and a student loan calculator.

Security

They utilize two-step verification or two-factor authentication/multifactor authentication. Two-step verification is a financial industry standard that requires you to provide additional verification after signing in. Usually, you’ll get a verification code sent through a text message or automated phone call.

Any time you sign in to an existing Intuit Account on an unrecognized computer or device, we’ll first ask you to verify your identity.

Cost

  • Free version: There is a free version available with ads. The free version is available for download on iPhone, Android, and web browsers.
  • Paid version: The Mint Premium paid version is only available for iOS or iPhone. It is not available on the Web or for Android devices yet. It costs .99 cents a month for no ads plus all premium features. The subscription version of Mint offers additional data visualizations and allows customers to visualize their financial standing better to better plan and adjust for their financial goals. There is also a Spending Graph visualization in this subscription version with new options in the upper left corner of the screen: The Download icon and The Filter icon. And, as part of “Premium,” included are two games: Dodge the Debt and Slither into Savings. The games will provide you with saving and spending tips upon completion of stages.

Bank sync

The banks and financial institutions list are constantly changing. The best way to see which are available at any given time is to create an account, even a blank one, and then search for “Add Accounts” and see the list of financial institutions.

Availability

Mint Premium is currently developing for web and Android versions but is available for iPhone IOs only.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play Store rating: 4.5 stars from about 195,000 users with an Editor’s Choice rating.

Apple Store rating: It is rated 4.8 stars with over 715,000 reviews and ranked #35 in Finance.

Best app for setting savings goals: YNAB (Youneedabudget.com)

YNAB promises real results. It says that on average, new budgeters save $600 in their first two months and more than $6,000 in their first year.

Standout budgeting features

They use a time-tested 4 Rule Budgeting, offer a ton of educational classes, real-time access from any device/ anytime, and you can have the ability to share finances with a partner. They have goal tracking- graphs and pie charts, offer live workshops for additional support, and teach you how to budget with a variable income, which is perfect for freelancers or independent contractors.

What’s good about it

If your financial institution doesn’t come up, you’ll see the option to suggest an institution. If you don’t see the option to indicate an institution, it means your bank was automatically proposed to be added. In the meantime, you’ll be able to import transactions from a file downloaded from your bank as a quick and easy alternative.

What’s not so good about it

There is no live support during business hours, and they will get back to you in 24-48 hours after an email. They rely on you to do most of the heavy lifting to watch all their How-To videos and scroll through the endless tabs, guides, blogs, self-help, support pages, classes, and community pages.

Budgeting tools

They have goal tracking where you can track your budget at a glance. A loan calculator calculates interest and time saved for every dollar you put toward a debt: spending and net worth reporting in graph and chart form.

Security

The YNAB account password is one-way salted and hashed using multiple iterations of a key derivation function for passwords. So, if someone were to steal the YNAB database of passwords, they would not know your password and would be forced to guess every possible password to find it.

When stored on our servers, your data is encrypted at rest using AES 256 block-level encryption. That means that even IF someone broke in and stole the hard drives that stored your information, they couldn’t read it. If you choose to delete your YNAB account, your budget data is completely and irreversibly removed from the YNAB database. They do not simply mark your account as inactive. They destroy all account data.

Cost

  • Free version: No, but there is a 34-day free trial period.
  • Paid version: The monthly plan starts at $14.99/ month or $98.99/year plus taxes. They offer college students YNAB free for 12 months in addition to the 34-day free trial with proof of enrollment, transcript, or tuition statement. And, when you subscribe at the end of your free year, you receive a 10% discount on the first year.

Bank sync

You can suggest a bank if yours isn’t listed, and you can easily import transactions for a file that’s downloaded from your bank. The directions to sync your bank looked straightforward, with screenshots to guide you.

Availability

Widgets are available in iOS 14 and Android 7 or higher and come in multiple sizes. They mirror essential information from the app, so you can easily access it. 

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 3.2-star rating out of 8,200 reviews on Google Play. Most of the bad reviews were attributed to the pricing.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.8 rating on the Apple store rating out of 37,000 reviews.

Best for the envelope budgeting system: Goodbudget

The envelope system puts your income into various envelopes or categories such as groceries, dining out, debt payoff, and children. Next, all spending for each category is taken out of that designated envelope, and only that envelope. Third, you stop taking money from that envelope when emptied or beforehand. 

Since this is primarily a cashless society, Goodbudget can help. Goodbudget helps you to stick to your budget limits without the hassle of keeping actual cash in physical envelopes.

Standout budgeting features

You can sync your budget with the people that matter the most and pay off debt using a time-tested budgeting method.

What’s good about it

Affordable at $60 per year and is a way to plan your expenses instead of just tracking your spending. Easy to understand, keeps you disciplined, can be used for an emergency fund, no overdraft charges, less wasteful spending, and you won’t miss a payment.

What’s not so good about it

There is no live help and just a number to call about subscriptions.

Budgeting tools

Goodbudget keeps you on the same page by syncing your household budget across all your iPhones and Androids. When you deduct money from an envelope, the person with whom you’re sharing the budget knows what’s spent, where, and when. There is also access to online budget courses.

Security

All data is kept safe with 256-bit bank-grade encryption in a secure data center. Your payment information is always protected when you subscribe, and we don’t share your personal information with third parties.

Cost

  • Free version: There is a free version for life for one account, two devices, ten regular envelopes plus ten more, one year’s worth of history, debt tracking, and community support.
  • Paid version: The paid version is $7 or $60 per year with unlimited envelopes, unlimited accounts, five devices, seven years of history, debt tracking, and email support.

Bank sync

Yes, but accounts in Goodbudget are not connected to your existing bank accounts, and they won’t ask you for your bank passwords. Instead, you can track your actual bank balances by recording transactions in Goodbudget as you make them or by downloading your recent activity from your bank’s website and importing that into Goodbudget. You can import file types of QFX (Quicken) and OFX (MS Money).

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.5-star rating out of 19,000 reviews on Google Play. 

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store out of 12,000+ reviews.

Runner-up for the envelope method: Mvelopes

The digital envelope budget system in Mvelopes helps you track where your money is spent, but more importantly, it helps you plan where you want your money to go.

Standout budgeting features

They offer a personal finance trainer, and their products can help you create a personalized roadmap.

What’s good about it

You can create a spending plan in less than 15 minutes with three tiers to choose from. You spend less, save more, and pay off debt faster by managing money before and after you spend it.

Mvelopes can help you stop spending more than you can afford and start paying off the balances on your credit cards with its credit card envelopes inside the Mvelopes app. 

When you purchase using a credit card, the transaction amount is removed from the spending envelope and placed into an envelope for the credit card. When it comes time to pay your credit card bill, how much you have spent on the credit card is waiting in that envelope, along with any extra money you were planning on paying off that month. You won’t have spent all the money in your checking account and almost as much on your credit card, thinking you had enough to pay for both.

What’s not so good about it

The app can be costly if you want to sign up for the Plus Package to draw up a personalized financial roadmap. 

Budgeting tools

The tools you’ll be able to access will depend on the package you choose.

Security

Mvelopes uses SSL/TLS encryption of customer data as it is transmitted and stored, along with any sensitive data in an encrypted format with additional layers added to our backup systems. It is the same form of protection used by banks and trading firms. Mvelopes servers are protected by restricted public connections and multiple firewall connections. Mvelopes also undergo regular third-party data security audits to ensure that your personal information always remains safe and secure.

Cost

  • Free version: There is no free version, but Mvelopes has a 30-day free trial only with the premier package but with a money-back guarantee for all packages
  • Paid versions: There are three monthly packages available for $69, $99, and $199 a year, which can also be paid monthly for a slightly higher fee. 

Packages and what they include

  • The basic package has unlimited envelopes and financial account hook-ups, auto transaction importing and account balance monitoring, live chat and knowledge base, interactive reports, but no 30 days free.
  • The premier package offers 30 days free, everything listed above for the basic package plus access to the learning center, debt reduction center, initial set up assistance, and high-level priority support.
  • The plus package includes everything from the Premiere Package and a dedicated personal coach, a personalized financial plan and quarterly coaching sessions. You save $40 if you purchase the annual plan.

Bank sync

Yes. They have developed over 16,000 integrations. If your Financial Institution is not listed, get in touch with customer support to make a request. They will provide you with the steps to complete the request securely.

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 3.2-star rating out of 3,600 reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.4 rating on the Apple store rating out of 4,100 reviews

Best to manage student loans: Fidelity Spire

Fidelity Spire is a goal-based financial app focused on helping you save, plan, and invest for your short-term and long-term goals.

Standout budgeting features

It lets you choose what you want to save for or prioritize, like paying down student debt. You can invest in fractional shares for stocks and mutual funds.

What’s good about it

Free to use, in-app trading, including fractional shares. Even if you do not have a Fidelity account, you can use the app. It has robust financial planning apps for beginners, can link external accounts to track your complete financial picture to plan and visualize short-term and long-term financial goals.

What’s not so good about it

It doesn’t offer an in-depth budgeting tool, and accounts made available to you via the app can have fees and costs.

Budgeting tools

The “Decision” tool is an interactive tool that helps you see the trade-off of money you put toward one goal over the other. You can compare two goals at a time, using any combination of the short-term, long-term, and debt goals you prioritized.

Security

To keep your accounts safer, they offer 2-factor authentication (2FA) as an extra layer of protection that can be added to your account. Their newest security feature is biometric voice technology. It verifies you by your unique voiceprint through any microphone-enabled digital device.

Cost

  • Free version: It is free to use even if you don’t have a Fidelity account.
  • Paid version: There is no paid version

Bank Sync

Yes, and supports external accounts for 12,000 financial institutions

Availability

It’s available on iPhone and Android. But on iOS only, will you have an improved “guest membership” experience.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 2.9-star rating out of 232 reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 3.5 rating on the Apple store rating out of 276 reviews.

Best to save money if you’re starting out: Stash

Stash is a personal finance app that simplifies investing, making it easy and affordable for everyday Americans to build wealth and achieve their financial goals.

Standout budgeting features

Stash makes investing easy with a mere $5. Ability to invest in fractional shares, they have both DIY and automated investing and values-based investment offerings.

What’s good about it

You can add money to Stash automatically or manually. You can even receive your pay up to two days early. It takes five minutes to set up direct deposit to send either all or a part of your paycheck straight to Stash.

Early availability depends on the timing of the payor’s payment instructions, and fraud prevention restrictions may apply.

What’s not so good about it

Smart Portfolios don’t offer tax-loss harvesting, and there’s no automated IRA management.

Budgeting tools

It helps with your financial goals by providing specific advice for investing and budgeting. You can pick plans that offer a personal brokerage account, Stock-Back Card, budgeting and saving tools, guidance and education, insurance coverage, open an individual retirement account and investment accounts for children too.

Security

Aside from the typical user ID, password and PIN, you also have the option of using biometric/fingerprint recognition for account access, which can help keep your account secure. They encrypt everything with 256k bit encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Cost

  • Free version: There is no free version, but they allow you to cancel, upgrade, and downgrade anytime. Depending on the subscription plan, there may be additional steps a user must take to cancel their account, which may impact the amount of time it takes to close an account fully. You may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash that is not included in the monthly Wrap-Fee.
  • Paid version: Monthly packages range from $1 to $9 a month. The $9 Stash+ plan includes two kid portfolio accounts and $10,000 in life insurance coverage.

Bank sync

If you cannot find your bank when you search for it by name, you’ll have to link your external bank account micro-deposits manually. When connecting an external bank account, it must be a checking account. At this time, Stash does not support savings accounts, third-party, or business accounts, even if your name is listed on the account.

Availability

It’s available on iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.1-star rating out of 85,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store rating out of 267,000+ reviews.

Best for debt payoff: Debt Payoff Planner

The Debt Payoff Planner can tell you how long it will take to become debt-free, how much you should pay on each bill, and which strategies to employ. This app gives you a clear plan for your payoff process.

Standout budgeting features

Provides you a monthly payment of the total amount of money you’ll be applying to all debts every month. The first number is the total of all the minimum payments for all debts. The second number is how much extra you can apply to any of your obligations every month to pay it off faster.

What’s good about it

You can arrange a payoff order from APR high to low, balance low to high, or as listed for your payoff strategy. The Payoff Summary section gives you a high-level overview of all of the debts, balances and when you can expect to be debt-free by sticking to a plan. Debt Payoff Planner keeps your credit card bills organized. There’s an optional APR category for promotional APR calculations for credit cards that have this.

What’s not so good about it

If you add a purchase to a credit card, you need to add the payment with a negative value manually. It can take up to 24 hours for support to respond if you are a free member.

Budgeting tools

The app provides the specific details, and dollar amounts to pay to get out of debt and sends encouraging weekly updates of your payoff progress. 

Security

Their site doesn’t list anything about security encryption, but says, “The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.”

Cost

  • Free version: Most users start on a free version, and as they pick up momentum, switch to the pro version. A payment reminder feature is only available on the paid plan.
  • Paid version: There are three payment plans available, a 2-year plan for $24, a six-month plan for $18, and a two-month plan for $10. These allow you to print your plan, get priority customer support, full web access, payment reminders and add planned payment charting.

Bank sync

No bank sync. You need to enter all starting balances manually, minimum payment amounts, and APR.

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, Android, and Amazon app store.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.7-star rating out of 2500+ reviews on Google Play.

debt

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store rating out of 3100+ reviews.

Best to help couples set spending limits: Honeydue

Honeydue is a simple way for couples to collaborate and manage money together. 

Standout budgeting features

There’s a joint cash feature, but with the option to choose what you want to share and a built-in chat feature with your partner, so there’s no need to discuss this during dinner.

What’s good about it

Avoid penalties using their bill reminders. When it’s time to pay, you or your partner will be nudged, and there is the option to upgrade to a joint bank account. They also support multiple currencies.

What’s not so good about it

There’s no desktop version of the app.

Budgeting tools

Instant notifications, real-time balances, and budgets for each partner.

Security

Your information is securely encrypted in 256 bits, both in transit and storage. They support and require multifactor authentication to your account.

Cost

  • Free version: It’s entirely free to sign up for both you and your partner.
  • Paid version: There is no paid subscription. Honeydue currently makes money through a tip jar feature. If you choose, you can set a recurring monthly tip of $1 to $10. Tipping reminders pop up from time to time when you open the app.

Bank sync

Yes, it tracks all accounts for 20,000 financial institutions across five countries

Availability

It’s available on iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 3.9-star rating out of 1800+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.5 rating on the Apple store rating out of 7000+ reviews.

Runner-up for helping couples set goals: Zeta

Zeta offers “financial tools that help your relationship thrive.”

Standout budgeting features

You can share budgets and goals, split bills, and communicate in the app. You can check your accounts or even view what your partner sees. It’s easy to switch between views. You can use the privacy settings to hide some features from the shared view.

What’s good about it

Reviewers say it is easy to use, splitting expenses is straightforward, budgeting tools are flexible, and they have excellent customer service that’s open to feedback.

What’s not so good about it

If you opt to enter transactions manually, the user experience can take a few tries to get used to.

Budgeting tools

You can create comprehensive budgets with Zeta, and it goes one step further: It lets you set up both personal and shared budgets.

Security

They do not store logins for your external financial institutions to remove the risk of having that information stolen. Instead, they securely connect to your financial institutions using a third-party tool called Plaid. Plaid is a widely trusted tool used by many leading financial services companies like Chime, Paypal, and Robinhood. Plaid is regulated, audited, and vetted several times a year by accredited institutions, including the banking partners they work with. 

Cost

  • Free version: It is free to download and use.
  • Paid version: There is no paid version.

Bank sync

It integrates personal and shared accounts, including bank accounts, loans, and credit cards. Connect your account directly for automatic updates or manually add an account to handle it yourself.

Availability

It’s available on the iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.2-star rating out of 120,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 3.9 rating on the Apple store rating out of 125 reviews.

Best for less stress: Digit

Digit calculates the right amount to input to accomplish your financial goals with effortless budgeting, saving, and investing.

Standout budgeting features

Takes the thinking out of saving. Digit’s program automatically looks at your transaction history and scans that history for income and everyday expenses, and tries to predict your usual cash flow.

What’s good about it

There’s a 1% annual savings bonus paid every three months, based on the average daily balance per quarter, automated saving and investing, simple user interface.

What’s not so good about it

It has a monthly fee and does not have a very intuitive process after the initial setup. You can’t move your money from savings to investing; there are no features designed for money management, reporting, spending, or net worth tracking analytics.

Budgeting tools

Digit offers a tool to help you pay down your debt through automatic withdrawals from your checking account.

Security

They use 128-bit bank-level encryption.

Cost

  • Free version: There is no free version, but there is no charge for the first 100 days
  • Paid version: $2.99 per month

Bank sync

Digit is compatible with more than 2,500 banks and credit unions and is currently available only in the US.

Availability

It’s available on the iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.6-star rating out of 43,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store rating out of almost 260,000 reviews.

Best to track spending: PocketGuard

PocketGuard offers a holistic approach to personal finance, to help you optimize spending and grow your spending automatically.

Standout budgeting features

PocketGuard’s “IN MY POCKET” feature shows how much money is left for everyday spending after all your bills, budgets, and goals are paid.

What’s good about it

As your transactions are pulled out, they are automatically divided into various categories, depending on the merchant. 

What’s not so good about it

Some capabilities are limited to paid users, and the website can be challenging to navigate.

Budgeting tools

They have a spending pie chart. It shows all the expenses you’ve incurred over the current month divided into categories. It’s the best way to see where your money goes.

Security

PocketGuard is equipped with 256-bit SSL encryption, the same security level many financial institutions use on their platforms. It is also secured with biometrics and a PIN code if your phone ever falls into the wrong hands.

Cost

  • Free version: You can sign up for the app and utilize many of its functions for free.
  • Paid version: If you want features such as exporting transactions, unlimited goals, and categories for your budgeting and splitting transactions into different types, then the paid version, PocketGuard Plus, may be a better fit. Packages range from $7.99 a month, $79.99 a year or $99.99 for a lifetime membership.

Bank sync

PocketGuard supports 18,000 banks.

Availability

It’s available on iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 3.6-star rating out of 1,700+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store rating of 6,500+ reviews.

Best if you need simplicity: Simplifi by Quicken

Simplifi is a simple mobile money management tool from Quicken that allows users to track their income and expenses in real time.

Standout budgeting features

Simplifi monitors spending on everything from essential expenses to splurges, you get a personal spending plan automatically, easy to track savings goals, projected cash flow, reports, and it gives you helpful insights to reach your financial goals and creates your customized categories for a truly personalized experience.

What’s good about it

View all finances in a single dashboard to keep you organized, set savings goals, easy to use, well-respected company in the financial industry, and have no ads in-app.

What’s not so good about it

You can’t manually import transactions, no investment tracking, and you can’t pay your bills directly from the service, the app can be buggy, only available in the US, can’t import Quicken data to Simplifi, and no live customer support.

Budgeting tools

Sets up custom watchlists and limits your spending by category and payees to stay on track. Bill management so you don’t miss a payment and be slapped with late fees.

Security

Quicken Inc., the makers of Simplifi, has been trusted by millions for their continually-improving security measures for over three decades. They securely transmit data from your bank servers using robust 256-bit encryption. The information downloaded from your banks is confidential and used only to update your accounts.

Cost

  • Free version: There is no free version, but there is a free 30-day trial and you can save 50% with an email subscription.
  • Paid version: $39.99 year or $5.99 a month.

Bank sync

Connects to 14,000 financial institutions

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 3.6-star rating out of 800+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.2 rating on the Apple store rating out of 1000+ reviews.

Best for long-term financial planning to boost net worth: Personal Capital by Empower

Personal Capital brings together your investments, IRA, 401(k), credit cards and banks, all in one place.

Standout budgeting features

Tax strategy tool, savings planner, individual client customization for future financial goals and overall financial health, a retirement paycheck feature available as a paid service that recommends a tax withdrawal strategy. Their Fee Analyzer saves you thousands in hidden mutual fund fees.

What’s good about it

All clients have access to a team of financial advisers. Admission is for individuals with at least $200,000 invested, and you get two dedicated financial advisers, and clients are given a direct number to their adviser. Zero account fees, set up, or onboarding fees. Many customers report succumbing to account syncing problems.

What’s not so good about it

Personal Capital’s account minimum and management fee are on the higher end compared to some competitors. The account minimum is $100,000, but this is a reasonable amount for this amount, and you get a personal financial advisor.

Budgeting tools

You get various free comprehensive tools, including an investment checkup, a 401(k) analyzer, and a spending tracker. The dashboard allows you to view your financial picture in one place, such as net worth, cash flow, portfolio balances, and allocation, and a holdings module that shows how your investments are performing, dollar amount, and if they are “losers” or gainers.”

Security

They have multifactor authentication, and their data is encrypted with AES-256 with multi-layer key management, including rotating user-specific keys and salts.

Cost

Free version: Personal Capital offers free, comprehensive investment management tools. You don’t even have to be a member to use them.

Paid version: Personal Capital gives you access to either a team of advisers or two dedicated advisers depending on your account balance. The tiered fee depends on the account balance, charging .89% up to $1 million. Fees are reduced after that.

Bank sync

The Dashboard automatically updates and categorizes your information. You’ll have a real-time view to help you stick to your spending and savings goals.

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.4-star rating out of 16,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.7 rating on the Apple store rating out of 35,000+ reviews.

Best if you don’t want to sync accounts: Fudget

Fudget calls itself a “simple and fast alternative to feature-rich, complex budget planner/personal finance apps.”

Standout budgeting features

This app gives you a choice of currency symbols and creates simple lists of income and expenses. 

What’s good about it

It’s free, but even the paid one-time subscription fee is only $3.99. Easily customizable to any budget. Users say it is easy to use and has no learning curve, simple to edit and write down your budget, no syncing to financial institutions, and no categories to manage.

What’s not so good about it

There is no debt tracker for credit cards and loans and no investment tracker for net worth.

Budgeting tools

There’s a calculation feature that lets you easily subtract or add from your line items as you go.

Security

An external PCI-compliant payment gateway handles all credit card transactions. They do not use Malware Scanning. They do not use an SSL certificate because they only ask for your name and email address when you join the mailing list. There is no syncing of financial accounts, so sensitive information is not prone to theft.

Cost

  • Free version: Fudget is primarily free. There is a $3.99 one-time purchase to upgrade to Fudget Pro, which allows you to change colors and download for sharing.
  • Paid version: There is no true paid version.

Bank Sync

None

Availability

It’s available on the Web or free on iPhone and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.5-star rating out of 3,900+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.8 rating on the Apple store rating out of 6,600+ reviews.

Best zero-base budgeting framework: EveryDollar

EveryDollar coaches you and walks you step-by-step through the budgeting process. It is based on Dave Ramsey’s signature Baby Steps program. Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national bestselling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show with 18 million listeners each week.

Standout budgeting features

EveryDollar follows the zero-based budget system, income minus expenses. That means you account for every dollar. Allows for payment reminders and due dates, so you don’t miss a payment, only available in the paid feature.

What’s good about it

Easy screen set up to enter numbers quickly. The budget feature suggests categories, so you don’t overlook certain expenses. 

What’s not so good about it

It doesn’t offer credit score monitoring and it costs $129 a year for the Plus version.

Budgeting tools

The app offers Savings Fund to help you get started on an emergency fund, plus due date reminders. Budget insights tell you where your money went. It offers reports on your spending and income in an easy-to-read pie chart. The debt tracking tool also available in premium keeps track of balances, interest, minimum payments, and due dates all in one.

Security

Ramsey Solutions and its service partners employ a multi-layer security approach, including firewall barriers, data encryption techniques, authentication procedures, data transmission encryption, among other hardware, software, and procedural methods.

Cost

  • Free version: While there is a free version, you’ll need to ender all data manually.
  • Paid version: The “Plus” version will cost you $129 a year and automatically enter your data. There are also three and six-month plans available.

Bank sync

Available on the premium feature.

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.1-star rating out of 9,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.8 rating on the Apple store rating out of 56,600+ reviews.

Best fee analyzer: Truebill

Truebill is designed to find, track, and cancel your paid subscriptions and recurring bills.

Standout budgeting features

Truebill breaks the service into four parts: Lowering Your Bills, Managing Subscriptions, Seeking Refunds, and Premium Services. 

What’s good about it

It’s free, and you can also monitor and cancel your existing subscriptions directly from their mobile app or dashboard. Truebill also monitors outages on things like your cable, internet, and phone service and will seek out potential refunds on your behalf. The company touts an 85% success rate in negotiating bills.

What’s not so good about it

For every dollar saved when using Truebill, the company takes 40% as a “savings fee.” That fee is charged once the savings are secured, and it applies to one year’s worth of savings. So, if Truebill saves you $500 annually on your bill, you’ll be charged $200.

Budgeting tools

TrueBill helps monitor your subscriptions for price increases or sneaky transactions. You can easily see all your recurring charges in one place, and it has an easy-to-use budget tracker to control spending.

Security

Truebill uses the Plaid service to connect with financial institutions. You will not be asked to give banking credentials to Truebill. Plaid is a fintech company that facilitates communication between financial services apps and users’ banks and credit card providers. Plaid claims to use best-in-class encryption protocols to protect users’ information.

Cost

  • Free version: There is a free version with minimal ads, and your transactions update once a day on this version.
  • Paid version: To access the premium services, you have to pay a monthly fee of between $3 and $12 per month.

Bank sync

Truebill connects to more than 15,000 financial institutions.

Availability

It’s available on the Web, iPhone, and Android.

Ratings and reviews

Google Play rating: It has a 4.4-star rating out of 24,000+ reviews on Google Play.

Apple Store rating: It has a 4.5 rating on the Apple store rating out of 36,000+ reviews.

What does a budgeting app do?

Budgeting apps can help track your finances on the go to give you an overall picture of what you’re earning, what you’re spending, and what you may need to change. 

A budgeting app can make it much easier to track everything by letting you view all of your accounts in one place. Once you’ve set up your budgeting app to automate your budgeting, you should automate other aspects of your financial life, such as a savings or investing account.

What features should I look for?

Good apps track expenses, handle recurring bills, controls overspending, alert you to upcoming bills, and monitor dues dates to prevent late fees. The apps also help you monitor spending habits, keep track of financial information, provide educational resources, money management skills, and set financial goals.

If you’ve already been using an app and the money still isn’t adding up, here are some of the biggest budgeting mistakes you may be making:

The bottom line

Whichever app you choose that best fits your needs, budgeting is important because it helps you monitor and control your spending. It tracks your expenses, saves for the future, helps you make wise spending decisions, gets you out of debt, and stays focused on your long-term financial goals.

Having a solid financial outlook is an integral part of one’s well-being since it means more financial freedom and independence and less stress when it comes to meeting both your short-term and long-term goals. A healthy bank account is the new job security.

Whether you need money for rent, a home loan, an auto loan, to tackle your payday loan debt or even a fund for holiday and gift spending, these apps can help you reach your goal.

FAQs

Will a budgeting app update in real-time?

The best budgeting apps will do real-time tracking updates. If you consider this an essential feature for your personal finance needs, please research the apps you prefer to ensure that this is available on that particular platform.

Will a budgeting app help me boost my credit score?

Creating a budget is an essential tool if you want to improve your credit score and overall financial health. A budget app can help you save money to pay down debt, avoid overspending, and make sure no bills go unpaid—all of which can boost your credit score and brighten your financial future.

Will a budgeting app monitor my credit cards?

Yes, but to get started, you need to connect your checking, savings, and credit card accounts, so the app can see what you are spending, where to save and reminds you when credit card bills are due.

What is the 50-20-30 budget rule?

The basic rule is to divide up after-tax income and allocate it to spend: 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and socking away 20% to savings.

What’s the difference between a roundup app and a budgeting app?

A budgeting app will provide tools to help you set up and maintain a budget. A roundup app (like Acorns) rounds up your debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invests that money on your behalf. You’ll have to link your accounts to the app first. Roundup apps can be a good way to build a small emergency fund.

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