The Best Free Budgeting Apps
Budgeting apps are designed to help you manage and meet your financial goals. The best budgeting apps will help you manage all your financial accounts from one place while helping you evaluate your spending habits. Various budgeting apps are also designed to meet the needs of different markets, such as corporate, business, or personal finance.
Whatever your financial goals or needs may be, finding a good budgeting app is the beginning of a more organized approach to managing your finances. This article will help you explore some of the best free budgeting apps, as well as the best paid budgeting apps, available to you.
What Is a Budgeting App?
A budgeting app is a budgeting tool that you can download, either on your desktop or smartphone. It replaces traditional manual budgeting models by housing all your financial accounts in one place, helping you to track your spending in a more efficient way. It also helps you to organize your expenditures into various spending categories and keep track of your upcoming payments.
According to Statista, as of 2018, 17% of Americans were using at least one budgeting app. However, as the popularity of apps continues to increase, this number is likely much more significant today. This is because budgeting apps allow people to manage their personal or household budget with ease and greater accessibility.
Why Do People Use Budgeting Apps?
People use budgeting apps because they are convenient, efficient, and help them stay on top of their financial accounts, as well as their financial goals. The best budgeting apps are also easy to use and help users ultimately make better financial choices by helping them see the bigger financial picture.
How the Best Budgeting Apps Can Help You Budget
Budgeting apps help users, not just with financial tracking, but also with financial planning. You can sync your bank accounts, monitor credit card use, manage loans from various financial institutions, track investments, create custom budgets, and manage your bills. Even better, you can do this all within the app.
The best budgeting apps will help you organize your financial information. Some apps will allow you to sync your bank accounts to the app, while others will require you to input bank balances manually. Regardless of the input method, you will have all your personal budgeting information readily at your fingertips.
The best budgeting apps will help you track how you spend your money. You will have a clear record of how much you spend on monthly bills, food, self-development, going out, or vacations. Being able to track your expenses is useful for helping you prioritize your funds and create a personalized spending plan.
When it comes to your financial health, nothing beats a good financial plan. The best budgeting apps will also help you plan your finances and achieve your financial goals by sorting your expenses into categories. You can create digital envelopes for various spending categories and assign a funding limit on each. You can also set financial targets toward big expenses, like an overseas vacation.
The 10 Best Budget Apps: Overview
|EveryDollar||iOS, Android||Customization, savings, track debt repayment||$0 – $129.99|
|Fudget||iOS, Android||One-tap adding and editing, simple design||$0 – $3.99|
|Goodbudget||iOS, Android, desktop||Envelope budgeting, budget syncing, multiple users||$0 – $60|
|Honeydue||iOS, Android||Multiple users, account syncing, collaborative||Free|
|Mint||iOS, Android||Syncing multiple accounts, credit score, networth tools||Free|
|Personal Capital||iOS, Android, desktop||Personalized, networth tools, retirement planning tools||Free|
|PocketGuard||iOS, Android||Syncing multiple accounts, networth tracking, tracking spending||$0 – $99.99|
|Spendee||iOS, Android||Syncing multiple accounts, collaborative, customization||$0 – $22.99|
|YNAB||iOS, Android||Sync multiple accounts, debt repayment, savings goals||$14 – $99.99|
|Zeta||iOS, Android, Desktop||Multiple users, collaborative, goal planning||Free|
The Best Budgeting Apps to Make Your Life Easier
With a budget app on your side, budgeting has never been easier! Paid versions of the best budgeting apps have additional features that give you a better understanding of your financial standing, such as your credit score and your net worth.
EveryDollar | $0 – $129.99 per year
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Ramsey+ membership
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Very costly
This is a zero-based budgeting app, meaning that every dollar has to be assigned a task. Using personal finance guru Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps money management plan, the app helps users to pay off debt faster, save more money, and build wealth.
EveryDollar has a 14-day free trial period and three subscription plans you can choose from. The Ramsey+ products give you access to exclusive products such as SmartTax and FinancialPeace University, which give you coaching on the go.
Fudget | $0 – $3.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Simple design
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Does not sync accounts
This app has a simple design that helps you input your income and expenses into simple lists. You can mark items on the lists to set them as recurring expenses or continuous income. Additionally, you have a selection of foreign currency symbols to operate the app with.
This simple budgeting app does not sync with bank or credit card accounts. However, it is ideal for users who prefer to budget without syncing their accounts, letting you budget without safety concerns.
Goodbudget | $0 – $60
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Unlimited envelopes and accounts
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Manual data input
Goodbudget is a simple app that is easy to use with a friendly user interface. Its budgeting feature uses the hands-on envelope budgeting method. This enables you to budget by category, with a clear purpose. Although you cannot connect your bank accounts, you can sync and share your budget with your partner, family, or friends. The app also has savings and debt repayment features.
PocketGuard | $0 – $99.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Automated budget calculation
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Costly subscription
This app targets users who want to have better control of their spending while saving more. You can sync multiple bank accounts, including investment accounts and checking accounts. The app does all the numbers work, allowing you to know exactly how much spending money you have after setting aside funds for regular bills and necessities. With PocketGuard, you can also grow your savings and know your net worth.
Spendee | $0 – $22.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Automatic categorization
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Does not sync to all financial institutions
This app allows you to keep track of your cash flow and gives you insight into your financial habits. You can connect to more than 2,500 financial providers worldwide, including crypto and ewallets. The app has a basic version but offers a seven-day trial period for monthly plans. The premium version offers automatic categorization and shared wallets. It also allows you to customize your categories, as well as import and export transactions.
YNAB | $14 – $99.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: 34-day free trial period
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Takes longer to set up
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is the best budgeting app for serious budgeters. It is one of the more popular budgeting apps currently available on the market. It combines the principles of a zero-based budgeting system with envelope budgeting. YNAB syncs up your bank accounts and credit accounts.
With this money management app, you can also track your loan repayments, stay on top of non-monthly bills, and share your budget. Additionally, the app offers live education regarding budgeting. Overall, this budgeting app instills better money habits in users.
The Best Free Budgeting Apps
If you cannot afford a paid budgeting app, you will be relieved to know that not all budgeting apps are paid-for services. The basic versions of paid budgeting apps tend to track your money using simple income versus expenses features. However, there are plenty of free budgeting apps that offer some of the same features as paid apps. Below, we will look at some of the best free budgeting apps that can help you reach your money-saving goals.
- Best Feature: Budgeting collaboration
- Biggest Downside: Glitchy at times
This app is an ideal option for couples who want to manage their money together. CNBC has called it the best budgeting app for couples. Honeydue helps couples establish transparency and better communication around their finances and spending. The app allows couples to choose what they’d like to share with each other and includes budgets, upcoming bills, upcoming expenses, and options to split expenses. It also syncs to more than 20,000 financial institutions.
- Best Feature: Credit score tracking
- Biggest Downside: Advertisements
This app is a product of Intuit, the company that made TurboTax and QuickBooks. The app allows you to sync your accounts, save more money, remain within your spending limit, and even detect fraud. It will also break down your spending by category.
You can also keep track of your credit score, systematically lower your regular bills, and receive insight and budgeting tips within the app. The app is secure, thanks to multi-factor authentication.
- Best Feature: Personalized advice
- Biggest Downside: Investment-based
Personal Capital is geared toward investing and working out a retirement plan. The app has been highly recommended for portfolio management, assets management, and knowing your networth. You can use it to manage student loans, and create debt payoff plans. It also works as a great investment tool in helping you track and achieve your long-term financial goals.
- Best Feature: Sharing controls
- Biggest Downside: Can be slow
Zeta is an app for couples who want to grow together financially. You have sharing options that allow you to select what you share with your partner, and you can decide whether or not you want to sync your accounts. You will also get a full financial picture to enable you to manage your finances better. Plus, you can communicate within the app using memos and messages to ensure you are on the same page regarding transactions.
Which of the Best Budgeting Apps Should I Choose?
The best budgeting app to choose can only be determined by your budgeting needs and goals. There are more than a dozen apps to choose from and each has its own user interface. Additionally, each app has its overall usage pros and cons. You will need to weigh your budgeting needs against what is readily available.
You can also download some apps and give them a test run for comparison. This will also help you decide what features work for you. With a 34-day trial period, the You Need A Budget app is a great place to start. To increase your income and expand your budget, consider also using one of the best apps to make money or one of the best side hustle apps.
Best Budgeting Apps FAQ
Goodbudget, Mint, and YNAB are some of the most user-friendly budgeting apps. Most budgeting apps try to incorporate functionality with ease of use. Without actually using the app, it may not be simple to determine how easy it is to navigate within the app. You can download a selection of a few free budgeting apps, and the basic version of paid budgeting apps to try them out before you choose one.
Yes, if these or any other budgeting apps do not meet your needs, it is possible to build your own app from scratch. With the right technical skills, such as basic coding, you can use an app builder to create your own budgeting app. Building an app is one of the educational tools used to enable people to understand how apps function and how to troubleshoot glitches.
Yes, there are some budgeting apps designed to do financial management with companies and businesses in mind. However, if you want to take a deep dive into financial management, you will need to take a cash management course to learn financial management. In addition, a basic budgeting app will only be useful in helping you do personal financial management.
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