Top 5 budgeting apps

January 03, 2019

By Tracy Scott

Top 5 budgeting apps

A woman uses a budgeting app.

Whether your goal is to avoid overspending, to organize your finances or if you’re simply looking for a fun, motivating way to track your financial goals, there’s a budgeting app available to meet your needs. You can use a budgeting app to track spending in real-time. Individuals, families and college students can manage their finances with the swipe of a finger from any mobile device. Tracking your spending using your phone can also help ensure bills are paid on time.

New personal finance apps are appearing on the market every day, but we’ve highlighted five that do the job with the least amount of hassle.

1. Best Budgeting App for Couples

Goodbudget takes the envelope budgeting method to the digital realm. You apply a pre-set dollar amount to each designated envelope or spending category. Once the money is spent, no additional purchases can be made in that category until the next paycheck or influx of funds is applied.

Sample Spending Categories:

  • Grocery Envelope: $350
  • Transportation Envelope: $160
  • Eating Out Envelope: $175

Since the app can be synced between mobile devices, a spouse or significant other sharing the same account can participate in the planning and management of the monthly budget.  This budgeting tool allows you to focus on category spending instead of your account balance, which can help eliminate overspending in any particular category.  

2. Best Budgeting App for College Students

PocketGuard comes with the basic features you’d expect from a personal finance app, such as the ability to:

  • Link financial accounts to the app
  • Check on account balances
  • View recent transactions
  • Monitor spending categories

This app encourages you to link your checking, savings and credit accounts to assist with establishing a realistic monthly savings goal. Couple this information with the data entered for bills and income to allow PocketGuard’s algorithm to determine how much money is leftover for everyday spending.

One more thing that sets PocketGuard apart is its online database of educational articles on the topics of money, education, lifestyle and debt. The financial literacy support makes this app an excellent choice for those new to smart money management.

3. Best App for Basic Budgeting

Wally is a straightforward budgeting app that helps manage your finances without bogging down users with too many details. Not only does this tool help you keep track of income and expenses, but Wally also tracks expenses across multiple and shared linked accounts, including credit cards and loans. You can also set up payment reminders. Need to save a receipt? Snap a picture using the app.

4. Best Budgeting App Sans Account Link

If the idea of linking an app to your credit union account makes you nervous, then Checkbook might be a better option. You’ll need to enter your financial data manually. Log multiple accounts, track spending, and monitor other transactions just as you would with a traditional paper checkbook.

5. Best All-Around Budgeting App

Mint is arguably the most popular budgeting app available, and for good reason. It has a variety of features not found with other apps, and it’s brought to you by the same people who created TurboTax and QuickBooks.

When you sync your bills and financial accounts to Mint, you not only see how much is due and when, but you can also receive customized money saving tips. This app also encourages you to link your credit cards and retirement accounts to assist with overall money management. Unlike many other budgeting apps, users gain access to their credit score for free.

Can’t decide which budgeting app is the best for your financial situation? Try one for several months. If a particular budgeting app doesn’t meet your needs, try another until you find one that’s a match for your financial goals.

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