Managing your personal and family finances can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, a number of excellent tools exist than can help you to keep track of your spending and get a better picture of where your money is going so that you can make any necessary changes. As one of the core elements of personal finance, budgets are often an evolving concept, and people need a clear idea of their baseline spending as they create them. People may want to consider using one of several budgeting apps now available. These apps can vary quite a bit in terms of their functionality, from applying specific budgeting methods to helping people adhere to those guidelines to simply tracking how much money is spent and where. Fortunately, many of these tools are free and offered on a variety of different platforms. Here are a few of the top apps to consider:
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is an app designed for people who are committed to living within a budget. The app uses a zero-based budgeting system, which means that every dollar earned must be allocated to the overall budget. YNAB has a number of great features designed to enable people to budget effectively, including various workshops and budgeting advice. Individuals can set goals on the app and monitor their progress in order to ensure that they achieve them. While the app is not free, new users are not be charged for the first month. Students can use it for free for an even longer period. For many people, the wealth of resources offered through the app make the price worthwhile.
People who are interested in the envelope system of budgeting, which involves portioning out monthly income toward specific spending categories, should look into Goodbudget. This app provides access across a variety of devices so it is a great tool to use with partners and the entire family. Goodbudget does not automatically sync to a bank account like other apps, so people need to add the balances manually each month. Once this input is recorded, money is assigned to envelopes or specific spending categories. The free version of the app allows for one account across two devices with a limited number of envelopes, although individuals can pay to expand their access.
A free budgeting app, Mint has become one of the most popular choices for budgeting across the world. The app connects directly to a user’s financial accounts and updates balances and transactions in real-time. Furthermore, the app automatically categorizes transactions into various buckets, which eliminates much of the guesswork involved in the process. The major benefit of Mint is that it offers an updated picture of spending, so people always know exactly where they stand. Moreover, users can create their own special categories, track bills, and create alerts that will let individuals know when they exceed their spending threshold.
4. Personal Capital
People with investments that they want to track along with their budget will benefit most from Personal Capital. This app is primarily an investment management tool that offers robo-advisor services and access to financial advisors. The app also includes tools to track spending and connects directly to credit cards, savings, and checking accounts, in addition to retirement accounts, loans, and mortgages. Users can view spending snapshots that are split into personally defined categories while also tracking their net worth and examining portfolio breakdowns. People with more complex financial needs may like Personal Capital more than other apps since it has such a broad reach and can accomplish much more than budgeting.
Anyone who believes that they do not need all the bells and whistles offered by many of the apps on this list can turn to PocketGuard. This apps boils budgeting down to a single question: How much can I spend? The app leverages personal data and information about budgeting goals to crunch the numbers and let people discover exactly how much they have to spend after bills and savings contributions. Users can quickly obtain a sense of how much money they have left for a given day, week, or month to answer the question of whether or not they can afford a purchase. PocketGuard also makes it possible to track categories, such as restaurant and clothing expenses.
Wally is a great choice for individuals seeking a no-frills approach to budgeting. The app tracks income and expenses and gives individuals an instant snapshot of the budget remaining for incidentals. Individuals can easily track this amount to avoid exceeding their budget. The app is free and offers versions for both iPhone and Android. Another major benefit of Wally is that it comes with built-in support for basically all foreign currencies. Thus, it is a great option for people who live outside of the United States, frequently travel, and make money in multiple currencies.