Five of the Best Budgeting Apps to Help You Take Control of Your Finances
Budgets are one of the best ways to improve your financial wellness. That said, it isn't always easy to follow that budget steadfastly. "These days, most people's financial lives are complicated," says Brian Hamilton, CEO of banking startup One. "We have multiple accounts, debit cards, credit cards, direct-deposited income, taxes, payments to make, and payments that are automatically charged." That's where budgeting apps come in. "It's very hard, if not impossible, to keep it all in your head," continues Hamilton. "Budgeting apps, for many, are indispensable these days. They can sync with most, if not all, of your accounts, categorize your income and expenses, help you plan for taxes, and most importantly, give you an idea of what you can afford to spend based on your unique financial reality."
The best app for you will depend on your lifestyle and needs, as well as your current situation and future goals. Here, five apps to download and try today.
"If you want to change your financial situation, you must begin with a budget—it's just that simple. And it starts with knowing how much you have, how much you earn, and how much you can afford to spend," says Hamilton. "Finding an app that allows you to manage your money in categories, if you want to, is a great first step." The Goodbudget app is available on Apple and Android devices. It's based on the envelope system in which you allot money for expenses in different envelopes (virtually in this case). Then the app will keep track of your spending from within each envelope.
Another popular budgeting app is Mint, which is developed by the same company that makes QuickBooks and TurboTax. The app lets you budget your expenses, keeps daily track of your spending and habits, and provides a free credit score as part of the deal.
Simplifi by Quicken is a paid subscription app that tracks spending, offers insights, and helps you create a budget. It's a good app if you want a comprehensive view of your finances. Based on your figures, the app even calculates your net worth.
Connect your accounts to Pocketguard to understand where your money is going and how you can take charge of it. You can link all of your financial accounts so that you can see them in one place. The app even keeps track of your payment deadlines and can help you to negotiate lower rates on cable, cell phone, and other bills.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
The YNAB app is one of the toughest and best budgeting apps out there. It's a no-excuses approach to budgeting that aims to help you get ahead in life instead of living paycheck-to-paycheck. If you want to kick yourself into gear, then this could be the app for you.