Budgeting your money doesn’t need to be complicated or a hassle. There are dozens of apps that are designed to make the process easy and painless, whether you want to keep a better watch on your spending or you’re saving up for something big. Here are the five best budget apps to help you get a better grasp of your finances.
Mint is the most well-known budget and personal finance app for a reason. With a long track record, a user-friendly interface, and the ability to sync all of your accounts, Mint is a clear winner. This app is designed to show you the big picture by linking all of your bank accounts, credit cards, loan accounts, and more which are displayed in a single interface. The app automatically categorizes your transactions and helps you create an automatic budget based on your spending. You can recategorize transactions if the app gets them wrong or even split transactions into two or more categories — such as splitting the $80 you spent at the grocery store into $65 for groceries and $15 for pet food.
Mint is completely free and available on iOS and Android devices. You can also use it on your computer.
PocketGuard is a comprehensive app that helps you track your spending, save more money, and even make smarter financial decisions. PocketGuard will automatically categorize transactions on linked accounts and create a simple budget automatically. Unlike many other budget apps, PocketGuard will look for ways to lower your bills. The app tracks all charges you receive every month and searches for ways to lower your recurring expenses like your cell phone bill and your insurance premiums. For example, if you live in Florida and pay more than average for car insurance, the app will suggest insurance carriers in the state that may offer a better rate.
PocketGuard is available for Android and iOS devices. The basic app is free, but some features involving cash bills and spending require upgrading to PocketGuard Plus.
#3. You Need a Budget
If you want to be really involved in budgeting your money, the You Need a Budget app is a good choice. This app is designed for hardcore budgeters who like to plan every purchase. YNAB combines budgeting software with four rules to manage money. YNAB is geared toward consumers who want to get out of debt without a restrictive budget.
The downside is YNAB can be a bit expensive. It comes with a free trial but the regular price is $5 per month ($50/year). You Need a Budget is browser-based with apps for Android and iOS devices.
If your biggest concern is tracking and paying your bills on time, Prism is a good choice. This free app shows you your account balances and bills with a single interface. You can set up bills to be paid on a schedule or pay them directly within the Prism app. You can also set up notifications for payments an due dates.
This free app works great as a standalone bill manager or you can use it with another budgeting app for greater control of your money. Prism is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle Fire devices.
Mvelopes is a very basic app that adapts the traditional envelop system for budgeting. Use unlimited envelopes to make a plan for every dollar. Sync your credit card and bank accounts with automatic transaction syncing that puts your transactions in the appropriate “envelope” or folder. Mvelopes makes budgeting as simple as possible, but you will need to spend a few minutes figuring out the interface and how to set up folders and sub-folders.
Mvelopes isn’t free: the basic app-only version is $4 a month while the Plus version starts at $19 per month.