Budgeting apps can help you monitor, save, and invest your money. Here are the 5 best free budgeting apps to help you achieve your personal finance goals.
The Purpose of Budgeting Apps
You may want to save more money, earn more, and invest more but your finances feel out of control.
That’s where budgeting apps come in. The purpose of a budgeting app is to help you achieve your financial goals through an app.
Instead of paying a professional to set up a budget for you, these personal finance tools have made it easy to set budgets and manage your money.
Whether you need something to let you know when your account is running low or something that manages all of your investments and pays your bills for you, there are different budgeting apps that’ll suit your needs.
How to Choose a Budgeting App
There are many personal finance apps on the market. Some cost money while others are free. With all of the options, how do you choose which one is right for you?
Personal finance is a personal subject and when you’re choosing a budgeting app, it needs to be easy to use while helping you reach your goals. Here are a few things to consider when you’re deciding on a personal finance tool.
1. Works for You
When you choose a budgeting app, it has to suit all of your needs. Therefore, it’s important to figure out what you want from a budgeting app and how you want it to function.
Here are a few questions to help you figure out what you want from a budgeting app:
- Do I want to be hands-on or hands-off?
- Is the ability to organize well a priority? If so, can I label all of my accounts?
- Am I focused on saving, investing, paying off debt, or managing everything?
- Do I prefer advanced features or a simple envelope system?
2. Customer Service Options
The ability to contact someone for help is important. There are times the systems may not cooperate and other times where you need help setting things up.
Regardless of why you need to contact someone, make sure the app you choose gives you the ability to get support.
Many apps offer an email and phone number for you to get help. There are also some who offer a chat feature which makes it easy to get a quick response.
3. Great User Experience
The best budgeting app for you should be intuitive and easy to navigate. If you’re going to utilizing the app constantly to help you with your finances, it should be easy to use.
The 5 Best Free Budgeting Apps
Here are the 5 best free budgeting apps to help you take control or streamline your personal finances.
1. Mint: Best for Managing Money
App Store Rating: 4.7/5
If you’ve looked for a budgeting app before, you have probably come across Mint.
Mint is owned by Intuit, which is the same company that made Quickbooks and TurboTax. It has been one of the top budgeting apps for years and that has to do with the simplicity of this app.
Mint allows users to link credit and debit cards, automatically tracks transactions and categorizes it based on your personal categories.
It also shows real-time credit scores and offers different ways, such as credit card offers, to help users save money.
One of the best features that make this one of the best free budgeting apps is that you just log in once.
Instead of having to log into multiple sites to check your accounts. With Mint, you can sync multiple accounts in one place.
2. Wally: Best for Tracking Expenses
App Store Rating: 4/5
If you’re looking to track transactions or simply budget, this is the app for you. Wally helps you track your income, expenses and shows how much money you have left in your budget to help you avoid overspending.
A special feature is that you can take pictures of your receipts so that you don’t have to manually log everything, saving you quite some time.
Another reason this is considered a best free budgeting app is that it offers support for almost all currencies around the world, which allows it to be used outside of the United States.
3. YNAB (You Need a Budget): Best for Getting Out of Debt
App Store Rating: 4.8/5
You Need a Budget will make sure you stick to your budget. It’s an app that has become popular among young professionals and is also known as YNAB.
YNAB ensures that every dollar has a purpose. Every dollar that you earn has a job such as paying bills, saving, or investing.
No dollar will go unaccounted for which means that you’ll have a good understanding of where you’re funds are going when you earn income. It’s simple and can help you get ahead instead of living paycheck to paycheck.
4. Mvelopes: Best for Simple Cash Envelopes
App Store Rating: 4.4/5
Cash envelopes are a popular way of budgeting. Instead of using physical cash and physical envelopes, there’s an app called Mvelopes. This app is the digital version of the cash envelope system.
You put a certain amount of cash in envelopes which represent a category. When a category is empty, you have used up your funds in your budget for the month.
This app is very simple, easy and effective which led to it being one of the best free budget apps.
5. PocketGuard: Best to Keep From Overspending
App Store Rating: 4.7/5
PocketGuard is a great app that focuses on managing your expenses. Users can track how much money they have left for the day, week or month. As the name implies, PocketGuard helps protect you from overspending.
This app is great at tracking your income, savings, and bills throughout the month. It also helps you find ways to potentially save on your regular bills and expenses such as phone bills, cable, and internet.
Regardless of which budgeting app you choose, you’ve made a great decision to take control of your finances.
Budgeting apps are great tools to help you track, save, invest, and spend your money. They can help you avoid or get out of debt and also help you achieve financial independence.
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Additional Money Resources
Want to learn more about saving money, or simply ways to make more? Here are a few additional resources:
Featured photo by Pixabay.
Editorial Note: This post was originally published on December 6, 2018. Since then, it’s been freshened up with new pictures and commentary.