The Best Budgeting Apps of 2020
There are a lot of budgeting apps available, so how do you decide which one to use? The first step is to define your financial priorities and then select the ones that fit your preferences.Most apps allow you to create savings accounts and track your credit score, but beyond that, consider: what are you looking for from the app? Are you looking to have a basic budget? Looking to manage your spending or learn how to budget with your partner? There are even apps to help those of you who are wanting to start investing. So, let’s get started looking at some of the best budgeting apps out there.
This is a budgeting app that has stood the test of time. It’s owned by Intuit—the same company that owns Quickbooks and TurboTax. What’s really handy about Mint is that the budgeting tools are on the front page when you log in. It automatically tracks your spending by budget category and the calculations are done in real time via linked debit and credit cards. Mint helps you to manage your budget categories and gives you the option to add your own categories, too. You can configure it to send you alerts when you overspend.
Though Clarity Money functions as a normal budgeting app, its edge is the emphasis it has on helping you to manage subscriptions. When you input your financial information, it generates a pie chart to help you see your budget categories—a handy feature for visual learners. But, it goes a step further by showing you your recurring monthly subscription-based expenses, such as a gym membership, magazine subscriptions, or streaming services. It will also track them from month-to-month to see if the price changes. You have the option to cancel unwanted subscriptions within the app.
You Need a Budget - YNAB.
YNAB takes an every dollar approach to budgeting and is great for making each dollar count toward a set purpose. People who are serious about budgeting love this app because of the detailed allocation of funds and the approach to building a budget around your income. Some couples use it to help manage their money together, because it contains options that enable you to automatically sync your bank accounts. Not only that, it has debt repayment goal tracking features to help you stay motivated. YNAB is not just an app— it also offers a desktop version. It comes with a cost of $6.99 per month or $83.99 per year, but you can try it free for 34 days.
If you are a fan of using the envelope method to do your budgeting (spending the money in each envelope until it is gone and no more), then Mvelopes may be just the right app for you. It’s essentially cash envelope budgeting, but digitally— in an app that keeps up with your spending to keep your categories updated in real time. There is also a monthly/annual fee to use Mvelopes, and there are different plan options available on the website. It comes with a free 30 day trial.
This is a simpler budgeting option as it mainly tracks how much you’re earning and spending without creating multiple budgeting categories. It has an optional feature that tracks recurring bills and automatically suggests options that could be a better price for things like internet and cable plans. So, if you’re just wanting to keep track of your spending, PocketGuard may be the right fit for you— and it may even help you decrease your monthly spending by finding you a better plan on some of your recurring expenses.
Does the idea of linking your bank account to an app sound like too much work? Then, Simple may very well be the right app for you because it is a budgeting app and bank account in one place. Simple is an actual bank account; it just has all the budgeting features you want, too. It tracks income, spending, and savings goals. It has a Safe-to-Spend® trademarked component that lets you know if you’re maintaining your budget or if spending would cause you to get off track with it. Another bonus about Simple: it’s free.
Acorns is not as much a budgeting app as it is a saving and investing app. Essentially, it takes your spare change and invests it for you. How does it work? By rounding up user purchases to the nearest dollar for every linked account. For example, if you buy a coffee for $3.50, Acorns will round up your purchase to an even $4.00 and send that extra 50 cents into a diversified investment portfolio. Fees are minimal and range from free (for college students only) to $3 per month.
Managing your money doesn’t have to be intimidating. All of these apps have the potential to be useful to you in your financial journey, and hopefully now you feel more confident to know which one will be the best choice for you to use. Your path to more responsible and informed budgeting can begin right now!
- O’Shea, Arielle and Lauren Schwahn. The 7 Best Budget Apps and Personal Finance Tools for 2019. (2019, March 13). Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/budgeting-saving-tools/ (accessed 2019, October 25).
- Rosenberg, Eric.The 8 Best Budgeting Apps of 2019. (2019, August 22). Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/best-budgeting-apps-4159414 (accessed 2019, October 25).
- Stoller, Kristin. The Best Budgeting Apps In 2019. (2019, October 21). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/best-budgeting-apps/ (accessed 2019, October 25).