What is your body’s response to the word budget? How about debt? Savings plan? If your response is positive, rock on! But if money conversations make you feel a bit sick to your stomach, annoyed, or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are several easy-to-use budget apps to help you manage your money.
Learning how to manage our money can often be a trial-and-error process — which can become quite overwhelming and frustrating! But, it turns out there’s an app (several, actually!) for that! We’ve researched a variety of different money management tools that you can easily access when you’re on the go. These budget apps can help you develop tools and ideas for budgeting, financial management, and saving.
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For: Beginning budgeters / figuring out how you want to budget / spending minimal time budgeting
Why: It’s free! You connect Mint to your financial accounts, and the app takes it from there. The rest of your budgeting can consist of glancing at your trends tab and free credit score. Mint categorizes your transactions and keeps track of your budget with alerts. If you can’t quite figure it out, they’ve got a convenient live customer service chat for help and questions.
For: Budgeting newbies / busy budgeters / lowering your bills or spending
Why: PocketGuard is also free and links to your financial accounts. It takes care of what many of us try to do in our heads: subtract bills, build our savings, and integrate our spending goals to calculate how much money we have to spend at any given moment. This budget app is best known for being easy to set up. Best of all, Pocketguard gives you recommendations for how to save. Based on your profile, it will find better deals for your spending and anticipate future expenses.
For: Busy budgeters / increasing your savings
Why: Albert is basically a mobile savings account and stores your savings for you in an FDIC-insured account. Albert takes monetary amounts that it thinks you won’t miss based on your financial behavior. Part of the algorithm makes sure it does not take from your bank account if it’s too low. It’s free and easy in that it requires minimal interaction. Albert compiles a budget while keeping track of your accounts, spending habits, bills and income, all the while offering budgeting recommendations.
For: Investors / advanced budgeters
Why: The Personal Capital app includes recommendations for your assets, a 401(k) analyzer, and a retirement planner. Personal Capital also tracks your spending and has financial advisors and tools for optimizing your investment knowledge. (Note: This budget app requires a minimum $100,000 account.)
For: Couples or groups who want to budget and plan together
Why: Goodbudget allows you to access the same account from multiple devices. The free version connects to one account and gets you ten “envelopes,” or spending categories, to sort your budget. The paid version gets you an unlimited number of both. It also has features to help you save up for a large purchase or a vacation. Goodbudget shows your spending patterns and budget with simple pictures and graphs for easy understanding.
For: Busy budgeters / Understanding Your Money Goals
Why: YNAB, or You Need A Budget Is very intention about helping you budget the dollars that you have right now, rather than looking back on past spending habits. It’s a proactive system will teach you to understand your money management, spending trends and money goals and will educate you to be intentional about every dollar.
Always remember to safe guard your personal information — strong passwords, anti-virus software, and only using your private internet server when accessing sensitive info will help to ensure your security.
Diving into finances can feel unpleasant, so light a candle, take a deep breath, and repeat after me: I can do this. With any of these budget apps, you can make financial commitments to yourself and feel confident in your personal money management.