Do you have a monthly budget?
I was probably in my early to mid-twenties before I created my first monthly budget. It was definitely eye-opening – I honestly had no idea how much money I was spending every month!
When I first started budgeting, I just used a simple spreadsheet. However, there are so many awesome budget apps out there that can make it so much easier for you to manage your money.
Using a budgeting app has been such an amazing way for me to keep my spending in check and save for some big financial goals – like paying for a wedding, vacations, and, someday, a home.
In this post, I’m sharing six of the best budget apps on the market. Whether you’re looking for a basic free budgeting tool or a more robust budget system, there’s something in here for everyone!
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.
Best budget app for hands-on budgeters: You Need a Budget (YNAB)
As someone who loves hands-on budgeting, You Need a Budget (YNAB) has quickly become my favorite budgeting app that I’ve tried!
With YNAB, you sync the app with your bank and credit accounts to track your income and spending.
You break up your spending categories. This includes financial goals, which is a feature I love. For example, we have spending goals set up for our wedding and for a trip to Spain we have planned for later this year.
The thing that really sets YNAB apart from other budgeting apps is that rather than creating a set-it-and-forget-it budget, this app works on the premise that you only budget the money you have now.
For example, each time we get a paycheck, we hop into YNAB and divvy up how we’re planning to spend that money. So we wouldn’t budget for all bills with the money, only those that are due before we get paid again. And rather than budgeting for our food spending for the entire month, we’re only budgeting for our food spending for the next two weeks.
It’s definitely a hands-on approach to budgeting. But that’s how I prefer to do my budgeting! Prior to using YNAB, I was using a spreadsheet where I typed in every transaction manually, so this is still less work for me!
You Need a Budget is a paid subscription, but they do offer a generous free trial.
Read More: How to Create a Monthly Budget
Best free budget app: Mint
Mint is definitely one of the most – if not the most – well-known budgeting apps out there. It’s is owned by Intuit, which is the same company that owns QuickBooks and TurboTax.
Mint works by connecting to your bank and credit accounts, importing and categorizing transactions, and allowing you to set budgets for each spending category.
The app is super easy to use. You can add your own categories, recategorize expenses, split expenses into multiple categories, and split ATM transactions into the cash purchases made later on.
The budgeting features in Mint are really robust, and they send alerts when you’re approaching or over your budget.
I also love that Mint allows you to set financial goals and budget money monthly for those goals.
Mint also tracks your net worth by connecting to all of your investment and debt accounts and updates your credit score regularly.
And as robust of a budget tool as Mint is, it’s relatively hands-off for those who don’t want to be updating their budget on a daily basis.
Best budget app for spreadsheet lovers: Tiller
If you love spreadsheets, then there’s a good chance you’ll love the budgeting app Tiller. After all, this app literally markets itself as your financial life in a spreadsheet.
Like other budgeting apps, Tiller allows you to connect your financial accounts so your transactions and balances are automatically imported. But unlike other apps, you’ll see your daily stats in spreadsheet form so you can easily see where you stand.
Tiller allows you to easily see your money trends. It’s also incredibly customizable, so you can see what charts and reports you see.
As an added bonus for spreadsheet lovers, you can use your own favorite spreadsheet formulas and functions with the software.
Tiller is a paid budgeting app with an annual price tag of $79 per year (which breaks down to $6.58 per month). There’s also a free 30-day free trial.
Best budget app for investors: Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a personal finance app with a primary focus on investing.
This app does allow you to connect to your bank account and monitor spending, but it does not have the robust budgeting features that Mint and YNAB do.
Personal Capital is really for those looking for a tool for investment management. You get access to project portfolio values, as well as retirement forecasting to make sure you’re on track for retirement.
Personal Capital has many free features. Personal Capital also offers premium features for those looking for true investment management.
Best budget app for couples: Honeydue
If you want to budget with your significant other but don’t share a bank account, then Honeydue is the app for you.
Each of you connects the app to your bank account. You can choose what you want your partner to be able to see (all transactions, account balance, etc.).
Honeydue then has basic budgeting and spending tracking features where you can budget using the spending from all bank accounts.
My favorite feature of Honeydue is that you can divvy up expenses and the app will keep track so you can square up bills. This app makes it so easy for us to split expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, etc. In fact, this feature is the entire reason my partner and I signed up for Honeydue.
More recently, Honeydue has introduced a joint bank account that users can sign up for. While Honeydue isn’t technically a bank, your deposits are insured through an actual bank.
Honeydue is entirely free to use, so you can get started right away.
Best budget app for the envelope budgeting method: Goodbudget
The “envelope system” for budgeting has become super popular. The app Goodbudget allows you to digitize that system, so you aren’t actually carrying around envelopes of cash.
First, you connect Goodbudget to your bank account to track your income and expenses. Then, you split your money into different categories, or “envelopes.”
Goodbudget has both a free and a paid plan, so you can choose which is best for you.
I’ve talked many times before about the importance of maintaining a monthly budget. It has honestly helped turn my financial situation around!
These best budget apps for iPhone and Android are some of the best on the market. And there’s an app for every budget style, whether you prefer a set-it-and-forget-it system or a super hands-on system like I do!