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 8 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!
The Best Budget Apps to Help You Manage Your Money
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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 for 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.
Related Article: 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. Mint 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.
Related Article: 16 Personal Finance Tips to Help You Master Your Money
Best Budget App for Investors: Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a personal finance app with a primary focus on investing.
Personal Capital does allow you to connect to your bank account and monitor spending, but it does not have the robust budgeting features and 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 look for true investment management.
Related Article: The 7 Best Personal Finance Books to Read in 2019
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, and 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, and the reason we signed up 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.
The app has a “pay what you want” function. And yes, you can choose to pay $0.
Related Article: 25 Creative Ways to Save Money
Best Budget App for Dave Ramsey Fans: EveryDollar
If you follow the teachings of Dave Ramsey, then you might enjoy the app EveryDollar, which he created. The premise of EveryDollar is that every dollar gets a job.
With this app, you add your monthly income and plan your expenses so that every dollar gets a job. Then throughout the month, you add your transactions and track your spending.
The big downside I see with this app is that you can’t connect to a bank account and automatically import transactions unless you join EveryDollar Plus. However, true Dave Ramsey fans might still be on board because signing up for EveryDollar Plus gets you a spot in Finance Peace University, Dave Ramsey’s nine-less class that teaches you to pay off debt, save, and build wealth.
Best Budget App for the Envelope Budgeting: Mvelopes
The “envelope system” for budgeting has become super popular. The app Mvelopes allows you to digitize that system so you aren’t actually carrying around envelopes of cash.
First, you connect Mvelopes to your bank account to track your income and expenses.
Then, you split your money into different categories, or “envelopes”.
The budgeting features are pretty basic for a paid app, but if you find the envelope system is what works best for you, then the $4 basic plan might be worth it for you.
Mvelopes also has two more premium options that include features such as their Learning Center, Debt Center, quarterly coaching, or a monthly call with a Personal Finance Coach.
Related Article: 8 Important Habits of Financially Successful Women
Best Budget App for New Investors: Acorns
Acorns isn’t technically a budget app, but I still wanted to include it since it helps users to save!
Acorns works by automatically rounding up transactions and investing the change. For example, let’s say you make a purchase for $1.50. Acorns would round the purchase up to $2 and send the extra 50 cents into an investment portfolio diversified with exchange-traded funds.
Acorns is a great way to get started with investing for those who want to dip their toes in, but really don’t feel ready to do any hands-on investing.
The app is free to join and charges a small fee on your investment earnings.
Related Article: 35+ Legit Ways to Make Extra Money
Best Budget App for Bloggers & Small Business Owners: QuickBooks
In addition to using an app for my personal budget, I also use QuickBooks Self-Employed to manage my blog income.
If you are a blogger or small business owner, you know by now that you should be tracking your business finances separate from your personal income. QuickBooks allows you to do that super easily.
QuickBooks connects to my business bank and PayPal accounts so track all business income and expenses. It tracks my revenue and profit for the year and lets me know how much I need to pay in quarterly taxes.
One of my favorite parts of QuickBooks is that since it is owned by the same company as TurboTax when tax time comes around I can export all of my business financial information over to TurboTax with just one click of the mouse. It makes things SO easy.
QuickBooks is a paid subscription, but you can snag it for 50% off through this link.
Related Article: Tax Tips for Bloggers & How I Manage My Blog Finances
I’ve talked many times before about the importance of maintaining a monthly budget. It has honestly helped turn my financial situation around!
These 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!