Before Brandon and I got married, we really struggled to find a budgeting solution that really offered everything we needed. 

We weren’t quite ready to merge our finances yet. But we knew we were getting married, we had shared financial goals, and we wanted to be able to budget collaboratively. Now that we’re married and have shared finances, we have entirely different financial needs. 

At the different points in our relationship, we need different tools and strategies to help us manage our finances together. Luckily we were able to find the perfect apps to help us do that. 

In this post, I’m sharing 6 of the best budgeting apps for couples. Some are specifically designed for couples with separate bank accounts, while others are better suited for those who share finances. 

 

The Best Budgeting Apps for Couples to Manage Money Together

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.

 

Why couples should budget together

 

Study after study shows that finances are one of the biggest sticking points in a relationship and that disagreements over money are one of the leading causes of divorce. 

There are so many different reasons why couples fight about money! Plenty of millennials these days are entering into a marriage where one or both partners has student loan debt. For example, see my article here about how my husband and I are planning to pay off our six-figures of student debt.

Couples also argue about money when you’ve got one partner who is a saver and another who’s a spender. 

Even if you’re not married, budgeting together can be a great way to get on the same page with your finances and get in the practice of peacefully resolving money disputes that might pop up.

 

What to consider when choosing a couples budgeting app

 

There are many apps out there that can help couples to manage the household budgets, whether they’ve merged their finances or only rock separate banking accounts. 

Choosing the right app for you can be daunting, especially when many budgeting apps operate as a paid service. What if you pay the fee and hate the app? Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Are you willing to pay for an app, or will you only consider free apps? If you’re okay with a paid app, look for one that offers a free trial.
  • Do you want a service that has both app and desktop functionality? Some companies offer budgeting apps, but not a desktop version. I really enjoy the option a desktop version!
  • Do you want to sync the app do your bank account, or are you okay with manually recording transactions?
  • Are you a more hand-on budgeter, or a more passive one? Some apps really require you to make a plan for each dollar, while others allow you to passively monitor your spending.

 

What if we don’t share finances?

 

I know that not all married couples choose to merge their finances. And plenty of couples who haven’t yet merged their finances still want a way to budget collaboratively and set shared financial goals. This was exactly the case for my husband and me before we were married. 

The good news is that each of these budgeting apps can still be effective if you don’t have shared finances. In fact, some of the apps are specifically suited for couples who don’t share a bank account.

 

The best budgeting apps for couples

 

Zeta

Zeta is a budgeting app for couples with either shared or separate finances who want to budget together. It’s specially designed for those with separate bank accounts. 

Zeta allows you and your partner to upload your bank accounts and control what the other person can see. You can create a joint budget and track your spending together while keeping some expenses private. Zeta also allows you to set joint financial goals and track your progress.

A feature that makes Zeta ideal for those with separate finances is that you can keep a running tab on who has paid for certain expenses, and tag your partner when it’s time to settle up.

Zeta has awesome features like the ability to keep a running financial to-do list and well-designed financial dashboards. 

I didn’t know about Zeta when Brandon and I were budgeting with separate bank accounts — Otherwise, I probably would have used it! 

Cost: Free

Who It’s For: Couples with separate finances who want to budget together.

 

Honeydue

Honeydue is a budgeting app that allows couples to add separate bank accounts and track spending together. When you add your account, you can control how much of your information your partner can see. Couples can set a joint budget and share financial goals.

Another great feature is that you can set up reminders for you or your partner when it’s time to pay a bill. You can also message within the app to keep all of your money conversations in one place.

One feature of Honeydue that really sold me (and the reason Brandon and I used it when we had separate finances) is that it allows you to track who paid for what and who owes you. If I paid the rent bill, I would enter it and indicate that Brandon owed me for half. Honeydue keeps a running tab based on all transactions, and allows either partner to settle up at any time. 

This feature really addressed one of the more complicated parts of living with a partner and sharing expenses when you have separate finances.

Cost: Pay what you want. Honeydue allows you to pay them whatever amount you think is fair, even if that number is $0.

Who It’s For: Couples with separate finances who want to budget together.

 

HoneyFi

HoneyFi is another app that allows couples with separate finances to manage their money in one place, while deciding what the other partner can see. 

Using HoneyFi, you and your partner can set up a budget together, track your bills, and monitor your spending. You can also create and track financial goals. 

The big difference I chose to use Honeydue over HoneyFi is the feature in Honeydue that allows you to keep a running tab and settle up shared expenses.

Cost: $59.99 per year with a 30-day free trial

Who It’s For: Couples with separate finances who want to budget together.

 

You Need a Budget

Let me preface this by saying that You Need a Budget (YNAB) is my favorite budgeting app. It’s the one I personally use and recommend the most. 

YNAB is a budgeting app that really allows you to make a plan for your money. Unlike more passive money apps that tell you where you spent your money that month, YNAB allows you to proactively decide where you’ll spend your money. 

I also love YNAB for its tracking and reporting. When you add your debt and investment accounts, you’ll be able to see an accurate report of your net worth.

YNAB is definitely pricier than some of the other options, but I’ve saved that at least ten-fold by using this budgeting method.

Cost: $84 per year with a 34-day free trial

Who It’s For: YNAB is ideal for those who prefer to take a hands-on approach to budgeting. If you’re inclined to track all your expenses in a spreadsheet, YNAB is a simpler solution for you. YNAB works for couples with either joint or separate bank accounts.

 

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a financial planning app that allows you to monitor your budget, while also keeping tabs on your investment and retirement accounts. For couples planning their financial futures together, Personal Capital is a great way to keep an eye on your progress. 

Personal Capital is a great tool for seeing your entire financial picture in one place. But unlike some of the other apps, it doesn’t really allow you to intentionally create a plan for your money every month. 

Personal Capital also offers more advanced features such as wealth management services and financial advisor sessions at an extra cost.

Cost: Free for the budgeting services, with extra fees for wealth management services.

Who It’s For: Personal Capital is ideal for couples who want to monitor their investment and their progress toward reaching specific financial goals such as saving for a home. This app isn’t ideal for hands-on budgeters.

 

Mint by Intuit

Mint is a budgeting app that allows you to sync all of your bank accounts and track your spending throughout the month. 

Mint is especially adept at automatically categorizing your transactions based on where you’re spending money. So for those who prefer to be more passive when it comes to your budgeting, Mint is a great option for you. Mint also has features that allow you to set and track financial goals. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance 

Cost: Free

Who It’s For: Mint is the perfect app for couples who want a low-maintenance budgeting solution. You can use this app for shared bank accounts, or separately add your individual accounts. 

 

So what’s the verdict?

 

If you read through this entire post, you might still be stumped as to which budgeting app is right for you. I’ve chosen my winners based on whether you and your couple have shared or separate finances.

The best budgeting app for couples with separate finances: Zeta

The best budgeting app for couples with shared finances: You Need a Budget

 

Final Thoughts

 

Dealing with finances in your relationship can be challenging, there’s no doubt about it. I truly believe that having an effective tool can help to ease some of the frustration. 

I’ve used more than my fair share of budgeting apps, and some of them have been better suited for couples than others. Whether you share a bank account with your partner or not, there’s definitely an app on this list to meet your needs.