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Budget Apps

Budget Apps

| October 14, 2020
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I think just about everyone wants to improve how they save and budget their money — and the tech world has taken notice of this by releasing a steady stream of financial tools to lend a helping hand. We went through several budget apps and selected what we thought were some of the most helpful ones. Whether you need an app that subscribes you to a specific budgeting method or one that simply lets you know when your bank account is running low, a solution could be on this list. Also, many of these tools are free, and are available on iOS and Android devices.

  1. Mint has been the gold standard for budgeting tools for some time, and the app takes the top spot here for a few reasons: It automatically updates and categorizes transactions, creating a picture of spending in real-time. Users can add their own categories, track bills, split transactions and set budgets that alert them when they’re exceeding their maximum spending threshold. The service also provides free credit scores and credit score monitoring.
  2. PocketGuard boils budgeting down to the only thing many users want to know: how much they have for spending. It crunches the numbers to show how much money is available after accounting for bills, spending and savings goal contributions. All users can view how much money is left “in my pocket” for the day, week or month. Those who want to dial down farther can track certain categories of spending — like groceries, clothing or eating out.
  3. You Need A Budget is for the committed user, no doubt. It’s based on the zero-based budgeting system, and users must make a plan for every dollar they earn. It also requires a financial investment of either $84 a year or $11.99 a month, after a 34-day free trial. (Students who provide proof of enrollment get an additional 12 months free.) Those who pay this price can benefit from YNAB’s many features. You can connect bank accounts, set goals, contribute to savings and customize spending categories. You can also access resources, like app user guides, budgeting advice and free workshops.
  4. GoodBudget is based on the envelope system, in which you portion out your monthly income toward specific spending categories. The app allows multiple devices to access the same account, so partners and family members can share a budget. Unlike other apps, Goodbudget doesn’t have you sync bank accounts. You manually add account balances (that you can pull from your bank’s website), as well as cash amounts and debts. With accounts and income entered, you assign money toward spending categories, known as envelopes. The free version allows one account, two devices and limited envelopes. The Plus version, which is $6 per month or $50 annually, offers unlimited envelopes and accounts, up to five devices and other perks.
  5. Mvelopes makes it easy to follow cash style budgets in a digital budgeting world.Cash budgeting lends itself well to envelope budgeting, a style of budgeting where you put cash in envelopes for different spending categories, and, when each envelope is empty, your budget for that category is all spent for the month. This is a bit more challenging with credit and debit cards. While it isn’t free, Mvelopes offers the ability to connect to unlimited financial accounts and put classic envelope budgeting to use to track your regular spending. With real-time budget matching, you will know whether you can buy that cappuccino or need to wait for your budget to reset next month.
  6. Wally isn’t the easiest app to navigate compared to some others on this list, but it works well for one thing: budgeting. This app helps you track your income and expenses while offering you a snapshot of your remaining budget to help you avoid overspending. More popular with Millennials, this app is free to use and has both iPhone and Android versions (the Android version is called Wally+). One major benefit of Wally is its built-in support for virtually all foreign currencies, which makes it a better option for those who live outside of the United States.
  7. Level Money helps you stick to a budget by showing you what you can spend today, this week and this month. The Level Money app can detect your income and expenses and then show you what you can spend. The app also helps you figure out how to save for bigger purchases or pay down debt. Like many of the best budget apps, you can connect this to most major banks. There are goals for spending and saving, plus a planning component to help you stick to your goals without the hassles of a normal budget. Level Money is free on iPhone and Android.
  8. Spendee isn't a budget app in the traditional sense, but it does help you figure out how you are spending your money. This is a very important part of making better money decisions and setting up a budget. If you want to get started, you can use Spendee to figure out where you are spending money with an easy to use interface that lets you track your cash and credit or debit purchases with just a few swipes. After you track your spending, you can look to see where you spend your money later so that you have a beautiful view of where your money is going and you can find where you need to spend less money. Spendee is free on iPhone and Android with premium features starting at $1.99.
  9. Unsplurge is another iPhone only budget app that helps you with budgeting in a different manner. This budgeting app is all about saving up for a specific splurge. This makes it more fun to use, especially when you save up to a goal like a vacation, a new iPhone 6s or another major fun purchase. You can log your progress, get help from the community and learn tips and tricks to stick to your goal. Unsplurge is a free iPhone app.
  10. Clarity Money is a comprehensive budgeting and saving app. Users can link financial accounts from thousands of institutions, organize expenses, track spending and bucket their spending into different categories. There are other features, too, like subscription canceling and credit score monitoring, which provide a more inclusive financial picture beyond just transactions.
  11. Simple is more than a budgeting app, it is an online bank account that replaces your old checking account and has tons of useful budgeting features built-in. When your budget and your bank live in the same app, it is much easier to manage and keep everything under control because you only have one place to visit to view and manage your money. Simple tracks your income and spending automatically, and has a goal feature to motivate your savings. It’s trademarked Safe-to-Spend® feature tells you if you are on your budgeting track, or if extra spending might derail your plans. With no fees, this is a very cool all-in-one banking and budgeting app.
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The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Some of this material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named representative, broker - dealer, state - or SEC - registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Advisory services offered through Smart Money Group LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through Calton & Associates, Inc. Member FINRA & SIPC. Kennedy Financial Services, Inc., Calton & Associates, Inc. and Smart Money Group, LLC. are separate entities.

Jim Kennedy, Aaron Kennedy, Angela Robinson, Bret Robinson, Matt Ervin, and Shelby Thompson are currently registered to sell securities products in AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, MA, MI, MT, NE, NV, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, and WI.  Jim, Aaron, Angela, Brett, Matt, and Shelby are also licensed to offer insurance products in AZ, CO, FL, IL, MT, NV, NM, NC, OK, SD, TN, and TX. The information included herein should not be considered a solicitation or an offer to sell products or services in any state besides those in which Jim, Aaron, Angela, Bret, Matt, and Shelby are properly registered/licensed.