The Best Apps for Budgeting
Here’s how to get back on budget before you lose it all.
The holiday season is long gone. That being said, the need to pay off those credit card bills and get back on budget could still be lingering.
If it’s not, congratulations-you already know that good budgeting is always in season. Which is a bonus. When your expenses become transparent, not only your wallet benefits, but your stress levels, too.
So, what can you do? It can help to figure out how much you spend and where. Having the proper tools at your fingertips can help you get organized.
In that vein, here are 5 of the best budgeting apps out there, as rated by Tom’s Guide, PC World.com, and Forbes.com:
1) Every Dollar Free or $99/year for EveryDollar Plus/ iPhone and Android
Every Dollar was developed by Dave Ramsey, the famous American personal finance expert. The app relies on the ancient envelope method, were you give a role to every dollar you have coming in. This helps to make sure every dollar is accounted for and put to “good use”.
Every Dollar starts with eight main budgeting categories that cover savings, giving, housing expenses, food, transportation, lifestyle, insurance & tax, and the almighty category of debt.
You can use Every Dollar for free and input your transactions by hand. If you want to track your accounts in real time, you can pay $99/year and upgrade to using Every Dollar Plus.
2) Mint Free/iPhone and Android
Mint is a great app if you have a predictable pay check that pretty much comes at the same time, every time. It tracks your bank accounts in real time and provides you with visual charts that show you how you’re spending your money. Your habits might be different than you think.
You can check how much you’ve spent and how over different time periods, to get a bird’s eye view.
But as PCworld.com states, this app is first and foremost a tracking tool. If you want to do detailed budgeting and reconcile transactions, look elsewhere.
3) Goodbudget Free/iPhone and Android
Goodbudget gets 4.4 stars out of 5 on Google Play as rated by over 16,000 people. Like Every Dollar, it’s also built on the theory of the envelope system.
You set a dollar amount for each category of spending and simply stop spending when your dollars run out.
Tom’s Guide says, “An envelope budgeting tracker that doubles as a finance manager, checkbook ledger and household budget planner, Goodbudget lets you manage your bills and finances while syncing across devices and the Web to share with family members.”
4) Wally Free/ iPhone and Android
Wally is a good app to use if you can rely on yourself to actually enter everything you spend. It doesn’t link in with your actual bank accounts.
If you’re going to be honest with your spending though, it does a good job of helping you track where your spending is going each month.
You can scan receipts, and review basic pie charts to get an idea of where everything is going.
5) Personal Capital Free/iPhone and Android
Beyond budgeting by placing your hard earned cash in virtual envelopes, Personal Capitol helps your money work for you. It’s a powerful money management app.
The focus of this app developed by former PayPal CEO Bill Harris, is investments. So, if you have them, why not get on board.
Personal Capital works by analyzing your brokerage accounts and notifying you when it could be a good time for selling certain stocks, as well as making other key decisions.
It can also help with retirement savings via its retirement planner and 401(k) Fee Analyzer.
So, let the de-stressing begin. As Joe Biden once said, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” Wise man. I hope it’s not Starbuck’s lattes, in my case.