Everyone should learn how to budget. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have to your name, or what you’re financial goals are. Budgeting puts you in control of your finances and significantly reduces stress. Technology has been easier than ever to budget, and if you want to use your phone, there’s definitely an app for that. Here’s a list of the best budgeting apps available:
Mint is first on our list because many consider it one of the best budgeting apps ever created. It’s produced by the same company that makes TurboTax and Quickbooks. Features on Mint include budgeting, tax reporting, bill management, and more. Creating a budget is a relatively simple process, and you can set up all kinds of alerts for late fees, rate changes, and more. You do have to link your financial accounts to Mint, which might make some people nervous. It does have good security, though.
If you hate the math side of budgeting, Albert is a good choice. It’s more hands-off and makes saving money easy. Link your financial accounts to the app, which analyzes data like your income, budget, and spending. Albert then lets you know how much you can save each month, and automatically transfers it a few times a week into “Albert Savings.” You can also set up another amount if you want. These funds are insured up to $250,000 and withdrawing the savings can be done any time, without a fee. For every $100 a year you save, Albert gifts you with 25 cents.
The basic Albert app is free, but for $4-$6 a month (it’s a pay-what-you-want system), you get Albert Genius. This gives you access to financial experts who can answer questions like, “In my area, where are the cheapest houses?” Also with Genius, you get $1 for every $100 you save in a year.
Known as Wally+ on Android and Wally Next on iOS, this app is for those who want something really simple. It’s more like a spending tracker than anything else. Simply add info like your income, savings account, and so on, and get a big picture of your financial health. Next, you add a savings target, and as you spend, you can see where your money is going exactly. Wally supports all foreign currencies and is totally free.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Most of the best budgeting apps have a free version you can use forever if you want, but YNAB is the exception. It’s still popular, however, so it must be doing something right. YNAB is based on the “give every dollar a job” budgeting principle. For every month, you budget for all your expenses, including savings, retirement, and so on, so every dollar that comes in has something to do. The app lets you track goals and sync to multiple devices (you can use it on your computer as well as your phone), and provides you with lots of useful articles and other resources. It costs $6.99 a month after a 1-month free trial.
This app has both a free basic version and a pretty affordable premium version that costs $3.99 a month. With the free version, you link your financial accounts, bills, and goals, and the app generates a budget for you. Adjust as you would like and set limits on categories. If you start getting close, PocketGuard sends you an alert. With the premium version, you can track more data, like cash spending. A cool feature on PocketGuard is “In My Pocket,” which calculates how the money you have at the end of each day. If you like staying in the know at all times, this is a good app option.
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