When even the idea of putting together a budget makes you cringe and you just don’t want to buckle down and draft that spreadsheet, don’t worry — there’s an app for that. We talked about the basics of budgeting these past few weeks and recommended a few great apps that can help you track your spending. If you’re ready to take control of your finances and get that budget in order, using an app every day is a great way to get started.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best budgeting apps that can make managing your financial life that much easier:
If you’re a newbie to the budgeting scene and want to dive right in and start tracking your spending and analyzing your spending habits, Mint is the way to go. Available for free on Android, iOS and Windows Phone, Mint displays your finances using colorful pie charts and graphs and a streamlined categorization system.
The app does a great job of organizing your purchases by category and helping you set savings goals. Planning a winter getaway? Need to save for a new car? Just plug in your goals and savings start date, and watch those savings grow. If you have a hard time keeping track of bill due dates, make use of the built-in bill reminders system that will text or email you of upcoming payments.
Who it’s great for: Budget-fearing folks; visual learners looking for a simple way to view expenditures; beginners that want to set up their first budget; anyone needing a nudge to pay bills on time.
It’s described as the ‘true’ envelope system where you can set up spending categories in a snap and have better control of your money. One of the great things about this app is that it breaks down expenses by a ‘budgeted’ amount and a ‘spent’ amount, giving you a more accurate idea of how much you intend to spend versus how much you actually spend.
The app lets you create envelopes for bills so you don’t end up spending money on times you haven’t planned for — a great feature for anyone who tends to go over budget regularly. If you’ve always had a hard time figuring out how to organize your cash outflow each month, use this digitized envelope system to categorize everything to a tee.
Who it’s great for: (Real) paper envelope budget aficionados ready to go paperless in the digital age; Type A personalities who prefer rigidly-organized systems; budgeting gurus looking for a no-frills smartphone app.
Need that extra push to keep your budget on track? LearnVest app users not only track their spending and set up savings goals on a smartphone, but can also take advantage of the free phone call with a LearnVest Expert to make some progress in the financial department. The LearnVest Action Program will help you create a comprehensive money management plan that includes budgeting and investments.
You can link the app to accounts for real-time data updating and see the progress you’ve made with your financial goals at a glance. While there’s currently only an iOS app, keep an eye out for an Android version coming in the near future!
Who it’s great for: Goal setters who want to make and chart progress on multiple financial goals; budgeting newbies who need expert advice; anyone who fears budget spreadsheets and prefers an on-the-go approach instead.
What other budgeting apps do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below!