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If you constantly find yourself wondering where your money is going, a budgeting app may be just what you need. Whether you're looking for a budget app for iPhone or Android, there are more great options than ever. We've analyzed all the most popular choices and narrowed them down to this group of the best budgeting apps for December 2021.
Bottom line: YNAB sets itself apart from other budgeting apps with its unique system of giving every dollar a job. It uses your current, actual income and requires that you allocate all your money toward bills and spending goals.
There's a greater learning curve and more time involved with YNAB than with most budgeting apps. That time commitment is, however, also a reason why this app is made for those who need to take more control of their money. In particular, it's excellent for people living paycheck to paycheck or who are struggling with debt.
READ MORE >> You Need a Budget review
Bottom line: Mint combines a wealth of features with an intuitive design. It allows you to connect all your financial accounts, including banking, credit cards, investments, and loans. By having everything in one well-designed finance app, it's easy to manage your cash flow and see where your money is going.
A budgeting feature helps you set and track your savings goals. Mint's personalized insights are especially useful, as the app will look for ways you can save more and alert you to any changes in your monthly bills. Since Intuit owns Mint, you can also track your tax refund through the app if you file with TurboTax.
READ MORE >> Mint review
Bottom line: Personal Capital lets you put all your financial accounts onto its handy dashboard. From there, you can track your net worth, your retirement savings, and your current investments.
The investment and retirement planning tools are what makes this free app special. You can see at a glance what your portfolio looks like and how it compares to recommended asset allocations based on your target retirement date. Personal Capital can also save you money on your investments by uncovering hidden fees.
READ MORE >> Personal Capital review
Bottom line: Goodbudget brings the popular envelope budgeting system to the digital age. It still involves assigning an envelope to different spending categories, and then filling those envelopes with money. The difference is that Goodbudget allows you to create virtual envelopes. Since you can enter everything manually, this app is perfect if you'd rather not link your financial accounts.
READ MORE >> Goodbudget review
Bottom line: The name says it all for Pocketguard, which aims to help users avoid overspending. It lets you connect all your accounts so that you can track balances and transactions in one place. Pocketguard's spending reports are particularly useful, and you can easily group expenses together using hashtags. And while this is one of many budgeting apps that tracks your bills, it goes a step further by helping you negotiate better rates.
READ MORE >> Pocketguard review
Bottom line: Unlike most budgeting apps, Zeta is designed specifically for couples who want to manage money together. It breaks down spending and assets into both individual and shared pools. Partners can send each other messages about specific transactions directly through the app, and it even allows partners to split purchases.
READ MORE >> Zeta review
Just like there are different types of budgeting methods, there are also different types of budgeting apps. Here are the most common types of budgeting apps you'll find.
A free budget app is one that you can use without needing to pay any sort of monthly or yearly fee. Fortunately, if you're looking for the best free budget app, there are plenty of options available. Keep in mind that in many cases, budgeting apps offer both a free version and a premium version with more features.
A paid budget app is one that comes with a fee to use. This is typically a monthly or a yearly fee, and you can often get a discount if you pay for a year upfront.
Expense-tracking budgeting apps connect to your financial accounts, such as your bank account and credit card accounts, to help you monitor your spending. They track your transactions and group them into categories so that you can see where you spend the most. This is the most popular type of budgeting app. Many of the best budgeting apps are based on expense-tracking systems.
The zero-sum system of budgeting involves finding a purpose for every dollar of income you have. These can be bill payments, savings goals, debt, and everything else you spend money on. Zero-sum budgeting apps are an effective way to see where all your money is going and avoid wasting it. That makes them especially valuable for consumers who are tight on money or trying to pay off debt. You Need a Budget - YNAB is a popular and highly rated zero-sum budget app.
Quite a few budgeting apps let you connect your investment accounts and track your net worth. Investment and retirement planning budgeting apps take it a step further, though. They have tools designed to help you monitor your investment portfolio, review its performance, and make sure you're on track to retire at the age you want.
A budget app for couples is designed for two people to use together. These budgeting apps will usually let partners set up both personal and shared accounts. Zeta is widely considered to be the best budget app for couples.
Here's what you should do to pick the best budget app for you:
There are several ways that budgeting apps can help you with personal finance:
There are both free and paid budgeting apps available. Most budgeting apps are either free or offer a free version.
Budgeting apps are generally as secure as the apps offered by major financial institutions. If you choose a reputable budget app and practice good cybersecurity, including not reusing passwords and keeping the app updated, your information should be protected. For added security, you could also pick a budget app that lets you enter your information manually instead of linking your financial accounts.
Budgeting apps can help you monitor your spending, set savings goals, and keep better track of all your financial accounts. The biggest benefit of budgeting apps is that they give you a clear picture of where your money is going and how you can improve your spending habits.
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