It is really hard to make a budget and stick to it these days. The recent economic challenges in the world have caused a lot of money-related issues for people in the past year.
Luckily, we now have apps that can help you create a budget and monitor your spending habits, so you can be wiser and smarter with money.
A good budgeting app can help you decide on whether to pay your bills with money leftover or pay for basic needs such as power, food and rent from your savings.
This article intends to inform you of the best budgeting apps to use in 2022.
What is a Budget App?
This is a smartphone application that records and monitors your spending and aids you to create a budget plan for your expenses. They exist so you can keep track of what you spend on and where you spend it.
They also alert you when you have gone over your limit for a particular category.
It is a very convenient way of tracking your spending, without having to always look at your bank account or keep a separate record of your expenses.
Both smartphones and desktop computers can use budgeting apps. Most of them offer free services while some have paid premium plans which offer more advanced planning and saving characteristics such as bank account transfers, credit score checks, among many more.
How Do Budget Apps Work?
They mostly work by linking directly to your bank and credit card accounts. Every purchase is logged in the app and played in a category such as transportation, utilities, food, rent among many others.
Though you can create your own customized categories, they’ve got some pre-defined categories that transactions are automatically sorted into.
The apps take into account your spending habits and help you create a plan to save more. For instance, when your expenditure on food for a month is too much, the app gives you tips on how to minimize food expenses while putting more into saving.
Some apps allow you to set alerts for reaching certain limits for the month,
et’s you want to spend $60 a month on food. You can set your app to push an alert when you are about to exceed that limit.
Budgeting apps basically offer a free and automatic way of monitoring your spending habits. Budget apps can be used by a couple or multiple people who share bills as well as one individual.
What to Look Out for in a Budgeting App
Below is a list of the characteristics a budgeting app should have:
Budgeting tool: A good budgeting app should have a budgeting tool that enables you to set up a monthly budget for spending.
Expense tracking: The app should be able to track and classify your expense.
Alerts: You should always look for apps that let you customize alerts when you hit a certain spending limit.
Credit check: A budgeting app that can check your credit score is a sure bet. This is not a common feature.
Resources and Community: Some apps have libraries of resources on financial planning or communities where you can be advised and get saving tips as well.
10 Best Budgeting Apps to Use
Let’s take a look at some of the best budgeting and personal finance apps available:
This is the most popular budgeting app in the U.S at the moment. Mint had over 10 million users in the year 2020 and has over the years grown rapidly over the past few years.
Due to Mints excellent auto-categorization features, real-time spending tracking and intuitive interface, it has been a standard for the budgeting apps fraternity for a while now.
Mint is one of the best budgeting apps to have on your smartphone.
You Need a Budget
Popularly known as YNAB, You Need a Budget takes a different approach to budgeting and saving.
It uses AI algorithms based on your income to build your budget.
This budget app model is geared towards those who want a high-level view of their finances.
YNAB has apps for both smartphones and desktops. It also allows couples to share financial information.
YNAB has a debt payoff and goal tracking feature to encourage specified patterns of saving and spending.
This app also uses an AI algorithm to track your expenses and help you regulate your spending.
It has a free version that allows for expense tracking and categorization.
It also has a premium paid version as well for $34.99 a year; this gives you more fine-grained control over your transaction, data exporting functionality and custom categories.
You will get access to a large library of educational resources to teach you how to better handle your finances no matter the version you are subscribed to.
They have top-notch security protocols such as a 4-digit Pin, 256-bit encryption, fingerprint scan and a face ID.
This app is designed specifically for couples with or without joint finances. It has options for all types of arrangements such as living together, engaged, married, new parents among many others.
The main function helps you to sync various accounts and monitor all the data in one place.
Zeta recently launched a joint no-fee banking account that gives you direct deposits, contactless payment options, digital checkers, ATM withdrawals and bill payment options.
It’s almost like a banking app with an added budgeting app added. Zeta offers in-product suggestions for financial products and services.
This app works on what we call an envelope system. You can categorize your income into specific envelopes and the app would keep a record of how much is left in each envelope.
It can be used by couples and family members as well since you can sync multiple accounts together.
The only exception is that Goodbudget does not sync your bank information. You would have to do that manually yourself.
Goodbudget app has a plus version which costs $6 every month and $50 per year but the base version is free.
The plus version allows for unlimited envelopes and up to 5 synced devices on the same account.
It is basically an investment management tool with a free budgeting service attached to the main investment functionality.
You manage your finances through Robo-advisors with access to human financial managers and keep track of your spending and budgeting with Personal Capital.
It also has a sync functionality where you could link your checking account, credit card accounts and investment accounts such as ITA and many more.
They also have a net-worth calculator and portfolio breakdown tool which helps ensure that you are getting the most of your investments.
If you are into investments, then Personal Capital is the choice for you.
Wally lacks a lot of features as compared to other budgeting apps. The main thing it does is track and categorize purchases. It also gives you snapshots of your remaining budget to curb overspending.
It is completely free to use and there is both an android and apple version.
Wally has support for every kind of foreign currency. It is a great choice for people who live outside the U.S or have a lot of money in different currencies apart from the U.S. Dollar.
You know simplifi is going to be a great and well-functioning product because it was created by the company that makes Quicken.
It has a feature that allows you to make a completely personalized spending plan and also get real-time updates on how much you have left in your budget.
You can also monitor your bills and monthly subscriptions through Simplifi.
You can set up your own watchlists which alert you about your limits.
Simplifi costs $2.99 a month when you’re billed and $3.99 a month when you are billed on a monthly basis after a 30-day free trial period.
Simple is actually an online bank account that has some built-in budgeting functionalities. It can replace your old account and help you manage your money and plan your budget all from the same platform.
It is a much easier choice than trying to match up things between budgeting apps and separate bank accounts.
Simple tracks your spending and helps you to set goals for saving.
It has a useful “Safe to spend” feature that informs you if spending will keep you on track or derail your savings plan.
This app places emphasis on live support. Each of their three plans has live support attached to it.
You get access to a personal financial trainer when you are on the Plus version; which is worth $19 a month or the Complete version; which is worth $59 a month.
Mvelopes helps you track your spending, create envelopes for spending categories and get interactive reports about your spending habits.
It offers a lot more options than others apps but it is not free.
Are Budget Apps Safe?
Budget apps do not actually have control over your bank account so they’re safe. If someone got in your budgeting app, he or she would not be able to redraw funds from your account or anything of the sort.
Most budgeting apps have several security features such as two-factor authentication to prevent any authorized access to your account and also 128-bit encryptions.
Budget App FAQs
Are budgeting apps safe?
Budgeting apps are completely safe as they do not have direct control over your bank accounts. They have security features that protect your personal data as well.
What is the best budgeting app?
Mint and YNAB are the two best apps out there, however, the choice boils down to what exactly you need.
What do budgeting apps do?
They help you keep track of your money by monitoring your spending habits and also help you budget.
Can budgeting apps help me save money?
It can help save an appreciable amount of money each month or year when you use them smartly.
Are budgeting apps free?
Most of them offer free tools but some have premium versions that you pay for to enjoy more tools.
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