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Desperately Need a Budget? Try These Apps for iPhone and Android Users
Our phones are now maps, calculators, cameras, and more—so why not budgeting devices? If you love to budget or need to learn how, step away from Google Sheets and try a mobile budgeting app.
All the apps we’ve chosen for this piece work with both iOS and Android. Let’s check them out.
Most budgeting apps require you to link your sensitive financial information to your phone. That can include savings accounts, investment accounts, recurring bills, and even your credit score. Not everyone is comfortable with that, so make note of that before trying these apps.
Mint is usually the first app people mention when they talk about budgeting on your phone—and for good reason. It’s sort of the gold standard of mobile budgeting.
Mint helps you:
- Track your spending
- Create a budget
- Detect credit card fraud
- Find missed savings
- Meet long- and short-term financial goals
There’s even an option for Mint to re-negotiate your bill costs on your behalf!
This app has high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, so it’s unlikely to be a disappoint-mint.
Mint is free, although you can choose to pay for Mint Premium if you’re sick of ads.
2. You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget, also known as YNAB, is another budgeting app. Although you can use YNAB individually, it’s designed for entire households to sync their expenses and track their spending.
YNAB helps you track your spending in different categories (groceries, transportation, home maintenance) and reach your financial goals. It comes with a loan calculator and reports that help you figure out your net worth.
YNAB doesn’t just work with iPhones and Androids. It also works with iPad, Apple Watches, and Alexa. We’re not sure why you’d want to discuss your budget with your voice assistant, but whatever floats your boat.
Unlike Mint, YNAB isn’t free. You’ll start with the app’s 34-day free trial. After that, it costs $14.99 a month or $98.99 a year if you choose to pay for a full 12 months up front.
We recommend the yearly option because it costs half as much as paying for 12 individual months.
PocketGuard preemptively tells you how much you can spend after you pay the bills. It also makes a nifty pie chart so you can see where most of your money is going. (Usually housing should be your biggest expense, but if it’s Bath & Body Works candles, we won’t judge you.)
Also, like Mint, PocketGuard can help you negotiate better rates on your monthly bills. So if you’re sick of dealing with Comcast, PocketGuard can step in.
There’s also an Autosave feature that’ll automatically sock money away for you.
PocketGuard is free. But if you want to create unlimited savings goals and transaction categories, you’ll need to spend $4.99 a month or $34.99 a year on PocketGuard Plus.
4. Personal Capital
Personal Capital helps you with personal spending and personal investing. It also helps you forecast how much money you’ll need for your eventual retirement.
If you want a side of investment along with your budget, there are other investing apps you can check out, like Stash, Digit, and Robinhood.
Personal Capital works on tablets and desktops too, so you can theoretically use it across all your devices.
It looks like Personal Capital is completely free—we couldn’t find any hidden upgrades or fees. So if you don’t want to budget for your budget app, this could be a good choice.
Keep track of every dollar with (drum roll please) EveryDollar!
EveryDollar helps you manage your spending by creating your budget, saving funds, and pre-planning recurring expenses. It also helps you track debt payments and interest.
EveryDollar isn’t free. In fact, it’s pretty expensive. You’re looking at one of three payment plans:
- $59.99 for 3 months
- $99.99 for 6 months
- $129.99 for 12 months
That’s a lot of dollars when you’re tracking every dollar. But interestingly, these fees don’t just cover EveryDollar. They get you a subscription to Ramsey+ (as in financial guru Dave Ramsey, not chef Gordon Ramsey).
Ramsey+ offers even more budgeting and money-making resources. If you’re really into that stuff, you might enjoy the access. But if you’re just a casual budgeter, you won’t get much use out of the extras.
Fudget probably has the funnest name of all the budgeting apps, but that’s not why we recommend it. It’s purposely feature-lite so that it’s easy to use, and you can pick any currency to use in-app.
Fudget calls itself a “universal app” that you can use on any device. It’s free on phones (unless you pay a one-time $3.99 fee to upgrade to Fudget Pro), but you have to pay $3.99 to use it on your PC or Mac.
Fudget Pro provides DropBox access, spreadsheet exportation, a calculator, and customized themes and sorting.
Firstly, we’re pretty sure this one is pronounced Emvelopes. Secondly, are you into envelope budgeting? Because that’s basically what this is.
Envelope budgeting is when you make a budget in cash and separate the money into different envelopes for different expenses. It’s effective, but it’s tedious.
Mvelopes relieves that tedium by putting digital money in digital envelopes. Once you’ve put the required money in each envelope, you’re free to spend what’s left in your Income Cash Pool.
Mvelope has three plans:
- Basic: Free for the digital envelope functions
- Premium: $9.97/mo. for master classes and tips for getting out of debt
- Plus: $19.97/mo. for additional resources and a quarterly financial coach session
For most folks, the Basic plan should be enough. But if you feel like you’re a finance novice, you might benefit from some of the classes the paid plans offer.
Goodbudget is another easy, envelope-budget aid. It’s designed for multiple household members to work together on budgeting, saving, and paying off debt.
Goodbudget says on its web page that it eliminates miscommunication—it makes it easy for your partner to see how much you’re spending on what and when. That can lead to further budget discussions, which can help you reduce any unwanted spending habits.
The free version of Goodbudget gives you:
- 20 digital envelopes
- One account that works on two devices
- One year of budgeting history
- Debt tracking
- Community support
If you choose to pay $8 a month or $70 a year, you’ll get:
- Unlimited envelopes
- Unlimited accounts on seven devices
- Seven years of budgeting history
- Debt tracking
- Email support
If you want to budget with your SO, Honeydue could be the right fit.
Together, you and your partner can budget, save, and track spending day-by-day and month-by-month. You can even get Honeydue-branded VISAs with zero fees and instant notifications through the Joint Cash feature.
Like Personal Capital, Honeydue is free, so you can spend your savings on something else.
Zeta is designed for romantic couples and families to budget and save together.
Zeta has two pieces: the Money Manager and the Joint Card service. Both are free. The Zeta Money Manager encompasses the basics of budgeting apps, while the Joint Card service is similar to Honeydue’s Joint Cash. You each get a Zeta virtual card that works with a joint account.
We think that Zeta’s real benefit is its many resources. It offers a whole slew of articles to teach you how to combine finances, the benefits of joint accounts, and how to go on “money dates,” for starters.
Do you love personifying your apps? Then you’re going to love this app with a human name!
Wally helps you budget by category, make goals, and plan ahead. It even has a space for you to scan important bills and receipts so everything’s in one place.
Our favorite part is that Wally lets you share finances with roommates or extended family, not just significant others. But you can’t necessarily see each others’ bank account info—there are different sections for different levels of financial cooperation, like household budgets, joint accounts, or group spending.
If you love Wally and want to try Wally Gold, you’ll pay $8.99 monthly or $24.99 annually. If you want Gold, we definitely recommend the annual version because it’s so much cheaper! But based on the thoroughness of the free version, you probably won’t need to upgrade to Gold.
12. Albert: Banking on you
Yes, this app is named Albert, and no, we don’t know why. (At least Wally could be short for wallet.) Anyway, Albert is distinct because of its team of human “geniuses” who guide you through budgeting, saving, and investing.
Albert also has the usual tools to give transparency into your saving and spending, and you can sign up for those separately. But the human aspect is what sets it apart. So if you want to talk to someone about your budget, you and Albert will get along just fine.
If you want to use the basic financial tools, it’s free. If you sign up for Genius, you’ll need to spend some money—but you decide how much.
Seriously, you’ll only pay how much Genius is worth to you. The minimum fee is $6.00 per month, but Albert says most people spend more.
Spendee is trendy. It works with your bank accounts and your e-wallets and your cryptocurrency. Heck, Spendee even sells NFTs!
Spendee has several different plans:
- Spendee Basic: Free for one wallet, one budget, and importing/exporting transaction data
- Spendee Plus: $1.99/mo. or $14.99/yr. for unlimited wallets, unlimited budgets, a shared wallet, and importing/exporting transaction data
- Spendee Premium: $2.99/mo. or $22.99/yr. for bank account syncs, automatic categorization, unlimited wallets, unlimited budgets, a shared wallet, and importing/exporting transaction data
Spendee includes fewer features in its free version than most of the other apps we’ve reviewed. But if you don’t have a lot going on financially—like if you just need to save for one vacation one time—and want to keep it simple, Spendee has appeal.
14. SAP Concur
Concur is mainly for expense reporting. In other words, if you’re spending your personal money on work stuff, Concur will help you track it for reimbursement.
With Concur, you can even track any mileage you put on your car for work, making it easier to get your employer-approved gas money.
Concur also helps you travel for business (or for pleasure) with travel tools like connecting flight info, airport maps, and a one-stop location for all your travel details.
Sounds good, right? But how much does it cost?
We’ve seen a lot of different things: $9.00 per expense report—$2.45 per transaction—$82.90 per month—though nothing confirmed by SAP Concur itself. But you apparently can’t get this budget app at budget prices. So if you’re interested, our best suggestion is to see if your work will approve Concur itself as a reimbursable expense.