Keeping a balanced budget can solve a lot of your money problems. It’s usually pretty easy to make a budget, but staying with it is another story. Thankfully, the latest smartphone technology makes it easier than ever to create and keep a budget. If you’re looking for a way to manage your money without getting sidetracked, consider these excellent money management apps.
This app compatible with Android, Windows, and iOS is entirely free. It’s also becoming one of the most popular budgeting apps today. It syncs to all of your accounts, including your checking accounts, savings accounts, mutual funds, credit cards, 401(k), and more. Once you’ve linked your bank accounts, you can use a variety of customized sections to designate funds. These sections will show you in real-time what your cash flow looks like through graphs. It’s one of the best free budgets on the market for showing your spending in real time.
2. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
This is a great app for helping you save for a rainy day. Once you purchase the software, you can download the free app and begin budgeting. YNAB is brilliant because it mandates that every dollar has a job. This helps you to keep up with your spending rather than lapse into your unbudgeted money for things you don’t need. It also helps you save so that one day you can pay all of your monthly expenses one month in advance.
The best part is, you can try the 34-day free trial to test out your first month, and they’ll include several training videos and tutorials to teach you about budgeting. At the end, you can decide whether or not the $60 is worth it for the initial software purchase. (It is!)
The envelope system of budgeting has proven to be very effective for a lot of people. However, it makes most people extremely uncomfortable when they have envelopes of money lying around the house. Mvelopes solves that problem. It allows you to virtually budget through the envelope method, by designating a portion of your funds to pre-determined envelopes categories such as eating out, entertainment, groceries, and more. It’s a great way to use this effective method without carrying a lot of cash.
This color-coded app is easy to navigate and use. The home screen shows several multi-colored categories you would normally consider in your budget, such as expenses, income, and bills. It then uses real-time financial data by linking to your bank account to show charts and graphs that denote your progress. You can download this app for free for the “lite” version that doesn’t allow you to link your bank accounts, or get all of the features for $4.99 on iOS and $5.99 on Android.
This free app is a little more goal oriented than the others. It asks you to begin your budget by setting specific goals for your spending, and then offers a simple interface for taking charge of your cash flow. All of your data shows up on the main screen so it’s easy to quickly check your budget. An interesting aspect of this app is that it allows you to track not only how much you spend, but also where and who you spent it with. It’s a great way to learn your social spending habits so you know when to keep your guard up.