Looking for the best budgeting apps in the app store?
Some people are financial savants. When everybody else is counting the days until payday, these types seem perfectly content to wait. You might notice that, although these money-wise folks seem better off than you, they make comparable money; they might even make less.
Therein lies the power of budgeting.
A budget can alter anyone’s lifestyle in a positive way, especially those who need to stretch modest incomes. Not everyone can be a financial prodigy, so if resource management is not one of your natural talents, one of top picks for best budgeting apps below can help you save money and start building a brighter financial future.
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Here’s our list of the best apps for creating and maintaining a budget:
Despite a few flaws, Intuit’s Mint app enjoys a lot of positive reviews and won several Editors’ Choice Awards. Mint is really one of the best budget apps for beginners or students who do not need a ton of features or investment tools. With Mint, you will be able to:
- View all of your accounts in one place
- Factor bills into your budget
- Check your credit score
- Set up alerts when bills are due or when you have exceeded your budget
Mint is free for the most part and one the most reliable in terms of software speed and stability; the absence of too many extra features makes it more user friendly than some of the other best budget apps. Mint is a great choice if you just need a detailed, real-time snapshot of your finances.
Mint’s lack of advanced features may be a deal breaker for you, and a lot of people have called it ad-heavy. Some of Mint’s features come in the form of in-app purchases, and Intuit discontinued its automatic bill paying features.
2. You Need A Budget (YNAB)
If you are a student, you may very well be broke. YNAB is one of the best budget apps for students in college or high school because it is centered around zero-based budgeting, a system in which your income and expenses are the same. If you are always scraping the barrel, YNAB will let you:
- Budget every last cent
- Set and abide by financial goals
- Access workshops and other resources
YNAB runs on a philosophy of sheer responsibility but is flexible enough to allow you a little bit of wiggle room. YNAB users give consistently solid reviews; YNAB is definitely one of the best apps for college students.
It can take some practice to get the hang of YNAB, but the bigger drawback is expense. After a 34-day free trial, YNAB users must pay a subscription fee of either $11.99 per month or $84 per year. High school and college students, however, get a year for free when they offer proof of enrollment.
PocketGuard is a fun app for people who just want to know how much cash they can spend while still adhering to their financial goals.
PocketGuard is simple, free, and allows you to track day-to-day spending while still working on your savings. It is a good budgeting app for students who do not need to track investments or complex financial accounts. Despite its simplicity, PocketGuard is one of the best personal finance apps for students.
There is not much PocketGuard can do that you could not do with a small notebook and a pencil. It is convenient and free, but it is unlikely to up your financial IQ. Still, PocketGuard can help you save money in college.
4. Clarity Money
Clarity Money is one of the best apps for budgeting if you are looking for the middle ground between too much and not enough. Clarity users can:
- Link their financial accounts
- Organize their spending into different categories
- Monitor their credit scores
Clarity Money Pros
Unlike other apps, Clarity Money can sometimes negotiate on your behalf to lower your bills. When they successfully do so, they charge 33% of the savings and leave you the rest. Additionally, Clarity Money offers subscription cancellation for free. If you wanted to cancel Hulu, for instance, you could choose that option in the app and someone from Clarity Money will cancel it for you. As difficult as it can be to cancel certain services, this is a major plus.
Clarity Money Cons
Clarity Money’s only real con is that it is not one of the best budget apps for young professionals or entrepreneurs; Clarity Money struggles with variable incomes and sudden expenses.
Related Read: 15+ Easy Ways to Save Money in College
5. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is good for budgeting, but it really shines for those who want to manage investments and more complex accounts. With Personal Capital, you can:
- Connect and track checking, savings and credit accounts
- Add and track 401(k)s, mortgages and IRAs
- Track your portfolio and net worth
Personal Capital Pros
Personal Capital is legitimate and has features its competitors do not. Moreover, Personal Capital provides is users with access to professional financial advisors, which is great. The basic Personal Capital Cash account is free.
Personal Capital Cons
All the added features of their Wealth Management tool come at a price. Personal Capital charges an account management fee of 0.49% to 0.89% of your balance. This fee could be significant in the long run.
Goodbudget is a viable alternative to some of the more complex apps on this list. Goodbudget allows you to:
- Categorize your budget into categories called “envelopes”
- Access the app on multiple devices
- Manually input accounts and transactions to stay on top of your budget
Goodbudget is simple and a basic account is free. It is a good tool if you just want to track your spending without tying all your actual financial accounts to the app.
(Oh, and it sounds like Goodwall!)
Goodbudget users are forced to input every account and transaction manually, so it could be easy to forget to add a purchase or just get lazy and fall hopelessly behind.
Budgets are essential to financial growth and empowerment, and that’s true whether you’re still a student or otherwise. Whatever your needs, one of these budgeting apps can help you think more clearly about money, stop the paycheck-to-paycheck grind, and increase your net worth.
Well, that’s our list of the best budget apps for young professionals and students for now, and we hope one of them helps you start on a path towards financial success! Got any other great apps for creating a budget we ought to add to this list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!