The word “budget” can invoke all sorts of feelings: anxiety, boredom, excitement, or even hopelessness. We have many ways to pay for things — credit cards, checks, PayPal, cash — and endless methods to keep track of it all. Just trying to figure out where to start can be overwhelming.
Below we’ve gathered a list of four of the best and easiest budgeting apps to make managing your finances a breeze.
1. Mint (FREE)
I like to think of Mint as the Godfather of all budgeting apps. Tracking expenses since 2007, Mint takes all the work out of managing your finances. All you have to do is enter your accounts and create any budgets you wish. After that, Mint tracks every expense and income transaction for you, organizing it according to budget categories and alerting you if you’ve overspent or if something looks fishy.
If you hate the tedium of entering all your transactions into a spreadsheet, this is the app for you! No more manual entry, no more rifling through endless receipts at the bottom of your purse. It’s all there without you having to lift a finger.
2. Homebudget with Sync ($4.99)
Homebudget with Sync is a beautiful and colorful finance tracker that supports budgeting, expense/income analysis, and account balances. One of the best features of Homebudget is the calendar page which allows you to see at a glance when all of your bills are due during the month. There is a “light” version which is free, but the paid Sync version allows you to sync your financial information with anyone else added to the account — spouses, family, etc. — so no matter where you are, everyone is always on the same page.
3. Mvelopes (FREE)
If you’re looking to eliminate debt, or if you have ever tried Dave Ramsey’s highly successful envelope system but found it cumbersome or too much of a hassle, Mvelopes might be a better option for you. It’s a virtual envelope system that connects with your bank accounts to keep track of your purchases and designate them to an envelope you have created. You can even split transactions into different envelopes.
Seeing your categorized spending can help you make more informed decisions when you’re out shopping or when you have a bill coming up. The free version allows up to four accounts and twenty-five envelopes.
4. You Need a Budget (FREE)
This is one of the most popular budgeting tools available, having helped tens of thousands of people get their finances under control. While the app itself is free, it connects with the company’s downloadable software – a one time purchase of $60. YNAB operates under four important money rules: 1. Give every dollar a job. 2. Save for a rainy day. 3. Roll with the punches. 4. Live on last month’s income.
The software is designed to help you build a budget around the four rules, making managing your finances simple and straightforward. The other great aspects of YNAB are the awesome resources they provide – webinars, courses, and free online classes. If you want an app that is easy AND has people behind it ready and happy to help you with your goals, You Need a Budget is your best bet.
What apps have you found most useful when managing your finances?
Image via Milena Mallory