Tip of The Week: Make Budgeting Fun with Apps!

For years people have been taking control of their personal finances the old fashioned way. Whether it’s by keeping their receipts in a shoebox or writing down their expenses in a spiral bound notebook, budgeting has been and can always be done with little to no extra expense to you. With that said, what’s fun about a shoebox or a spiral bound notebook, there’s no “WOW” factor, there’s no excitement of showing your friends your cool new notebook and that’s where apps come in.

Personal Finance Apps

With smartphones getting smarter there are now hundreds of ways to track your expenses on both the iOS and Android operating systems. The nice thing about these personal finance and budgeting apps is that several of them are free, and it makes budgeting fun again. Unlike the notebooks and shoebox approach that we mentioned previously these apps can make budgeting exciting and something that you’d be more likely to show off to your friends. If you find yourself struggling to get your personal finances under control some of these apps might be exactly what you need to get excited about budgeting.

Below we’ve listed out and reviewed the top iPhone apps for the iPhone and the Android operating system. Some of the apps are featured on both operating systems but some of them are unique to one operating system or the other. Regardless of which phone you prefer you’ll be able to find a top notch budgeting app that will help you get going in the right direction.

Best Budget App For iPhone

Mint.com- Mint is by far the most popular budgeting app for iPhone. Within the app store they claim that over 10 million people are currently using and trust Mint. We’re assuming many of those users are on their online only version as well but 10 million users is still an impressive number. Mint has been voted one of the 6 best banking & budget apps by CNN money and has earned rave reviews throughout the web. The reason Mint is so popular is that if offers a quick look at all of your account balances including your bank accounts and credit cards and also your loans and investment accounts. Being able to see all of these accounts at a glance will allow you to be as educated as your finances as possible. Mint is not without it’s critics however, at the time of writing this post the top three reviews within the app store are all negative reviews coming from users “eselqueso “, “GaLady34”, and “rjones64” claiming they have all uninstalled the app for issues ranging for incorrect data to getting users bank account access suspended. With that in mind they have over 150,000 reviews totaling 4 stores since their orginal version. The best way to see if this app is best for you is by downloading and giving it a try yourself.

Pageonce- Pageonce is arguably the second most popular personal finance app for iPhones claiming roughly 7.5 million users within the app store. This app was featured in a CNN Money article titled, “Cadillac of money management apps” which is always a great sign however the users have rated it just slightly lower than Mint.com with a 3.5 star rating. As of right now the top 3 reviews in the app store are all 5 star reviews from users “jkelsay”, “Peak1019” and “Pwe-mag.” The positives that these users point out range from the fact that it’s a “Huge Time Save” to “I would be divorced without this app”, While they explain exactly why this app saved their marriage we can only assume that it’s helped at least one couple get their finances back on track and relieve some financial stress.

Simple- Once you get outside of Mint.com and Pageonce you start getting into some of the smaller players. While these apps still have tons of positive reviews they just don’t have the publicity that the bigger players have. Simple definitely falls into the smaller market but still has a great following with 4.5 star reviews, however unlike Mint and Pageonce that have more like 80,000-155,000 reviews, Simple only has 218 reviews claiming that users love the app and it’s the best financial decision they’ve made in a while. If you’re shopping around and want to support one of the smaller players, this is a personal finance app that would be worth checking out.

ShoeBoxed- Instead of all inclusive apps like the ones we’ve mentioned above there are some apps that focus on specific parts of budgeting, that’s where ShoeBoxed comes in. Shoeboxed focuses on making it easier to digitize receipts into a format that is accepted ty the IRS and turn those digitized receipts into expense reports in Quickbooks, Wave Accounting, Excel, and more. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the other apps have, people still love it with 3.5 stars after 2030 ratings.

Doxo-This is another smaller player, while it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles it will still allow you to send and receive payments, snap photos and upload bills, and more.

Best Budget App for Android

MoneyWise- Moneywise is an app that doesn’t have the popularity of the bigger players like Mint.com and Pageonce but has a surprising number of features. With 2,143 reviews average out to 4.5 out of 5 starts they are making a strong showing against their larger competitors. This app was also named “The best budget tracking app for Android” by LifeHacker in 2012. Moneywise claims they have helped users in 120 different countries around the world get a handle on their personal finances.

EasyMoney- This app has been able to get a bit more traction than MoneyWise in the Andoird marketplace with between 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 downloads and about 12,683 reviews averaging out to 4.5 out of 5 stars. There is a free version of this app available, however to upgrade to the pro version it is going to cost you about $9.95. This is a great option if you’re looking for a robust personal finance app that also has some budgeting features such as budget alerts etc..

iWallet- This is another great FREE option for personal finance and budgeting within the Android marketplace. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the other apps have on the market it makes keeping track of your budget super simple.

Mint- With all the same great features as their online and iPhone versions mint.com has taken their app to the Android marketplace. People enjoy the app on Android just as much as they do on iPhone as it has earned the Editors’ Choice award and 27,477 reviews adding up to a total of 4 out of 5 stars.

Pageonce- Pageonce has been able to get even more positive reviews in the Android marketplace with 29,580 reviews totaling 4.5 out of 5 stars. In addition to positive user reviews it’s wont the Google’s Editors Choice in 2011-2012 and Google Staff Picks from 2011-2013.

As you can see, when it comes to getting your budget back on track the options are really limitless. If you’re trying to find the app that is best for you, we recommend possibly downloading them all and seeing which is the best fit for you. As you work on improving your budget, understand that there are some months that you’ll come up a little short, if that’s ever the case there’s no shame in paying some of your unexpected bills with your credit card or an online payday loan.

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