Chat
Customer Service: (800) 404-0254

The 12 Best Budget Apps (2020 Review)

The 12 Best Budget Apps (2020 Review)

The biggest part of budgeting is needing to get in control of your spending. But that can be nearly impossible to do on your own.

Expense tracker apps can make this a lot easier and even save you money. These budgeting tools can help you see your spending habits visually and see where your strengths and weaknesses are. As a management tool, it can help you spend your money the smart way and manage your cash flow.

All you need is a user-friendly spending tracker that works for you and you’re on your way to spending less and saving more.

Many expense apps also act as budgeting apps and can help you create your own budget. They make it easier to see all your spending in one place and manage all your monthly purchases and bills.

It can throw our finances out of balance for awhile when we go over budget one month. To get back on track you can take out a Check City Installment Loan and get your finances back in order in no time.

Here are some of the best rated expense tracker apps you can get for your phone today.

*All the information below was taken from Google Play on the day of posting.

1. Personal Capital

best budget app for investment portfolios

By Personal Capital Corporation

Reviewed 4.5 stars by 12,492 people

Free

PROS
CONS
Allows you to connect accounts: savings, checkings, investments, retirement, credit card accounts, mortgage. Designed primarily to track your net worth, cash flow, and investment portfolio.
Available financial advisors to offer recommendations backed by data. Not the most ideal option for personal, basic budgeting.
Tax optimization advice. Doesn’t allow you to share or link with other users.
Free analytics tool to track cash flow over a period of time. Less ideal if you don’t have a lot of money flow going different places.
Free analytics tool to track cash flow over a period of time.
Compatible with desktop and mobile devices.

With the Personal Capital app, you can do just about anything. You can sync the app to your personal bank accounts, your retirement funds, investments, IRA, and even debts, all in one seamless dashboard.

They even off their own high yield savings account called Personal Capital Cash. You can use Personal Capital’s saving account to keep any extra cash. It has no fees, no minimum balance requirements, and an Annual Personal Yield (APY) of 1.55%.

Overall,

the Personal Capital Budget App is great for individuals who want to grow their personal wealth and want to better keep track of all their investments. This app makes a great place to keep your full financial portfolio.

2. QuickBooks

best budget app for small businesses

By Intuit Inc

Reviewed 4.25 stars by 33,232 people

Free for 30 days

PROS
CONS
Plan specifically for small businesses, self-employed, and accountants. Not ideal for personal budget use.
Can keep track of all business expenses and keep them separate from personal expenses. Monthly subscriptions required from $15 to $35 a month.
Includes Turbo Tax features. Desktop pro costs $299.95
Automatically track miles. It costs an additional $250 to add other people onto your account.
Send professional invoices. You can only add up to 3 other people.
Compatible with desktop and mobile devices.
Ideal for all your business bookkeeping.

If you have frequent business expenses than QuickBooks is a good choice for you. This app includes the ability to track and earn up to 57.5 cents per mile, send and track your professional invoices, digitally keep track of receipts, and review how your business is doing financially in easy to read charts and graphs.

Overall,

Quickbooks is the perfect budgeting apps for small businesses and individuals who are self-employed. It’s a seamless place to do all your business bookkeeping.

3. Clarity Money

best free budget app

By Clarity Money, Inc

Reviewed 4.2 stars by 4,508 people

Free

PROS
CONS
100% free to use. Very simple features.
High-yield savings account with 1.70% APY. Involves creating an account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs Bank
Organize monthly expenses into categories. You can’t create groups.
Cancel unwanted subscriptions all in one place.
Make specific savings goals.
Free credit score checks.

The Clarity Money app has built-in AI that can help show you key information about your spending habits and help you automate your savings! Take care of your personal finance from month to month in this extremely simple budgeting app.

They also have a high yield savings account that’s highly customizable. You can decide to save specific amounts, at certain times each week or month, and even say what each savings plan is saving up for.

You can also cancel your subscriptions in one convenient location, organize all your bills, and check your credit score.

Overall,

the Clarity Money Budget App is a great app for anyone who wants a completely free, super easy to use money management app.

4. Mint Budgeting App

budget app android

By Intuit Inc

Reviewed 4.5 stars by 164,702 people

Free

PROS
CONS
Free unlimited credit score checks It’s not the most aestetically pleasing app.
Stay on top of your bills. There isn’t a desktop app, just a desktop website.
Stay on top of your spending.
See your financial analytics.
Make specific budget goals.

Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps. It’s made by the same people who brought you QuickBooks and TurboTax.

With the Mint app, you can create a budget that’s easy to stick to, keep track of your spending in neat spending categories, keep tabs on all your bills in one spot, and even get free credit score checks. Mint also has an easy to use web app that connects to your mobile app.

Overall,

the Mint Budgeting App is a great budgeting tool for those who want to improve their credit scores since Mint offers unlimited credit score checks and personalized tips and tricks on how you can improve your score.

5. YNAB

best budget app for desktop

By YouNeedABudget.com

Reviewed 4 stars by 5,669 people

Free for 34 days

PROS
CONS
34 day free trial. Pay $11.99 a month or $84 a year.
Track your personal budget goals. Not very customizable.
Optimized for the YNAB method of budgeting.
The YNAB app is compatible with your phone, desktop, Apple smartwatch, and even Alexa!

YNAB stands for You Need A Budget, which is a company that specializes in helping people use the YNAB budgeting method to make easy to follow monthly budgets. The YNAB app will take you through this easy process and help you to set goals.

Overall,

the YNAB Budget App is a good budget tool for anyone who is already invested in using the YNAB methods of budgeting. So if you need some more specific guidance when it comes to budgeting, then the YNAB Budget App is made for you.

6. Mvelopes Budget App

cash envelope budget system

By Finicity Corp

Reviewed 3.5 stars by 3,474 people

Free for 30 days

PROS
CONS
30 day free trial. Pay $6 to $59 a month.
Resources for debt.
Personal Financial Coaches available.
Digitally make use of the envelope budgeting system.

The envelope method for budgeting is popular for its incredible simplicity. If you have a very difficult time with budgeting, then the envelope method is where you should start.

The Mvelopes Budget App allows you to put money into digital envelopes that will notify when they’re empty so you don’t overspend on a specific category of your budget.

Overall,

Mvelopes is the best app for anyone who wants to digitally use the envelope system of budgeting without the hassle of taking out cash and using actual envelopes. This app is also ideal for people who need help getting out of debt.

7. Money Manager

budget app for couples

By Realbyte Inc

Reviewed 4.6 stars by 10,800 people

App Price: $4.99

PROS
CONS
Free version of the app. Premium version of the app only costs $4.99 on Google Play, and $3.99 on IOS.
You can save photos. Desktop version only available with Premium.
Allows dual entry booking.
Lets you budget monthly or weekly.

The Money Manager app lets you save photos along with photos of your receipt, so you can see what you bought, and how much it cost. It also allows dual entry booking and backs up your data to Google Drive or Excel files.

Overall,

the Money Manager Budget App can be extremely useful for both personal and professional use. And even though the premium version of the app costs money, it doesn’t require a monthly or yearly subscription as most other budgeting apps do.

8. Expensify

expense tracking apps

By Expensify Inc

Reviewed 4 stars by 13,989 people

Free

PROS
CONS
Put business expenses on the Expensify Card. Not very ideal for creating a personal budget.
Scan receipts with a smart scanner.

Expensify is an expense report app that comes with its own Expensify card. With this card, you can eliminate expense reports by simply using the Expensify card for all your business expenses.

Using the Expensify card also comes with lots of benefits. For instance, when you take a client out to dinner you help pay for a student’s lunch and every time you use the Expensify card to book a hotel for a business trip, you help someone else get a home.

Now you can make business expenses and feel good about the little ways the Expensify card helps you help others.

You can track and submit receipts with a receipt scanner that can automatically detect all the important information from the receipt for you. Then, you can categorize, code, and organize all your receipts in one easy to reach place.

Overall,

the Expensify app may not be ideal for budgeting, but it is the most ideal app for keeping track of business expenses and keeping track of all your receipts. If you want a safe place to keep and organize all your many receipts then Expensify is the best app for you.

9. Dave Ramsey Budget App: EveryDollar

spending apps

By Ramsey Solutions

Reviewed 4.2 stars by 6,092 people

Free without premium

PROS
CONS
You can plan your paychecks. You can only connect your financial accounts with the premium version.
It’s compatible with your desktop and mobile device. The sections aren’t very customizable.
It’s compatible with your desktop and mobile device. The premium version of the Dave Ramsey Budget app costs $129.99 every year.
The premium version is expensive but it does also offer courses from Financial Peace University.

The EveryDollar app was created by Dave Ramsey’s company to help you budget like Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey’s main budgeting principle is to decide where every dollar you earn goes so that you have absolute control over every penny you earn. There’s also a premium version of this app available with EveryDollar Plus.

Overall,

the Dave Ramsey Budget App is a very simple budgeting app that might just be the easiest to use. Everything is effortlessly organized for you so you can start budgeting immediately.

The only major downside to the Dave Ramsey Budget App is that the premium versions cost a lot of money, $129.99 a year, and it’s only with this cost that you can sync your bank accounts to the app.

10. Zoho Expense Reporting

expense report app

By Zoho Corporation

Reviewed 4.5 stars by 2,659 people

Free

PROS
CONS
Dashboard helps you see the expense reports you have and haven’t sent. Not ideal for tracking personal expenses.
Can easily track your miles. No budget creation features.
Creates detailed expense reports.
Import your credit card statements all at once.

Zoho Corporation creates all kinds of useful apps for your business. One of them is an expense reporting app that lets you import credit card statements and helps you see the overall analytics for your business expenditures.

With this app, you can easily see how your business is doing financially in one place. With their easy to read graphs and charts, you can see how much your business is costing you in travel, office supplies, and client meetups.

Overall,

the Zoho Expense Reporting App is the best app for keeping track of all your business-related expenses. It’s also a very useful app if you’re an employee that needs to frequently send expense reports because you can quickly and painlessly send them to your boss from your phone!

11. Wally Budget App

best family budget app

By Wally Global Inc

Reviewed 2 stars by 200 people

Free, in-app purchases

PROS
CONS
Create groups and share budgets with the whole family. App is still in development.
Manage foreign accounts, investments, and your net worth. Wally Gold costs $26.99 a year.
Automatically tracks all your spending and give detailed insights into your spending habits. Coin earning system. Earn Wally coins every time a friend uses your invite code to download the app.

Don’t let this budgeting tool’s low rankings mislead you, Wally is an up and coming finance app that has been rated #1 over 40 times by places like NerdWallet, Forbes, and The Guardian. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular budget apps and it’s easy to see why.

The Wally app even lets you create group budgets for your family and household. It also lets you create shopping lists so you can see how much your grocery trip might cost you. And their basic version is 100% free!

Because the Wally Budget App is still new, they’re still working on creating features like desktop capability. But these features should soon be on their way. But already the basic Wally app has all the budget tool features you could ever want, with bank syncing, easy customization, and the ability to create multiple groups!

Overall,

the Wally app is the best overall budgeting app. It’s the perfect budget app for families and individuals and comes in a pleasant and friendly design you’re sure to love.

12. Albert Budget App

budget app for ios

By Albert Corp

Reviewed 4 stars by 3,146 people

Free

PROS
CONS
Get a $100 cash advance on your next paycheck. Cash advances cost up to $4.99 for instant delivery.
Customize your savings goals. Without the instant delivery fee, cash advances deposit in about 3 business days.
Get a 1% annual bonus for saving. Requirements apply.
Start an investment account with just $1. Requirements apply.

The Albert budgeting app has a sleek and simple design and allows you to easily take care of all your finances.

You can even text with a professional when you need financial advice, get real-time alerts about your finances, invest, and fully automate your savings. And these professionals aren’t just bots, they’re actual financial experts that work at Albert Corp to help you with your financial questions.

Overall,

the budget app by Albert Genius is a great portfolio for someone who wants easy access to some extra funds and an easy way to get started in the investment world.


4 SMART Goal Examples

SMART-goal-examples

We learn best by example, and that goes for understanding SMART goals and how to use them.

By giving plenty of examples, you can use this goal making tool to your advantage and achieve all your personal and professional goals. You may have heard the acronym SMART goals by now, and you may be wondering what it means and how to use this tool to up your goal setting game.

Explore this Article

  1. Professional Goals
  2. Fun Personal Goals
  3. Serious Personal Goals
  4. Financial Goals

What are SMART Goals?

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART is a mnemonic device that is meant to help you create “smarter” goals. The 5 elements of a SMART goal are the 5 key characteristics of an effective goal that you can actually achieve. So you want the goals you make to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Specific

To make your goals specific enough, you want to answer the key “W” questions, who, what, when, where, why? You want to decide your goal and describe it in as much detail as possible. The key is to have a clearly defined picture of your goal in your mind, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Ask who, what, where, and any other details?

Measurable

Making your goal measurable is mainly making it so you have a measurable outcome to work toward, so you’ll know for certain when you are successful or not. So instead of just wanting to lose weight, figure out how many pounds you want to lose. If you want more Instagram followers, think about how many more followers you want. What you can measure is going to be different for each goal, but there is always something you can measure. Maybe you want to be happier, what are some measurable things you can keep track of that will show whether your plans are working? Maybe you can measure how many hours of sleep you get each night to see if you’re getting your full 8 hours each night, or record in a mood journal how you feel at certain times of the day for a couple weeks to try and find patterns.

Ask how?

Attainable

Just like when dealing with your finances you’ll want to determine whether the ROI is worth it. Each goal is going to take time and resources. Are they going to yield worth while results? Is the effort your goal would require doable? Maybe you want to run a marathon but you’ve never run before, so perhaps a better goal to start with would be to run 20 minutes every day. Sometimes you need to take your vision down a bit for a goal that you are actually able to do right now in your life.

What’s the level of attainability?

Relevant

Sometimes we feel pressured by our surroundings to make certain goals. Maybe your parents want you to be a doctor, but you want to be an English teacher. Maybe the people around you make you feel like you need to make intense dieting and weight goals to buff up or slim down, but you’re actually at a healthy bmi(link to how to gain weight on a budget post). Goals take time and effort, they come with their own costs, so above all your goals have to be made for you, by you. So when making a goal ask yourself what your motives are and make sure they’re good, worth it, will actually yield the results you desire.

Ask why?

Time-Bound

Time needs to be a major element in any goal you make. You need to create a plan that aligns with calendar dates and deadlines. Having a due date helps us stay focused, motivated, and kick us into action. Remember that it is here where you can bog yourself down if you’re not careful, so be flexible and plan smartly so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t be afraid to adjust when you need to, sometimes learning your limits and what works best for you takes some trial and error.

Ask when?

SMART Goal Examples

There are different elements that make up our lives and thus there are different kinds of goals we can make for each aspect of our lives. There are the more formal, professional, and serious goals we need to make, and then there are personal and fun goals we want to make. Make goals for your more professional and serious successes, but set goals for yourself as well. Below are some key goal categories to remember:

1. Professional Goals

Specific: (ask who, what, where, and any other details) You want to wake up earlier for work each morning.

Measurable: (ask how) You record on a chart beside your bed every night you manage to go to bed at 10:30 pm. On a similar chart beside the door you mark each morning you are able to leave your house for work at 7:30 am.

Attainable: (what’s the level of attainability) Instead of making a goal to get to work by 7 each morning, you’ve started with a goal to get to work by 8 each morning, because you know working toward this goal is more feasible for you right now.

Relevant: (ask why) This goal is relevant for you because going to work earlier will allow you to leave earlier in the day, giving you more time for other goals and endeavors outside of work.

Time-Bound: (ask when) You’ve set alarms on your phone to remind you when to get ready for bed, and when to wake up and get ready for the day. You’ve decided to give yourself a month to get into this routine, and if you are successful, you’ll reward yourself to a Friday movie night with friends.
 
professional-goals
 

2. Fun Personal Goals

Specific: (ask who, what, where, and any other details) You want to make more friends in college.

Measurable: (ask how) You plan social events to go to every weekend this month and decide you have to stay at each for at least a full hour, and must talk to at least 3 people you don’t know. You record the events, how long you stayed, and who you befriended in your journal after each weekend.

Attainable: (what’s the level of attainability) You know you can attain this goal because there are social events you know you’ll be able to go to, and you have a roommate who is very social land willing to go with you to each event.

Relevant: (ask why) This goal is relevant to you because you’re a freshman in college and want to make friends in this new phase of your life. You know your overall wellbeing and happiness will increase by reaching this goal.

Time-Bound: (ask when) You have this month to enact your plan before reevaluating all the new people you met, and continuing with your goal by inviting some of those people to a social event at your own apartment at the beginning of the following month.
 
fun personal goals
 

3. Serious Personal Goals

Specific: (ask who, what, where, and any other details) You want to lose 10 pounds.

Measurable: (ask how) You’ll weigh yourself on a scale and record your weight progress on a chart.

Attainable: (what’s the level of attainability) This goal is attainable because you’ve spoken with your doctor and it is ok for you to lose 10 pounds. You also have a dietary and exercise plan that should yield results over time.

Relevant: (ask why) This goal is relevant to you because losing 10 pounds will put you at a healthier weight, give you more energy, and build your confidence.

Time-Bound: (ask when) You schedule regular weigh-in dates for the following weeks to come, and estimate that you should reach your weight loss goal in time for the beginning of summer.
 
serious personal goals
 

4. Financial Goals

Specific: (ask who, what, where, and any other details) You want to decrease your debts.

Measurable: (ask how) You know how much overall debt you have, and after sitting down with your budget you can reorganize your spending so you know exactly how much you can spend on debts and other spending each month. This will also tell you exactly how long it will take for you to pay it all off. You can keep a record of when you successfully make each payment, and visually see yourself getting closer to paying all of it.

Attainable: (what’s the level of attainability) You can know the attainability of this goal by how well you budget for spending more on debts and less on other varied expenses. If you ever need help reaching your financial goals and getting back on track you can take out a personal loan at Check City.

Relevant: (ask why) This goal is relevant because you have debt to get rid of, and getting rid of debt will free you to spend more on other things and save for the future.

Time-Bound: (ask when) You have a due date for your bills each month and by keeping on track with these monthly dates, you stay on track to finish paying off your debt in the months you’ve given yourself.
 
financial goals
 

Document Your Goals

In order to make sure your goals follow the SMART goal rules, it may help to record them on a chart or utilize a goal setting app. There are countless goal setting apps out there to help you track your habits and reach your aspirations. Here are some of the best goal setting apps for making SMART goals:

smart-goal-chart-printable
 
In some ways, goals are how we live our lives. It’s how we make decisions and enact change. Understanding the 5 key characteristics of SMART goal-making can help you level up in your personal and professional life, and more effectively plan for success. As a great artist once said:
 
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

—Pablo Picasso



READ MORE
Read the section on SMART goals from YourCoach.
 
Read another Check City article about goal making by reading, “How to Set Goals.”

NEED QUICK CASH?

start your application

* Required Field

 

  • HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
  • Cashwise
  • RLS
  • Check City BBB Business Review
  • UCLA

Apply Now Or Call 1-800-404-0254

Find A Location | Contact Us | Wireless Policy | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | © 2004-2020 Check City Online. All Rights Reserved.