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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.


How to Budget with Dave Ramsey

dave ramsey budget

Everyone wants to have more power over their money and be at the mercy of strict finances less. What many people don’t realize is that the key to financial freedom is a strong budget.

Budgeting gets a bad rap sometimes as being too time-consuming, or by restricting your finances too much. But all you need is these 4 steps to make a budget, and once that’s done, you’ll find yourself getting out of debt, saving more, and becoming more financially free and comfortable in the long term.

Explore this Article

Step 1: List Total Income
Step 2: List Total Expenses
Step 3: Plan Your Spending
Step 4: Keep a Record
Free Budgeting Worksheets

Dave Ramsey has an article named, “Learn How to Budget” on his blog where he briefly outlines his simple 4 step process to creating a blog. So stop living in the monetary moment, and start living for the financial long term—it really is worth the 5 minutes it’ll take you to go through these 4 steps and create your own simple budget.

Step 1: List Total Income

total income

Dave Ramsey’s first step to creating a budget is, “Write Down Your Total Income.”

The very first step to creating any budget is to list all your sources of income and add them together to have a total income amount at the top of your budget. Dave Ramsey recommends that you use what he calls “take-home pay” when adding up your total income. Take-home pay refers to net income rather than gross income.

Net Income: Net income refers to your total income after taxes. It is sometimes called “take-home pay” because this is the amount that actually reaches your bank account after taxes get taken out.

Gross Income: Gross income refers to your total income before taxes.

You can find out your take-home pay by finding the percentage of income tax for your state and subtracting that percentage from your monthly income.

Make sure you include all sources of income, including any second jobs, any freelancing, or side gigs.

Step 2: List Total Expenses

expenses

Dave Ramsey’s second step to creating a budget is to, “List Your Expenses.”

List all of the regular expenses you have every month. This includes anything and everything you’re your mortgage, utilities, rent, insurance, HOA fees, groceries, gas, subscriptions, clothing, debts, phone bills, etc.

One of the best ways to determine what all your regular expenses end up being is to look at your bank statement for the past month or couple of months and find the average amount you spend each month on everything.

Step 3: Plan Your Spending

spending

Dave Ramsey’s third step to creating a budget is to, “Subtract Expenses from Income to Equal Zero.”

The type of budget that Dave Ramsey suggests you make is called a zero-based budget. This is when your income minus your expenses equal zero. So every single dollar you make goes to some kind of category listed in your budget, not a single cent is unaccounted for. This is a good budget type because every single dollar you make has a purpose.

You do the most math in step 2 of Dave Ramsey’s budget plan. Divide up your monthly income into all your different expense categories until you reach zero. If at the end of your budgeting calculations, you are above zero then you have funds that could still be going somewhere, like to the emergency fund. If you are below zero you have to reduce expenses somewhere so you don’t end up losing money each month.

Step 4: Keep a Record

record spending

Dave Ramsey’s fourth step to creating a budget is to, “Track Your Spending.”

Now you just have to keep track of all your transactions to make sure you stay in the budget guidelines you created for yourself in steps 2 and 3. Figure out the best way for you to keep track of all of your transactions so that you can make sure you don’t go over in any of your budgeting categories.

There are a few ways you can keep track of your spending. You can use any number of budgeting apps, a detailed checkbook, another form of paper note-taking, the cash envelope system, the cash wallet system, or prepaid debit cards.

Budget Apps

Dave Ramsey suggest you use the EveryDollar app as your budgeting app.

Checkbook

Using checks can make budgeting a lot easier. Every time you write a check a copy of the check gets written on the slip behind each individual check. By keeping these personal check receipts you can keep perfect track of all your transactions. You can also use the section in the back of your checkbook to jot down the details of all your spending.

If you want to learn more about the advantages of checks and how to balance a checkbook check out these helpful articles, “How to Write a Check” and “6 Advantages of Using Checks.”

Notebook

If you don’t want to use checks, you can still use a paper recording system to keep track of all your spending. You can find notebooks that are ready for this purpose on Amazon by searching budget workbook or expense tracker notebook.

Cash Envelope System

A cash envelope system is when you divide your cash up into different envelopes that are then assigned specific purposes. For example, you could have an envelope for bills, another for groceries, and another for gas. This way, you can only use those strict cash amounts to make purchases. A cash envelope system is a great option for those who have a lot of difficulties staying on budget and not overspending.

You can even purchase envelope systems on Amazon as well by searching cash envelope system where you’ll find envelopes and filing systems you can use to keep your cash organized.

Cash Wallet System

Another way to use the cash envelope system is to use a wallet with enough cash dividers for all your budgeting sections. These cash system wallets are helpful because you can keep all your cash organization neatly zipped up in one wallet. You can also use your wallet for your cards and checkbook as well.

Free Budgeting Worksheets

Tracking your spending in a way that works well for you might be the most taxing part of budgeting. But with these tips, you can make recording expenses a breeze.

Some other things you can use to make budgeting even easier is one of Dave Ramsey’s budget forms. Any of these budget forms from Dave Ramsey’s website are free to use and can help you budget and plan.

Specifically his Monthly Cash Flow Plan can help you go through the steps and organize your funds according to Dave Ramsey’s easy money flow plan.

If you need a more simplified version of this budget form you can find it with Dave Ramsey’s Quick Start Budget.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a colossal pain, and it doesn’t have to make your life sad and restricted. In fact, using a budget can be your key to long-term financial freedom.


Read More


Check City Blog. “Budgeting for College Students 101.”

Check City Blog. “Budgeting in 4 Easy Steps.”

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