The 7 Best Budgeting Apps to Manage Your Money

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One of the easiest ways to take control of your money is to use a budgeting apps. But there are so many out there, how do you know what’s the best budgeting app to use?

Which budgeting app will work best for you depends on your personal preferences, whether or not you’re willing to pay, and how much you want the app to do for you. You might even find you need a combination of apps to meet you financial goals.

The Best Budgeting Apps Ranked

There seem to be hundreds of different budgeting tools and apps out there to help you manage your money. Here are the Top 7 budgeting apps we’ve found that are best for your bank account!

AppPrice Per YearBest ForAvailability
YNAB (You Need a Budget)$84 USD / $140 CADManaging your spendingUS & Canada
KOHOFree
Premium $84
Earning cash backCanada only
Undebt.itFree
Premium $12
Paying off debtUS & Canada
MintFreeTracking spendingUS & Canada
PocketsmithFree
Premium $120
Super $240
Making big financial decisionsUS & Canada
Simplifi by Quicken$36 USDTracking net worthUS only
GoodbudgetFree
Premium $45
SimplicityUS & Canada

The Best Budgeting Apps detailed review

If you want to learn more about the best budgeting apps and how we ranked them, read on below for detailed mini-reviews of each.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

I’ve been using You Need a Budget (YNAB) for 2 years now and I’m a complete convert. It had a bit of a steep learning curve to get started, but once I got the hang of it, I chucked out the budgeting spreadsheet I had been using to manually track all my financial metrics.

The great thing about YNAB is it’s more than just a budgeting app, it’s a budgeting method. You’re not merely tracking and categorizing your expenses, you’re “giving every dollar a job” and working towards your long-term financial goals.

You can set YNAB up to automatically scrape your bank accounts for your transactions, or you can enter them manually. You Need a Budget gets smarter the more you use it, so while it’s a pain to set up, it will be smooth sailing thereafter.

You can read our full You Need a Budget Review here.

The app has almost a cult following now, so if you really want to get the most out of it, check out the interesting collection of “YNAB hacks” videos on Youtube.

KOHO

KOHO is the ideal budgeting tool to reign in your spending while still saving money and earning cash back. Of all the tools on this list, KOHO is the only one that will actually pay you to use it.

You’ll earn 0.5% for all your spending with your KOHO card, or up to 2% if you’re a premium membership. This cash accrues in your account and you can cash it out to your spendable any time, or put it towards a goal.

Read our full KOHO Review Here.

Undebt.it

Undebt.it won’t give you a lot of functionality for all your budgeting needs, but it’s a must-have if you’re trying to tackle your debt.

Undebt it has you enter all your debt balances, interest rates, and minimum payments. It then lets you quickly compare different debt repayment methods, like the Debt Avalanche and the Debt Snowball, or take a blended approach. The app will then calculate your debt-free date.

While the basic version of Undebt it is totally free, you have to purchase the paid membership to access more robust features like projections, the amortization table, syncing with YNAB, and other bonuses like the 52-week savings challenge. Thankfully, the premium version of Undebt it is only $12. Yes, TWELVE DOLLARS. You can skip one lunch out to invest in this!

Read our full Undebt It review Here.

Pocketsmith

Pocketsmith stands out as one of the more unique budgeting apps because not only does it manage your income and expenses, it forecasts your cashflow into the future. If you’re working towards a goal like FIRE, Pocketsmith might be exactly what you’re looking for.

For Premium users, Pocketsmith connects directly to your Canadian or US bank account to import your transactions. If you stay on the free basic plan, you’ll have to do all your data entry manually.

In addition to getting control of your day-to-day spending, the app will also let you test “what-if” scenarios to take the guesswork out of financial planning. If you’re trying to decide between big things like paying off student loans or putting a downpayment on a house, this feature of Pocketsmith will let you see how each decision will play out before you spend a dime.

Mint

Mint was a leader in the budgeting space 10 years ago, but they’ve since fallen from grace a little bit. Not because they’re a bad program, but just because some others (like YNAB) have pulled ahead.

Nevertheless, Mint will take care of all of your budgeting needs by syncing with your bank account, categorizing your transactions, and then sending you alerts when anything seems out of the ordinary.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest criticisms of this budgeting app is technical glitches. Most Mint Reviews mention glitches, with negatively impact the usability of this tool.

Simplifi by Quicken

Simplifi by Quicken was rated the The Best Budgeting App by the New York Times, but we keep it low on our list because it’s only available south of the border. However, if you do happen to live in the USA, this is a great tool.

Simplifi seeks to give you a holistic snapshot of your entire financial picture, from your bank accounts to your investments, debt, and property. If you’re as interested in tracking your net worth as you are in making a budget that works, then Simplifi might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Goodbudget

Goodbudget digitizes the envelope system method of budgeting, so if that’s you’re strategy you’ll love to take it mobile. However, be prepared to do everything by hand. Goodbudget doesn’t sync with your bank accounts, so you’ll need to manually enter all your spending to make it work.

Make sure your budgeting app fits your budgeting method

Spoiler: you don’t actually need a budgeting app to have a working budget.

It’s true. Your budget can be as simple as a pen & paper or budgeting spreadsheet. However, you need a budgeting system or method before you make an actual budget. If you don’t know how to start, check out The 50/30/20 Budget Rule or our post, How to Create a Budget From Scratch.

There’s no wrong way to budget, but there might only be one that is right for you!

AppPrice Per YearBest ForAvailability
YNAB (You Need a Budget)$84 USD / $140 CADManaging your spendingUS & Canada
KOHOFree
Premium $84
Earning cash backCanada only
Undebt.itFree
Premium $12
Paying off debtUS & Canada
MintFreeTracking spendingUS & Canada
PocketsmithFree
Premium $120
Super $240
Making big financial decisionsUS & Canada
Simplifi by Quicken$36 USDTracking net worthUS only
GoodbudgetFree
Premium $45
SimplicityUS & Canada

How to Choose the best budgeting app for you

When it comes to choosing a budgeting app, some of the things you want to consider are:

  • Your financial goals. Are you looking for something to help with tracking your spending, saving money, or paying off debt?
  • Functionality. Does the budgeting app do what you need it to do and sync easily with your bank accounts?
  • Usability. Do you find the app easy to use and set up to meet your needs?

You might think “more is better”, but it’s not worth it to pay out of pocket for a budgeting app that tracks and categorizes all your spending if the only thing you need help with is paying off your debt. Likewise, don’t try to make a free version of an app work for you if it means you spend hours manually entering transactions.

Finding the right budgeting app to fit your preferences might take a few tries, but once you’ve got a good one it makes managing your finances infinitely easier.

Look for an app that does more than track your spending. If you have bad money behaviors, like going into debt or never setting aside money for savings, you want to find a budgeting app that will get you on the right track.

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