If you’ve never created a budget before, don’t fret – there’s no time like the present to start building one of the most financially responsible habits out there and take control over your financial independence. But budgeting is a pain, isn’t it? Well, not necessarily.
Long gone are the days when budgeting meant pulling out the desktop calculator and hunching over a pad of paper for hours on end. In today’s digital world, countless apps exist that can help you track your income, your spending, and even your debt repayments, with all sorts of features and capabilities. Some cost money, while others have free options. Some are bare bones, while others are deeply customizable. Some leave the budgeting process up to you, while others share all the wisdom you need to make responsible choices. But not all budgeting apps are created equal, so here are 10 of the best budgeting apps for you to use in 2022.
One of the standard bearers of the budgeting app world, YNAB (short for You Need A Budget) takes a novel approach to budgeting: Rather than just tracking your income and spending, YNAB encourages you to be more proactive, setting aside every dollar in your budget to serve a specific purpose or work towards a specific goal so that you have zero dollars “unaccounted for” in your accounts. Fully customizable and deeply powerful, YNAB isn’t for the casual budgeter, but for those serious about tracking every dollar and planning for the future, there’s no better option out there.
If YNAB is a powerhouse for those committed to zero-based budgeting, Mint is the all-rounder that takes a more accessible approach without sacrificing functionality. Mint offers standard budgeting features like categories, account-syncing, and financial goal-setting and does them all well, with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. And by using an ad-supported platform, Mint is able to offer a free option with a full and robust suite of tools, making it the best value-for-money in the budgeting app arena.
If you love YNAB’s zero-based approach to budgeting but find yourself overwhelmed by all the features and options, consider looking into EveryDollar. The EveryDollar app takes that same approach of “giving every dollar a job” but with an interface that doesn’t require the same level of education and commitment to get to the starting line. If your preference is to keep it simple but you resonate with YNAB’s approach, EveryDollar may be your best alternative.
If you don’t like messing around in multiple apps just to figure out your finances, Digit may be the option for you. Digit is primarily an online bank account app, but one that comes with some remarkably useful budgeting tools right there with it, along with suggestions and algorithms to “constantly guide your money in the right direction.” So if you want to not only plan your budget but be able to move around the money all from one app space, Digit makes that easier than ever before.
“Envelope budgeting” has been around for a while and helped countless people live fiscally responsible lives. Goodbudget takes the core concept of dividing your income into categories and placing physical money into each category’s physical envelope and takes it digital – you’ll create your digital “envelopes” within the app and assign part of your income to each envelope, and pull from it as needed. While Goodbudget doesn’t sync with your bank accounts (that can be a pro or a con, depending on your point of view), it does allow partners and family members to track your spending, giving you an additional layer of financial accountability.
Simplifi’s biggest selling point is that it’s a personal budgeting app put out by the biggest experts in the budgeting field: Quicken, who are most famous for the Quickbooks budgeting software utilized by businesses across the world. Quicken’s Simplifi app is a one-stop shop for all things personal budget, providing not only ways to track your income and spending and offer insights into your financial habits, but also plan for the future by making investments into IRAs, 401(K)s, and more.
The Personal Capital app is all about investing, giving you the tools you need to strengthen your investment and retirement portfolios. But by providing the tools you need to help you plan and track your contributions, Personal Capital almost inadvertently becomes a useful budgeting app as well, letting you view your bank and credit accounts, showing you your spending broken out into categories, and more. If you’ve got a handle on your budget but like the idea of an all-in-one app that helps you use that budget to plan your investments, Personal Capital is there for you.
Anybody who’s lived with a partner knows that couples’ budgeting is a whole new beast, and Honeydue offers a budgeting app specifically designed to help meet the challenges of budgeting as a team. Honeydue lets you and your partner create custom categories, see each others’ finances (as much or as little as you want), chat with each other in the app, and even alerts you when either partner is reaching a spending limit for a category. If you and your partner are taking a financial journey together, there’s no better place to start than Honeydue.
If you budget for defensive reasons–you really don’t want to overspend – rather than more proactive reasons, PocketGuard can be the right option. PocketGuard simplifies the budgeting process down to a core set of features: linking your bank accounts, earmarking income for bills or other expenditures, and tracking how much you’re spending. PocketGuard works hard to automate as much of the budgeting process as possible and not over-complicate your life, making it a great starting point for those looking to keep their finances in check.
…but maybe you’re a serious adherent to the KISS (keep it simple,stupid) philosophy, and for those of you that are, Fudget is the perfect app for the truly minimalist budgeter. No fancy features, no auto-connection to bank accounts, just a stripped-down “money-in, money-out” digital calculator. Those looking for more guidance or a real, fleshed-out savings plan should almost certainly look elsewhere, but if all you want is a money tracker with no distractions to overwhelm you, Fudget offers exactly what you need and nothing more – just the way you like it.
Hopefully this list gives you a starting point to figure out which budgeting app works best for you – and be patient with yourself if you need to try a few to get a handle on which process resonates with you the most. At Spotloan, our focus on financial literacy is meant to help every one of our clients build towards a more stable future. And if you need a bit of help, our simple online application process can help you qualify for the money you need, even if you have bad credit or need a same-day loan. All you have to do is go fill out our application to see if you qualify, and you could receive a decision within minutes. Fill out our application now!