The Best Budgeting Apps for Your Smartphone

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 16, 2018

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Personal Finance
January 16, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Humans have been tracking their expenses since they invented money. Over the last decade, though, people have had the opportunity to create and follow budgets with smartphone apps instead of relying on spreadsheets or pen and paper.

Using a budget app for your smartphone offers several advantages.

Many budgeting apps can connect to your bank account. Instead of entering your income and expenditures manually, the app will keep track of your money for you.

Smartphone apps also make it possible for you to keep a closer eye on your money. Since you probably carry your smartphone everywhere you go, you can look at your budget at any time.

Smartphone apps can even make it easier for you to understand your budget by showing you graphs. If you ever have a question about whether you’re following your budget properly, you can just open your app and look at a graph.

Of course, not all budgeting apps for smartphones offer the same features. To make the most of your budget, you should consider installing one of these popular apps on your smartphone.

Mint has become one of the most popular budgeting apps, because it comes with so many features. In addition to connecting your bank account, Mint will:

  • Give you customized tips to help you avoid fees from your bank, credit card company and other institutions
  • Show you your credit score so you can track your financial health
  • Let you access your account from any device, including desktop computer.
  • Help you pay bills on time

Mint uses the same encryption standards as banks, so you don’t have to worry that an unauthorized person can access your data.

You can use Mint for free, which will help you save even more money. Since Mint doesn’t charge for its services, though, you will have to tolerate advertisements.

You Need a Budget (YNAB) has a ton of features that can help you set a budget and save money. The app lets you organize your spending by categories like Daily Expenses, Monthly Bills and Rainy Day Funds.

If you have never made a budget before, then you will find YNAB very helpful. The app even lets you watch online classes that will teach you the fundamentals of establishing and following a budget successfully.

You can try YNAB for free for 34 days. After that, it costs $5 per month or $50 per year.

Other budgeting apps that you should explore include Home Budget, Wally and Mvelopes. Each one takes a slightly different approach to budgeting, so it makes sense for you to try several before you decide which one fits your needs perfectly.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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