GOBankingRates

Best Budgeting Apps of 2022

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If you have trouble budgeting your money, you’re not alone. Creating a budget can be overwhelming, and sticking to a budget isn’t easy — especially if it’s your first time working with one.

A budget is an important personal finance tool. It helps you keep track of your money and allows you to create a personal financial plan that works for you.

To help you keep your finances on track, GOBankingRates has identified the best budgeting apps out there. Plus, there’s something for everyone — from college students to seasoned investors.

Best Budgeting Apps

The best budgeting apps offer a range of services and options that give you personal financial assistance at your fingertips.

Best Free Budget App: Mint

There’s a reason Mint has consistently been named the best free budgeting app. First, it’s completely free to use — there’s no paid upgrade. Second, it’s easy to use, making Mint a great app both for personal finance newbies and for in-depth budgeters who like to really track where their money goes.

Make Your Money Work for You

The Mint budgeting app helps you balance your budget by tracking your expenses. It connects to all of your bank accounts and automatically updates whenever you make transactions. You can categorize your budget and receive an alert when you exceed your limit.

Best Zero-Based Budget App: You Need A Budget

You Need A Budget tracks your spending and lets you know how you can pay off your debt, start saving and more. It’s an excellent choice for zero-based budgeting.

Make Your Money Work for You

Visual learners will appreciate the detailed graphs and color-coding, which give a quick glimpse of how much money you’ve spent. The combination of an easy-to-use interface, an impressive learning library and a robust online community make this the best debt app.

Make Your Money Work for You

Best Budget App for College Students: PocketGuard

If YNAB isn’t in your budget, check out PocketGuard. This free budget app offers a simplified budgeting snapshot that will help you organize bills, expenses, subscriptions and set up custom categories. Sync your bank accounts and credit cards to the app, so you’ll know how much cash you have to spend at any time.

Best Budget App for Couples: Goodbudget

By using the old envelope budgeting method, Goodbudget lets you track your envelope and account balances and sync them to multiple devices. You can make envelopes for all your budgeting categories and reserve money in each one based on that category.  

Make Your Money Work for You

You can also save for big purchases, create a workable budget and share budgets with family and friends. With the shared envelope system, this app is the best family budget app or the best budget app for couples.

Best Wealth Management App: Personal Capital

Personal Capital shows you your net worth, assists you in managing your investments and helps you plan for retirement. Use the dashboard to get an overview of your financial life. If you’re an active investor, use the Personal Strategy tool to take stock of your current portfolio.

Make Your Money Work for You

Best Simple Budgeting App: Fudget

If you’re looking for an ultra-simple app that helps you set a calculation-style spending plan without having to worry about syncing accounts, Fudget is a good option. You won’t even have to set up categories — you’ll simply get a list of spending and income to see how much is coming in and going out.

Fudget is free. However, you can upgrade to Fudget Pro for a one-time fee of $3.99 to unlock features such as business and goal categories, fewer ads, Dropbox syncs, exports and more. 

Best Budget Visualization: Monarch

If viewing your financial picture in the form of graphs and charts is important to you, Monarch’s easy-to-use platform may be what you’re looking for. Behind the stunning data visualization, you’ll find Monarch offers plenty of features for the beginner — and more advanced — budgeter.

Make Your Money Work for You

You can sync your credit and bank accounts for automatic updating, set goals, view investments and collaborate with a partner or household member to keep your spending on track.

Advantages of Using Apps

Budgeting apps offer several advantages over manual budgeting methods.

The Benefits

How To Choose a Budgeting App

The best budget app for you is the one you’ll actually use. You may need to try out a few different apps before you find the one with the features you want and need. Here are some tips to help select one.

Other Budgeting Options

A budgeting app isn’t the only way to keep track of your spending. You can create a budget and track your spending manually.

Budgeting templates are also available online. Microsoft Excel has templates available that you can download to a computer. Mint also offers free budget spreadsheets on its website. Alternatively, you can use a notebook or ledger sheet to create your own simplistic or detailed budget.

Choose the budgeting tool that works best for you. Be sure to include the following information:

Make a plan for your money. Perhaps you want to pay down debt or save for a big purchase. Look for places to cut back within your budget and divert that money toward your financial goals.

Review your budget regularly. Few people have the same expenses each month, and for many, it’s not unusual to earn varying amounts of income from month to month. You may have a surprise expense or even a surplus after a raise. Adjust your budget accordingly.

Takeaway

Before you jump into one of the best budgeting apps mentioned in this roundup, the first step to financial health is knowing where you stand. Sync all of your accounts in one place, collaborate and get a shared view with a partner, get personalized advice on how to build financial resilience and make progress towards goals.

FAQ

  • What is the best budgeting app out there?
    • Mint may be the best budgeting app because it's free. However, it has plenty of features, leaving little to be desired.
  • What is the easiest free budget app?
    • Fudget is the easiest free budget app available. There are no categories to set up or syncing to do. Simply enter your spending and income and view your financial status in list form.
  • Is Mint still the best budgeting app?
    • Mint continues to be one of the top budgeting apps due to its robust features and free license.
  • What is the 70-20-10 budget rule?
    • The 70-20-10 budget rule allocates 70% of spending to your household bills. The remainder is divided between savings, 20% of your income, and giving or charity at 10%.

Barri Segal and Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article. 

Information is accurate as of Aug. 15, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.