Budgeting can be difficult without the right resources to help you navigate your finances. By taking the time to find a budgeting tool that will help you identify your expenses and establish an appropriate budget, you can achieve both your short and long-term financial goals.
In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the best budget management tools you can use to save money, pay down debt, and improve your overall financial health.
Top 12 Best Tools for Budgeting
What you consider “the best budget management tools” will depend on your specific needs and preferences. But you’ll want to look for a budgeting app or software that’s reasonably priced and user-friendly. You’ll also want one that allows you to track income and expenses to develop better budgeting habits.
With all that said, here are the twelve best budget management tools to consider.
As the name suggests, the Goodbudget app is designed to encourage good budgeting practices. This intuitive app divides your income into distinct spending categories, which gives you a comprehensive view of what you spend and where you can cut costs. Plus, the app works seamlessly with devices like iOS and Android.
The one downside of the app is that you have to track your purchases manually, which can be time-consuming. That said, it is free.
Just like Goodyear, Mint is free. However, this multi-featured app connects with your financial accounts, offers free credit checking, and even alerts you when:
- You have late fees
- Your balance is low
- You have bills due
- Rates suddenly change
However, it can take quite a bit of time to pull all your information to set up your account. Plus, the app may even assign your expenses to the wrong category, which makes it difficult to examine your spending habits. However, it does offer multi-factor authentication for maximum security. The premium version costs $4.99 per month.
3) YNAB (You Need a Budget)
Cost: $14.99 per month
First things first: YNAB is not a free app. While it comes with a 34-day free trial, users must pay $14.99 for a monthly plan. That said, this app follows a zero-based budgeting system—a financial technique where you allocate all of your expenses for needs.
The idea is that your income minus your expenditures equals zero by the end of a period. To do this, YNAB has a built-in alert system notifying you where your income should go so you can spend it appropriately. It can also create customizable budgets, including ones you can share with family members.
Cost: $7.99 per month
PocketGuard was designed to simplify financial tracking, providing consumers with an all-inclusive overview of their finances after expenses and bills. Since you can link your credit/debit card to the app, your purchases will be uploaded automatically into your account, allowing you to oversee all your expenses.
This app allows you to customize your budget and gives you a clear idea of how much you should spend per week, month, and year. The one downside is that you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version to export your transactions and split them into distinct categories.
The premium version will run you $7.99 per month.
If you’re looking for an app that you can share with your partner or spouse, Honeydue may be just what you’re looking for. The app provides an easy way to ensure couples stay on the same page financially.
The great thing about this app is that it features three areas: Two for both partners to see individual transactions and a shared one where you can view any shared transactions.
The shared component allows for greater financial assessments, allowing couples to navigate their finances smoothly. Do you need reminders alerting you of upcoming bills? Honeydue also offers a shared calendar system where couples view how much spending goes into each bill.
As far as data security, Honeydue features software encryption services and multi-factor authentication to ensure consumer data and confidential information remain secure.
Cost: Free or $19.99 per year
Sometimes, simplicity goes a long way in helping consumers develop better budgeting behaviors. In this case, Fudget is the way to go. The app doesn’t have categories or complex designs, which may or may not be appealing to you. You can download it for free on any mobile device and any desktop, including Mac and Windows.
The downside is that if you opt for the free version, you’re limited to 250 budget entries. However, with a yearly membership of $19.99, you receive unlimited entries, real-time budgeting, and exporting capabilities.
7) ROCKET MONEY
Cost: $3-$12 per month
Let’s face it: We all have subscriptions that drain our wallets, leaving us strapped for cash. Rocket Money helps consumers navigate optional expenses, like subscriptions, to make more informed financial decisions. The mobile-based platform organizes all your monthly bills into a single dashboard, allowing you to see where you are overspending.
All you need is to connect your bank account to the app and it will identify subscriptions under recurring bills. If you want to customize household budgets or obtain refunds, you can do this with Rocket Money.
However, these features are only available with a premium membership between $3 and $12. Plus, there’s another catch: For every dollar you save by using the app, the company collects 40% of your savings.
SoFi Insights is a robust app designed to bring all of your accounts together for a seamless view of your balances in real-time. You can link your savings, checking, investment, and retirement accounts under a single viewpoint to get much-needed financial clarity. This means no unwanted financial surprises.
Plus, you can track your credit score and see what’s influencing it at no charge. The app is entirely free to use.
Cost: $12.99 per month
Created by personal finance specialist Dave Ramsey, EveryDollar is compatible with both smartphones and desktop computers. In addition to providing customized spending categories, EveryDollar offers a split transaction feature that can divide your transactions while setting reminders for upcoming bills.
The best part is you receive custom reports and budgeting recommendations based on your spending habits. You can connect multiple bank accounts and sync across multiple devices, but only with the premium feature. You can opt to pay a monthly fee of $12.99 or an annual fee of $79.99.
Cost: $5 per month
Designed as an effortless system for managing expenses, Digit is an automatic savings app that accounts for your bills and spending habits. Once you set up your account, you can have your money automatically transferred to an FDIC-insured bank before it’s distributed to your savings account.
If needed, you can have some of your funds distributed back to your account.
The app relies on personal financial information to determine how much of your funds should go into your savings account, including your balance, incoming paychecks, upcoming bills, and recent expenses.
While users have a 30-day free trial, you’ll be required to pay a $5 monthly fee if you decide to stick with the app after the trial period ends.
Cost: $9.99 per month
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a user-friendly tool where you can test out distinct scenarios to see how they might affect your financial future? If you answered yes, then consider Monarch as your budgeting tool. Users can track spending across multiple accounts, create personalized financial dashboards, and use the built-in collaboration feature.
Monarch rewards customers every time they put money toward their goals with pop-up confetti to incentivize better financial planning. If you have investments, the Monarch app allows you to examine your portfolio across several brokers, which gives users a detailed analysis of their assets.
After the seven-day free trial ends, users can purchase a monthly subscription of $9.99 or pay $89.99 annually.
12) MICROSOFT EXCEL
Cost: $6.99 per month or $139.99 for the perpetual license
While it may not be the most conventional budget-tracking tool, Microsoft Excel provides built-in templates that people can use to create customized budgets. Not to mention you don’t need a subscription or to pay recurring fees to access its innovative functions. You can adjust, organize, categorize, and establish exact estimates.
You can also build columns that categorize your spending habits and use the program’s WORKDAY function to determine your next paycheck date. While Excel may not have automatic alert updates, its functions allow you to gain accurate data.
Take Control of Your Budget with Power Finance Texas
Budgeting is tricky and can leave even the most financially savvy person scratching their heads. With the best budget management tools, you can minimize unnecessary expenses, track your income, and adjust your funds to develop better spending habits. If, after budgeting, you realize you need a personalized loan for future expenses, Power Finance Texas is here to help.
We offer multiple loans, including cash-advance options, to help you and your family navigate financial setbacks. Best of all, there’s no credit score requirement for getting the money you deserve.
Take control of your financial future today. Contact us for more information.