Most people recognize that budgeting is important, but maintaining a budget can be difficult. It’s easy to overspend on a credit card and neglect your savings, especially if you don’t have the right tools.
If you’ve struggled with how to manage your money in the past, you might think budgeting isn’t for you. But everyone, regardless of their income and goals, needs a budget. Luckily, there are many helpful budgeting apps that make it fun to plan and track spending. Choose the right one for your individual needs, and you’ll be more likely to succeed at maintaining your budget.
Featured budgeting apps see comparison
The 11 best budgeting apps
- Truebill - Best for cutting your bills
- Digit - Best for automating your savings
- Simplifi - Best for user-friendly budgeting
- Wally - Best for family budgeting
- Mvelopes - Best for envelope budgeting enthusiasts
- Clarity Money - Best for all-in-one budgeting
- Mint - Best for tracking your credit score
- Personal Capital - Best for budgeting and investment tracking
- PocketGuard - Best for quick spending insights
- EveryDollar - Best for building a budget quickly
- YNAB (You Need a Budget) - Best for cross-platform budgeting
Compare budgeting apps
|Cutting your bills Visit Truebill||Automating your savings Visit Digit||User-friendly budgeting Visit Simplifi||Family budgeting Visit Wally||Envelope budgeting enthusiasts Visit Mvelopes||All-in-one budgeting Visit Clarity Money||Automating your savings Visit Mint||Budgeting and investment tracking Visit Personal Capital||Quick spending insights Visit PocketGuard||Building a budget quickly Visit EveryDollar||Cross-platform budgeting Visit YNAB|
Truebill cancels unused subscriptions and negotiates bills on your behalf, making the process simple.
Digit analyzes your spending and bills to determine how much to save on your behalf.
Simplifi gives you a snapshot of all your accounts in one place.
Wally allows you to set group budgets and sync information about all your accounts.
Mvelopes users have saved thousands of dollars by allocating funds to different categories.
Clarity Money helps you track your spending, trim your bills, and even save directly through the app.
Mint provides free credit score access along with a suite of budgeting tools.
Track your retirement account, net worth, and investments in one place with Personal Capital.
PocketGuard shows you how much available cash you have, along with your upcoming bills, in one glance.
You can create a budget with EveryDollar in less than 10 minutes.
When you sign up for YNAB, you’ll get access to the web app, along with YNAB for iPhone, Android, iPad, Apple Watch, and Alexa.
Truebill: Best for cutting your bills
- Cutting Bills
- 100% Free
- Android & iOS
If you’re looking for an easy way to lower your bills, try letting Truebill do the work for you. Since the company was founded in 2016, Truebill has saved users a collective $14 million. The app saves users hundreds of dollars per year on average by canceling unwanted subscriptions, negotiating recurring bills with providers, and securing refunds on certain fees. The app also allows you to track your spending, connect your bank accounts, and automate your savings.
Truebill is free to download and use. The company makes money by taking a portion of your savings after their expert team works to reduce costs on your behalf. Truebill takes 40% of the amount saved as its cut. But if it can’t lower your bills, you pay nothing, so you’ve got nothing to lose by signing up.
To get started, sign up and download the app. Next, connect your bank accounts and either snap photos of your monthly bills or log into your accounts with each provider. Once Truebill’s team gets you a discount or refund, it’ll email you to let you know.
Digit: Best for automating your savings
If you struggle with understanding how to save money while still covering your expenses, consider taking advantage of technology to automate your savings. Digit is designed to help you do just that. Founded in 2013, the app helps users save an average of $2,200 per year.
Digit analyzes your spending patterns and upcoming bills to determine the appropriate amount to set aside in savings each day. The money is held within FDIC-insured banks. Although not a high-yield account, Digit does reward you with a .5% savings bonus every 90 days. And the money is more accessible than if it were in a savings account; you get unlimited withdrawals, and can even access the money instantly for a 99-cent fee.
You can set unlimited savings goals with Digit, from making a large purchase to building an emergency fund. You also get overdraft protection and fee reimbursement, so you never have to worry that Digit’s algorithm will end up taking too much out of your checking account.
All of that comes with just a $5 per month membership fee after a 30-day free trial. Digit is a unique way to maximize your savings without thinking much about it.
Simplifi: Best for user-friendly budgeting
Simplifi is a new tool created by money management software company Quicken. Although the Quicken app gives users a high level of control over their financial planning, Simplifi is designed to be, well, simpler. The app has a gorgeous, interactive interface that lets you get an immediate picture of your overall financial health. You’ll be able to connect your bank accounts, credit card accounts, loans, and investments in order to track your progress toward your financial goals.
Simplifi allows you to connect to more than 14,000 financial institutions to get a clear picture of your finances in one place. Plus, it automatically categorizes your expenses so you can easily track where your money goes. This will help you identify any unnecessary expenses, including unused subscriptions. From there, you can set up custom limits for each category to help prevent you from overspending. You’ll also be able to establish and track your savings goals from the app.
Simplifi offers a 30-day free trial to ensure you’re happy with the tool. After that, the cost is just $3.99 per month, or $2.99 per month when billed annually. That’s a relatively low fee for a tool that was named the best budgeting app by the New York Times.
Wally: Best for family budgeting
Founded by two brothers in 2013, Wally has amassed millions of users around the globe. It has been recommended more than 150 times by popular publications and personal finance gurus. As with many of the other apps on our list, you can use Wally to connect all your accounts and get an overview of your finances in one place. But it also gives you a higher level of control than some other apps, letting you budget specifically by category.
Not only that, but Wally makes it easy to collaborate on a shared budget. Its syncing feature offers a high-level view of multiple account balances so everyone in your family (or household) is aware of each other’s spending and can work together to achieve goals. You’ll even be able to schedule bill reminders, upload important documents like lease agreements, and save receipts and warranties.
The best part about Wally is that it’s free to use. You can get a lifetime membership to Wally Gold for just $19.99 (as of September 2020), which comes with some additional features. But you won’t need it to access most of the app’s capabilities, including shared budgets. Most users will find that the free version of the app is sufficient for their needs.
Mvelopes: Best for envelope budgeting enthusiasts
In the world of budgeting, the envelope system gives you a high level of control over where your money goes. You plan for spending in every category. Traditionally, this is a cash-based system that involves placing cash in an envelope for each spending category. But if you want to keep your money safe in the bank and use credit cards to earn rewards, you’ll need a tool that helps you set up the system digitally. That’s where Mvelopes comes in.
A product of Finicity Corp, a company founded in 1999, Mvelopes has helped more than 500,000 people get control of their finances. The average user has paid off a whopping $17,425 in debt and has accumulated $6,175 in savings. The basic version of Mvelopes lets you sync unlimited financial accounts and create unlimited envelopes to give every dollar a job. You’ll be able to use the service to track your transactions in real-time, on the web, or on your smartphone.
Mvelopes Premier comes with some additional resources, including a customized plan to pay down your debt. And Mvelopes Plus gets you guidance from a personal finance trainer every three months in addition to startup support. This is the only budgeting app on our list to offer this type of one-on-one help, so if you need a lot of support, it might be the right choice for you.
You can try any plan free for 60 days. After that, pricing is as follows:
|Plan||Price per month||Price per year|
Clarity Money: Best for all-in-one budgeting
Clarity Money is a free app from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, a financial firm that has been around since 1869. It’s a great option for users who want to rely on just one digital tool for the majority of their financial needs. The app allows you to link all your financial accounts for an overview of your finances. It features powerful spending tracking tools, including automatic categorization of your transactions, an overview of your income and expenses, and the capability to view transactions by retailer or time of day.
And the savings features are robust. Clarity Money is the only budgeting app that lets you open a Marcus online savings account directly from the app. There’s no minimum deposit, no fees to worry about, and your money is FDIC-insured. Plus, you’ll be able to set savings goals and automate your savings directly from the app.
Clarity Money also identifies your recurring expenses to help you cut down on unnecessary bills and easily cancel unwanted subscriptions. There’s even a budget planner that helps you set limits for spending categories based on your expense history, and you’ll be able to check your credit score for free directly from the app. Plus, it’s 100% free to use.
Mint: Best for tracking your credit score
If improving your credit is one of your financial goals, you may want a budgeting app that allows you to regularly check your credit score. Mint shows you your credit score right away when you sign up and explains the factors impacting your credit rating. Credit monitoring is available from Mint as well, so you can receive alerts when Transunion picks up new credit information.
Aside from viewing your credit score, you can use Mint to achieve most of your financial goals, and the app is free to use. You can track all your bills in one place, get reminders about due dates, and even be alerted when your funds are low. Mint also comes with a budget tracker that helps you set up a budget based on your expenses, which Mint categorizes automatically. You can even add tags for custom organization or split transactions into categories.
Mint was founded in 2006 and was acquired by Intuit, a financial management solutions company, in 2009. By 2016, Mint had 20 million users, with more signups each day. Mint is popular because it’s one of the few budgeting apps to offer a full suite of features for free.
Personal Capital: Best for budgeting and investment tracking
Founded in 2009, Personal Capital is one of the best investment apps and budgeting apps designed to help its users grow their net worth. The app’s financial tools are free to use. You can link your accounts to get an overview of your finances, including your investment accounts. You’ll also be able to build and manage a savings and retirement plan directly from the app and receive insights on your investment portfolio. Personal Capital will also analyze any hidden fees associated with your retirement accounts and give you instructions on how to minimize them.
Personal Capital’s wealth management features, on the other hand, are for paying customers with a minimum of $100,000 in investment assets. With that, you get unlimited financial advice and a professionally managed ETF portfolio. If you have more than $200,000 in investment assets, you’ll also get two dedicated financial advisors and a customized portfolio. Customers with more than $1 million in investment assets are considered private clients and receive priority access and in-depth support.
PocketGuard: Best for quick spending insights
Some people prefer to spend as little time as possible budgeting, either because they use a more flexible budgeting style or get stressed out thinking about money. If that sounds like you, you might want to start with an app that gives you a quick overview of your finances.
Founded in 2015, PocketGuard is a budgeting app that makes it easy to track your spending and lower your bills. As with most of the apps on our list, you’ll be able to link your financial accounts. You can quickly glance at the app to see how much available cash you have before you spend. And a further look will show you your categorized transactions, which you can customize with hashtags.
PocketGuard has a “Find Savings” tab that can also help with negotiating your telecommunications bills, canceling unused subscriptions, and even improving your credit score or paying off debt. And for those who struggle to save for the future, PocketGuard makes it easy: Simply set savings goals, and turn on autosave to let PocketGuard do the work for you.
Many of the features of PocketGuard are free to use. However, you get some nice additional perks with PocketGuard Plus, including:
- Create your own categories
- Export transaction data
- Create unlimited goals
- Manage cash and ATM deposits/withdrawals
- Use autosave
- Split transactions into categories
PocketGuard Plus is $3.99 per month or $34.99 per year when billed annually.
EveryDollar: Best for building a budget quickly
If you’re overwhelmed by your finances, your best move could be to get up and running quickly with a budget. EveryDollar promises to help you create your first budget in less than 10 minutes. Launched in 2015 by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey, the app amassed its first 1 million users in just 10 months.
EveryDollar is simple to use. You add your income, plan your expenses by category, and then track your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. This information will be synced across devices.
The key difference between the free version of EveryDollar and EveryDollar Plus is that the free version doesn’t allow you to link your financial accounts; instead, you enter your transactions manually. Although this might seem like an inconvenience, it can be extremely helpful for people who need to pay more attention to their money. Then again, if you want the added feature of seeing your accounts in one place, you’ll need to purchase EveryDollar Plus for $99/year.
YNAB: Best for cross-platform budgeting
If you want to budget on your iPad or tell Alexa to budget for you, You Need a Budget (YNAB) is probably a good choice for you. Few budgeting apps come with such extensive cross-platform support.
YNAB launched in 2004, and many people now swear by it. The app has a dedicated following on Reddit, a YouTube channel, and a Facebook fan page. And it’s no wonder people are obsessed: YNAB reports that new budgeters using the app save $600 their first month and $6,000 their first year on average.
YNAB is one of the pricier apps ($11.99 per month or $84 billed annually), but you can try it free for 34 days. And you get a ton of budgeting features included in the cost. You can share your budget with a partner, set savings goals, and access charts and graphs that help you monitor your progress.
YNAB identifies itself as a proactive system, meaning you’ll do a lot of categorization and tracking manually. But YNAB makes it quick and easy, unlike a traditional budgeting spreadsheet, which can get out-of-date quickly. And you’ll achieve a higher level of control when using YNAB than when allowing apps to make spending and savings decisions for you.
Best of all, YNAB is available for desktop, iPhone, Android, iPad, Apple Watch, and Alexa.
To develop our list of the best budget apps, we looked at 11 popular apps and evaluated them according to a set of criteria we consider critical to the consumer, including product features, product interfaces, pricing, and ease of use. We did not evaluate all companies in the category. We used editorial judgment to determine what use or type of user each budgeting app is best for.
What are the best free budgeting apps?
Mint by Intuit is often regarded as one of the best free budgeting apps. It offers a full suite of budgeting tools plus credit score access for free. However, other free budgeting apps are available if you don't feel Mint isn't the right one for your money. Clarity Money and Personal Capital offer free all-in-one budgeting, and Truebill, Wally, Pocketguard, and EveryDollar offer free versions or certain features at no cost.
Are budgeting apps safe?
Many budgeting apps offer helpful security features to protect their users, such as bank-level security features and multi-factor authentication. For instance, Digit offers 256-bit encryption to secure its user data, which is the same level of security used by government entities and the military.
Do budgeting apps really work?
Budgeting apps can work well to help you manage your money, but in order to get the most benefit from them, it makes sense to keep using them over time. If you are committed to improving your finances, the right budgeting app can help you understand your spending habits and where your money is going each month, where you can potentially cut costs, and how you could build your savings account. As with anything else, the more you use the app or budgeting tool, the better your results are likely to be over the long term.