Learn what the best budgeting apps free are and how they can help you control your finances. Get more savings tips and a free coupon book from Save.
A budget can help you reach your goals in life. When you plan how you’ll spend your money and know what you want to save, you can take actions that align with those objectives.
Some reasons to create a budget include:
With a budgeting app, you can carry your budget with you wherever you take your smartphone. You can access your budget app to remind yourself what you have to spend, so you don’t make purchases that aren’t in your plan.
These budgeting apps free give you an easy way to start a budget. If you really want to get serious about your spending, there are also some paid options that help you take control of your money.
EveryDollar is a free app that uses a “zero-based” budgeting method. It encourages users to focus on what they have to spend and save each month. By the end of the month, the total will reach $0, since every dollar will be allocated to an expense, savings, or donation. The app promotes a hands-on approach where you plan how you’ll spend every dollar every month, which can make you a more conscious spender.
If you opt for the paid premium EveryDollar app, you can sync your bank accounts with the app and track transactions. The paid version also offers custom reports on spending and income.
The free Goodbudget app uses the “envelope budget system” in technology form. Imagine you have a stack of cash to spend. You allocate a certain number of bills into envelopes that each have their own category, like groceries or housing. You can only take money out of the groceries envelope for groceries. The idea is that you won’t borrow from other envelopes, which means you’ll stick to the budget you allocated for each envelope.
Multiple users can sync to the same Goodbudget account. If you and your spouse share a budget, you can use the app to monitor spending all in one place.
In addition to the free forever account option, there’s a paid version that enables more devices to connect to more accounts. The app also tracks budget history, up to one year with the free version, and up to seven years with the paid version.
Mint is a free budget app by Intuit, the company that also offers financial products like TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Credit Karma. It’s the most downloaded personal finance app and includes a custom budget tracker.
With Mint, you can allocate whatever amount of money you’d like to categories like auto and transport, bills and utilities, and child care in the app. You can create whatever custom categories you want and track those in the app, as well. The Mint app connects with your bank account(s). You can create naming and category rules, so as you spend in those categories, you automatically see how much is left in your budget for each one.
You’ll also get a total view of your budget’s spending power and can see if you’ve gone over budget in a certain category. When that happens, Mint can send you a notification. As you track your budget, Mint will alert you about budget recommendations, which might include lowering your budget in one category to better manage your overall spending.
PocketGuard gives you a clear view of your spending power at all times. That’s because the app takes into account how much money you need for upcoming bills and necessities (plus, any savings goals you’re working towards) to show you what you have left for spending today.
The app also works toward helping you save more for your budget. Looking at your typical bills and subscriptions, it provides users with suggestions for saving and cutting down on expenses.
Wally is a free budget app for iOS devices that syncs with your bank accounts and enables you to create specific savings goals. Users get a real-time view of how much money is left to spend in each category. You also get a financial calendar that shows all past and upcoming transactions.
With Wally, you can create groups to share budgets with family or friends. You can sync and track a budget together, which makes this a great choice for people who share a budget.
Wally’s also ideal for users with bank accounts outside of the U.S. The app has the widest global network of bank syncing capabilities, connecting to 15,000 banks in 70 countries. You can track up to 200+ foreign transaction currencies with the app, as well.
YNAB stands for “You Need a Budget” and claims the app helps save the average budgeter $600 in their first two months. The app is free to try for 34 days but costs $11.99 a month or $84 a year after that. For some people, making the monthly investment in a budgeting app is enough to get them to stick to their budget.
The investment may also be worth it if you’re interested in the app’s features, like one-on-one live support, free live financial education classes, and a community to gain insights from. You can input how much money you’re willing to spend on categories like housing, groceries, repairs, savings, and fun. The app also connects to bank accounts, credit card statements, and loans so you can see what you owe and what you have to spend in one simple view.
By following the rules of where you’ve assigned the dollars you have to spend, you can stick to your budget. If you overspend in one category, you can use YNAB to adjust your budget from another category, so you don’t have to take on debt to compensate for the extra spending.
A budget’s essential for any financial strategy. Use one of the free budgeting app options mentioned here for a clear view of your spending power, so you can stay on track.
If you want to add more money to your budget, consider how to increase your saving. Check out lots of ideas for savings tips from Save, including cheap lunch ideas for kids and zero waste gift ideas. Also, sign up for a free Save coupon book to get coupons delivered to your door.