The Best Apps for Budgeting

FT Contributor
A couple checking a receipt at the supermarket while looking at their budget on a smartphone.

Forty-seven percent of Americans have no household savings. In a world where the unexpected emergency can happen at any moment, this is a startling statistic. Whether they don’t have savings because they spend extraneously or they simply don’t have the funds to put away into savings, the fact is that 47% of Americans are at risk of going into debt in the event of an emergency. What’s more, these people are heading into retirement unprepared.

In order to save money by a specific age or enough for things such as emergency funds or retirement money, it’s important to have a budget — and stick to it. Budgeting opens you up to a world of benefits, including saving money, giving you control over your finances, and overall peace of mind. If you’re currently in debt, budgeting can ultimately help you become debt-free.

While some people find creating a personal budget to be overwhelming, there are many budgeting apps that can do it for you. These apps allow budgeting to become an automated part of your life, presenting you with information that’s easy to read. Budgeting apps make it simple to keep track of where you spend your money and how much you could stand to put away into savings.

Discover the best apps for budgeting so that you can get your finances in order

Table of Contents


Mint is a widely known, free budgeting app that allows users to track and manage their money, no matter where it’s stored. From banks to credit card issuers, lenders, and other financial institutions, Mint makes it easy to see where all of your money is.

When it comes to budgeting, Mint automatically assigns a category to every dollar you spend, making it easy for you to analyze where your money is going. Additionally, the app will make recommendations about savings and investment strategies, making it a useful tool for beginners. Other features that the Mint app offer include:

You Need a Budget

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a budgeting app for users of all skill levels. Unlike traditional budgeting apps, YNAB will build out a customized budget based on your personal income. Every dollar in your account is assigned a role within your budget, making it easy for those users who are living on a tight budget or limited income. No dollar is left unassigned, allowing you to gain a better understanding of where your money goes each month.

Individuals or members of a household can use YNAB. Like Mint, you can sync your bank accounts with the app, as well as:

  • Customize your budget.
  • Enter expenses.
  • Factor in debt payoff.
  • Set goals.
  • Track your expenses with ease.


Mvelopes is a budgeting program that mimics envelope budgeting, but instead of putting cash into different envelopes to signify your spending categories, the envelopes are digital. Mvelopes allows you to budget within each category, creating a digital budget flow of your debit and credit spending.

Unlike some other budgeting apps, there is a fee to use Mvelopes. The app allows you to connect an unlimited number of accounts, as well as other features such as real-time budgeting, cash-style budgets without having to withdraw funds, and the ability to create a plan for every dollar.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is an investment service, but it also has features that are helpful for those looking to track their spending with a budget. The app allows you to monitor your accounts, including checking, savings, and credit cards. Because it is an investment app, you can also keep track of your financial wealth in IRAs, 401(k)s, mortgages, and other types of loans.

Personal Capital makes it easy for users to get an accurate view of their net worth and create a strategic plan for retirement. There are also resources so that beginners can gain insight into the world of investing. Additionally, the app can help users uncover hidden fees they may not have realized they were being charged, increasing overall savings.


PocketGuard is an app that prevents you from overspending. This budgeting app unites all of your accounts in one place to make it easy to maintain where you’re spending money throughout any given month.

In addition to monitoring your spending, PocketGuard allows you to track your earnings, assigning money to your bills and everyday expenses, as well as your savings account. The app’s budgeting feature allows you to find opportunities where you can save more.

In addition to all of this, PocketGuard will monitor your recurring bills and help you find better deals on monthly services such as phone, television, and internet-related expenses.


Wally is a budgeting app that allows you to track your income and expenses, providing users with a snapshot of their remaining funds so that they won’t overspend. The app is free to use and popular internationally, as it supports a number of foreign currencies.  


GoodBudget is an ideal budgeting app for couples looking to maintain their finances in one place. Like Mvelopes, GoodBudget observes the envelope method of budgeting, assigning every dollar to a spending category. Each transaction can be described in detail and broken down into multiple categories, giving the user a snapshot of what’s leftover in their budget to spend on miscellaneous purchases or put into savings.

Take control of your finances, plan for retirement, and start saving money with help from these budgeting apps.

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