Financial professionals have long suggested creating and maintaining a budget, and given the current state of the economy, it may be more important now than ever. Having a budget is an excellent way to keep track of income and expenses. It can also help identify areas where you may be overspending or may show you areas where you can save money and put it toward something else. Budgeting is also a fantastic way to work toward a saving goal like buying a new car. That said, actually creating a budget can be daunting and sometimes downright difficult. Thankfully, technology can help make budgeting so much easier! If creating a budget using an app sounds like something that might work for you, read on for some great resources.
Best Free Budgeting Apps
Each of these apps syncs with your financial accounts including bank accounts, credit cards, brokerage accounts, and more, and they all help you create a budget. Below we will explore key features and what sets each apart from the others.
Mint: Mint was created by Intuit, the same company behind QuickBooks and Turbo Tax. Key features - categorizes spending, alerts you to unusual spending, keeps track of fees, alerts when you’ve gone over budget, tracks your spending by category, provides an updated credit score, and has a bill pay function to help avoid missed payments. You can learn more about Mint here.
Goodbudget: If you've ever heard of the envelope budgeting method, this app is essentially the digital version. For example, when your paycheck or Social Security check arrives, you can distribute money into different envelopes and see how much is left over. Key features - can be shared by two people and it can help you save for a big purchase. You can learn more about Goodbudget here.
Packet Guard: This app is perhaps the easiest to set up, which is great if you're not very tech savvy. Key features - in addition to tracking your spending, savings, and income, Pocket Guard looks for ways to save you money and find better deals on your expenses such as cell phone or cable bills. You can learn more about Pocket Guard here.