Lifestyle

Best Budgeting Apps For 2021: Top 8 Free and Paid Recommendations

Dealing with budget or financial distribution is part of maintaining our daily lives. If you want to have a precise budget plan, then we have some apps to recommend. There are so many useful and popular budget apps for present and future planning. You can instantly get access from anywhere at any time and do the financial tracking. Our review is going to describe a series of the best budgeting apps in the current market.

If you already know about budget planning, our review is the perfect place to dive in. It is pretty hard to maintain all the income recording and expense tracking. You may even forget about some emergency payoffs or savings. In most cases, people try to do them manually using a note. But, it is hard to update those notes.

Nowadays, the best solution for budget planning is using popular budget apps. You can add any financial account with the app. It will automatically track down every single value on income and expense and calculate them. No detail will be out of your hands. Easy to operate, edit and update. Thus, the importance of budgeting apps is evident.

Why Budgeting Apps?

As you know, a budget means calculating all the income and expenses and maintaining a proper distribution of them. If you have bills to pay, then do it right on time. If you have any necessary expenses, then do it with efficiency. No extra spending should be done. At the same time, you need to understand the income sources and overall values. Analyzing and optimizing the income and expenses are called budget planning.

In the past, people did these things manually. But, we don’t keep our money or other values by keeping it in our pockets. We have a digital wallet, card, and bank accounts to manage them. You can easily add those financial accounts to a budget app. It will automatically track each record and provide you analytical reports on them. Even more, it will notify your bills and payments to complete the expenses right on time.

Thus, the use of budgeting apps has gone pretty high. Besides, a lot of trendy apps are within your grasp. Most of them are even free to access. Just download them to your device and start using them. Create a personal database and keep the data. Later, do automatic calculations and figure out your perfect planning to save more bucks.

The 8 Best Budgeting Apps in 2021

As you already know about the necessity of budgeting apps, it is time to explore some of them. Our thoughtful and researched review contains 8 of the best budgeting apps you can get. Each one is helpful from a different aspect. Not to mention, they also have categories depending on your need.

A regular person’s planning and a commercial person’s planning will not be the same. So, you need to explore those top budgeting apps to understand what they offer and if they satisfy your needs. We will describe each app from a user’s perspective. You can easily compare and understand the benefits. Let’s jump into the recommendations and discussion.

Mint: Best Overall

As there are many paid services, if you want to try budget planning for free, then Mint is the right choice. Aside from the free access, it has tons of features to try. First of all, it is easy to use. Anyone can use this app and do all sorts of budgeting works easily. In simple terms, it is a hassle-free budget app. You can easily connect all the accounts you have. The app will automatically track your income and spending. In terms of features, it allows you to do all the regular works like counting income, tracking expenses, and similar things.

On top of that, you can always track the credit along with bills. Indeed, this is what every beginner wants from a budget app. Suppose you want to put a financial goal and track everything around it. In that case, Mint is the best budget app for beginners without any argument. On top of that, the free access makes it even more appealing. So, why not try it out today? Let’s learn a bit more about its and weak points.

Why Choose It?

The very first reason for the recommendation is the free access. If someone has a tight budget to maintain daily things, paying for an app will be even harder. Mint gives you free service to get things done. Moreover, it has a vast user base that reaches more than 25 million marks. So, you are not alone to try it out.

Along with standard calculation, you can do continuous tracking for the best performance. Just connect your bank or financial accounts with the app. It will do the job automatically.

Pros

  • Allow free access
  • Easy to use
  • Suits beginner budget planners
  • Beautiful interface
  • Easy credit tracking
  • Financial goal selection

Cons

  • Requires advertisement
  • Expense addition features need improvement
  • Categorization needs better improvement

You Need a Budget (YNAB): Best Free Budgeting App

YNAB is known as You Need a Budget. As the name says, it is a dedicated app for advanced budget plans. Indeed, the app is not free, but there is a 34 days trial period. It has a decent charge that is $11.99/month.

Although, there is a yearly plan as well that costs $84. So, you can expect a lot of features, and that is what this app provides. This app allows you to do all the income and expense tracking. Moreover, you can set up a goal and get the necessary assistance to achieve that. Even more, you can get regular reports on the tracking progress. Few extra features like improved customer support and data security are there. After adding the account, it will give your financial report and offer proper suggestions to improve it.

Why Choose It?

This budgeting app is not like any cheap option. If you want to spend a few bucks, then it has the full features. Even though the budgeting options are similar, they have more depth into the program. You can manage every little thing and categorize them separately.

It offers a promise with its innovative budgeting system that can save you up to $6000 in the very first year. Moreover, you can add a bank account to get direct information on your financial status. Because of that, there is secured data protection.

Pros

  • Great feature collection
  • In-depth report analysis
  • Multiple category selection
  • Reserve goal system
  • Complete set of budget design
  • 34 days trial
  • Suitable for professional planning
  • Discount offer for a yearly subscription

Cons

  • Most expensive budget apps on our list
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Hard to understand the working process
  • Some sync issues may happen

PocketGuard: Best for Over Spenders

Pocketguard is a versatile budget app that you will love to use for daily plans. It has both free and paid services. Moreover, you can also get a trial to test its performance. You can easily connect all the financial accounts and sync them. The overview tab lets you keep an eye on them pretty quickly. Its bill tracking page makes sure to remind you so that no payment gets left.

Moreover, the tracking goes the same with debt or any other payment. With the overall tracking on income and expense, this app allows you to do fundamental things like income collection, expense tracking, reserve tracking, and so on. You can quickly get an overall understanding of your money and potential savings.

Why Choose It?

It has something obvious that does not come with our previous picks. Unlike them, it has both free and paid services. You can go with regular planning features and more with extra bucks. The choice is up to you. Later, it is quite easy to use, unlike YNAB. With a simple tracking design and improved algorithm, this budget app is perfect for beginners and professionals. Surprisingly, this app is rather cool with an eye-catching interface.

Pros

  • Beautiful interface design
  • All the necessary features are there
  • Easy to sync with bank accounts
  • Great algorithm to track all the financial information
  • Multiple subscription plans
  • Free access is available

Cons

  • It does not have any major issues. Some technical issues may happen.

Zeta: Best for Couples

Most budget apps are suitable for single users. But, Zeta is the best budget app for couples. It has the Join Account feature. This simple yet amazing feature allows you to track and manage family finance. It does not mean that both husband and wife have to earn. If you want to manage the earning and expenses from both parties, it is the right choice.

A successful family needs such an amazing budget plan option. Even more, if you are newly married or living together, it will help to understand your potential lifestyle. This app also has interesting features like the challenge. Amazingly, it helps you to understand how financial planning works and the ideas around it.

Besides, the app is completely free. A couple can easily sync their bank accounts and track the information. Not only does it build trust, but it also improves the couple’s communication. Overall, Zeta helps you to aim for a stable family condition without any financial disturbance.

Why Choose It?

It is especially for couples to optimize joint finance. In simple terms, Zeta is the perfect app for family financial planning. You can easily add joint bank accounts. Moreover, you can easily calculate and analyze the income, expense, and financial target. On top of that, it is completely free. You can get easy reminders, bill pay, and other similar stuff. If you are looking to cooperate with your partner, it is the best budget app for sure.

Pros

  • Perfect for any couple
  • Suitable for a family budget plan
  • Easy to sync bank accounts
  • Amazing tracking algorithm and analyze
  • Decent reminding and saving goal
  • Free access without any paid subscription
  • Challenge goal for better understanding

Cons

  • It does not have any major issue without advertisements

Simplify by Quicken: Best for Cash Flow

This budgeting app is not so different from most of the apps we have seen so far. Although, there is an amazing feature that allows you to limit the expenses. If you have sloppy hands that spend a lot, then it is the perfect app. You can easily restrict yourself and get notified when the spendings reach a maximum limit.

Else, the app has everything that you can expect from common budgeting apps. All you need to do is connect the bank account and sync with the app. The app will automatically track all of your income and expenses. You will get important notifications like bills or additional payments. One downside is that the app has no free access. Although, it doesn’t cost much. Only $2.99 for an annual bill of $35.99. The single-month purchase will cost $3.99.

Budgeting App

Why Choose It?

This app has a pretty detailed income and expense management system. Even though you need to pay, the cost is not that much. On top of that, you will get a 30 days trial access. Besides, it has an exclusive saving system. If you want to restrict spending to a certain limit, then this app is your best reminder.

Pros

  • 30-days trial period
  • Great for achieving a personal budget goal
  • Exclusive watchlist
  • Expense restriction
  • Easy to connect with bank accounts
  • Decent performance to track everything
  • Great reminder

Cons

  • No free access. It costs a subscription plan.
  • Many free alternatives
  • Overall performance is similar to alternatives

Personal Capital: Best for Building Wealth

Personal Capital is another one of the best budgeting apps on our list. When most budget apps only focus on your current financial situation, it aims for the future. Not only can you manage the recent income and expenses but also a saving plan for the future. In simple terms, it gives you the analytic data to determine your saving amount during the retirement period.

The regular savings and potential future value make it easier for you to calculate the savings after retirement. If you have certain future planning, then this is the best app to focus on that goal. On top of that, this app does not cost anything. Everything is out of charge. So, you are getting a decent app for retirement saving for free.

Why Choose It?

First of all, it is a free app. You don’t have to spend any extra bucks on its service. It is especially perfect among the best apps for long-term budgets. If you have a certain goal for retirement, then this app will help you the most. It has all the other expense and income tracking services to create a complete budget plan
Pros

  • Free access
  • Amazing bank account sync
  • Monitor all accounts together
  • Perfect for planning regular and retirement budget
  • Suitable for any long term budget planning
  • Great tracking and analysis

Cons

  • No manual options
  • Different wealth management services are connected to the app
  • More focused on long term plannings than short term budgets

Wally: Best for Beginners

Wally is most suitable if you want to spend some bucks on the budgeting app. Even though it is attractive, the subscription charge makes it a bit complicated. Certainly, you have multiple options for free. The app is pretty famous for its broad recommendation and Security. You don’t have to worry about the bank and other personal information.

Just sync all the accounts into one place and start targeting a financial goal. It has a pretty deep feature combination to optimize your financial condition. Not to mention, you can budget for couple or family planning as well. The join account addition makes it possible.

Why Choose It?

Wally is the best app for a beginner who wants to spend a few bucks as it costs $24.99 per year. The app offers a lot of direction and support to understand a budget plan. You can look into your income and expenses with a potential saving structure. It will help you to grasp the possible goal achievement. You can use it for both personal and family budget planning.

Pros

  • Great app design
  • The subscription cost is very low
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Join account addition
  • Huge support and guidelines
  • Suitable for personal and family budget planning
  • Easy to track all the income and expenses
  • Great information security

Cons

  • No free version
  • Many free alternatives are available
  • Features are limited comparing the free budget apps

Goodbudget: Best for Couples

As we have already seen a few top budgeting apps for a couple, this one is unique. While those apps have an automatic working style, this one is a bit manual. It is more like a budget communication app.

Goodbudget allows you to share the plan and financial detail with each other. It is perfect for couples to start their budgeting plans for a long-term goal. It also has few drawbacks like no bank account sync. Besides, you need to pay a subscription charge that can go from $0-$6 for each month. That is a bit costly. In that case, Zeta is a more advanced option for a couple of budgets.

Why Choose It?

Even though Zeta is a better alternative to Goodbudget, it has a unique feature combination. If you want to communicate with your partner on a more frequent basis, then it is perfect. You can’t sync bank accounts but share details and planning ideas. Not to mention the calculation and other stuff are sharable as well. It is perfect if you have multiple budget plans at the same time.

Pros

  • Great for a couple with a cooperative connection
  • Suitable for manual and frequent communication
  • Easy to share detail and build a budget plan
  • Multiple device sync
  • Free digital envelope

Cons

  • No free access
  • No bank account sync
  • Hard to analyze the financial figures automatically

Are These Budgeting Apps Trustworthy to Use?
Most of these apps have different levels of security to protect user information. Furthermore, it is necessary as the budgeting apps require bank and other financial account information. In most cases, the apps have different encryption designs to secure the information on the highest level. As expected, the users don’t have that much of a complaint except for some connection issues. You can trust the apps and their Security.

Related Guide: How To Budget Like A Pro?

Frequently Asked Question About Budgeting Apps

As you have learned about the best budgeting apps, it is essential to learn something more. Usually, beginner users have a lot of questions. If you want to start using these apps, learning and understanding different things are necessary. So, we are going to answer some of the most important and asked questions.

What is a Budgeting App?

For a better financial condition, you need to balance between income and spendings. Thus, it is necessary to optimize the overall expenses. The more efficiently you can do, the more savings you can achieve. But, doing those things manually is pretty troublesome. So, you can use apps to connect bank accounts directly. You can even try personal notes to calculate them. Overall, a budget app helps you do the income and expense calculation more efficiently with improved financial tracking.

What Can a Budgeting App Do for You?

As you know, doing manual tracking for financial records is a bit tough. You may even miss some important information. In that case, a budget app will help you for sure. Indeed, this will automatically track all your expenses and incomes from the added bank or credential accounts. You can even do joint calculations for family budget planning. You can even get reports on them. Moreover, you can even set up a saving goal, and the app will use reminder services to help you out. Overall, a budget app allows you to understand and track all the financial matters.

Related Topic: Best Mobile Banking Apps

How Much Does a Budgeting App Cost?

Budgeting apps’ cost variations are pretty simple. There are all three types of subscription plans. Free access, trial access, and paid service. Usually, most budgeting apps are free. As for the paid services, they do come with a trial period.

Should You Pay for a Budgeting App?

In some cases, paid budgeting apps offer better Security and few unique features. But, it is not the case for all apps. Most budgeting apps are free and perform pretty well. So, you don’t necessarily have to spend on the budgeting apps. Our recommendation list has the best eight budgeting apps. The free ones from the list are quite amazing. Try any of them as you like.

Related Topic: Mobile Banking Apps Security

What Features Should I Look for in a Budgeting App?

There are many features in budgeting apps. Some of them have a significant influence over the performance, and some of them are quite negligible. In case of significant effects, we will mention a few of them.

  • Subscription charge
  • Bank account sync & Security
  • Interface design
  • User-friendly
  • Tracking efficiency
  • Reminder
  • User support

Consider if you want free or paid access. Most free budgeting apps are more than good enough. Later, you need to consider the bank account sync for better tracking. Security encryption is also essential to secure personal information. As for the interface, a simple interface helps the user to get everything under control. It also improves tracking efficiency and overall performance.

Then, we have the reminder that will help you with the goal or any bill alert. It helps you to remember any significant expense to avoid delay costs. Although, all these things become more manageable if the app provides enough customer support. Some apps are complicated, so external support helps to use the app better.

Our Methodology

Methodology indicates our process or idea to determine the best budgeting apps. Here, we carefully select each app depending on its unique feature and suitability. Every app is not suitable for every work. While some apps are good for personal usage, some apps are good for couple or family plans. We categorized each app from its best performance. You can easily understand which app is most suitable for what purpose. We have given the best name suitable for the apps. Trust our research and try the apps as you see fit. Every budget app is either free or comes with a trial period.

The Bottom Line

So, how is your budget planning going on? If you can’t keep up with all the details, then it is time to try the apps. They are the best budgeting tools you can hope for. We have a list of the best budgeting apps. Precisely, there are 8 of them. All of them have enough features to help you with your busy life. All you need to add the bank account to the apps. The rest of the works are pretty simple. They will track all your income and expenses. In addition, you will get many types of alerts and reminders.

Even more, you can select a financial goal and aim for it. The apps will help you to be on track by providing a financial update. If you are married or hoping to get married soon, then try the budgeting apps for couples. Surely, it will build better communication and overall trust. In the end, a budget app is a necessary tool to optimize your financial condition for present and future goals.

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Leonel Escobedo

Leonel Escobedo is a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in hotel management. He pursued his master’s degree in 2010, and he emerges as the top student in his class. Leonel had shown a great passion for writing about travel and lifestyle. He never had the interest to pursue work as a manager in any company. Leonel started writing in 2011, and his eBooks and contents are famous in education sites like the Magazine and Huff post. He is an award-winning writer who never disappoints when it comes to reviewing wellness and lifestyle.

His passion is not only limited to writing. Leonel focuses so much on changing the lives of people. He actively participates in self-help groups that focus on dietary disorders. Escobedo teaches people about the importance of routine exercises as a way to build better fitness. He also has a sense of fashion, and many men follow his timely content about the fashion trends.

Escobedo is a real inspiration for young writers. He confirms to many young talents that are not always about the career, but rather the passion that defines the success. He does not regret not seeking employment since he believes educating people through writing is the most fulfilling work.

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