When it comes to creating a budget, we’ve all heard the advice: ‘Spend less than you earn’, ‘leave room for surprises’, and ‘pay off your debt first.’ Problem is, when it comes time to apply these money tips, we still seem to fall short.
In fact, almost 1 in 6 Canadians say their monthly spending exceeds their income, and 1 in 4 borrows money just to buy food or pay for daily expenses.
The good news is, given the right tools, you can turn your budgeting fails into budgeting success. Budgeting apps are an effective way to keep track of your spending and get you on the right track towards saving money. Read on to find out the best money saving apps you should try, so you can start pushing your finances in the right direction.
It would be tough to create a list of the best budgeting and money saving apps without including Mint. Mint is a free budgeting app that uncovers opportunities to save money. It allows you to see where your money goes and keep your spending on track with customizable budgets.
Even better, the Mint app is optimized for mobile use, but if you feel more comfortable using a desktop, there’s also a web browser version.
Mint helps you reach your goals with:
- Custom budgets
- Personalized insights
- Spend tracking, and
- Subscription monitoring.
You’d be surprised how quickly those small transactions add up and the impact Mint’s painless suggestions can make on your financial goals.
2. Simplifi by Quicken
A new kid on the budgeting apps block, Simplifi packs a punch with some unique features that you don’t usually see. Simplifi takes your bills and savings goals into account and offers a personalized spending plan. This gives you a real-time dollar figure of what you have left to spend or save for the month.
Its watchlist feature is also a gamechanger. You can monitor potentially problematic spending categories, such as “dining and drinks” and place limits to help you stay on track.
Founded in 2015 in Montreal, Welthica is an app that lets you keep all of your investment information in one place and track your progress towards financial and retirement goals. You can create groups with family members and generate both a personal and family balance sheet. Those with complex financial portfolios will find this free investment tool to be a real competitive differentiator.
The fee analyzer feature scans any of your linked investment accounts for particularly high or hidden fees. If you’re particularly savvy, you can export your consolidated data and build your own enhanced reports.
Known for being incredibly easy to set up, PocketGuard is all about simplicity while giving you the ability to curb spending. The dashboard allows you to track your spending, monitor balances across multiple accounts, and set up bill payment notifications and spending alerts. Users will receive a weekly report that breaks down their top spending categories and shows how they’re tracking towards set budgets.
The free version of the app can help you identify unwanted subscriptions and can help you save on recurring monthly bills. Committed budgeters can opt to upgrade to PocketGuard Plus, where you’ll be able to automate some of these features. Plus, you’ll get the ability to create spending categories, split transactions, and keep track of any cash you spend or receive.
Were you ever a fan of the envelope method of budgeting? This is where you divide up your income into separate envelopes for different spending categories.
Goodbudget is built on this concept. The app comes with ten regular envelopes and ten annual envelopes, along with the ability to sync across two devices. Users can upgrade to Goodbudget Plus for unlimited envelopes and syncs across five devices. Goodbudget is also a great option for couples or families, as it can sync across iPhone, Android, and web-based devices.
There are no integrations with financial institutions, so each purchase must be entered manually. This can be seen as a positive, however, especially if you’re conscious about data-sharing and privacy.
Looking for an easy-to-use app without the need to invest in a lengthy setup? EveryDollar is all about simple steps that can make a big impact on your financial wellbeing.
Users just have to enter the total income for a period, and the app will automatically calculate all expenses based on this information. EveryDollar’s step-by-step wizard will guide you through creating a budget and help create a realistic spending plan.
Couples keen to take control of their spending should look no further than Honeydue. This is a detailed budgeting planner with a joint banking option for modern couples. The app lets users select their income and spending categories and track their current balances against those categories.
Each month, the estimated amount to save or spend during that time frame will be shown. Couples can then plan for the upcoming months using the budget planner. Honeydue helps partners track balances across accounts, when bills are due (including who’s supposed to pay them), and also allows partners to chat with each other in the app.
8. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Financial savvy budgeters may need a more robust budgeting app to help with creating a budget. YNAB takes budgeting to the next level by setting budgets based on income with an approach called zero-based budgeting. The app will preemptively assign every single dollar of income to either an expense or a payment toward investments, savings, or debts.
The zero-based budgeting approach is best for those who are willing to try a more stringent budget but YNAB offers a lot of instructional resources and dedicated customer service to help you stick to it.
9. My Budget Book
With offline support, zero ads, and no in-app purchases, My Budget Book is a solid application that lets you track your daily expenses using simple features. Along with all the features you’d expect from one of the best money saving apps around, My Budget Book has an integrated and comprehensive manual to help you make the most of what’s on offer.
Beginners will appreciate the emphasis on ease-of-use and if there’s something you can’t figure out, support is just an email away.
10. My Finances
Performing strongly amongst both the budgeting apps and money saving apps, My Finances’ attractive and intuitive interface racks up even more points for being completely free. It tracks your daily expenses with a free bank sync so you can see where your money goes each month without having to make any calculations yourself.
Users can see how much cash they spend on certain items and compare their monthly expenses to the previous months. You’ll be able to add multiple currencies and accounts and also backup your data with cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
11. Money Manager
As it says on the box, Money Manager is one of the best money saving apps when it comes to organizing your personal finances and tracking transactions. The app’s strength lies in helping you better understand where your money goes using a little bit of fun along the way.
For those that work well with incentives, there is a bonus feature that shows how close you are to hitting your monthly goal. If you use it well you’ll be able to make any necessary changes to take control of your spending.
Track your credit card usage and create budgets with AndroMoney’s personal capital and finance manager. With many of the same features found in these money saving apps, AndroMoney helps you improve your spending habits and keep track of your daily expenses with features such as recurring transactions, quick budgeting, and categorizing purchases for better spending management.
The finance data is stored on a cloud server which can be downloaded in the app itself making it easy to sync over multiple devices.
If your biggest concern is keeping track of upcoming bills, Monefy could be just the app you’ve been looking for. A free budgeting option, Monefy lets you choose from different budgets or create your own. You can set up monthly allowances and any other expenses and the money will be deducted from your total income.
It’s possible to set up recurring transactions on various bank accounts and add memos for each entry. Users can also enter category details like payees for particular transactions. Tracking bills, daily purchases, and anything else you spend money on becomes quick and enjoyable with this money manager.
How to Choose the Best Money Saving Apps For You
With so many money saving apps out there, it can be hard to decide which one will actually help with creating a budget and saving money. All 13 of our best budgeting apps were chosen for ease of set-up, overall user experience, and standout features that keep you coming back. Which means, you really can’t go wrong.
The important thing is to find one that resonates with you and meets your particular budgeting needs. For more money tips and advice on creating a budget, check out our full guide on top ways to improve your financial wellbeing.