Budgets are a necessity for achieving financial success. Yet, they can be time-consuming to create and tough to follow.
Sure, you can use a spreadsheet to track your income and expenses. Or embrace the old-school method of writing the details out by hand in your checkbook register.
But why do that when there are mobile apps that take the guesswork out of budgeting?
Many mobile apps are designed to sync to your accounts and make it easy for you to monitor your bank balances and pay bills.
Here are some of the top options available.
Intuit is the creator of this popular budgeting app, and the free version is chock-full of features. It includes a goal tracker, notifications for upcoming bills, spending alerts, and credit score monitoring.
Mint syncs with banking and investment accounts. It categorizes spending, so it’s a snap to track your cash flow. You can add enhanced protection by adding a fingerprint ID to access your information.
Goodbudget has digitized the old-school envelope method of bill paying. Simply set aside portions of your monthly income into different envelopes by category.
When the bill comes due, you’ll have the money already set aside. Aim to stop spending in a category before the envelope is emptied.
There are no algorithms to guide you, so you’ll have to like the hands-on approach to money management to like this app. The app also syncs between mobile devices and the web, and is great for those looking to manage joint household budgets.
PocketGuard is a handy app that keeps tabs on your spending. Link it to your banks, credit cards, loans, and investments to track account balances and net worth.
The autosave feature ensures you’re setting aside money for a rainy day. While the bill negotiation function finds better rates on cable, cell phone, and other bills. The app will also let you know how much spendable money is left after you set aside funds for bills, goals, and essentials.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
If you want to keep tabs on every dollar in your bank account, YNAB is a must-download.
YNAB is based on the concept of zero-based budgeting, a payment style that claims to effectively pay down debt. The app helps you take your income and allocate it to your expenses, savings, and debt payments until there’s no money left over.
This forces you to be aware of every dollar that goes in and out of your bank account and tells you where it goes.
This app from a digital wealth management company is a favorite among experienced investors and newbies.
The investment checkup tool lets you view how well your investments are performing. Meanwhile, the retirement planner runs simulations for portfolios to help you plan for multiple scenarios. The fee analyzer uncovers hidden or high fees in linked investment accounts.
The folks at NerdWallet are known for helping people make smart money moves.
Their app helps you stay on top of your spending and saving. It also lets you keep an eye on your credit score.
You can also use it to discover the best credit cards and bank accounts.