In our family, we decided to implement a zero dollar budget, which means every dollar has a “name” or an assigned budget item. When we first began our budgeting journey we wanted to stay out of debt and save some money for the future. Now (after grad school) we budget to get out of debt and save money for the future. My how life changes! Along the way, we explored the best budgeting apps that are available and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
Using a budgeting and personal finance app has helped give me peace of mind as I spend and allows me to always know what I have spent and how much I have left to spend. No more guessing or estimating! If you’re wanting to start a budget or curious about what it may mean for your lifestyle, try exploring these five best budgeting apps for a start.
While were talking about apps, make sure to check out these 5 educational apps for kids.
This is definitely one of the best budgeting apps, hands down. Goodbudget is a very user friendly, simple, cost effective tool for budgeting and it is the app that we have chosen to use for the last two years. Goodbudget is an app that allows you to create envelopes for each of your budget items.
For example, our first few envelopes are rent, groceries, transportation (gas), and our bills. You can create as many envelopes as you wish. After your envelopes are created, you can add your anticipated income for the month and fill your envelopes accordingly.
After a few months of using Goodbudget you can easily pull up their charts and graphs and track your spending and overspending for each envelope. For Goodbudget to work, you have to enter each transaction on your computer or mobile device, upload your transactions from your bank account (accounts are not linked- security feature) and assign them an envelope.
Goodbudget is a no frills app offering just what you need to get a hold of your finances. The Goodbudget team also offers several help articles, budgeting tips and videos for users to explore.5 Best Budgeting Apps To Get Your Finances On Track Click To Tweet
Price: Membership is free (Standard unlinked account)/ Premium linked account is $99/year or $8.25/ month
Every dollar has all of the perks that Goodbudget has and more! Our family is considering transitioning to EveryDollar for a few reasons. First, EveryDollar links right to your bank accounts so all you have to do is click and drag the transactions into the corresponding envelope. This eliminates one of the steps in our family’s current budgeting process.
My second favorite addition is that Everydollar allows you to divide your envelopes up into certain sub-categories. With Goodbudget, we have to make mental notes about what grocery money is specifically for that fancy holiday dinner but with Everydollar, that money can be uniquely labeled so there no mix up with spending.
The mission of Everydollar is to help families get out of debt and build wealth for the future and was created by Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University. The app outlines each step that you need to take to work your way to financial freedom and start saving smart.
Similar to Goodbudget, Everydollar has a beautiful app that makes it easy to know what you can spend on the go! If you’re looking for a zero dollar budget app that’s super easy to use and provides financial guidance, this best budgeting app is for you!
YNAB is another zero budget app that is built on three main rules: Make some money, prioritize the money, and follow your plan. YNAB created their app wanting to help people stop living from paycheck to paycheck, and I have friends who have successfully used this tool for just that!
First, with YNAB you assign every dollar a name. This is your plan. This is what will keep you from overspending when your check hits the bank and you feel like you’re rich. Instead, because you have a plan, you will have an understanding of all the places where that money needs to go.
The second step YNAB directs you towards is saving money for future “emergencies” bit by bit- kind of like you’re paying a bill to yourself. This means, next time you miscalculate or something unexpected happens with the car, it’s not a big deal because you’re prepared.
Finally, YNAB offers financial training and videos for all sorts of financial dilemmas as well as how to use their app. This app is the most affordable on my list and it includes everything that Everydollar does but some users may find it a bit tricky.
When looking for the best budgeting app to help you reach your net financial goal, be sure to give one of these three a try. Pretty soon, you’ll have a lot more financial freedom and direction in your spending which makes for happier, less stressed parents all around!