One of the foundations of a sound financial plan is having a written budget, although most people never take that step unless they’re paying a financial advisor to make them do it. Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to get a handle on your finances: budgeting apps.
Adding a budgeting app to your phone could be one of the smartest financial decisions you’ll ever make. If placed correctly, it can remind you of how important it is to create and stick with a budget. Here are five of the best budgeting apps you can find:
Mint: Best For Monitoring Daily Activity
If you want to know how much money you have and where it’s all going, Mint can’t be beaten. It’s free and has been tested by millions of users who have attested to Mint’s ease of use and accuracy. With Mint, you can easily create a budget, and all of your purchases will automatically be categorized. In addition, the app syncs with your bank and investment account, so you’ll always know how much money you have available and what your net worth is.
Mint is available for both iOS and Android.
YNAB (You Need A Budget): Best For Achieving Financial Goals
YNABs strength lies in helping you save money and get out of debt, which are just about on everyone’s financial goals list. The app helps you figure out your financial priorities and goals, along with giving each dollar a job. It features financial goal tracking, reporting on your financial habits, and support from YNAB staff.
It’s free for the first 34 days and $99/year after that.
Stash: Best For Getting Started With Investing
When it comes to investing, Stash makes it possible for anyone to get started, even if they just have a few dollars. It does this by allowing you to buy “fractional shares” or portions of a single stock. This means you can invest in your favorite company without having to buy an entire share.
Do you have $20 and want to buy a stock worth $40 per share? That’s no problem with Stash. You can buy one-half of a share of that $40 stock and buy more when you have more money to invest.
Subscribers to Stash are also given access to several budgeting tools, a taxable brokerage account, a digital checking account, and a debit card that earns you stocks when you use it for expenses. Depending on your plan, Stash runs $3 or $9 per month.
Digit: Best For Building Up Your Savings
Digit puts saving money on auto-pilot and makes saving money painless. It will help you grow your emergency fund, save for a vacation, build up a down payment on a home, or any other reason you might have for saving money.
The app calculates an appropriate amount to deposit in your savings or retirement accounts each day, taking that task off your to-do list. All you need to do is to input how much you want to save and when you want to hit that target. The app is free for the first six months, then is $5 per month.
Honeydue: Best For Budgeting As A Couple
Budgeting as a couple can be stressful, but Honeydue helps make money conversations easier. It’s designed especially for couples and is an interactive app where two people can manage household expenses together.
Honeydue keeps your finances transparent, even if you just want an accountability partner to help you monitor your spending and help you budget. The app is free and easy to use.
Where to Place Your Budgeting App
The best place to have your budgeting app is right next to your favorite social media app, which is probably on your phone’s home screen. By having it there, you’ll remember to use it, which is the whole point of a budgeting app. Once you start seeing the results, using it will become a habit you won’t want to break.