Last updated on September 18th, 2023 at 03:20 pm
No matter your financial situation, a great budgeting app can make your life easier. But that’s especially true when your financial obligations are greater.
Many of Remitly’s customers are immigrants who sacrifice to support their loved ones back home, bringing additional budgeting challenges. With our customers in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best budgeting apps to help you manage money. Whether free or low-cost, these handy apps offer plenty of features to get your expenses in order.
What are budgeting apps?
At its most basic, a budgeting app helps track your spending. It is a mobile app that you can download from Google Play, the Apple App Store, or directly from the developers of the apps.
Usually, you will need to link a bank account to budgeting apps to get the full functionality. Beyond that, some apps offer more financial planning features.
There are several free budgeting apps that you can consider. Some apps also have a free version and a paid version. When you upgrade to the paid option, you can unlock additional features.
Other budgeting apps don’t have a free version at all. In some cases, you pay a monthly fee for using the budgeting apps, or you pay once when you download it and enjoy free access going forward.
15 Best Budgeting Apps
When determining which apps to include on our list of best budgeting apps, we read online reviews and examined the features of the apps.
Note that some of these apps are more than strictly “budgeting apps,” as they may also offer banking or other financial products. We’ve included flags beneath the names to let you know the countries where these apps are available at the time of writing.
1. Budget by Koody 🇬🇧
The Budget by Koody app has a simple, personalized interface that helps you keep up with your finances and control all your financial accounts.
It’s intuitive and manual, not requiring a connection to your online banking data. It may be the best choice of budgeting tools for those in the UK who prefer to avoid linking financial accounts to apps.
Sticking to a budget can be difficult, and some people find that positive or negative feedback can help hold them accountable. If you’re one of them, Cleo may be the best free budgeting app for you.
The app has a smart chatbot with a funny “roast me” feature if you like your financial planning with a side of humor. When using the roast mode, the Cleo app sends comical GIFs and “burn” messages to help you notice bad spending habits.
Conversely, its “hype mode” sends you major props when you make positive changes and better control your bank account.
Emma‘s free app helps manage your finances from a central place. It automatically plans your expenses and identifies wasteful subscriptions.
Upgrading to Pro adds features like cashback rewards when you shop at certain retailers. Those small deposits into your banking account can add up over time and help you achieve your savings goals.
4. Finhabits 🇺🇸
Finhabits allows you to spend, save, and invest online.
Here’s how it works. You set up an account through the budgeting app and then transfer money into it. Then, you pay a subscription fee of $3 per month for every $7,500 you have in the account.
Once everything is established, you can use Finhabits to purchase different types of investments online and take advantage of the app’s investment management services.
5. Mint 🇨🇦 🇺🇸
This popular free budget app allows individuals to connect their bank accounts at different financial institutions to one management platform. Mint was one of the first smartphone apps to help track your expenses, savings, and budget all in one place.
Mint makes it easy to sync bank accounts, credit card accounts, and investment accounts. Once everything is connected, you can access all your info from your mobile device with just a few clicks.
Mint offers many of the same features that expensive budgeting apps do. With it, you can track spending and prepare for upcoming bills. There is a paid version with additional features, but many people will likely find that the free budget app will suit their needs.
6. Moneyhub 🇬🇧
If you want to protect your data while planning your finances, check out Moneyhub. It’s available in a desktop version as well as a mobile app.
For a subscription fee of £1.49 monthly or £14.99 yearly, this technology gathers the details of all your accounts in a central place and helps set your spending limits. It also offers tools for taxes, mortgages, and pension planning.
In terms of security, Moneyhub is truly one of the best budgeting apps. To safeguard your data, it uses the same level of encryption that banks rely on to protect account information.
7. Money Dashboard 🇬🇧
The Money Dashboard free budget app will help you track your spending and show all your accounts in one simple record. It can access your savings and other current accounts, like crypto wallets and credit cards, all at once.
This app offers a spending plan tool that helps in money management and is well-suited for those who have accounts with different providers.
When you have everything set up, you can easily see your monthly cash flow and analyze your spending. This way, you can identify places where you can cut back on unnecessary spending.
8. Empower 🇺🇸
Formerly Personal Capital, Empower is a budget app that is a popular choice to help in planning your finances and building your wealth. Like Mint, it enables you to sync your financial accounts from a central place.
Additionally, it features a retirement planner and offers financial advising and 24/7 customer support.
You can also upgrade your account to add investment management services. When you do, you can get advice from a certified financial planner if you wish. All this makes Empower one of the best budgeting apps for those interested in investing but still need to figure out how to get started.
9. Plum 🇬🇧
Plum’s free budgeting app helps craft a clear picture of your finances, which helps you save money and budget properly.
Once you link bank accounts, it analyzes your expenses and helps you meet goals with automatic savings deposits. If you want to earn interest on your automated deposits, use Plum Plus or Plum Pro.
Lastly, Plum specializes in getting people started with investing, no matter their budget.
The Pocket Guard is a budgeting app for individuals who want to minimize their chances of overspending and control their money. With features that include a debt payoff plan, Pocket Guard aims to automate your ability to reduce debt and meet financial goals.
You can access the basic budgeting features for free or upgrade to the Plus version to get access to a personalized spending plan, enhanced cash flow tracking, and other features.
11. Simplifi 🇺🇸
Produced by the accounting software company Quicken, Simplifi will give you a personalized experience with real-time updates on your monthly expenditure and balance. It balances your bank accounts and alerts you about your financial capabilities, progress, and goals. Simplifi also shows a monthly update of your bills and subscriptions.
While there’s a fee, you can start with a 30-day free trial.
12. Zeta 🇺🇸
Zeta is a budgeting app designed for couples and families. Their free Money Manager provides a holistic view of a joint bank account for better budgeting and planning. It allows any couple to track their expenses, work on their bills, and better understand their net worth.
Accounts are categorized as individual or shared, and built-in messaging enables quick communication about ongoing expenses.
13. YNAB (Worldwide)
YNAB, or You Need a Budget, is an app specifically for those who want to create budgets. What separates it from many other apps is its zero-based budgeting approach.
With zero-based budgeting, you decide exactly where every dollar, euro, pound, or other unit of currency will go. You assign what you need to monthly bills, set aside some to put in a savings account and earmark the rest for things like entertainment.
YNAB is one of the paid budgeting apps on this list, and you can access it for free for 34 days to see if it works for you.
14. Goodbudget 🇺🇸
Goodbudget is one of the best budgeting apps for people who have never tried to set up a budget before and need to coordinate their efforts with a partner they share joint accounts and living expenses with.
Like most budgeting apps, it allows you to connect your financial accounts and categorize transactions into spending categories, so you can see where your money goes.
What makes it different than many budgeting apps is its goal-oriented approach. When you sign up for Goodbudget, you tell the app what you want to accomplish. You may want to pay off debt, save for a down payment on a house, or increase your net worth.
Whatever your goal is, the budgeting app helps you manage your personal finances in a way that will help you achieve it. When used as a budgeting app for couples, it also allows you to easily share information about your checking and savings accounts and cooperate when modifying your budget.
Honeydue makes it easy for couples who need a budget to collaborate and manage spending. Its main focus is helping you pay for one-time and recurring bills.
Couples can see their individual and joint bank accounts in one dashboard to quickly review their financial data. With the budgeting app, you can claim which bills you’ll pay from your individual accounts and decide which will come out of your joint account.
Individual account information can be kept private from your partner. Or, you can decide to share all or some of it with them. This customizable level of privacy makes it unique among other budgeting apps for couples.
Once you decide on a budgeting app, set aside some time to set it up. You’ll want to gather your financial account details, such as account numbers, passwords, and logins.
Once you’ve entered the necessary information, set categories for your expenses. Check that everything is labeled in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you might want separate “groceries” and “dining out” categories, or you may choose to combine the two into “food expenses.”
If sending money internationally is part of your budget, Remitly can help make the process faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, over 5 million people have used our secure mobile app to send money with peace of mind. Download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.