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Best Personal Budgeting Apps of 2021

Budgeting apps can help you save money and take control of your finances. But are the potential savings greater than the cost of the apps? We tested some popular free and paid apps to find out.

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Best Personal Budgeting Apps of 2021
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If the point of a budget app is to help you save money, it seems like choosing a free one would be a clear first step. After all, free apps like Mint offer high-quality services. But while Mint is an excellent spending tracker (with some budgeting features), the apps featured here offer a little more help for the beginning budgeter.

We found that EveryDollar offers excellent support for zero-based budgeters, while PocketGuard helps you keep tabs on exactly how much you have to spend. Honeydue helps you budget with a partner, and Simplifi offers budgeting and spending tracking in a user-friendly interface.

Our Pick

Best Zero-Based Budget App

If you've vowed that this is the year you'll get your finances under control, EveryDollar can help. By planning out where every dollar you earn is going to go, this app helps you gain control of spending ... and even start saving. 

Why we chose EveryDollar:

  • The app has a free version, but if you want to link your bank accounts, you'll need the $129/year premium upgrade.
  • With this app, you assign every dollar you earn to a category (broken down in great detail). As you spend money, you assign your transactions according to their category, so you always have a clear sense of how much you’re spending on what and how much you have left.
  • Some other apps automatically assign transactions to categories, but with EveryDollar, doing it yourself makes you more aware of your spending. And the mechanism for categorizing transactions works smoothly and can become a daily ritual.
  • The granular view of your finances provides peace of mind and helps you save money.
  • Especially useful for beginning budgeters.

Best for: control freaks and people who need to start taking control of their finances. 

Read EveryDollar's Full Review
Runner Up

Best Simple Tracking App

  • Budgeting made easy. Organize bills, track spending, manage money like a pro
    4.5 Ratings 9K+ Reviews 50K+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases

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You know that cliche about how young people could afford a house if they cut back on coffee and avocado toast? This app will help you decide whether you can afford the coffee this month. (Although it won't have much effect on the housing market.)

Why we chose PocketGuard:

  • Free basic version, with a $7.99/month($2.99/week) Pocket Plus upgrade.
  • This app is great at answering the question “can I afford that?” PocketGuard takes into account upcoming expenses and tells you how much you can spend for the rest of the month (it shows a daily figure too). That single piece of information makes small spending decisions much simpler.
  • Tracks your accounts and categorizes spending accurately, so you can see where your cash is going.
  • Although it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, the interface is clean and puts your balance front and center. 

Best for: when you need to know how much money you can actually spend.

Read PocketGuard's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best for Couples (and Best Name)

  • The simplest way for couples to track and manage money, together.
    4.4 Ratings 9K+ Reviews 100K+ Downloads
    Free Fresh In App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases
    Free In-App Purchases

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Sharing finances with another person can be difficult. If you and your partner are struggling with financial communication, Honeydue can help.

Why we chose Honeydue:

  • Free app to help couples share expenses and financial information.
  • The app links to accounts, but each person controls how much the other can see. That makes this a great app for people who are not sharing all their finances — it might be useful for roommates, for example.
  • Chat feature allows partners to ask each other questions about purchases or other financial matters in-app, so money talk can be kept in one place.
  • The ability to create budgets, view bills, and split transactions makes Honeydue a central hub for a couple's financial life. 

Best for: creating financial harmony. 

Read Honeydue's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best Hybrid Spending Tracker and Budgeting App

Simplifi offers robust features at a low cost and with a well-designed and informative interface.

Why we chose Simplifi:

  • While Simplifi doesn't have a free version, at $3.99/month or $39.99/year you get a lot of features for your buck, and the app might help you save more than its cost.
  • Simplifi combines spending tracking and budgeting features in a clean yet powerful interface. A great choice and worth checking out for both new and experienced budgeters.
  • The app's spending plan helps you stay on top of how much you have to spend, taking into account bills and other upcoming expenditures.
  • Simplifi links with your accounts and categorizes expenses so you know how much you’re spending on different categories. Clear graphics give you a visual representation of your spending.

Best for: experienced and new budgeters who want a lot of features displayed in a simple way.

Read Simplifi's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick
    Feeling stuck with your money? You can budget your way from where you are to where you want to be. You just need the right budgeting app.

    

Now you can easily manage your money with EveryDollar! Create a custom monthly budget to save money, pay off debt, build wealth, and give. Recommended by top personal finance experts Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze, and Anthony ONeal, EveryDollar uses the zero-based budgeting approach that millions are already using to win with money.



    All new users receive a FREE trial of Ramsey+, which includes the premium version of EveryDollar plus our online budgeting courses, a money goal tracker, and a whole lot more! Access your trial and upgrade to Ramsey+ from the main menu.

    

Whether you’re new to budgeting or consider yourself great at personal finance, you’ll love the simplicity and the power behind this personal budgeting app!

    

EveryDollar Free Features

    Create Your Personal Budget:


    • Create your custom budget in minutes.
    • Budget online from your desktop or in our mobile app.
    • Adjust budget lines, spending, debt payments, notes and more throughout the month.
    • Set custom reminders to help pay your bills on time.
    



    Track Your Expenses:


    • Manage money and track spending on the go.
    • Easily split transactions across multiple budget lines.
    • Know where you stand at a glance with tabs showing what you’ve spent and what’s remaining for the month. 



    Exclusive Ramsey+ Features


    • Connect your bank to your budget for automatic bank transactions. Just drag and drop transactions to their correct budget line.
    • Get custom budget reports on your income and spending habits.
    • Manage and view all your accounts in one place.
    • Gain priority support with our amazing customer success team.
    • Set up notifications when you have new transactions ready to track.
    • Score access to unlimited streaming of our best money courses, including Financial Peace University, Smart Money Smart Kids, Legacy Journey and the NEW Budgeting That Actually Works.
    • Track your money goal progress with the new BabySteps app, exclusive to Ramsey+ members.

    Upgrade to Ramsey+ from the main menu with an in-app purchase.



    Start spending on purpose with EveryDollar. Track expenses, save more money, crush your money goals, and take control of your finances. You can do this. Download EveryDollar, your personal monthly budget app, and make it happen.




    Privacy Policy: https://everydollar.com/privacy



    Terms of Use: https://everydollar.com/terms
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    $9.99 - $129.99 per item
    $12.99 - $129.99 per item
  • Runner Up
    PocketGuard is a free budgeting app for people who want to be on top of their money. Personal finance made simple by smart algorithms, which means budgeting with PocketGuard is so easy that you don't have to spend your entire life crunching numbers. We take care of all the routines like expense tracking and bill monitoring so you can clearly focus on money management operations.

    Always know what's in your pocket!
    Basically, a budget is a difference between income and expenses. If it's positive - you're doing well. In any other case, the budget is unbalanced and needs attention. This is where the "IN MY POCKET" feature takes action. How much disposable income do you have after paying your bills, saving for your goals, and setting aside enough money for needs and wants? PocketGuard budgeting app does those calculations for you! Always know the actual safe-to-spend amount so you can fit your monthly budget.

    Comprehensive analytics!
    Budget and expense tracking are just a part of the story. If you wanna do money management the right way you need to learn from the data you track. PocketGuard free budgeting app provides you with various reports to let you see personal finances from different angles. Learn about your spending habits, make necessary adjustments, optimize your monthly budget.

    Bill tracker and subscription manager!
    You can use PocketGuard as a bill organizer. Once you connect bank accounts the app starts working as a finance tracker. All your bills and subscriptions will be identified automatically and included in your monthly budget. The bill organizer will help you never miss the due date again.

    Do you want to lower your bills? Of course, you do! PocketGuard bill organizer gives you an easy way to negotiate batter rates with your provider. So you can optimize your budget by cutting costs on services you use. PocketGuard subscription manager will help you to find subscriptions you might have forgotten about. This is another money management trick - stop paying for services you no longer need.

    Set and reach your financial goals!
    Goals are a key concept of budgeting. As was mentioned before, expense tracking is just a part of the story. Personal finance is made of goals. Let's say you want to spend less on shopping or to save more for vacation. These are financial goals. PocketGuard budget app gives you all the necessary tools to set them properly.

    Set up your debt-payoff plan!
    Nobody's perfect and almost anyone has debt to pay off. The question is: do you have a plan? Connect all your credit and loan accounts and we'll show you the way to a debt-free future. Our smart algorithm calculates the most profitable debt repayment strategy so you'll save hundreds or even thousands by paying less in interest!

    BANK-LEVEL SECURITY
    We use the same 256-bit SSL encryption as all major banks to ensure your sensitive information is safe and sound. The PocketGuard app also uses PIN code and biometrics, like Touch ID & Face ID, as an additional security layer.


    Currently, PocketGuard connects to U.S. and Canadian financial institutions only.

    PocketGuard offers a premium subscription - PocketGuard Plus - which gives you access to additional features. PocketGuard Plus is optional and not required to use PocketGuard.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    $3.99 - $99.99 per item
    $1.99 - $34.99 per item
  • Also Groovy
    Honeydue is the best personal finance app for couples. Track your bills, bank balances and spending together, and engage in meaningful dialogue about your goals and habits.

    EXCITING NEWS
    • Introducing Joint Banking, a modern bank account designed for modern couples. Each of you and your partner gets your own account number and debit card on top of a shared balance. Track your budget in real time and get on the same page. Reserve your cards today.

    WHY HONEYDUE?
    • Choose how much you share with your partner.
    • See all of your bank account balances in one place, neatly organized.
    • Set monthly household spending limits on each category, and get notified when you and your partner are nearing it.
    • Add your own custom categories
    • Get reminded you when it's time to pay your bills.
    • Send a thumbs up to encourage your partner's spending habits, or choose from 6 other emojis
    • Ask your partner if that mysterious purchase was theirs
    • Divvy up expenses, and square up balances with your partner when the time is right
    • Automatic categorization of all your spending
    • Support for over 10,000+ banks (US, Canada, UK, Spain & France)
    • Bank level security for your peace of mind:
    Your data is encrypted in storage and in transit.
    • SSL/TLS, passcode & TouchID, and multi-factor authentication.
    • See the big picture and argue less about the little things
    • Free up your time from financial chores and go enjoy your day!
    • It's FREE!

    Any questions or feedback? Reach out to us at
    support@honeydue.com

    Thanks for using Honeydue :)
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    $0.99 - $9.99 per item
    $0.99 - $9.99 per item
    Effortlessly manage your finances and track your spending all in one place with Simplifi by Quicken, a convenient and easy-to-use budgeting app. Tracking expenses, managing budgets, and keeping tabs on your finances can be a challenge. Simplifi by Quicken makes it easy to see your monthly bills, set goals, and grow your savings in less than 5 minutes a week. Don't let your finances hold you back; take control of your finances today!

    Whether you're new to budgeting, a seasoned budgeter, or a finance manager, you'll love the simplicity and convenience of our user-centric interface. Managing every bill, every expense, and every subscription can be overwhelming. Make it easy with Simplifi. Leave the Excel spreadsheets in the past and track your expenses, save more money, track your bills, pay off debt, and take control of your finances once and for all with Simplifi's easy-to-use budgeting app.

    We know that every budget is unique. That's why Simplifi's budgeting and money app lets you customize and track your budget based on your specific needs. Get customized alerts and always know where you stand with one personalized, use-anywhere budget app. Join the thousands of people already using the Simplifi expense tracker and budget planner app to manage bills, save money, and take control of their finances.

    ALL YOUR MONEY & FINANCES IN ONE APP
    * Automatically sync all of your financial accounts in one easy-to-use expense tracking and budgeting app
    * Connect with and view all your accounts in one place so you know exactly what’s happening with your money, budget, and finances
    * Effortlessly identify changes in spending, income, net worth, budget, finances, and more
    * Find places to save more money and reach your financial goals with confidence

    SET & ACHIEVE PERSONALIZED MONEY & FINANCIAL GOALS
    * Whether you’re saving money for your dream home, a vacation, retirement, or your child’s education, Simplifi by Quicken helps you achieve life’s most important milestones and meet your budget requirements.
    * Adjust your budget based on goals and watch your savings grow.
    * Set custom financial goals and get personalized financial insights.

    TRACK SPENDING, WATCH YOUR MONEY & BUDGET WITH CONFIDENCE
    * Feel confident that you’re covered to spend on the things you care about.
    * Create a simple budget based on your income and finances to make sure you aren't spending more than you make in a month.
    * Categorize and monitor spending so you can get ahead and stay ahead.

    GET CUSTOMIZED SPENDING & SAVING INSIGHTS
    * Discover key insights about your money and finances so you can make smart decisions.
    * Stay informed about how each financial move will impact your future so there's never any surprises.
    * See how much money you’ve spent this month, excluding bills and subscriptions, so you know if you have enough left in your budget or need to cut back.

    BACKED BY 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
    *For over 30 years, customers have relied on Quicken to help manage their complete financial picture, so they can live their best lives.
    *Simplifi by Quicken is the newest solution in the Quicken portfolio to help customers make the most of their money.

    SECURITY
    We're serious about protecting your account and privacy. Visit https://www.quicken.com/privacy/us to learn more.

    PRIVACY
    If you’re a California resident, please refer to the new privacy guidelines set forth by The California Consumer Privacy Act on information sharing. If you’d like to opt out of the sale of your personal information as defined by these new guidelines, please go to https://www.quicken.com/privacy/us
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    $0.99 - $35.99 per item
    $3.99 - $35.99 per item
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The 411 from our Appventurer

Caroline Rothnie
Written by:

Caroline Rothnie

Best Personal Budgeting Apps of 2021

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