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best budget management apps 2020

Best Budget Management Apps for 2020

Last updated: September 02,2020
Originally Published: September 02,2020
by Rosen Valchev

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Saving is easy for some people and hard for others. Fortunately, we have budget apps that can help us and improve our lives for the better. In this post we will review some of the best budget management apps for 2020. But first, let’s explore the real problem.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were unaware of your spendings and you  left with empty pockets right before receiving your next salary?

If you’ve ever been in this situation or just want to be more conscious about your spendings and savings, continue reading. 

Many applications have been developed to take the stress off your shoulders and keep you aware of your spendings. Most of the applications are designed for general personal budgeting, but every one of them can offer something unique to the user. Some apps specialize in tracking your bills, where others specialize in personal budgeting tools.

The wide variety of budgeting apps will help you to improve your standard of living and point out your bad spending habits. If used properly you might even afford a few more vacations this or next year.

#1. Mint

Mint is the most recognizable application from all budgeting apps. It became popular throughout the years as a reliable and easy to use the app. The wide variety of features makes it so easy to track your money and manage your finances better. It is considered the best budgeting app for beginners.

Mint is one of the most efficient budgeting apps when it comes to loading financial accounts. For example, if you use many credit cards with the same username. One of Mint’s many features is the opportunity to link your debit and credit card.

You can also add any other investment accounts or loans. The best part is that Mint uses all that information in your favor. How? The app suggests your budget limits based on your spending and that’s not all.

You get alerts if you overspend, which is quite useful. You can easily track your overall cash balance or just a single category of it. There are many other features that Mint can provide you with for free. 

It’s very fast and efficient. The best part is that at the end of every month, you can easily get the idea of your best and worst spending habits.

#2. YNAB (You Need a Budget)

You Need a Budget” is a budgeting app that can motivate you to the fullest. Why is that? Simply because at the beginning, when you start using the app, it suggests and encourages you to set goals.

If you set your goals and link your bank account it is almost definite that you will achieve them. Whether it is a vacation or a new asset for your home, YNAB will assist you in that journey.

You have the option to link your bank accounts (checking & savings), cash, and any kind of loan or debt you have. Doing so will automatically import your balance to the YNAB debt manager.

Due to the unique approach of this app, building your budget relies on your income. You can keep every dollar you earn busy, working for you. From then on, the creators claim that the first three to four months after using the app your savings will be as high as a four-digit number. 

YNAB is known to be one of the best budgeting apps for your family. Last, but not least after the 34-day free trial you will be charged annually $83.99 or $6.99 monthly. The app also provides you with a lot of video materials, video courses, and short workshops. All of that just so you can enjoy using the app.

#3. PocketGuard

The name of this app speaks for itself. PocketGuard helps you to spend just as much as you need. This budgeting app effortlessly links to your bank accounts and shows you the thing you need to know the most – how much money you have for spending. The “In my pocket” feature shows all the disposable income you have after setting money aside for all your living needs and goals.

This app not only tracks your earnings but also accounts for your bills and everyday expenses. On top of that, it can track direct deposits to your savings account for a certain period of time. 

PocketGuard even has a feature to track every individual bill you get and easily finds you opportunities to save.  However, before all of that, you need to set your savings goals.

The fastest way to reach your saving goals is through the Autosave option.  The best thing about the Autosave tool is that after setting up the automated rules you can just relax and watch your savings grow. Unfortunately, the autosave option is only available for U.S. citizens.

There is a high level of security as in most U.S. banks (256-bit SSL encryption). The second biometrics security layer makes it even safer.

#4. Goodbudget

Goodbudget is one of the best (if not the best) budgeting apps for families and couples. If you want to share your budget with your beloved one this is the perfect app for you. The use of this app requires discipline, but the pay-off is the control over your money. 

Goodbudget is a budget tracker for modern people. You can say bye to carrying paper envelopes with you. The option for virtual budgeting keeps you on track with family and friends with the time-tested envelope budgeting method.

The app works with digital envelopes that distribute your income as the month goes on. There are many different categories and envelopes for them. The key to successfully using the app is to stop spending for a certain category when your envelope is close to or is empty.

If you are looking for a simple budgeting app that will break down your expenses, you just may want to check this one. It will help you spend less and save more.

You can choose between free and the Plus version of the app. The difference is that in the Plus one you have unlimited devices to connect and unlimited envelopes. The monthly charge for the Plus version of the app is $6 per month.

#5. Clarity money

Have you ever lost track of all your subscriptions? If so, don’t worry, you are not the only one. Clarity money is a budgeting app that tracks all your unnecessary expenses. The moment you link the app with your bank account you will receive a pie chart displaying all your expenses.

You can track all the price increases or reductions in your monthly expenses. The app is great to get a better idea of all your debt and how it is increasing or decreasing. Getting rid of all unnecessary accounts has never been easier for you.

Clarity Money app uses machine learning to analyze your personal finances and help you make smart decisions about your money. Taking control of your budget and expenses, while finding ways to save more money is Clarity Money’s main goal.

The app is AI-powered to manage your money. Other features of this app allow you to transfer and save money in a non-interest federal deposit insurance account (FDIC).

The app is completely free of charge for now, but earlier this year (in April) it was acquired by Marcus and became part of Goldman Sachs’ bank family. This fact allows you to feel safe and trust the app.

#6. Wally

Wally is a great budgeting app for families. You can sync and track the joint household budget. It is not the easiest app to use, but the interface is very appealing to Millenials. The variety of currencies makes the app usable and effective on a global scale.

best budget management apps best budget management apps

The app provides you with financial clarity. Moreover, it gives you control over your finances. You can save all your important documents such as bills, receipts, and warranties in the app. You can set reminders and create shopping lists. Unfortunately, every credit and debit must be put in manually.

On the contrary, the automation and insights Wally provides makes it quite valuable. The app helps you to make your financial habits easier to understand. The ones that enjoy visual data will find it helpful that the insights take the form of graphs and charts, often – interactive.

Other features of the app are tracking your spending by category, business account, or tag, see your cash flow patterns, track money you are owed, and more.

The standard version of the platform is free of charge and has both Android and iPhone versions ( Wally+ and Wally). The standard version of Wally doesn’t connect to your bank account, unlike other budgeting apps.

Also, Wally is a good option for users that don’t like sharing their banking data. If linking a bank account is particularly important to you, Wally offers it for $3.99 per month or $32.99 annual subscription.

#7. Personal Capital

Probably the best investment budgeting app. Personal Capital is a free financial app that can help you with building up your wealth. Its variety of tools provide you with the opportunity to link all your investment accounts (IRA, 401(k), ETFs, mutual funds, and others).

The more money you invest the more exclusive will be your fees. In other words the more you invest the fewer taxes you pay and the more privileges you acquire. For example, one of them is the professional financial advisors you get if you have invested within the range of $100,000 to $200,000.

The personalized approach provides you with a comprehensive point of view of all your assets and liabilities. Using this budgeting app helps you big time with tracking your net worth, investment fees and taxes, and other important investment details.

The platform is completely free of charge, but it is not recommended for beginners. The app will fit your needs perfectly if you have advanced or previous experience.

If you are interested in tracking all your investments this may be the perfect budgeting app for you. This budgeting investment app is highly recommended for DIY investors who can take advantage of all the free tools inside it.

#8. Albert

Are you looking for a smart budgeting app that does almost everything instead of you? If so, Albert would be the perfect fit  for you. First, you need to connect your financial accounts to the app. After that Albert analyzes your income, spending, and your overall financial status. 

Albert is considerably one of the best budgeting apps for tracking expenses. The app uses mathematical algorithms to do all the math for you and to decide how much money you can save each month. Soon after that, it automatically transfers that money directly into Albert Savings in the app.

The automatic transfers occur up to two or three times per week. The amount of money transferred is between $5 and $30 per one transfer. If you would like you can always ask Albert to set aside a specific amount for you every week.

You can easily withdraw them whenever you like without any fees. All your funds held in the Albert Savings account are FDIC insured up to $250,000. What about your spending?

Don’t worry, Albert instantly notifies you if you are at risk of overspending. Albert has a free and paid (Albert Genius) version. The paid one provides you with many more features and cost as much as $4 per month. For that price, you have access to one very important feature – human financial experts.

They are available for you at any time and you can ask them different questions. For example, questions may be concerning buying or leasing a car, getting a personal loan, buying a home, and many other financial services.

Another very interesting privilege is bonuses for saving. For every 100 saved by you, Albert Genius pays you 1$. Seems like a sweet deal to us.

#9. Every dollar

Are you looking for financial education, an easy action plan with steps, and you are a David Ramsey fan? If so, EveryDollar is probably the best budgeting app for you.

This online tool helps you with your money management quite efficiently. Why is that so?  Simply because the app sets goals for you that are quite achievable or in other words said “baby steps”. It is your choice to follow them, but they are still integrated into the budget.

Ramsey+ version provides many more features for $129.99 per year. The main benefit of the Ramsey+ version is that your bank account links to the app. That means that you don’t have to manually log transactions.

Depending on the bank you are using this can be either benefit or liability, because every bank has a different level of connectivity. The main benefit of the free version is that it makes you more aware of your spending.

Whether you choose the free or Ramsey+ version you still need to open the app regularly and get some work done.

#10. Debt Payoff Planner

Do you like having control over your debt? Do you prefer manual input of your information? If so, Debt Payoff Planner is the best debt app for you.

This app is free of charge and its interface is not the newest one, but if you are looking for a simple app that can help you with tracking your debt without any digital experience you can consider it.

How to use the app most efficiently? First of all, you need to input your whole debt balance, the minimum payment, and the percentage rate per year. Second of all pick a strategy and how you want to tackle your debt.

Would you choose the snowball method or the debt avalanche method?
It’s all up to you. The app gives you another opportunity to choose how to pay the debt. You can pick any order you want. After all those things the app will suggest a plan and show you the expected date of the total payoff.

After all that work you have done, you need to manually input the payments you made. Asking for email reminders is always a good way to keep yourself motivated and track your success.  

Probably the biggest competitive advantage this app has is the option to see the difference between the minimum and additional payments.  You can easily picture the length of time it will take you to pay off your debt in different scenarios.

 Read More: The Best Way Consolidate Debt


Whichever budgeting app you choose, keep one thing in mind. No matter how automated the digital process is,  if you are not willing to give up your bad spending habits you are not likely to succeed. 

If you are a beginner we recommend you try as many free versions of budgeting apps you can. After you try a few of them and you gain some experience you will know whether to go for paid versions.

Try with something simple and don’t get too stressed over it if it doesn’t  work for you the first time. Try some other app that seems easier and with a friendlier interface. 

Most importantly, don’t give up if you can’t afford that new expensive clothing or jewelry. Ask yourself why you need it and compare it with your long and short-term goals in life. Hey and don’t forget to give yourself a treat after reading this article, you deserve it.

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