We’re taught at an early age the importance of budgeting, but how often are we actually doing it?
If the answer’s none, you’re not alone. Two-thirds of Americans don’t even have $1,000 handy, suggesting a serious concern about budget practices.
Maybe you forget, promise to make it next year’s resolution, or are just terrified at the thought of crunching all those scary numbers.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a seasoned accountant to budget your finances or improve spending habits. Read on for some of the best budget planners to help you achieve greater financial health.
Just as its name suggests, this app helps guard you from spending too much out of your pocket. PocketGuard syncs up your bank accounts to monitor how much money you have available. It can even tailor a budget by factoring in your wages and debts.
PocketGuard breaks down every purchase and provides detailed reports on how you can save money. The app costs $3.99 per month or $34.99 annually.
From the same company that brought you TurboTax and Quickbooks, Mint by Intuit has grown into a popular budgeting app with over 20 million users. Similar to PocketGuard, it links your bank accounts and tracks spending. A major benefit is an app sends alerts when payments are due.
The app also monitors your credit score and provides tips to improve it. Mint is free to download.
This app works differently from traditional budgeting and helps users grow their money. Each time you make a purchase Acorns rounds up the total to the next full dollar and invests it. For example, if you spend $24.15 at the gas pump, the app will round the purchase up to $25 and invest the extra 85 cents on your behalf.
Recently the app launched Acorns Spend, a debit card to directly invest the rounded up change from each purchase. Acorns start at just $1 per month to use.
If you’re looking for just budgeting without any frills, Wally is a great choice. The app lets you set financial goals and breaks down how you’re spending money. Wally uses your phone’s GPS to determine which places you spend the most at and can document purchases by simply uploading receipts.
The app is free of charge to download.
Long before smartphones and computers, many people budgeted finances by simply dividing up money into envelopes for designated expenses. The good budget has reestablished this method in the 21st century. The only catch is you can’t sync up your bank accounts, requiring everything to be manually entered.
A good budget is one of the best budget apps for couples and families. It has membership options ranging from free to $6 per month.
Alternatives to Mobile Apps
There’s no denying the convenience of mobile apps and websites doing the dirty work for us to save money. Downloading these products isn’t the only option though.
Manually tracking your finances by hand may seem archaic, but is still practical. Invest in a budget notebook planner or utilize Excel spreadsheets to document your spending habits.
Budgeting isn’t just limited to individual persons. Large businesses can also take advantage of budgeting company finances. Tools like PayStubCreator ensure employers are allocating every single dollar correctly.
Finding the Best Budget Planners
With so many options it may be overwhelming on where to start. If you’re new to budgeting, start with free apps or ones that offer trials to get a feel for which works best for you.
Ultimately, the best budget planners are the ones that improve your finances and minimize debt. It does take effort on your end. Don’t expect money issues to instantly disappear just because you downloaded an app but didn’t adjust your spending habits.
After a few months of diligent spending and saving, the results should gradually show!