If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know how big an advocate I am for tracking your spending. I’ve written about it here and even provided you with your own printable budgeting worksheets to get you started. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it in numerous emails to you too. (If you don’t already get my emails then you can opt-in anytime using the form at the bottom of this post. That’ll also get you instant access to your budgeting worksheets too!)
Do you find it difficult to stick to a budget? Find yourself overspending and not sure where all your money has gone? Then you’re in the right place, because today I’m talking about budgeting apps.
Track your spending on the go
You may have read my post about how to stop overspending already. Goodbudget is the app I have been using for several years and has drastically improved my ability to stick to my budget. But I know it’s not right for everyone, so I’ve tried out some of the other top picks. There are so many different apps to choose from it can be hard to know which one to use, but with such a variety there really is something for everyone.
Tracking your spending is the best thing you can do to stop overspending and stick to your budget. If you’re not a smartphone user, or you just prefer good old fashioned pen and paper, then I’ve created paper versions for you so that you can track your spending that way instead. Simply click the link below to download them today.
Overwhelmed by the choice?
If you’re over the age of 18, then you’ll likely have a smartphone in very close proximity to you for a good portion of the day. The BBC reported in 2016 that 4 out of 5 adults owned a smartphone!
Have you ever browsed the Google Play Store or iTunes store? There are new apps appearing everyday and there’s an app for pretty much anything you can think of…including budgeting! There are an overwhelming number of apps available, so how do you decide which one to download and use? Well, the good news is that I’ve tried and tested many of them so you don’t have to. I’ve spent the last few weeks trying them out and have handpicked my top 5, so there should be something for everyone.
My budgeting app top picks
I’ve whittled my choice for you down to 5 of the best budgeting apps. That’s a more manageable number to be able to choose from. These range from the most basic and easy to use (my preference!) to more complex and detailed. So hopefully you’ll find the one that best suits your needs by the end of this post.
I reviewed this app last year. It’s the most basic of all the apps which is what I love about it. You can see everything at a glance on one page, but if you like visual representation then you can scroll to the side to see a graph view of your spending. It’s very simple but is perfectly adequate for tracking your spending.
Ease of use
This is very straightforward to use. There’s not much to it so it doesn’t take long for you to learn how to use it. The most time consuming part is setting up your initial budget. You choose your category names and budget amounts so it’s personalised for you. Once it’s all set up it’ll only take you a few seconds to input any info you need.
Choose the category, date and amount and that’s it! There’s no ability to set up repeat transactions (like rent, utilities etc which are often the same amount on the same date each month), but it’s not too much of an issue since it only takes a few seconds to put these in each month.
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Now to the other end of the extreme. This is the most complex and detailed of all the apps. While some of the other apps are very colourful with pretty pictures to describe the different categories, this is very bland with no frills. If that’s what you like then this is the app for you!
Ease of use
You can’t see everything in one place, there are multiple pages of information for you to look though. You can view transactions by day, week or month and in number or graph form. For me, it was too much information. But if you like seeing things in detail then you’ll like this app.
You can make it even more detailed by adding subcategories under your main category headings. You don’t have to include subcategories, but it may be useful if, for example, you shop in several different supermarkets and want to easily see which you are spending the most money in.
This is fairly straightforward. You choose the account and category then input the amount. You can set up recurring income/expenses which is handy and will definitely save you time. Like I mentioned above, this is one feature that is lacking in Goodbudget.
Wallet – Money
This is a middle ground of being detailed while still easy to use. You can see everything you need on the main page, but if you want to see anything in more detail then you can go to the specific page for that section. You can even customise what you want to see on the main page. Being a visual person, I like how colourful this app is.
Ease of use
This is a middle ground in all aspects. It’s not as easy or simple to use as Goodbudget, but it’s also not as complex or detailed as Money Manager. You have to create an account to be able to use the app, which takes a bit of time to set up. And you’ll get several emails from them in the first few days unless you opt-out of these.
This can be time consuming when you’re starting out. You have to choose a category then a subcategory. You can toggle these subcategories on and off and even add your own (although there are so many already there that you’re unlikely to think of any others to add!). Once you’ve been using the app for a while, your most used categories/subcategories appear at the top of the list of choices, which streamlines the process.
You can also set up templates and planned payments to make inputting transactions quicker. This also allows you to see a list of what’s coming up which can be helpful for big annual expenses.
This is another middle-ground app in terms of detail and ease of use, like Wallet. It’s very colourful with pretty icons for each category and I like that income is green and expenses are red. There’s something subconscious about the colour red that you may find yourself spending less because you don’t like seeing all the red.
Ease of use
Everything can be seen all on one page and, like Wallet, you can customise what you want to appear on the main page. You can see things in more detail using the menu if you need, but I didn’t find this necessary.
Select either income (green) or expense (red), then choose a category, account, date, amount and decription (optional). It felt slightly lengthier to input than with the other apps but you can set up recurring payments which helps streamline things.
Need a budget app but overwhelmed by the choice? Here are my top 5. #budgeting #topapps #frugalliving Click To Tweet
I’ve saved this until the last but that does not mean it is the least impressive of the 5. Quite the opposite in fact. This is now my new favourite budgeting app! After several years of using Goodbudget, I actually prefer the look and layout of this app so I’ve made the switch!
Ease of use
This is very close to the Goodbudget end of the spectrum. It’s very simple to use without too many extra features to complicate things. Everything appears on one page in visual form. The categories appear in picture form around a donut chart with total income/expenses in the middle and balance at the bottom. You can see your expenses in more detail by using the toggle buttons beside your balance. The whole layout just sits well with me and is exactly what I want in a budgeting app!
Very simple. You can either click directly on the category picture or by using the plus and minus buttons at the bottom of the screen. Then choose an amount, date and optional description and that’s it. It won’t be detailed enough for everyone but it works for me. You can’t set up recurring payments either but that’s the only thing I would add if I could.
Goodbudget – simple to use, most basic of all the apps, good way to start out with tracking your spending.
Money Manager – most complex and detailed of the apps, good if you like to make detailed notes and see in-depth tracking info.
Wallet – Money – colourful & customisable interface, detailed category info, takes some time to set up and get used to.
Fast Budget – colourful & customisable interface, expenses appear in red which might subconsciously stop you spending as much!
Monefy – simple and visual, easy to use, my new app!
Let me know which one you decide to use, I’d love to know what you think of your new tracking buddy!