Budgeting can be intimidating! I get it…budgeting seems time-consuming and difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! Money Tree Network reviewed many budgeting and picked our favorites for you.
Mint, Personal Capital, YNAB, EveryDollar, HoneyMoney…these are just a few of the hundreds of budgeting apps on the market. What sets these apps apart from the rest? The simplicity! That is what makes these budgeting apps my favorite ones. So let’s go into a little bit more detail.
Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps on the market. Mint is a free(ish) app that allows you to hook up your bank account and start tracking all of your expenses.
Within the app, you can create different budget categories and budget lines which will help you actually start your own budget.
Mint will automatically track all of your purchases and try it’s best to separate them into the correct budget category.
Sometimes these are right, and sometimes they are wrong so try to check Mint at least weekly to be sure it is tracking everything correctly.
Past that, you can also link your investments, add your car in, and add your real estate worth in as well.
Mint calculates your net worth based on the cash you have on hand, your investments, your car, and your real estate.
Mint was created to focus on budgeting and not so much investing, so there is a large issue that you will face when entering your investments into mint…it only tracks from when you started your Mint account.
This is still okay for most people as they are trying to get a rough estimate of their net worth.
Mint is also great when setting up goals. You can tell the app exactly how much money you want to save and what date you need to save it by. Then you can upload a picture (pictures can help keep you motivated).
Mint will calculate how much you need to save each month in order to reach your goal. It will make it extremely easy to save!
Mint is free other than the fact that they show plenty of ads. If you can manage to navigate around the ads you should enjoy your experience using Mint for your budgeting. Try out Mint today!
Mint Alternative: Personal Capital
Personal Capital, dubbed Mint killer, was founded in 2009 as an app to help people budget and invest. The platform is very similar to that of Mint, but with one key difference…it focuses on investing instead of saving.
When you login to Personal Capital for the first time, you will be able to add your bank account information, investments, cars, and any other place where you have your money. The app will then track all of your expenses and try to tell you
After your first time logging in, you will see a lot of graphs and charts showing your net worth, your total investments, the money that you could be investing, your portfolio balance, and much more. For people who would rather glance at graphs and charts this is for you!
When it comes to budgeting using Personal Capital you should not have much trouble at all! Although this platform really is investments first, saving second, it makes it easy to create a budget and stick to it.
The app will track everything that you buy as well as the income that you receive. In the account dashboard you will be able to see every penny that you spent during the course of that particular month.
Personal Capital is free to use just like Mint. They, however, are an investment firm at heart. They created the platform to help gain new clients. If you have a net worth over a certain amount you may receive a call or email about investing with this investment firm.
Mint Alternative: YNAB (You Need a Budget)
YNAB is a rising budgeting app that encourages you to be a little bit more hands on. This app pushes a zero-based budget which makes you account for every dollar.
My favorite budget method is zero-based budgets! In this type of budget you enter in how much you bring in every month and then subtract out everything that you buy throughout the month. The money that is left over is designated for savings.
When you first sign up for the app, you will type in the money that you currently have. The next day you will start tracking all of the things that you buy and the income that you bring in. To do this, you will create different budget categories in the app and then start categorizing every single thing that you buy. At the end of the month you will be able to see where you are spending all of your money.
The good news here is that YNAB will allow you to pull last month’s budget into the current month so that you don’t have to create a new one each and every month. This will help you save time!
YNAB’s goal options are a little bit limited. You have 3 different options; target category balance, target category balance by date, and monthly funding goal.
- Target Category Balance – The target category balance option allows you to enter what it is that you are saving for, and the amount of money that you will need to reach that goal. The app does not break it down into months for you so you will have to do the math.
- Target Category Balance By Date – This is very similar to the last option, only you can tell the app when you need the money by. It will then tell you exactly how much you have to save every month in order to reach your goal. This is a great option because it follows the SMART goal guidelines. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
- Monthly Funding Goal – This option allows you to simply say how much you want to save every month. It does not require that you enter al goal, a timeline, or any other information.
The biggest downside to YNAB is that it costs $5 per month. If you are willing to commit to using the app then this will be well worth the money spent!
Mint Alternative: EveryDollar
The budgeting app, EveryDollar, is a newer app that was created by Dave Ramsey’s team. Dave is a finance expert who has gotten millions of people out of debt, and he is my inspiration for writing this blog.
This app is very similar to YNAB, in that it encourages you to stay hands on. With the free version of the app, you will be able to create different budget categories and budget lines and then manually enter everything that you buy.
At the end of the month, EveryDollar will be able to show you where you are spending all of your money. If you decide to pay for the used version of the app (or you went through Financial Peace University recently) you will be able to connect your bank account to the app and have all of your expenses automatically tracked.
This app is ad free leaving you with a great experience. It does only really focus on budgeting which can eliminate the risk of getting distracted by investments. If you need additional help, it connects you with a smart-vestor pro who is a Dave Ramsey endorsed financial planner.
HoneyMoney is one of the lesser known budgeting softwares on the market. It is a calendar based budgeting tool that allows you to see everything that you bought on certain days. With HoneyMoney, you will have to enter your expenses manually (it is designed that way on purpose).
The app will allow you to enter different budget categories much like the previous apps and then manually input all of the things that you bought. The software then analyzes your habits and tells you where you should be able to cut back, how much you should save each month, and how much you can actually spend each month.
HoneyMoney does cost $5 per month or $50 per year but it is worth the price! It comes with a 30 day free trial which will make it easy to know whether or not you like it. It will allow you to really start budgeting and saving your money.
To Sum It Up
If you are looking to get on a budget then check out all of the budgeting apps that I reviewed above. Mint, Personal Capital, You Need a Budget, EveryDollar, and HoneyMoney can all help you to start tracking your expenses, and knowing exactly where every dollar is going! Try one out or try them all out!