If you had a chance to read my article on how I managed to save $20,000 in one year while living in the city of Toronto, then you’re probably aware of the fact that I’m big into budgeting. So big in fact that I started a personal finance blog called The Budget Babes where I teach 18-40 year olds the concepts surrounding finance that we should have been taught in school. I wasn’t taught how to budget while growing up, and didn’t become financially savvy until moving to Toronto in my mid 20’s; money wasn’t something that was consciously top of mind. I had to teach myself to think differently. The following apps are great tools that can help you manage your money and track your spending so that you too can start saving for the future.
I wanted to share a few of my favourite budgeting apps with you in case you’re finally ready to grab the bull by the horns and take control of your finances.
As one of the most popular FREE budgeting apps out there, Mint.com seems to do it all. It has an easy to use budgeting tool that links up with your debit and credit cards (automatically inputting each transactions for you), provides you with a free credit score, tracks your bills and investments, sets financial goals, and tracks your savings.
I was considering using Mint.com but didn’t want to link my banking information to a third-party app. On top of that, if you find you have a bit of a spending problem, Mint.com may not be the best budgeting app for you. By having your cards automatically linked to the app, it takes away from using your brain to see where all of your money is going (which I think you should manually track for a month when first starting out).
This is my favourite app that I’ve been using for over 5 years. It costs $7 after your first 10 transactions but is worth every penny. The design is sleek, and the overview of your income vs. expenses on both a monthly and yearly basis is a great feature to track your overall spending. It takes a little bit of time to organize your expenses when you first download it, but once you’ve customized it to fit your lifestyle, you’re off to the races. Another great thing about this app is that you have to input each transaction manually. Although some would see this as annoying, it’s a great feature for those who are just starting out and need to rewire their brain to understand where all of the money is going. Spending a few dollars here and there can add up quickly when you don’t think about it, and this app forces you to think about it. You can learn more about it on their website.
Other reputable budgeting apps
You Need a Budget (YNAB): $50/Year
Level Money: Free
BUDGT: $1.99 (IPhone Only)
There are so many more apps out there and you really have to do a bit of research to find which one works best for you. Some of them cost money, while others take more time to manage. But if you’re serious about getting your finances on track, I highly recommend making the jump and using something to track your daily/monthly/yearly spending. You’ll notice that you’ll think differently once you start, and you’ll be able to reduce your mindless spending so you can begin to start saving for that emergency fund or any future financial goals you may have.
Did we miss any of the best budgeting apps? Share them in the comment section.
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