There are many different budgeting methods out there, and what works for one person may not work for you. If you struggle with spreadsheets or writing things down and want the ease of using an app, I’ve put together a roundup of some money management apps you might like to try.
Should You Use a Budgeting App?
There are several on the market, some free, some paid. With this in mind, you might be wondering whether budgeting apps are worth it. Personally, for me, I don’t get on with them. Because I use the money pie budgeting method, I tend to find the information that gets pulled through isn’t truly reflective of my money status at that time. Also, some apps will support several bank accounts, but some will only link to one.
Certainly, for me, I’d much rather use my own spreadsheet and planner. But not everyone likes spreadsheets or workbooks, and if you want something that’s more automated, an app may help you. With many of them being free to download, you won’t lose anything. So, try some out, and if you don’t get on with any of them, delete them and unsubscribe/cancel the subscription if you’ve paid for one.
Are Budgeting Apps Safe?
You’ll need to check individually but they’re generally read-only, so they can’t access your finances. Basically, they’re designed to read what’s going on in your account. A budgeting app will give a snapshot of your finances — how much you’re spending on transport, food etc. Generally, they’re safe to use. But just check before you sign up, and ensure you have good, strong passwords.
The following apps may not be available in your country, but you could do a quick Google search to find those that are. It may also depend on your mobile operating system like Apple or Android, so it’s worth checking that, too. Here are a few of my suggestions.
Budgeting Apps to Try
YNAB (You Need a Budget)
YNAB is American based, which is great if you’re in the USA. If not, it’s a little trickier and you’ll need to do some manual tasks yourself. YNAB comes with a training platform on how to budget and manage your money, so that your income can’t be spent immediately. It’s a really intuitive tool to use, but ultimately, it comes down to you as an individual so it’s worth giving it a test run. You can try it free for 34 days here.
I’d recommend watching all the training videos to understand how it works, and if you enjoy using it, stick with it. The cost is currently $11.99 a month, or you can pay for it in one lump sum for the year. Of course, if the app doesn’t work for you, make sure you cancel your subscription before they take payment.
Yolt is a UK based app, which brings all of your accounts into one place. It doesn’t replace your bank account, but gives you an overview including your spending breakdown, reminders for when your bills are due, and it tracks your transactions. It’s free to download, and it can help you direct your money and stay on track.
The Emma app is another UK-based one. It works by collating your expenditure and gives you a breakdown of how much you’re spending. It also tells you what your spending is like compared to others in your age group, which can be a real eye-opener! It told me I was overspending on Amazon, so it really makes you think about what you’re spending your money on.
The Money Dashboard
This app is great for people who use more than one bank account, and is considered the best budgeting app. Because it can connect to all of your accounts, you get an overview of all your money in one place where you can see what’s going in and what’s coming out. It also categorises your spending, and reviews those spending habits over 6 months.
If this is something which you think may help you stay on track with your money, it’s definitely worth trying. It uses read-only software, so it can’t move any of your money. Best of all, it’s easy, attractive, and free.
The Wally app is also a great place to sync all of your accounts. Plus, it’s global, which is great news for US and other readers in the world. What I love about this is the financial calendar, because it tells you when all of your bills are due. It’s a brilliant way to stay on top of your money, as forgotten bills can often trip us up when we think we’ve got everything covered.
I really like the CLEO app. CLEO is an artificial intelligence robot which tells you at any given time how much you can spend. You can ask whether you have enough to spend £50 on a takeaway, and CLEO will ask you whether you’re sure you want to spend more money, given what you’ve already paid out for and what you’ve got left. It’s great fun and helps you to stay on track. You can also pay for Cleo+ for facilities like cash back on purchases and a payday advance instead of using an overdraft.
I’ve just been introduced to this one, and it’s well worth checking out. While new, it has been well thought out, and there are some nice features, like a list of all of your up coming transactions, and being able to see all of your accounts (including credit cards) all on the same page. You can tag transactions too to help you find something quickly, or to keep an eye on what you’re spending. It’s currently in beta mode, so it won’t be perfect, and you can help shape it’s development by giveing honest feedback on how it is working for you.
All of the apps I’ve recommended here for you to try are user-friendly, understandable and accessible. But do make sure you do your own research to ensure you’re comfortable with using one. Also remember that not all will be available in your country, so just do a little search to see what is. And of course, if they’re free, you’re not losing out.
Once you’ve found one you really like, use it! All of these things will help you manage your money, provided you use them.
Come into my free facebook group and share which one you use and love or feel free to comment below!
Bye for now!
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