We’ve mentioned the importance of budgeting in many of our posts, so we know it’s tough to start and perhaps even harder to stick with. Advances in technology and the widespread use of smartphones has made budgeting a high-tech operation. Let’s take a look at some options and find a smartphone budgeting app that can provide help getting out of debt by automating what can be a tricky process.
Why Use a Budgeting App?
The critical actions for effective budgeting are properly calculating expenses and consistently tracking spending. Human error or forgetfulness in calculations and monitoring purchases can nullify your budgeting efforts. A budgeting app will automate certain aspects of the process for you. Notifications and alerts can keep you on track, so you can maximize savings to use for paying off debt.
Available Budgeting Apps
Whether you’re on Android or Apple, there are apps available to take your budgeting to the next level. Here are our recommendations (in no particular order):
For iOS & Android
- Mint – This is one of the most comprehensive apps around. From Inuit, the same company that handles Turbo Tax and QuickBooks, you can get your credit score and map your entire financial life in one spot.
- PocketGuard – This app connects directly to your bank accounts for accurate and personal budgeting. It also has a feature for monitoring cash flow.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB) – This budgeting specific app is really more of a service. It does cost around $5 a month, but it comes with a complete online library of useful personal finance videos and resources.
- HomeBudget – This is a great choice for family budgeting. It can incorporate multiple users and sync across devices, so spouses and children can coordinate their budgeting efforts. Unfortunately, it costs $4.99, but its unique family sharing feature may be worth it.
- Level Money – This budgeting app will tell you what you can afford to spend today. It can also show the funds you have for a week or a month. Plus, there are saving specific tools.
- Spendee – This is rated as one of the most user-friendly budgeting apps. It will automatically generate infographics using data from your spending or budgeting habits over time.
For iOS Only
- BUDGT – This is another app with budgeting as the main focus. It allows you to setup spending categories to prioritize purchases. It does cost $1.99 to install.
- Spendbook – Also priced at $1.99, this app has a unique spending tracking feature. It allows you to take pictures of receipts. This can be very handy for effective budgeting.
This is just a partial list of budgeting app options. Each one of these applications has unique features that could be very useful depending on spending habits and financial needs. In order to know which one is right for you, a little more research is necessary. Take your time, and be thorough to find an app that will best help you eliminate debt.
For consumers that do not have a smartphone, there are still low-tech budgeting tools available. Check out ACCC’s printable budgeting worksheets for help setting up your budget.
No matter what kind of tool you use to budget, you’ll be setting yourself up for financial success.