5 Best Budgeting Apps For 2020

Budgeting is the foundation of personal finance.  If you don’t know where your money is going, it is very hard to plan for the future and build wealth.

Smartphones are an integral part of most people’s lives. So it makes sense to have a budgeting app on your phone. In addition to providing basic budgeting features, budgeting apps provide other services such as helping reduce debt, paying bills, saving money and tracking credit scores.

Here are the five best apps I have chosen that will help you take control of your budget.

Budgeting Tools To Get Control of Your Finances

Personal Capital

Platforms: iOS, Android, Web

Cost: Free.  If you choose to invest with Personal Capital, the annual fee is 0.89%

Personal Capital is one of the most popular personal finance tools on the market. It includes budgeting and investment tools that give you a high-level view of your finances on a single dashboard.

After you have linked all your financial accounts, you can track your net worth over time.  You can also track your monthly cash flows, your progress towards your goals and view your investment portfolio and retirement account balances.

One of my favorite features is the “Fee Analyzer” that shows you how much you are paying in fees on your retirement plans.

Personal capital also has a Wealth Management plan if you have at least $100,000 to invest. It charges a 0.89% annual fee.


Platforms: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

Mint is created by Intuit, which also owns the popular Quicken software.  Mint has been around for several years.  In addition to budgeting features, the app also gives you free credit scores every month based on your Equifax report.

Mint app allows you to view all your bills in one snapshot. Mint allows you to categorize your spending by a specific merchant or by category.  Mint syncs your investment accounts and tracks value over time.

My favorite Mint feature is the “trends”.  After you get a few months of data into Mint, it can slice and dice your data to help you identify opportunities to reduce your expenses.


Platforms: iOS, Android

Cost: $9.99/month or $59.99 per year, 30-day free trial

The app is designed for couples to manage their money.  But don’t be disappointed if you are single or if your partner is not interested in managing the finances.  The app will ask you for two emails and you can enter two of your emails and you are good to go.

The appl is flexible and allows couples to track accounts separately or jointly based on their preference.

What I like about the app is that it lets you communicate with your partner about a transaction. If you have a joint bank account or a credit card with your partner, this is a great app.  The app also allows you to limit what transaction your partner can see.

Like most other budgeting apps, HoneyFi will link all your accounts.  The app uses historical data to come up with a budget.  The app has default categories to group your expenses but you can use own categories as well.


Platforms: iOS, Android

Cost: PocketGuard is free, Pocketguard Plus is 3.99/month or $34.99/year

Pocketguard allows you to categorize spending like other budget apps.  What is special with this app is that you can use hashtags to categorize if you prefer.

“In My Pocket” feature tells you how much money you can afford to spend after accounting for all your liabilities.

PocketGuard helps you find a lower interest rate for debt and a higher interest rate for savings. Based on your income and spending habits, Pocketguard can help you create an automatic budget.


Platforms: iOS, Android

Cost: 34-day free trial, $6.99/ month or $83.99 per year

YNAB links all your accounts to get a realtime snapshot of your finances.  The app also allows you to share the snapshot with your partner.

In addition to a goal tracking feature, YNAB has a Debt Paydown feature that helps you pay down debt and get ahead financially.

YNAB has one of the best reporting features on the market. It is not the most intuitive budget app.  You might take a little while to get used to it but the app offers one-on-one support from a coach if you need it.

I chose the apps featured here based on the following criteria

Budgeting features –  Though each app has its own way of creating a budget, I looked for apps that help users create and manage budgets in an intuitive way.

Cost – I looked at some free and some paid apps.  Paying for a budget app is not for everyone though paid apps offer additional bells and whistles and do not have ads.  The downside of free apps is that they display ads, but I looked for the ones where the ads were not too intrusive

Extra Features – In addition to budgeting, some of the apps featured here include credit reports or scores, and investment management

Ease of use – I included apps that were mostly easy to use

Ratings – We looked at reviews at the Apple store and Google Play and chose apps that were rated high by its users.

Do you use any of these apps?  What is your opinion of them?

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