5 Best Budgeting Apps For 2023

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

Tiller Money

Mobile app – none

Cost 0 $79/year. 30-day free trial

Tiller Money is a simple app that feeds financial transactions to an Excel spreadsheet or a Google sheet.  You can manipulate the data in your spreadsheet. If you are an Excel expert or spend a lot of time using spreadsheets, this app is ideal for you.

Cost 0 $79/year. 30-day free trial

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 toward your goals and view your investment portfolio and retirement account balances.

One of my favorite features is the “Fee Analyzer” which 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.

The 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 expenses.


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 about this app is that you can use hashtags to categorize if you prefer.

The “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.

YNAB (You Need A 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 real-time 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 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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