There's no need to use the old fashioned check book to reconcile your bank accounts these days. And if you're using an Excel spreadsheet, you're also behind the times.
Using the best free budgeting apps today can make life a lot easier, saving you time, money and giving you true financial peace of mind. Here are 10 free budgeting apps that make managing your finances easier.
Mint is owned by the popular finance software company, Intuit, who also owns TurboTax and QuickBooks. If you’re a fan of either of those, you’ll love Mint. The goal of Mint is to “…help you effortlessly manage your finances in one place.” Their budgeting software lets you see everything in one place including all your bank account balances, your free credit score and even your investments.
How does Mint.com work? First you need to set up your free Mint account. Once you’ve completed that, simply link your bank accounts to your Mint.com account by following their step by step instructions.
Once your accounts are linked, you can begin accessing all their budgeting tools like bill payments tracker, bank account alerts, budget categorization, credit score details and investments.
What is Mint best designed for? If you’re looking for a trusted budgeting app that lets you manage everything in one location including your credit score and investments, then Mint.com is second to none. The fact that they are owned by a market leading tax and accounting software gives you peace of mind that they know how to make a good product.
Mint.com has both free and premium memberships. Premium memberships come with added tools and resources, while the free version gives you access to all the main budgeting tools.
2. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a very powerful free budgeting app that lets you link all your financial accounts to view and analyze in one place. The app makes money management easy and exciting. They are remarkably similar to Mint in terms of their tools and analysis resources.
How does Personal Capital work? After setting up your free account and linking your checking account, savings accounts, and other accounts, you can start using their free tools. Among the tools offered by Personal Capital are things like a net worth tracker, savings planner, cash flow analysis, retirement planner, education planner, investment checkup, fee analyzer and financial goals tracking.
Personal Capital is a great solution for anyone who wants to view all their finance information in one location, with access to additional wealth management solutions. Clients with larger bank balances and more investable assets get access to their wealth advisor team for a small fee, available if and should you choose to invest with them.
3. Every Dollar
If you’re a big Dave Ramsey fan, then Every Dollar is a perfect fit. Every Dollar is Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app that even prioritizes things the way his 7 Baby Steps process does. They have a completely free version along with the option to sign up for a plus membership that comes with a few added benefits.
How does Every Dollar work? The foundation behind Every Dollar is creating a monthly budget and giving “every dollar” a name and a place. It helps you set a budget, track your spending and progress towards your financial goals.
The free version requires you to do things manually, which in some cases may be beneficial so you are more conscious of your spending habits. If you wish to purchase the premium version, you can link your bank accounts and get your expenses tracked automatically.
What is Every Dollar best used for? Anyone who is a fan of Dave Ramsey’s famous Baby Steps would be wise to use the Every Dollar budgeting app. It’s as simple and basic as the seven baby steps themselves and has helped thousands get out of debt and improve their finances.
Simple is more of a basic checking account that was built to make budgeting easier. The checking account has built in budget tracking tools and resources, so you don’t have to worry about linking a third party app.
How does Simple work? First you need to open up a free checking account. Once your account is open, you can deposit money and begin using it as your primary spending account. Their app will automatically monitor your spending and help you improve your financial habits.
Who is Simple best suited for? Anyone looking for a true “all-in-one” solution budget checking account will be happy using Simple as their budgeting tool.
Empower is a free budgeting app that lets you “Crush your financial goals.” The app helps you earn, save, and spend your money wisely with the automated personal financial expert app.
How does Empower work? Empower is similar to a bank, in that they give you a basic checking account and let you link your bank account to the free account. Then, you can start using the account to automate your savings, use their budgeting tools, get access to personalized coaching, use their smart recommendations tool, have an interest bearing checking account, and even get cash advances of up to $150 for free without any credit check.
Who is Empower best suited for? Anyone who is looking for a modern way to manage their money and is OK opening a new basic checking account that has added benefits, would really enjoy using Empower as their budgeting option. It’s best for those who want a truly automated budgeting tool.
Tally is a powerful budgeting app that is focused on helping you manage and pay down your debt faster. They help you save on interest, make your debt payments on time, and get out of debt quicker than you would otherwise.
How does Tally work? When setting up your Tally account you will need to be approved for their line of credit that requires a 660 credit score or higher. They then pay your credit cards for you every month, and you simply make small payments to Tally as they pay your credit card bills. The end result is you save money on high interest rates and pay down your debt faster.
Who is Tally best suited for? If you have a lot of credit card debt and want a budgeting app that helps you tackle your credit card debt problems, then Tally is your absolute best option.
Acorns is primarily a saving and investing app. They pioneered the idea of being able to round up your everyday purchases to the next whole dollar and save and invest your spare change. Acorns makes it easy for you to save more money without noticing your budget tightening at all.
How does Acorns work? First, you need to link your bank account to your acorns account. Then acorns will start rounding up your daily purchases to the next dollar and setting aside the spare change for you. Once your spare change reaches at least $5, it will be invested automatically for you into a customized investment portfolio built for you by an algorithm designed by expert investors.
Although Acorns isn’t totally free, I considered it to be next to free and thus included it in this list. It costs just $1 per month for their basic features, and up to $3 per month for access to their unique Acorns Spend account and Acorns Later account (a retirement account).
Acorns is best for those who have a hard time saving money and investing their savings. It takes care of the hard stuff for you and automates both saving and investing at no headache to you.
Wally is a budgeting app that was built to help those who just don’t know how to use sophisticated software, don’t like using excel spreadsheets or don’t want to go old fashioned with budgeting with pen and paper. They created their budgeting software to make budgeting easy for people who fall outside of these categories.
How does Wally work? After you download the Wally app, you can link your bank account and begin managing your expenses, understand where your money goes, and ultimately set and achieve your money goals.
Who is Wally best suited for? Really anyone who wants an amazingly simple budgeting app that helps manage and analyze your expenses, spending, income, and money goals.
Truebill is a popular budgeting app that aims at lowering your monthly expenses by negotiating your bills for you. It’s completely free in that you don’t pay anything up front, and if they can save you money, they simply keep 40% of the savings and let you keep the 60% savings.
How does Trubill work? Once you open your Truebill account, you can connect your bills by logging in or taking a photo of your bill. They then have a negotiation team that will reach out to your service provider and negotiate your bills for you.
Who is Truebill best suited for? Anyone who is wanting to loosen up their budget and find some extra cash to pay down debt would be wise to use Truebill. They will lower your regular service bills and provide you with additional savings that can be used toward other financial priorities.
PocketGuard was built to make your personal finances as simple as possible. Their app lets you track your spending, create a budget, lower your bills, and ultimately help you have more peace of mind financially.
How does PocketGuard work? Once you set up your free account, you can link your bank account and begin using their budgeting tools and resources to make managing your money easy. Their app lets you link your bank accounts, credit cards, investments, and loans all in one place.
It then categorizes your spending for you so you can see where you are overspending. The app lets you know how much money you have “in My Pocket” which is the leftover money after all bills are paid.
Who is PocketGuard best suited for? Anyone who wants to automate their budget and really know how much discretionary income they have left over for spending would be happy using PocketGuards budgeting tools.