It’s no secret that budgeting and saving are keys to financial success. The good thing is, there are so many things you can do–big and small–to fit budgeting and saving into your everyday life (even if you’re the type of person that can’t seem to save). At BLINQ, for example, we’re passionate about shopping smarter so we can splurge (responsibly) on the things that matter most. Whether you’re budgeting for something big–like a new house–or looking to be better about saving a little money each day, it’s helpful to have the right tools and resources at your fingertips (literally and figuratively) to help you get there.
Luckily, the mobile age offers an unprecedented wealth of easy-to-use apps to help you budget, save and track your spending. And dare I say it? They can even be a little fun to use! So without further adieu, here are some of the top free budgeting apps you can try today, to start budgeting and saving for what matters most to you in life.
Why it’s the best: Mint is an ad-supported budgeting and money-tracking app that’s widely considered one of the best budgeting apps available. Like many such apps, Mint makes budgeting simple by linking to your bank account and automatically tracking your income and expenditures. As soon as you start using it, Mint starts analyzing trends and habits from your spending history and starts advising you on next steps. You also have the option to pay your bills through Mint, should you so desire.
2. Level Money
Why it’s the best: If you’re looking to find out just how much you can spend in the next day, week, or month, LevelMoney is the free budget app for you. Calling itself a “financial GPS,” LevelMoney helps you create trackers for various spending categories and shows you exactly where you are at any given moment, so you can figure out whether that dinner out or new tablet PC is a good idea. It also helps you predict your balance and upcoming bills to give you a good idea of what lies ahead for your finances.
Why it’s the best: Like Mint, Spendee connects to your bank account, downloads your transactions, and categorizes your spending automatically. It sorts your finances into easy-to-read overviews, and lets you see all the areas where you spend your money. It’s designed to be a simple, attractive, intuitive, and easy-to-use free budget app, from top to bottom. There’s a premium version of the app that allows for multiple “wallets” and budgets so you can manage your money just how you like.
Why it’s the best: Mvelopes is one of the best budgeting apps designed to help you get out of debt and recover your income. The app guides you through the budgeting process through a series of questions about your financial goals, and changes up its approach based on what’s most important to you. It then assists you in discovering “hidden spending” and helps you sort money into envelopes (categories) so you have an easy visual overview of where your money’s going. The basic version of Mvelopes is free, with the option to upgrade to premium coaching services and additional tools.
Why it’s the best: But what if you don’t want to set up a budget (or have already done so), but still want a little extra help saving money? Enter Unsplurge, the free budget app that helps you save for specific goals, like that new plasma TV or European vacation. Unsplurge doesn’t connect to your bank account or ask you for extensive financial information—it just tracks specific savings goals and reminds you to keep at them every once in awhile.
Honorable Mention: You Need a Budget
Why it’s the best: If you want an app that will not only help you budget, but help you seriously level-up all your financial management skills, You Need a Budget is the app you’ve been waiting for. YNAB offers a wealth of videos, tutorials and guides to show you the ins and outs of financial management. It also walks you through the basics of budgeting as you learn the app, which makes it great for students and young people. The only catch? It costs $5 per month to use… although students can get a 1-year waiver, and there’s a free trial, so you can try before you buy.
While these are far from the only budgeting apps on the market, they’re some of the best budgeting apps to help you start or continue to effectively manage your budget and savings. And the fact that they’re free is just icing on the cake!
Do you have any favorite free budgeting apps that aren’t on this list? Tell me about it in the comments!