The Best Budgeting Apps (For People Who Don’t Like to Budget)
The Best Budgeting Apps for People Who Don’t Like to Budget
Budgeting is one of those things that most people either love, hate, or learn to tolerate. If you fall in the hate or tolerate camps, perhaps your approach to budgeting could use a little refreshing.
The best way to make budgeting work for you is to use a method that you find simple, easy to use, and easy to understand. Otherwise, you will likely give up on budgeting. For you, finding a system that works could mean sticking with paper and pencil — which is just fine. Paper and pencil can help you “feel” the numbers better and cements the basic principles of budgeting.
But, using budgeting apps also has its benefits. The automation and ease of using some of the available budgeting tools could be the very thing that helps you make budgeting a habit. Fortunately, there are several budgeting apps designed specifically with the “budget averse” in mind. They are user-friendly and visually appealing, and (dare I say it?) make budgeting fun.
Here are some of the best budgeting apps for people who don’t like to budget.
EveryDollar is based on the zero-based budget concept, which means that you pre-plan how you’re going to spend every dollar of the income you expect to come in each month. (Income – Spending = Zero.)
Available to use both on your computer or as an app, EveryDollar is extremely user-friendly and is a great place to start if you have never tried a zero-based budget or you’re ready to ditch your paper and pencil.
When you first sign up, it will walk you through creating your budget by using a template of standard budgeting categories. Of course, you can add and delete categories as necessary. Once you’ve created your budget, you can track your spending throughout the month by adding your transactions and assigning them to the appropriate spending categories. At any given time, you can see how much you have left to spend in each area.
EveryDollar is free to use, however the premium version, EveryDollar Plus, which allows connectivity to your bank accounts, costs $99/year.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
Also based on the zero-based budget concept, YNAB is an excellent tool if you are new to budgeting or need a user-friendly experience.
YNAB’s system is based on four rules:
- Give Every Dollar A Job
- Embrace Your True Expenses
- Roll With The Punches
- Age Your Money
The goal of this app is to help you break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, and it walks you through the process of getting there. YNAB can be accessed from your computer as well as across all your devices with the app. Connect to your bank accounts for easy tracking.
Not free to use, YNAB costs $50/year but offers a free 34-day trial.
Mint goes beyond just the budget and offers many features to help you manage your financial life.
In addition to creating your budget, you can track and pay your bills, link all of your financial accounts, and see your spending. Like the other budgeting tools, Mint is web-based and is also available as an app.
This tool provides regular updates on your accounts and alerts you to any unusual changes in your spending. You will also receive regular access to a free credit score.
While Mint offers a more robust look at your finances, it manages to remain user-friendly.
Find the App That Works For You
These three budgeting apps certainly are not the only ones out there, but they each provide easy-to-use features that will help you manage your budget.
If you dread the thought of budgeting, give one of these tools a try. You just might go from hating your budget to loving it!
Have you tried any of these budgeting apps? Which one do you like?