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  • Writer's pictureDr. Disha

Budgeting Apps


Today, we’re continuing with the Budgeting Like a Boss Series.  Let’s dive in this week so some budgeting apps that are out there.  As an experiment, I recently tried out a few popular ones. 

Here are my thoughts on YNAB, Mint, Every Dollar, Personal Capital, and Emma.

Five Budgeting Apps to Help You Budget Like a Boss

YNAB

Price: 34 day free trial, then $84/year or $11.00/month

Pro's

  1. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an awesome app for really active zero-based budgeting.  Out of all the apps I tried, I found it to be the best interface.  Credit card payments can be difficult to handle on some apps (some double account for the expense on a card and then the payment to that card to pay it off.)  YNAB programs these in easily.  

  2. It can link to banks.

  3. There are some awesome video tutorials about budgeting in general and about how to use the app effectively.

  4. It’s good if you want to check your budget before spending every dollar.

  5. It has a way to “age” money and track progress toward individual money goals.

Con's

  1. Learning YNAB is like learning a new EMR.  It has lots of great functionality but there is a bit of a learning curve.  You must invest time in watching the videos to capture all the functionalities.

  2. You have to manually categorize transactions.  It can be one-sided if all people in the household aren’t into it.  

  3. It doesn’t track your whole financial situation like investments and net worth.  It just tracks spending.

  4. You can only budget what you have in the bank, not future income- i.e. you can’t budget for the whole month at the beginning of the month.  

  5. Because of the above reasons, it can be time-consuming.

  6. It may be too much detail for someone who doesn’t have much debt and/or a large income.    


Price: Free

Pro's:

It’s free.

  1. It can track all banks, bills, and credit cards in one place.

Con's

  1. It bundles your data and sells to 3rd parties.  

  2. It markets to you, which I’m not a fan of.

Price: 15-day free trial, then $129.99 per year

Pro's

  1. This app is also based on zero-based budgeting.

  2. It can link to banks but I’m not sure if it handles credit card payments well since Dave Ramsey preaches against the use of credit cards.

  3. Can plan for future income.  

  4. Doing the free trial for Ramsey plus for 15 days gives you access to all the financial peace courses and courses about budgeting.  This is a great way to get your learn on for free.  Just remember to cancel before the trial period ends.

Con's

Have to manually categorize transactions.

  1. Not as detailed as YNAB.


Price: Free

Pro's

  1. It includes some budgeting software, but it’s mostly an investment advisory app.

  2. You can link all your accounts here to track your net worth, asset allocation, and progress toward retirement.


Con's

  1. They make money from their advisory services.  Expect a phone call once your net worth reaches $100,000.

Price: Free with optional upgrade

Pro's

  1. The strength of this app is that once you link your cards to it, it pulls recurring subscription expenses and helps you cancel them.  It also pulls up bank fees and helps you budget.

Con's

  1. It’s only available in an app interface.

Finally,  I will mention that many banks are now including budgeting software in their interface, whether it is a website or an app.  You can make that work for you by linking all your accounts to one bank and tracking your spending there.

There are other apps out there that I haven’t had time to review.  I hope to bring those to you at a later time.  

See you next week!

Stay frugal, y’all!

Disha

Standard Disclaimer: Not meant as individualized financial or medical advice.  This post contains a referral link to Personal Capital.            

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