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Jun 20, 2024

Best budgeting apps to consider in 2024

By Team Stash
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person sitting at the table with receipts and their cell phone.

When your phone’s blowing up, work is demanding, and your to-do list seems never-ending, how can you stay on top of your budget? Managing your finances day-to-day and planning for the future can feel overwhelming. If you’re looking for a smart solution, you may want to consider a budgeting app.

Whether you’re saving for a big purchase, trying to pay off debt, or simply want to make your dollars stretch further, budgeting apps can help you juggle the complexities of your personal finances amidst a busy schedule. You can use a budgeting app to automate many of the financial management tasks that eat up time and energy. Budgeting apps can help with everything from monitoring your spending to setting financial goals to providing insights into your financial habits.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best budgeting apps of 2024, breaking down their features, costs, and pros and cons so you can decide which app might be the best fit for you. 

Let’s explore these top 5 budgeting apps:

Budgeting app #1: YNAB

YNAB, short for “You Need a Budget,” is geared toward people who want a structured approach to money management. It can be particularly useful for those who struggle with overspending and need a clear plan to get their finances in order.

YNAB is known for its educational focus, teaching people to prioritize their spending based on their financial goals. The app allows you to create detailed budgets, track expenses, and even set aside money for future goals. YNAB is based on the zero-based budgeting method, in which you allocate every single dollar to a specific “job” in your budget. This approach can help you avoid impulse buying and plan your finances with tremendous specificity.

Cost: $14.99 per month or $99 per year

YNAB prosYNAB cons
Comprehensive budgeting toolsSteep learning curve
Robust educational resourcesNo bill-pay feature
Extremely precise budgeting systemRequires manual updates for certain transactions

Budgeting app #2: Goodbudget

Goodbudget takes an envelope budgeting approach, where you allocate portions of your income to different spending and budget categories. The traditional envelope method relies on cash, which isn’t always practical; Goodbudget makes it easier to adapt the old-school cash method for the digital age.

Goodbudget customers say that the budgeting app is user-friendly and provides a clear, straightforward way to track your spending. It also lets you share your budget with others and syncs across devices, making it easy for people to manage their finances as a couple or family. The downside is that it doesn’t automatically sync with your bank accounts, so you have to manually enter your expenses into the app.

Cost: Free for basic features; $10 per month or $80 annually for premium features

Goodbudget prosGoodbudget cons
Easy-to-use interfaceNo automatic bank account syncing
Ideal for shared budgetingLimited free version features
Encourages intentional spendingManual entry can be time-consuming

Budgeting app #3: Monarch

Cost: $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year

Monarch caters to people who want a comprehensive financial management tool that goes beyond simple budgeting. It can be useful if you’re looking for a holistic view of your financial plan.

Monarch offers a robust suite of features, including budgeting, investment tracking, and financial planning tools. The budgeting app also provides personalized financial advice, helping you make informed decisions about your money. Its user-friendly interface and powerful analytics make it a popular choice for people who are looking toward their long-term financial health.

Monarch prosMonarch cons
Comprehensive financial toolsDoesn’t connect to all financial institutions
Investment trackingMay be overwhelming for beginners
Personalized financial adviceLimited free trial period

Budgeting app #4: PocketGuard

Cost: Free for basic features; $12.99 per month or $74.99 annually for premium features

PocketGuard is designed for people who want a simple, automated way to keep their spending in check. It provides a quick snapshot of your financial status at any given time, which makes it easy to check on your spending day to day.

PocketGuard automatically links to your bank accounts to track your spending and show how much disposable income you have after accounting for bills and savings goals. The app’s “In My Pocket” feature provides real-time insights into your finances, making it easier to avoid overspending.

PocketGuard prosPocketGuard cons
Automated transaction trackingLimited customization options
Real-time financial insightsRudimentary budgeting tools
User-friendly interfaceAds in the free version

Budgeting app #5: Honeydue

Cost: Free

Honeydue is designed for budgeting as a couple. It’s one of the few budgeting apps built specifically to help two people manage their finances together and facilitate transparent financial communication between partners. While it’s focused on romantic partners, it can be used by any two people who share finances, like roommates. 

Honeydue allows couples to share as much of their financial information as they want, so you can set a joint budget and track expenses whether you totally combine your finances or keep some things separate. The budgeting app supports over 20,000 banks, making it easy to sync accounts. It also lets you categorize expenses and set bill reminders, ensuring you stay on top of your shared financial responsibilities.

Honeydue prosHoneydue cons
Specifically built for couplesLimited to shared budgeting between two people 
Completely freeFew advanced features
Bill reminders and categorizationMay require manual adjustments

What’s the best budgeting app for you?

Budgeting apps can be invaluable for staying on top of your budget even when you’re juggling lots of other responsibilities. And many people find that carrying their budget in their pocket makes it easier to stick to their plans when they’re faced with the temptation to overspend. 

Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or looking to optimize your financial health, there are lots of budgeting app options to meet your needs. Start by learning how to build a budget. Then you’ll have a good sense of the tools and features you want in a budgeting app to help you stick with your financial plan.  

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