The popular budgeting app Mint is shutting down, leaving about 3.6 million customers in search of another way to track their spending.
Intuit, the company that owns Mint, is encouraging users to migrate to Credit Karma, a credit-focused app that Intuit owns. But so far, Credit Karma doesn’t offer the budget-setting tools that Mint provided, and it’s unclear what features will be added in the future. Here’s a look at other budget apps you can download through the Apple App Store or Google Play. All prices listed are as of November 2023.
1. Best Overall: You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget is a strong choice if you want to use a detailed and hands-on budgeting app to monitor expenses. By helping you prioritize where you spend your money, YNAB offers a holistic approach to monitoring your spending habits. YNAB provides four rules for users to follow.
The first is based on what’s known as the zero-based budgeting method, in which you assign every dollar in your bank account to a specific expense. If an emergency arises, the app helps you make changes to your budget to accommodate any unexpected expenses. The second rule is to plan for large, infrequent expenses (say, for home repairs or annual insurance premiums) by setting aside money for them each month, while the third rule encourages you to make adjustments if you run out of money in one of your budgeting categories by moving money to it from a different category. YNAB’s fourth rule is to “age your money” — in other words, once you get used to budgeting and spending less, you can pay for your current monthly bills with money you saved from the previous month rather than from your most recent paycheck. In addition to providing budgeting advice, YNAB also offers live money-management workshops online.
Price: Free trial for 34 days, then $14.99 a month or $99 if you pay annually.
2. Best for Beginners: Simplifi and Tiller
If you’re new to using a budgeting app, you can ease in with one of these choices.
Quicken’s Simplififeatures easy-to-navigate menus and charts and it creates a personalized spending plan you can use to monitor your income and expenses. Your spending plan adjusts as your expenses change, and the app’s features let you easily tweak your budget. In addition to tracking your spending, Simplifi helps you plan for the future, projecting your cash flow based on upcoming bills so you can change your spending accordingly.
Price: $3.99 monthly.
Tiller (www.tillerhq.com) may be the best app for you if you like using spreadsheets to balance your budget. After you link your financial accounts to Tiller, you can use one of its templates to create a customized budget spreadsheet in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, and the sheets automatically draw in updated information about your spending and balances from the linked accounts. You can also have Tiller send you daily email updates about your account balances.
Price: Free for 30 days, then $79 annually.
3. Best App for Investors: Empower
Jason Gerber, a certified financial planner and managing partner for Prime Capital Investment Advisors, recommends Empower (formerly known as Personal Capital) because it allows you to monitor both your spending and your investment portfolios.
For example, if you have investment accounts with Fidelity Investments and Morgan Stanley, you can review both of your portfolios, including a breakdown of holdings and their allocations, on a dashboard on the Empower app. You can also link other types of accounts, such as 529 college savings plans, health savings accounts and your home mortgage.
4. Best for Debt Management: PocketGuard
If you subscribe to a PocketGuard Plus membership, you can set up a debt-payoff plan that is integrated into your budget. You enter details such as the minimum payment and annual percentage rate on your debts, and PocketGuard allocates adequate money to put toward the debt and compiles a payment schedule. Members of the Plus plan can also create unlimited budgets and savings goals.
The free Basic plan lets you create a budget and track your bills, spending and income.
Price: Free for the Basic plan. The Plus plan is $7.99 monthly, $34.99 annually or $79.99 for a lifetime membership.
5. Best App for Couples: Honeydue
After you download the Honeydue app, you can invite your partner via email or text message to download it, too. Once you both have the app, you can monitor your budgets and track your spending habits for joint accounts. (Your partner won’t be able to see information about your individual accounts and vice versa.) You can also coordinate bill payments and discuss how to manage your budget in the app’s chat section.
6. Best for You and Your Financial Adviser: Monarch
While some budgeting apps help you stay on track with your partner, Monarch lets you team up with your financial adviser. As with other budgeting apps, once you connect your accounts to Monarch, you can track your spending. However, Monarch also allows you to securely share your account information with your adviser so you can collaborate on your savings and investment goals. You can also share the app with your partner or someone else from your household, who will have his or her own login.
Once you create an account with Monarch, you can add your financial adviser to your account at no extra cost. Your adviser can securely log in to his or her separate account and won’t be able to see your personal identifying information, such as your bank account number.
Price: Free for seven days, then $14.99 monthly or $99.99 annually.
Gerber notes that even though budgeting apps can be helpful, you should try to adopt a hands-on approach to managing your budget, too. Take time every week to review your finances with your partner or on your own. And even if you use an app, he adds, you should consider meeting with a financial adviser to discuss the best way to meet your financial goals.
All of the apps listed here assure users that data obtained from their bank accounts is password-protected and will not be shared with third-party vendors. They also feature two-factor authentication to protect your financial information.
Note: This item first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, a monthly, trustworthy source of advice and guidance. Subscribe to help you make more money and keep more of the money you make.
Ella Vincent is a personal finance writer who has written about credit, retirement, and employment issues. She has previously written for Motley Fool and Yahoo Finance. She enjoys going to concerts in her native Chicago and watching basketball.
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