How To Use Budgeting Apps

Author · Modified on 14 September, 2022

Budgeting apps can help track your personal finances on the go to give you an overall picture of what you’re earning, what you’re spending, and what you may need to change.

They’re typically designed for general personal budgeting, and each app offers basic features and possibly unique features to help you stay on track.

Some budgeting apps also can help you track credit card balances and money in banks and brokerages.


Key Points


  • Budgeting apps can categorize your spending, showing you how much you spend on food, travel, leisure, bills and more. This allows you to spot areas to save.
  • Some apps, such as Mint, send reminders to pay your bills, or even pay them automatically.
  • With some apps such as PocketGuard, you can set up automatic payments from your checking account to a savings account, meaning you can save without even thinking!
  • In 2018, 17% of Americans were using at least one budgeting app.
  • Many apps are free, while some cost. Many apps that cost, such as YouNeedABudget offer a free trial.


What Are Budgeting Apps?


Budgeting apps can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet to help you keep track of your spending day to day.

An app can help track your personal finances all in one place and available on the go. This should enhance your understanding of how much you’re earning, how much you’re spending, what you’re spending it on and where you may need to make changes.

There are also loan apps which you can download to make it easier to meet repayments when you have an outstanding loan.


budget app
Creating a budget – via an app or manually – will help you to plan ahead.


How Will A Budgeting App Help Me?


Budgeting apps are there to help you get your finances in order at all times, and are often downloaded by users who have already encountered financial troubles and are trying to fix them.

So, how, exactly, will they help you?


  • Spot Overspending – You, like most consumers, are likely vulnerable to good sales and offers, and spending more than you need to. If you are living within your means, then this is no problem. If this is compromising your financial security, then you should look to adjust. By tracking your spending and categorising it, budgeting apps can show you precisely where you can make savings and make you more aware of overspending.


  • Help You Save – Many budgeting apps, such as Honeydue, allow you to set up direct payments to a savings account from your current account. This makes saving an automated process which minimises the need for you to constantly remember to save.


  • Create New Habits – Looking at the slightly longer term, once you have adjusted your spending because of what the app has shown you about your own habits, this will become engrained in your day-to-day spending. This means that budgeting apps are not merely short-term assistants, but can be a long term help.


Which Apps Could I Download?


There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right budgeting app for you. As many of these options are free, it may be worth downloading a few, exploring them, and deciding which one suits your preferences.


Free Apps


Mint is a popular choice among consumers, as it is easy to use but serves various purposes. Mint allows you to customize a budget, track your spending on subscription services, track multiple credit cards and even helps you pay monthly bills through setting customized reminders and alerts. Available to Android and iOS users, Mint is certainly worth a shot!

Honeydue – Honeydue budgeting is unique in that it helps those who live together communicate and manage their finances together. With an inbuilt chat function, you can separate financial and personal conversations. You could even choose to open a joint Honeydue bank account, which is fee-free and comes with a free debit card.

PocketGuard – PocketGuard is arguably the best app for tracking spending simply. With a free version, and advanced versions which you can pay for, this caters to many needs. It shows how much money you have, how much your bills cost and then the excess money you have once you have paid them. This can all be illustrated in a personalized pie chart, making saving palatable! You can link your bills and help you try and get the best deals. PocketGuard allows you to automatically save, and is a great starting point for those trying to change their financial habits.


Apps That Cost


Your best bet is to try out a free app at first to find your feet and then you can decide whether to pay for a subscription.

If you do chose to go down a paid route when it comes to choosing an app, YouNeedABudget offer a free trial before requiring a payment. With support from their team and 34 days to trial it, YNAB is a great option!

Alternatively, Stash is a paid but incredibly affordable app, which can cost you $1, $3, or $9 per month depending on which package you elect to go with. With Stash, you have access to a debit card that allows you to earn stocks when you use it. Stash  has no overdraft fees or minimum balances, and is a great option.

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