5 Apps to Help You Plan and Stick to Your Budget
If this is the year you resolved to do a better job planning the family's budget so that you can manage your money strategically while also building your savings, then good for you!
Now, how do you plan to tackle it?
In order to develop a budget, you first need to understand how you are spending your money, then you can develop your plan for the coming year. Of course, you can do all of this manually using a spreadsheet on your computer, or you can set up your banking and credit card accounts to feed into apps, which makes gathering your information simple and acting upon it easy!
Here are 5 apps that can help you to plan and stick to your budget!
One of the most popular budgeting apps is Mint, which you can use both as a desktop version as well as an app. Mint syncs to nearly every financial institution that's on the web, and it just takes a few minutes to securely hook up your bank accounts, bills, and credit cards. Mint helps to categorize all of your spending so you can understand exactly where your money has been going. And then you can use that information to construct your budget.
The cool thing is that you can check your progress each month on the app and also set up notifications to alert you when you are over-spending in a particular category. The Mint budgeting tool allows you to easily understand how much money you can save by cutting back spending in a specific category.
And the best part? It's free! (Available for Apple, Windows, Google Play, Amazon)
#2 HomeBudget with Sync
Let's say that you would prefer to enter all of your expenses and information manually rather than have it imported for you. Perhaps you like to break clothing expenses out by family member rather than to see all of your Zappos purchases lumped into one category.
HomeBudget with Sync allows you to do just that. You can enter your own data for expenses and then create a family budget. This app also includes “Family Sync,” where you can sync your data in the Cloud and allow multiple users (say, you and your spouse) to stay on top of the family budget on each of your personal devices.
It is $4.99, but there is also a free lite version that doesn't include the sync. (Available for Apple, Windows, Google Play)
Maybe you are someone who prefers to think about their income and expenses in the framework of “What did I spend today?” and “How much cash do I need for the rest of the month?” If calendar-based income and expense tracking is more your style, then check out Dollarbird. You can enter your expenses as you spend them, and you can set up future bills as well, which allows you to see your cash situation based on the bills coming due.
This is free, but there's a Pro version that gives you more calendar options for $4.99/month. (Available for Apple, Android)
Do you currently budget using the envelope system? Setting aside a set amount of cash into a series of envelopes that are labeled for specific types of expenses? Would you like to be able to take this same process that you already know and love but convert it to a digital system? That's what Mvelopes does! Mvelopes was created to help users pay off their debts and build an emergency savings fund using this envelope-based system.
It's free; however, you can upgrade to a Premier membership, which gives you access to their video content, such as the Budgeting Bootcamp series. (Available for Apple, Android)
Would you prefer an app that allows you to scan your receipts as you receive them and use location-based services that can automatically capture and categorize the location where you are spending your money and then roll it all up in an income vs expense view so you can see how much you are spending this month and how much you'll have left at the end of the month to put towards your savings? Then check out Wally. It's free. (Available for Apple, Android)
Do you use an app for your family budgeting? Which app do you use and what do you love about it?