Keeping and following a budget is a large part of the foundation for building a financially independent life. Keeping track of your money is a basic “must do” task. But budgeting can be messy, error filled and way too time consuming if you don’t have good tools. Spreadsheets or notepads may work for a while, but as you level up and want to not only monitor your spending but also set savings goals, you will need to level up your budgeting tools.
Here are 4 free budget apps that can help you reach your budgeting goals:
This app’s free version is an all-around excellent choice for beginners. It’s free and syncs with most common account types like checking, savings, credit cards, loans, investments and most major bills. Having automatic syncing saves time and can prevent common errors when you’re adding up expenses and spending by hand.
Mint offers basic expense tracking and organization of your budget into categories. You can set category limits and Mint will automatically notify you if you reach the limit. This is a very nice feature to help prevent overspending and keep you on track with your savings goals.
Rocket Money hits most of the key features for a frugal friendly budgeting app. Its basic features are free, which include essentials like category organization, expense tracking and account syncing.
Rocket Money offers an intuitive user interface, organizing all your expenses and spending in an easy and clear dashboard.
One of Rocket Money’s standout features is the “subscription monitoring” service. After you connect your bank account to the app, it automatically tags subscriptions and groups them under a list of recurring bills. Subscriptions can include your gym membership and/or all of the various streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. With all of your subscriptions grouped together on the dashboard in one area, it’s easier to track each one. This helps you see the total amount spent each month on subscriptions, and see where you can cut any unused or under-used subscriptions and save more money.
This app is a more bare bones, easy-to-use budget tool. It offers the basic essential features for free, including account syncing, plus bills, income and spending tracking.
This app is best for users that want to “keep it simple”. It shows your bills, income and spending at a glance. It also shows you how much money you have leftover after paying bills and contributing to savings goals. This gives you a good indicator on how you can save more, or even start investing.
I like this app for beginners as it’s not as intimating as some of the previous apps with an abundance of features that may not be needed or used.
If you want a budgeting app, but don’t want to connect your bank accounts to an app, PocketSmith is the free app for you.
With PocketSmith, you can manually import your bank and credit card transactions, and organize them into categories for easy tracking. You can also create a custom budget and work towards savings and debt pay down goals easily.
Starting a budget is an essential step in creating financial security and financial independence. These free budget tools remove the barrier of entry to getting an easy to manage budget setup.
Once you have mastered your monthly budget, you can start saving for not only your emergency fund but your retirement fund as well. It’s never too early or too late to save for retirement!
So whip out your phone, download a couple of these apps, give them a try, and start your budget today.