Are you feeling overwhelmed by budgeting?
Are you unsure where to begin?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, stick around – this blog is for you.
Before we explore some of the best budget apps for 2022, I want to talk about the difference between being on a budget and being financially conscious. Being on a budget refers to setting specific spending limits for yourself and following them to a tee – sometimes, this requires sacrifice and discipline and might leave you feeling unfulfilled or frustrated.
Alternatively, being financially conscious means having a general idea of how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and living in an abundance mindset so that you create a positive, healthy relationship with money.
When my husband and I first got married, we were on a strict budget. Being 18 and 19, we were scared of what it meant to be an adult, so we held ourselves to a high standard of budgeting. We were able to build up generous savings, but burned out quickly because we wouldn’t allow ourselves to deviate from the budget at all.
After two years of partially figuring out adulthood, we took a breath and knew that it would be okay to enjoy life a little bit and transition to being more financially conscious. Before I go any further with this, I am NOT telling you to ditch your budget and have a shopping spree. What I am saying is that you have to find something that is sustainable and will work for you.
If you are aware of your spending habits, have a healthy savings account, and feel good about your income, then take a breath. You can afford the $5 latte – it isn’t going to destroy everything you built – which is something I used to believe. Fast forward to today, we track our expenses and have a budget, but we don’t beat ourselves up if we go over because our spending evens out with some weeks coming in under budget.
So, consider where you are in your financial freedom journey and decide whether you still need a strict budget or if you can shift to being more financially conscious. No matter which choice you make, having an app can help streamline and simplify the process. Here are the top 3 best budget apps for 2022!
Mint budget apps
Mint is a free online budgeting tool that ranks high amongst other comparable apps with a 4.8 Apple store rating and a 4.5 Google Play rating. It can to connect to many types of accounts, such as checking and savings, credit cards, bills, and investments. With the ability to connect to many types of accounts, Mint provides users with a comprehensive snapshot of their budget and wealth. In fact, Mint automatically categorizes expenses and you have the unlimited power to personalize the categories. Additionally, you can set limits for the categories and Mint will send a notification that lets you know if you’re approaching those limits.
With such wide functionality, Mint helps users stay on top of their financial goals, including paying down debt, saving money, and investing. Users can see their credit score and net worth, all within one app, making the free features even more worthwhile.
Unfortunately, if you are seeking an app that lets you plan ahead, then Mint is not the app for you. Instead, Mint retroactively tracks purchases and does not allow users to plan ahead. Despite this small con, Mint is an excellent option for users looking to start their budgeting journey with a user-friendly app.
Goodbudget offers free and paid-for services and ranks well compared to other apps. It has a 4.7 Apple store rating and a 4.5 Google Play rating. Goodbudget allows users to plan their finances, rather than track them retroactively, which is a feature not offered by Mint. However, it is more labor-intensive than Mint because it does not connect to your bank accounts, so users must manually add account balances, cash balances, debts, and income. Once the information is logged into the app, users can divide the funds into virtual envelopes, making it easy to track spending in specific categories. The envelope budgeting system is described in more detail here.
Goodbudget offers free and paid-for services and is accessible from a mobile device or computer. In the free version, users are limited to one account, two devices, and limited envelopes whereas, in the paid-for version, users are provided unlimited envelopes and accounts on up to five devices. Goodbudget Plus, their paid-for version, is $7 per month or $60 per year, making it somewhat affordable compared to other options. If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to budgeting, then Goodbudget may be the solution for you. If not, then Mint or Everydollar may be the better choice.
EveryDollar was founded by Dave Ramsey, so it follows one of his core teachings: a zero-based budget. You can read more about a zero-based budget here. It ranks well on the app stores, coming in with a 4.8 Apple store rating and a 4.2 Google Play rating. EveryDollar is a free budgeting app that offers basic features, such as inputting your expenses and income into pre-set categories. Users can customize, add, and delete categories to make the budget reflective of their spending habits.
The free version is similar to Goodbudget, meaning that the app does not connect to bank accounts, so users must manually add in their checking and savings, cash balances, and so forth. One differentiating feature is that users can set reminders for upcoming bill payments to make sure they don’t miss a payment. Ultimately, the free version of EveryDollar is simple and user-friendly, helping guide users to have a zero-dollar budget.
The paid-for version allows users to connect bank accounts to keep track of transactions and keep track of debt accounts, financial health, and more. The paid-for version is $59.99 for three months, $99.99 for six months, or $129.99 for 12 months, making it significantly more expensive than other apps on this list.
Each app has notable pros and cons, making them all viable options for creating a budget. Which app seems the most sustainable for you? Tell us in the comments!