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10 Best Budgeting Apps for Personal Finance [2021 List]

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Best Budgeting Apps:

1. Best Students App: Acorns

Acorns Summary

  • Invests spare change automatically
  • $5 sign up bonus
  • $5 Min account investment
  • Average of 7.5% return on your investments

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Use it for FREE if you are a college student

The great thing about Acorns is that it’s free for students.

2. Set app to automatically invest your spare change

There’s no need to sit down and plan a complicated budget. With Acorns, it will find money in your everyday transactions to invest with. If your Starbucks latte is $5.70, then Acorn would automatically invest 30 cents towards your portfolio. It may seem small but imagine with every transaction made, a little goes towards investing.

Over time, you’ll wake up one morning and realise that your investment portfolio has grown to a considerable size. Acorn invests in ETFs such as the stock market and bonds many people have claimed to receive between 4% – 7% returns from Acorn investing.

3. Receive cashbacks by using Acorns credit or debit cards

You can even receive cash back from using their credit or debit cards. It’s their way of treating their loyal customers, and you’ll save more money in the long run. The amount you receive is dependant on the retailer however you can expect to receive up to 10% of the purchase or between $10 – $100 cash.

Related: How old you have to be to get a debit card?

4. Create spending strategies

The great benefit of about Acorn is that you can construct a good strategy and plan of attack when it comes to tackling your finances. If you have a plan to pay off your credit card debt in the new few weeks, you can build a strategy through Acorn and it will help you achieve this goal.

Special Feature:

Have investments protection by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a government corporation that provides deposit insurance for commercial banks and saving institutions. When you save and invest money through Acorn, you can rest assured that it’s protected by the FDIC from up to $250,000. Not only you get peace of mind with your budgeting, but you also rest well knowing that your money is safe and secure. 


Acorns has a simple pricing structure where you only pay $1.25 per month for accounts under $5,000. Anything more than $5,000, it’s only 0.275% per year.

2. Best Investors App: Personal Capital

Personal Capital Summary

  • Provides a complete financial view
  • Advanced retirement tools
  • Fees – 0.89% to 0.49% for accounts over $1 million
  • Has extensive tax optimization strategies

Why We Recommend This App:

1. You Can Check if you are on target for retirement

Personal Capital has a feature that helps you build your retirement portfolio, so you’re ready. This part of your life gets handled by automatically managing your funds, so you build a big retirement nest egg.

2. Monitor the health of your investment asset allocation

No more updating spreadsheets. No more checking real time results. Directly through the app, you can see how healthy your investment asset allocation portfolio is. You can make smart decisions and decide whether you want to invest more into a particular segment in your portfolio or reduce the size of it to keep your portfolio well balanced. 

3. Compare specific colleges costs with education planner

The education planner is a game changer. The app comes with a great comparison tool that enables you to get the best rates for the specific college you want. 

4. Get access to optional wealth management and investment service

Personal capital comes with a wide range of additional investment and wealth management services. These include investment checkups, education planners, 401k advice, cashflow & spending insights, full financial planning and much more. You can take advantage of this opportunity and explore different ways in which you can get ahead financially. 

Special Feature:

Analyze 401(k) fees. Fees over time can accumulate despite how low they seem to be. If you add up the amount of fees you pay over a 10 – 30 year period, you’ll be shocked at how much you have to pay. Therefore Personal Capital has taken the liberty to provide you a comparison of fees when selecting your 401(k) plan. 


Unlike other apps that charge an initial fee, Personal Capital charges 0.49% – 0.89% in management fees.

3. Best Overall Budgeting App: You Need A Budget

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Easily connect all your bank accounts in one place

With YNAB, you can easily synchronize your bank account so that you can see your transactions real time! There’s no manual data entry required which can be tedious. You can also enjoy the confidence that all your transactions are being synchronized accurately.

2. Receive suggestion on how to get out of the debt

This is one of our most favorite features. YNAB provides recommendations that help you get ahead financially. When you’re budgeting, the app identifies areas of opportunity that suggests what you can do to improve your financial situation. For example, if you were paying down a particular debt, the YNAB app will suggest a increasing your payment to a certain amount and you’ll clear your debts by X time.

3. Set and reach your financial goals

Without clear financial goals, you’ll end up going nowhere fast! YNAB encourages its users to set clear financial goals so you can easily attain them. You can easily see how you’re progressing through graphs and bar charts on its dashboard.

4. Monitor your progress by comparing spending over time

What gets measured, gets improved. YNAB gives you the ability to control your spending by viewing your progress on the dashboard.

5. Get access to FREE Budgeting workshops

Who said budgeting has to be a lonely journey? There are a number of free budgeting workshops that enable people to network with like-minded people and improve your financial situation. Examples of what you learn includes setting up your budgeting, overspending, mastering your credit card, paying down debts, saving money on groceries and much more.

Special Feature:

1 Year Free for Students

YNAB encourages empowering of the financial lives of students. Students can take advantage of their special offer which is free access to the app for an entire year! If you’re a student and struggle with budgeting, the YNAB will enable you to finally make a start in turning your finances around using their app for free! Start now and reap the rewards later.


The YNAB app automatically comes with a free trial for 34 days. Afterward, you can use all the features for only $6.99 per month, which is the same price as a happy meal at McDonalds.

4. Best Free App: Mint

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Get alerts for late fees, bills, rate changes, large purchases and over budget

With Mint, you can receive alerts whenever your bill is approaching. This lets you stay on top of your bills and avoid those pesky late fees. You can also customize the type of alerts such as overdue bills, large purchases, whether you’re going over budget and any rate changes. This gives you full control over your budget.

2. Track your investments

As you budget like a boss, you will eventually accumulate a large bank account and move towards investing. This is where Mint comes in handy for you’ll be able to track your investments and see how much your portfolio has grown over time.

3. Know exactly where you are spending your money in an easy to understand graphical format

No more boring spreadsheets filled with numbers. With Mint, you’ll be able to track your money through visually appealing graphs and bar charts.

4. Automatically synchronize your financial data into Mint

As soon as you set up your account with Mint, you can automatically synchronise your transactions into Mint. This process is secure and Mint does not store sensitive information such as your PIN number etc. Synchronising your data into Mint enables you to easily access your financials anywhere in the world and while you’re on the road.

Special Feature:

Monitor your Credit Score for FREE

Mint even comes with a credit score checker. You can easily log in and check your credit score so you can be informed of your financial position.


Completely free.

5. Best Debt Payoff App: Mvelopes

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Get out of debt by setting goals

One of the keys of successfully paying off your debts is to establish a clearly defined goal with a target date of when you’ll pay off your debt. With the Mvelopes app, you can easily set a debt goal and begin paying off your debts while keeping track of your progress. Many people have paid off their debts this way and so can you.

2. Access real-time view of all your accounts

When you set up an account with Mvelopes, you can see directly on the app after you’ve made a payment. By having a real time view of your accounts, you can make smart purchase decisions.

3. Allocate money to envelopes before spending it

Is your money slowly disappearing like water from a leaky bucket? Money requires purpose and Mvelopes helps you achieve this. For example, you may have an envelope that is titled “holiday” while the other envelope is titled “charity”. When you have multiple envelopes, you budget your funds accordingly and have peace of mind.  

Special Feature:

Participate in budgeting Bootcamp

The budgeting boot camp is ideal for people who wish to meet with fellow budgeters. You can network and mingle with like minded people who are keen on getting ahead financially. Why budget alone when you can budget with a great circle of people who want you to win?


Mvelopes is free for the first 30 days. After this period, may select from one of their three plans, $4 per month, $19 per month and $59 per month.

6. Best Couples App: Honeydue

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Share account with your loved one

A couple that works together, stays together, therefore, learn to share your account with your loved one. You can work together by setting up joint accounts and discussing your finances.   

2. Know in real time your other half spending

If you’re in a relationship and one person is better at managing their finances, why not let them help you by watching the other person’s spending habits? One person could be too busy to manage their finances while the other is a natural at budgeting. It’s all about team-work. 

3. Receive your budget suggestions

Suggestions truly help find what you’re looking for. If you’ve been spending too much in a particular category or you’re behind on your bills, the app will automatically make a suggestion which you can action immediately. It’s quite useful having AI do the work for you. 

4. Synchronize your bank accounts with the app

Of course, this app comes with the added benefit of bank synchronization. When you sign up, you automatically synchronize with your bank accounts which will feed in real-time data into the app helping you make smart financial decisions. 

Special Feature:

A great special feature of this app is that it encourages collaboration between both people and chat about specific transactions.


The Honeydue app can be downloaded and used for free. There is also offer tabs in the app where you can apply for credit cards and bank accounts etc.

7. Best Families App: Good Budget

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Allocate money by using envelopes system

Just like with the Mvelope app, you can also utilize this excellent money management system by assigning a particular amount to a designated envelope. When you assign a fund to an envelope, you can track it’s amount so that there’s no surprises when a bill arises. 

2. Customize reports to track budget trends including spending vs. income or budget

You can even create your own customized reports so you can track how well you’re progressing. There are many different types of reports you can create such debt reduction, savings, investing and more. You can even compare two reports together so you can make a sound financial decision. 

3. Split expense transactions

One of the tricky things about managing finances together is that you intermingle finances. It’s hard to see who spent money on what and you have to comb through all your transactions and have an argument on what you spent your money on. However, there is a feature that reduces this burden which is splitting expenses. You can easily see what expenses you made vs. your partner making life so much easier.

4. Receive spending category suggestions

Of course, there needs to be recommendations and suggestions. As you’re managing your finances with your family, you will receive tips on how to improve your finances. If your partner is spending too much, no surprise there, the app may notify you and let you both know that too much money has been spent in this area, etc. Instead of getting angry at each other, just blame the app instead.

Special Feature:

With a Good Budget app, you have the choice to share your budget with other users to get their advice and recommendation.


You can apply for a free version of the app where you receive 10 regular envelopes, 1 account, 2 devices and more. The plus package is $6 per month ($50 per year) and includes unlimited envelopes, accounts, 5 devices and more.

8. Best Retirement Planners App: Quicken

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Set and meet your retirements goals

When you log into Quicken, simply access the retirement page and set your retirement goal. If you have a goal to retire in 10 years or a certain amount, simply set the goal and begin working towards it directly through Quicken.

2. Monitor all your investment accounts 

Whether you have investments in shares, real estate or business, it’s challenging to get a clear picture of your entire wealth portfolio. This app helps you monitor all your investment accounts and see how far you’re progressing with your investments. 

3. Check the status of your properties, occupancy, rents received – all at a glance

You can even check your investment properties by reviewing your rents, occupancy and vacancy rates. This single feature can save you thousands of dollars per year in lost income from your investment property. It’s like having your own property manager on your phone. 

4. Categorize expenses automatically

When managing your finances, your expenses can get out of hand. You can easily categorize your expenses by defining them into labels and assigning them a particular amount automatically, so you don’t have to do this painstakingly.

Special Feature:

Generate tax reports to hand over to your accountant. No more shoe boxes during tax time. All you need to do is generate a report and submit this to your tax accountant during tax time. All your records are stored safely within the app and you can instantly generate a report anytime you want. This is particularly useful if you need to separate business transactions or require a completely separate account for personal expenditure.


Quicken has three packages, the Starter package which is $34,99 where you can see all your accounts, categorize your expenses and manage your money. The Deluxe package which is $29.99 includes the starter package features but also lets you manage your debt, simplify your taxes and more. The Premier package for $44.99 has everything in the deluxe but also has priority support, online bill payments and more.

9. Best Money Management App: Pocket Guard

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Synchronize your financial accounts

When you load the app for the first time, it will ask you to synchronize your bank accounts. Don’t worry, this process is very secure and protected with encryption. Once your accounts are synchronized, you can easily transfer money to and from your accounts while tracking your transactions. It’s a safe and secure way for banking online and through your phone.

2. Assign category spending limits

Let’s face it, we need help when it comes to spending. Our emotions take over when we see something we want and we splurge our hard earned cash on it. So how do we control this buyer’s urge? You set up spending limits. The app lets you set spending limits so as soon as you cross over the threshold, you’ll receive a notification that you’ve approached your limit and make changes accordingly

3. Know how much money is left over after you’ve paid all your bills

One of the most important numbers in finance is to know how much you have left after you’ve paid for all your bills. This is also known as cashflow. When you know your cashflow, you know where you’re heading financially. This app gives you clarity over how much cashflow you have at the end of the month, so you’re protected against financial emergencies.

Special Feature:

Set app to automatically negotiate lower bills and find high-interest savings accounts. This app automatically researches online and helps you find the best deals when it comes to your expenditures. It does this by scanning your credit card fees, savings account interest rates and other expenses then searches online for a cheaper rate.


You can sign up to PocketGuard app for free and begin using its features. However, for the Plus version which is $3.99 per month, you receive more customisation options.

10. Best Millennials App: Clarity Money

Why We Recommend This App:

1. Easily transfer money between different banks

You can easily use the app to transfer money to and from various bank accounts. Instead of logging into each of those bank accounts using your web browser, simply use the app to safely send money across. This saves you time and instead of trying to remember passwords for multiple bank accounts, just do it directly through the app. 

2. Get FREE Credit Score

By knowing your credit score, you can predict how much you can borrow for future use. This app is handy because it helps you find out what your credit score is so you can borrow money for your personal needs. Clarity Money gives you the option to receive a free credit score so you can take this with you to the bank and apply for a personal loan. 

3. Create saving goals

This app also includes a savings plan where you can track the progress towards achieving your savings goal.

4. Automatically cancel unwanted subscriptions

This app also helps you find subscriptions or recurring monthly payments that you can remove which is extremely handy if you ask me. The app compiles a list of recurring payments and presents to you the option of canceling them or monitoring them for the time being.


Experience personalized experience crafted by machine learning. We live in exciting times where now have AI helping us in our day to day activities. Clarity Money has machine learning and one of the cool benefits of having this is that it can provide recommendations based on what you use throughout the app. If you’re constantly trying to use the savings feature in the app, it will provide more useful guidance towards saving money.


Clarity Money app is entirely free to use; however, they do charge a one time fee of 33% off a bill negotiation service. For example, if you lower your bill and save $100 per year, then you’ll be charged $33.

Organize Your Budget

Even though you face a wide range of budgeting apps, choose it according to your
circumstances and personal needs. What is your favorite budgeting app or most useful feature?

how to manage money

Related: 67 Practical Tips – How to Save Money – [2021 Update]

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