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The best budgeting apps and services 2021

Want to save money and balance your budget? These mobile apps can help.

So you decided to budget better 2021. Good. It is a fixed goal. But with so many budgeting and financial apps out there (and more popping up every day), it can be difficult to decide which app for money is best for you.

If you choose a free app that helps you create a basic app budget? Or pay for an app that offers some extra features? How about the financial apps that automatically transfer money to a savings account? Are they safe to use, or do you risk not having enough cash on hand when the bills fall due?

We have compiled the details, including pros and cons, with ten of the best economical apps. there to help you decide. Regardless of your long-term financial goals, there is a financial app that will probably work for you.

In this article:

Acorns® – Best for investing small sums

Among the best mobile budgeting programs are Acorns. Acorns is an app that can take the fear factor out of the investment. The concept is simple – the app rounds off your purchases and invests the difference in one of Acorn's smart portfolios.

For example, the app can round up the $ 22.39 sushi withdrawal you get on Fridays to $ 23 and automatically invest $ 0.61. You can also choose to transfer a certain amount of dollars each day, week and / or month to your Acorns account.

Acorns also offers a feature called Found Money that works with companies such as Walmart, Under Armor and UberEats. If you shop with partners in the app, the partner will give you a bonus deposit to your Acorns account.

  • Cost: $ 1, $ 3 or $ 5 per month, depending on the subscription level you choose.
  • Advantages: There is a low entry barrier when investing with Acorns because you can invest with reserve replacement and the investment strategy is handled automatically. You only choose one of the available portfolios based on your risk tolerance.
  • Disadvantages: Investment is not risk-free – you can technically lose money if the portfolio does not work well or the market hits. The account may not be worth the cost if you do not have enough collections each month. If you only make ten transactions and the total amount is on average $ 0.50 per transaction, you pay at least $ 1 in monthly subscription fees to invest $ 5. This corresponds to a fee of 20%.

Honeydue – Best for splitting bills with a partner

Each couple goes through the awkward step of figuring out how to manage money together and track expenses. Are you going to split bills in the middle? Are you paying bills from an account?

Honeydue is an app that can help couples get on the same financial side. The Honeydue app is a budgeting platform that lets you both connect financial accounts, so you can manage bills and keep track of account balances in one place.

If you've worried about maintaining some privacy, do not worry – this budget tool lets you decide which bank accounts your partner can and cannot see. Honeydue has a calendar where you can both add due dates for invoices and there is a chat box where you can send messages back and forth.

  • Cost: Free.
  • Pro: If you find it hectic to manage money and bills with your partner, this app can organize the chaos.
  • Con: Honeydue is not a robust financing app that comes with many bells and whistles, such as budget reports or savings tools. It can help you manage daily expenses, but you may need another tool for more in-depth and long-term financial planning.

Clarity Money ™ – Best for tracking mobile expenses

Clarity Money from Marcus by Goldman Sachs® is an AI-driven financial app that uses machine learning to track your spending habits and help you make financial decisions that will approach you long-term goals.

The budgeting app contains dynamic images in the app to illustrate your budget and account balance. There is also a feature with this budgeting tool that can help you monitor and cancel recurring subscriptions. You can even set up savings transfers to a high-yielding Marcus online account.

  • Cost: Free.
  • Pro: Clarity Money is a simple, visually appealing app for users who want a snapshot of their expenses and income with an overview.
  • Con: There are authorization restrictions related to who can and cannot open the online savings account. Because of this, you may encounter problems when trying to set up automatic savings transfers with the Clarity Money app.

Digit ™ – Best for Easy Savings

The numeric algorithm analyzes your checking account and then automatically spends savings transfers every day based on what you can afford.

The idea behind this budget app is that you will not miss money you do not see and that it is easier to automate your savings than to save manually. In the app, you can also set different savings goals with deadlines.

The figure has a guarantee without a checking account, which reimburses you up to two bank violation fees if Ciffer exceeds your account. Funds in numerical accounts are FDIC-insured by bank partners; This means that up to $ 250,000 of your savings are guaranteed if the bank goes bankrupt.

With the Digital Budgeting Tool, you can withdraw your account when you need it – but keeping it in there can help you achieve financial goals. : Free for 30 days and then $ 5 per month.

  • Pros: Savings can grow behind the scenes without effort. The algorithm sees what you can save and you can set different savings targets for emergencies, travel and more.
  • Disadvantages: If your account balance remains the same until you pay bills at the end of each month, Digit may move too much money to savings and think you have money to save. If you are a freelancer or independent entrepreneur who handles party and hunger cycles, the app can also transfer money from your account that you need. With that said, you can prepare for this by pausing savings or setting a maximum of daily savings transfers.
  • Qapital ™ – Best for Freelancers Saving for Quarterly Taxes

    Qapital is another tool for savings automation, but it is automated using other rules. If you are an independent entrepreneur who has received a surprise tax by the end of the year, you will appreciate the "Freelancer Rule." This rule automatically allocates a percentage of your income to a separate account so you can save for quarterly or annual tax payments.

    There are also other rules: "Round Up Rule" rounds off purchases and saves the difference. The "52 week rule" automatically saves $ 1 the first week, $ 2 the second week, $ 3 the third week, and so on for an entire year.

    Depending on the level of Qapital membership you sign up for, you may be able to invest money saved in low-cost ETFs. Portfolios vary in risk levels from very conservative to very aggressive. Qapital savings accounts are FDIC insured.

    • Cost: Free for 30 days; then pay $ 3 per month for Basic membership, $ 6 per month for a full membership or $ 12 per month for a Master membership.
    • Pros: Qapital has several different savings rules that you can set so you can get creative. You can also get a Qapital Visa® debit card to easily use money in your account.
    • Cons: The app is not free – if you only save a small amount from automations each month, it may not be worth it. If you create an investment account, you also know that your balance and return are not guaranteed.

    Goodbudget ™ – Best for those who love the envelope system

    Goodbudget uses the proven envelope budgeting system to help you distribute, manage and spend your money. Basically, you distribute your income to some money, and it serves as your spending limit for the month.

    With the app for allocating money to debts and savings, you can manage your debt balances and save for large expenses. Plus, you can sync and share your budget with a partner. That way, everyone knows exactly how much money there is to spend.

    • Price: Free for the basic app; $ 7 per month or $ 60 per year for Goodbudget Plus.
    • Pro: People have used the envelope budgeting method successfully for generations; Goodbudget lets you practice this classic money management technique from your phone.
    • Con: Goodbudget does not link to your checking accounts; instead, you need to enter your bank account balances manually and create the budget from there.

    Mint® – Best for managing money and building credit

    Mint is an extremely popular free budgeting app often called "go" -to "over financial articles and blogs. Mint is owned by Intuit, the company behind TurboTax, and it is designed to present a clear picture of your finances on a single instrument panel.

    Once you have linked your bank accounts, investment accounts and loan balances, Mint will automatically track and categorize. transactions, send notifications when you exceed the budget you have set for yourself.

    Mint can also send an email or SMS alert when bills expire, flag suspicious transactions and notify you when bank funds start to run low. In addition, you can get regular credit updates that include a summary of factors that affect your score.

    • Cost: Free.
    • Benefits: Coin connects to your accounts and can save time by automatically putting costs into budget categories. Setting upcoming invoice reminders and low-alert alerts can help you avoid late fees and overdrafts.
    • Cons: Mint does not allow multiple account users right now, which may be less than perfect for couples trying to manage their household finances together. The solution is to create separate accounts and link the same financial institution, but it can be difficult.

    Personal Capital® – Best for Long Term Financial Planning

    Personal Capital is essentially a financial planner in your pocket. The service offers two different platforms – a free personal finance app and a platform for managing paid assets. You can also set spending goals and visually analyze where your money is going.

    In addition to the budgeting features, you can use Personal Capital's pension calculator to see if you are saving enough for the golden years. Personal Capital even has a fee analyzer that tells you how much you pay in fees for investment accounts.

    • Cost: Free for basic personal finance tools; for welfare management services, the fee is 0.89% for investment accounts below $ 1,000,000.
    • Pro: Personal capital can be good for someone looking for a robust all-in-one financial planning platform focused on tracking investments. [19659013] Con: Because this app is so strongly built around investing, it may not be ideal for people looking for a tool that can help them better manage their daily expenses.

    Simple – Best for handling banking and budgeting

    If you're looking for the convenience of managing your cash and budgeting in one app, Simple may be up your alley. Simple offers a bank account that has many budgeting features.

    After depositing money into the checking account, Simple can automatically set aside money for the expenses you specify in your budget. You can also hand out money for various digital envelopes for various financial purposes, such as buying a car or new furniture.

    To put a cherry on top, Simple will tell you how much money in your account is Safe-to-Spend® considering your future bills and goals. Funds in a single account are held by BBVA USA, which is another FDIC-insured financial institution.

    • Cost: The app is free and checking accounts have no monthly fee for the account; however, there may be other bank-related fees that arise, such as checkbook fees.
    • Pro: Simple is convenient – you can manage banking and budgeting tasks in one app.
    • Con: Simple does not offer any traditional banking services, such as invoicing or customer service in physical locations. While Simple may be convenient for some, it may not be right for people who prefer to handle certain banking details in a branch.

    You need a budget (YNAB®) – Best for budgeting with resources and Support

    You Need a Budget, often abbreviated to YNAB, is a comprehensive budgeting program based on the idea of ​​"giving every dollar a job."

    You set a budget that includes your daily expenses and reduce money for expenses such as car repairs, deductibles insurance and vacation travel. Then YNAB asks you to allocate each dollar in your bank account to one of the upcoming expenses.

    Apart from the budgeting software, YNBA offers many educational videos, guides and podcast sections that discuss how to get out of debt and break paycheck to paycheck cycle. If you have budget-related questions, there is a support forum and technical support.

    • Cost: Free for 34 days, then $ 11.99 per month or $ 84 per year. However, students can get the service for free.
    • Pro: YNAB can help users focus on paying off debts and saving for goals. It is also an effective tool for couples who want to merge their finances as you can manage the account from multiple devices.
    • Con: YNAB is one of the more expensive apps to make this list, especially if you pay monthly, but it may be worth the cost if it revolutionizes your finances.

    Choosing the best app for your goals

    Choosing the best budgeting app comes down to what you hope to get out of the program.

    Are you looking for a quick overview of your finances and credit score? Mint can be a good choice. Do you want to create an expense plan that will help you achieve short- and long-term goals? YNAB may be right for you. If you just want to save a little extra money each month, Acorns and Digit can get the job done.

    Ask yourself why you want to sign up for a budgeting app, what you hope the app can offer and if you can afford to pay a monthly fee. Then choose the best app that meets your needs. With a little planning and a little help from modern technology, 2021 can be yours – or at least your wallet's best year ever.

    Our Editorial Policy

    Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

    Our Editorial Policy

    Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that is supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and your general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

    Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

    Haven Life does not have the right to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to be provided and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

    Our information

    Haven Term is a term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual. Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Life Insurance Issue (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Companies, Enfield, CT 06082. Numbers and functions for insurance and equestrian forms may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our California agency license number is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

    MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best company as A ++ (Superior; top category 15). The rating is from Aril 1, 2020 and may change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating companies.

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