Let’s face it; budgeting is not the most entertaining thing in the world to do. Tracking your spending by documenting each transaction is time consuming and balancing your checkbook against your bank statements is further complicated with the use of debit cards linked to checking accounts. Because of the hassles involved in budgeting effectively, many people neglect to do any budgeting at all. Luckily, there are a number of great apps available that can make budgeting easier and stress free. Here are some of my favorite budgeting apps.
Mint.com was one of the first budgeting apps released to the public and remains one of the most popular. The app allows you to import the information from your financial accounts to help you keep track of your net worth and gives you advice on how to improve your finances. The app also allows you to create a budget based on your income and expenses from previous months and automatically categorizes your transactions once they hit your bank account. Instead of taking the time each day to track your transactions by hand, you have them all in one convenient place where you can view them at your leisure. While Mint is one of the most comprehensive tools on the market, you will need to go in occasionally to manually categorize transactions that the program could not categorize correctly and account for any cash spending that you do.
Level Money is one of the newest budgeting apps to come onto the market and is one of simplest apps to use. This app allows you to track your spending without having to manually enter your transactions into a ledger. It automatically calculates your projected income for the month and subtracts your recurring bills and a general 7 percent savings rate, leaving you with a set amount of money that you can spend on other things during the month. Because the app is connected with your accounts, every time a transaction hits your account, it is subtracted from the amount of money that you have available to spend.
Billguard is another budgeting app that you should consider using. It uses a spending analytics tool to give you a snapshot of your monthly spending and allows you to compare spending across all accounts with the previous month. The app also provides you with personalized savings alerts to help you increase your net worth and searches the Web for coupons that you are most likely to use based on your past spending. Billguard has not yet been released but will be available for the iPhone and Android in February.