7 of the Best Budgeting Apps for Every Kind of Spender (Most Are Free!)

published Mar 18, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Young woman surfing social media at home. Beautiful female is using smartphone while sitting on table. She is wearing casuals.
Credit: Morsa Images/Getty Images

When you decide to take charge of your finances, finding a good budgeting app is a logical place to start. But with so many options on the table, how do you pick the right one for you? The good news is that there are plenty of user-friendly alternatives to help you manage your personal finances without getting bogged down in the details, even though Mint.com shut down earlier this year.

The best budgeting app for you depends a lot on your personal lifestyle and what is important to you when trying to work through your assets and expenses. Here are seven of the best budgeting apps for every kind of financial personality. 

The Best for Beginner Budgeters: Goodbudget

If you’re new to budgeting, you may have more of a learning curve and want some hand-holding to navigate your finances. CPA Ashley Akin recommends Goodbudget because it offers a “simple, intuitive experience.” 

She explains that you can create envelopes for your expenses and income sources in one app. In addition, “Goodbudget will monitor your cash flow,” she says, “and alert you when envelopes are running low.” Akin says the payoff of the app is the easy-to-grasp budgeting principles for beginners. 

The bottom line: “The free version is robust enough for basic money management. For no hassle or cost, Goodbudget is a solid introductory app,” Akin says. If you want to get access to extras within the app, the cost is $10 per month, but the free version should address basic budgeting needs. 

The Best for Couples Trying to Sync Their Finances: Honeydue

For newly married couples or partners in a long-term relationship wanting a way to combine their assets, Honeydue (previously known as HoneyFi) might be your answer. “Managing money with your partner can be stressful — especially if you’re not on the same page,” says financial expert Andrea Woroch. She says one of the upsides of the Honeydue app is that “you work together on shared goals to help align your financial priorities.” All financial accounts are linked in one place and there is also an option to track your shared expenses. “Couples can plan for big purchases and savings and can seamlessly manage money together,” Woroch says. 

The app is free and there is also a chat feature that allows couples to converse together in real time on the app. There are over 20,000 available financial institutions that you can link through the app.

Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

The Best App for Staying Within Your Daily Budget: Flipp

It’s not hard to overspend a little on day-to-day expenses, but over time those costs can easily add up without you realizing it. Woroch recommends using Flipp as a “savings app that helps you stay on budget when it comes to a variety of purchases from daily essentials like groceries, cleaning supplies, and specialty purchases.” And, luckily, you can download the app for free on your phone. 

According to Woroch, an appealing feature is that the app aggregates store circulars and weekly coupons based on your location. “You can then ‘clip’ items you want to buy by tapping them, create a shopping list in the app, and add items to the ‘watch list’ feature for alerts when a coupon or additional discount becomes available so you never miss out on additional savings,” Woroch says. 

The Best App to Grow Your Wealth: Empower

If you want to move beyond basic budgeting and step up your financial game, Akin suggests Empower, which is ideal for those looking to grow their wealth. 

The tool is great for those who “want to better understand your big financial picture,” according to Akin. Here’s why: “It provides tools to track net worth, cash flow, investments, retirement planning, and more — everything you need for financial clarity in one place. Empower also offers free financial analysis from their advisors, a perk that’s uncommonly generous for a free app,” she says.

The Best App for a Comprehensive Financial Tool: Simplifi by Quicken

If Mint.com was your financial app and you want a similar experience, Quicken’s Simplifi may be the answer. Woroch says the app has a modern take on budgeting. “Similar to Mint.com, it syncs with financial accounts to monitor cash flow,” she says. 

The other appealing feature of Simpli is that it “provides spending alerts and weekly targets to stay on budget,” Woroch explains. Users have the option to manually adjust categories based on their personal needs. 

Overall, it’s one of the best budgeting apps for covering all your bases. “Simplifi offers detailed investment tracking and high-end features like bill pay. It’s a robust option for those who want an all-in-one financial platform,” Woroch says. Simplifi starts at $1.99 a month and has various price points based on what you want to track. 

Credit: anyaberkut/Getty Images

The Best App to Eliminate Unneeded Subscriptions: Trim

Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the subscriptions you’ve bought. And over the course of several years, you may realize you’ve been paying for apps that you don’t use or have even completely forgotten about. Woroch recommends using Trim — this app “helps you identify not only your monthly bills, but also subscriptions you may have forgotten about and even cancel those you don’t use or want,” she explains.

The app gives you access to most features for free, although there is a bill negotiation service that can help you get reduced rates on subscriptions — a potentially money-saving add-on that you’ll have to pay extra for. 

The Best App for Streamlined Budget Planning: Fudget 

If you want a financial app with no frills, Doug Carey, CFA, recommends Fudget. “It offers a streamlined budget planning experience with a straightforward interface resembling a basic spreadsheet,” Carey says. He recommends Fudget to older or less tech-savvy users because there is no requirement to link to external accounts. You can simply list your expenses and income and update it when you think it is necessary. 

There aren’t distractions, like statistics, graphs, or charts, and its simplicity may appeal to users who just want a straightforward budgeting app. However, Carey cautions, “Most people these days want integration with external accounts to make the process easier.” So if you’re looking to link your accounts, you should check out one of the other options. You can download the basic version for free, or pay $20 to upgrade to Fudget Plus for the year.