10 Great (and Free) Budgeting Apps


The holiday season is a time of great spending, which means keeping track of your expenses and sticking to a budget is incredibly important. No one wants to start the new year with gifter’s remorse after seeing how much debt they’ve racked up trying to bring joy to friends and family.
 
Enter the great age of technology and convenience. There are millions of apps out there and thousands for helping you keep track of your money. There are free ones and there are some that make you spend a little. There are worthless ones and there are worthwhile ones.
 
Choosing the right app can sometimes mean a painful period of trial and error, of high hopes and crushing disappointment and uninstalling all the useless, difficult or buggy apps.
 
Here are some top-notch budgeting and expense apps — and they’re all free. After all, if you don’t have to why spend a penny? The point of these apps is to help you track and reign in spending and there are plenty that do a good job of that without costing you any money. Some of the apps do have upgraded “pro” versions and some have additional features within the free app that need to be purchased.
 
Ultimately, it’s important that the app you choose has all the features that work for you. So see which one is the best fit.
 
Mint.com Personal Finance
Android (4.4 stars), iOS (4 stars)
 

On your Android phone (click to enlarge)
 
Mint.com’s app automatically tracks all of your accounts, credit cards, loans, etc., and lets you easily access it all from your phone. Plus, the app automatically categories transactions into things like Food, Gas, Shopping, etc. To make that possible, though, you need to set up your account details and set up a log in. Some people might not be comfortable with that, but the app is incredibly useful as you get an up-to-date look at your financial state. And the app is secure. Even better, if you lose your device and worry someone will get a hold of your financial information, then you can log in to your Mint.com account and easily deactivate the device access.
 
The app automatically categories transactions into things like Food, Gas, Shopping, etc. You can choose how large of a budget each category gets for the month and track your progress. When the next month begins, all the budgets reset for you. And since your Mint.com app is synced with your bank, credit card and other accounts, you don’t need to input expenses like you would with the majority of other apps.
 
If you have a tablet then you can see charts and graphs of where you’re spending your money.
 

On your tablet (click to enlarge)
 


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