7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!

By Ashley Eneriz on 10 August 2016 0 comments

Budgeting is not just essential for those who are trying to squeeze two pennies out of one. Tracking expenses and setting spending and savings goals is beneficial for anyone — no matter the amount of your paycheck.

However, tracking every expenditure on paper or through a spreadsheet can be tedious and even cause us to forgo the healthy habit of budgeting a month in. These apps will take the pain and boredom from budgeting, and you might even have fun in the process. (See also: One Simple Thing You Can Do to Start Budgeting Today)

1. Pennies

One of the best things about using Pennies for iOS is that it allows a lot of flexibility. Many people do not work with a set salary and do not know their paycheck amount each pay period. Pennies allows users to create budgets that can be set for weekly, monthly, one-off, or payday budgets.

Another benefit of this simple-to-use app is that you are presented with daily targets of what to spend and how your next day spending will be affected. Knowing a $5 latte will make your budget tight tomorrow might help you forgo unnecessary splurges.

($1.99 iOS)

2. Prosper Daily

How about a little competition? Prosper Daily is a free app that allows users to compete with their previous month's budget to see if they can do better in the current month. The app also connects to financial accounts and tracks spending effortlessly. There is no need to document every expenditure.

Another benefit of Prosper Daily is that the app can protect users from suspicious account activity or duplicate charges. Since it is free, it is a smart idea to download this app just to use it for the account safeguarding feature alone.

Note: Prosper Daily used to be known as "BillGuard."

(Free iOS, Android)

3. CoinKeeper

The envelope system of budgeting is clever, but it can be such a hassle to use. Who wants to carry around different envelopes of cash everywhere with them? CoinKeeper allows users the same benefits of budget envelopes, but all at their fingertips. This is a great financial tool for tactile learners, since users can move coins and designate an amount to each area of their budget.

(Classic version $5.99 iOS, Free version iOS, Android)

4. Digit

Waiting until the end of the month to deposit leftover money into a savings account is unwise. Usually, there is no money left by the end of the month. Instead, use an app like Digit to sock away a little bit of money throughout the month.

The app cleverly connects to a user's checking accounts and looks for opportunities to transfer $5–$50 every two to three days to that user's savings account. However, you will not have to worry about overdraft fees, since the app never takes more than you can afford. The app also comes with a no-overdraft guarantee, which means the company will cover the fee up to two times per member.

See also: 11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master

(Free iOS)

5. Toshl

Monsters on a budgeting app? Yes, Toshl uses fun creatures and bright colors on its app interface. Toshl is a favorite app among many because it integrates with phone, tablet, and desktop devices. Toshl is easy to use and offers bill reminders, monthly budget summaries, as well as an easy way to export tracking to Excel.

(Free iOS, Android)

6. BUDGT

Don't let variable income keep you from keeping track of how much you make and how much you spend. BUDGT works well with variable income and allows you to easily input expenses and track how much money is left. The best part is that the app is simple and easy to use. It might take a few days to get into the habit of inputting your expenses, but once you get used to it, it can be a healthy habit to transform your spending.

($1.99 iOS)

7. Mvelopes

Similar to CoinKeeper, Mvelopes is a digital version of envelope-based budgeting. The free version can be downloaded on iOS and Android phones, but to get the full, deluxe version, there will be a one-time $95 cost. It will take a little bit of learning time to get into the method of zero-based budgeting. The idea behind this way of budgeting is that every dollar has a designation. This prevents money from being spent thoughtlessly.

If you look at your bank account at the end of the month and see an extra $50, you might mistake it as "free" money and spend it foolishly. With an envelope system, that $50 would have been categorized into savings or even designated towards books or clothing. It is important to give your money a job, or it will be useless to you.

The best budgeting app is the one that is used. If you are serious about making budgeting a regular habit, then you need to find the right tool to work for you. Everyone is different, so if the first app you try doesn't fit your needs or tastes, don't worry. Just try something else.

(Free iOS, Android)

What is your favorite budget app to use? Share with us!

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