BEST BUDGETING APPS OF 2021
The time has come for a clean slate, a year to top all other years in greatness. And that includes finances. Whether you’ve resolved to save more, get out of debt, or quit spending $1000/year on Starbucks, the key to sticking to those goals is a budget. With a few taps of your thumb each day, you can stay on top of your finances.
And you’ve come to the right place because we’ve compiled the best budgeting and personal finance apps of 2021, just for you. And you. And you. All right, here goes…
NOTE: All apps listed below are for iPhone. We cannot speak to the availability or functionality on other phone platforms.
Paid Budgeting Apps
We know this is a budgeting site, and we’re usually all about free stuff. But sometimes paying for something can actually save you money. And in this case, we think these apps might just be worth the couple bucks.
HomeBudget with Sync ($4.99 – 4.6 stars)
Everyone has a budgeting system that works for them. For Johnny and me, this is the app that’s worked for us over the past few years. We manually enter our expenses and info, which is what we prefer. The design and flow is intuitive and really easy to set up. But the biggest draw has always been that it syncs our budget in the cloud to both of our phones so that we’re always on the same page.
YNAB (free* – 4.5 stars)
Johnny and I have been late to the You Need a Budget (YNAB) praising, but our readers RAVE about this app. Although the app is free to download, we’ve added it to the Paid category since using the app requires using the YNAB software — which costs $84 to buy. The software syncs between your computer and other devices, ensuring your budget is always up to date. If you want to be able to see your finances from the very broadest to the most granular points of view, this is the budgeting system for you.
Free Budgeting Apps
These apps are free, free, free. So if one of them fits what you’re looking for in an app, your budget’s already off to a great start.
Wally (3.9 stars)
If simplicity of use and design are your thing, look no further. Wally simply tracks your income and expenses and projects your savings each month. It takes out the tediousness of actually creating a detailed budget, and focuses solely on your spending vs saving vs income ratio. Personally, we enjoy the tedium when budgeting (because we’re weird and OCD), but something about the simplicity of this app is really appealing.
Dollarbird (4.8 stars)
Similar to HomeBudget, Dollarbird allows users to create a budget and enter expenses manually. The design is light, bright, and easy to use. This is an ideal manual budgeting app for a single person trying to stick to a budget.
General Finance Apps Worth Mentioning
We decided to include this category this year since there are so many incredible finance apps available now that aren’t necessarily budgeting apps. Here are some of our favorites:
Mint (free – 4.8 stars)
Mint takes you out of the budgeting equation, and literally does it all for you. And although you can create a budget in the app, we’ve found that expenses oftentimes get miscategorized. So while we don’t use Mint as a budgeting app, we love using it as a general overview of where our money stands. We also use it to keep track of our net worth at the end of the month since it tracks the balances of our various accounts. This is an app everyone should own.
This is another great app for those whose savings need a gentle nudge in the right direction. Digit connects to your bank account (it’s safe) and analyzes your average balance and spending. After it figures that out, it uses an algorithm that moves a small amount (usually between $5 to $50) from your bank account and into a savings account. The magic behind it all is that you should never even notice it’s missing. Get $5 deposited into your account for free when you sign up here.