While the idea of budgeting may seem like a simple task, sitting down to write out a budget can leave even the most frugal among us scratching their heads. Thanks to the age of the smartphone, we have more options than scribbling out a budget on notebook paper.
Not all financial apps are created equal. It's important to understand what your financial goals are before picking out the proper digital tool. Some are great for tracking investments, while others are focused on getting users out of the cycle of living from paycheck-to-paycheck.
Check out these user-friendly budget apps:
Mint: Allows you to link all financial accounts and track various streams of incomes. It gives you an instant look at your spending habits, tracks transactions as they're made, and has an option to run a credit report. Mint is also constantly updating the financial institutions it works with. Price: Free
PocketGuard: Links all of your accounts in one place, and lets you switch between them with a single tap. Tracks daily expenses and gives insights into upcoming bills. This one also works well with Apple Watch. Price: Free
You Need A Budget (YNAB): Shares information across multiple interfaces, and has an abundance of learning materials and resources. If you're looking for guidance in addition to number tracking, this app could be for you. Bonus: It's ad-free. Price: $5 per month or $50 per year
Level Money: This minimalist app focuses on the bare bones of financial tracking. It helps users see what they can afford to spend today, this week and this month. It's ad-free and very easy to navigate. Price: Free
The non-app option: If mobile apps are outside your comfort zone, there are several free templates online for customizable line-item budgets. These require users to be spreadsheet savvy, but offer a lot of room to allow you to make your budget exactly how you need it to be.