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Best Budgeting Software for Couples

Best Budgeting Software for Couples

A shared budget could be difficult to create. It can be difficult to shift your focus from focusing exclusively on your financial needs to also taking into account your partner’s wants and needs.

If couples don’t take the time to talk about money now, they can later face financial difficulties. For long-term success, a couple’s commitment to budgeting is essential. The following actions can help you move things along in the right direction.

Best Budgeting Software for Couples

Mint

Best for: keeping spending in check.

The Mint app might be for you if you ever get shocked by your bank account’s declining balance or your credit card’s unexpectedly high debt. This no-cost tool, which is accessible through the Google Play and App Store, monitors and displays your income, savings objectives, and credit score. Additionally, it can link your credit cards and bank accounts. Mint shows your expenses, classifies them, and notifies you when you’ve over your budget. The ability of Mint to connect several accounts and cards can be a useful tool for couples, even though the program isn’t exactly a budgeting app for couples. Another nice feature is that it notifies you when payments are due and when you may be paying too much for particular items.

Honeydue

Best for: couples who don’t want to argue about money.

“How much did you spend?” or “What did you buy?” These are issues that arise in relationships between people who have joint financial resources, and they can be contentious. When you or your partner exceeds your spending caps in specific categories, the Honeydue app will function as a neutral third party and send you alerts, hopefully eliminating the need for these argument-provoking dialogues. This is how it goes: Honeydue will track your spending when you specify the accounts to sync with the app and set spending caps for various item categories. You can also quickly and easily view your financial condition with this free software, which is accessible on the App Store or Google Play, including savings targets and payment due dates.

Goodbudget

Best for: couples who like the envelope system.

Has the envelope system ever come up? This budgeting tool allows users to allocate different sums of money to various budget categories, such as grocery and discretionary spending. Using the envelope technique, you would put the cash in the variously designated envelopes and use those when you go grocery or clothing shopping. Unlike a credit or debit card, it serves as a physical restraint on your spending because you are only allowed to use the money that is in the envelope. The digital substitute is Goodbudget, which you can download from the Apple Store or Google Play. It gives you up to 20 digital envelopes to help you stay below your spending limit. For $8 per month, you can upgrade to the app’s paid edition if you want more envelopes and features. You must manually enter your quantities because this app doesn’t connect to your accounts.

Personal Capital

Best for: couples who want all the bells and whistles.

Personal Capital might be of interest to you if you want to up your budgeting app game. This no-cost app, which is offered on Google Play and the Apple Store, offers a variety of options for anything from managing your budget to keeping track of the balances in your portfolio. This app’s dashboard view is excellent; it provides you with an overview of your finances, including your net worth, retirement savings, emergency fund, and more. You may link your accounts to track your spending when it comes to budgeting, and it will send you reminders when invoices are due and even if you’re paying too much. This all-inclusive tool may help you manage your finances, plan for retirement, and keep tabs on your net worth.

Tiller

Best for: couples who speak in spreadsheets.

There are many who have never met a spreadsheet they didn’t like. The Tiller app might be right for you if you love using Google Sheets and Excel. But let’s be clear: Tiller isn’t really an application. However, Tiller gives you the same ability to link your credit cards, bank accounts, and assets to a spreadsheet as these other budgeting applications. After that, it provides templates to assist you in starting a budget and keeping tabs on your expenditures. Remember that although though this software is initially free for the first 30 days, after that it costs $79 a year, or $6.58 a month, to use.

Monarch

Best for: couples who value intuitiveness and a great user experience.

Users of the Monarch app gush about how beautifully it is designed. The Apple Store and Google Play also provide this software, which keeps track of all your accounts and investments in one location and aids couples in creating plans to meet their financial objectives. The Monarch gives you the freedom to set your own spending limitations, but it will let you know when you’ve exceeded them. With the help of their budgeting tool, you can also prepare for larger expenses and test out various budget scenarios to see how they work out over the long term. For the first 30 days, Monarch is free; after that, it costs $9.99 per month.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Best for: couples who like the zero-based budget system.

In the name, in fact. The software You Need a Budget, popularly known as YNAB, gives users access to a simple but effective budgeting tool. This app, which is based on the zero-based budgeting method, was created with the following four guiding principles in mind: allocate every dollar in your budget, divide large expenses into manageable monthly goals, keep a positive outlook despite overspending, and spend money that is at least 30 days old with a purpose. This well-known app, which is offered on Google Play and the Apple Store, is free for the first 34 days. Additionally, according to YNAB’s website, rookie budgeters can save $600 in the first two months and over $6,000 in the first year.

Honeydue

Honeydue is a budgeting tool with the straightforward goal of assisting couples in improving their joint financial management.

Through the app, you can link your bank accounts, schedule bill payments, and even start a joint checking account. The couple’s costs are displayed in real time through the app, as opposed to continuously updating a shared spreadsheet.

Now that you are more familiar with Honeydue, let’s look at some of its features and how using it as a couple can affect your personal finances.

Honeydue Features

Mobile App:

Both iOS and Android devices support Honeydue, an app-only service. The app now has a commendable rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4 stars (out of 5) on the Google Play Store.

Account Tracking:

Linking all of your pertinent accounts is the first thing couples must do when they sign up for Honeydue so that the app can keep track of them. If a bank account, loan, credit card, or investment account makes the most sense for your particular financial circumstances as a couple, that is what you should use.

Your general understanding of your monthly spending patterns, shared financial situation, and financial objectives will improve as you add more information. You shouldn’t have any trouble adding your bank institution because Honeydue supports more than 20,000 of them across five nations.

You will have control over what your spouse can and cannot see once your accounts are linked. You can decide whether to share all transactions and balance from your account, simply the balance, or nothing at all. Honeydue suggests that couples begin with “balances only.”

The software divides transactions into 17 distinct pre-set categories to provide you with a more detailed understanding of your expenditure. However, you can also include your own categories to suit your own budgeting approach.

Bill Reminders:

To assist you avoid late fines or missing payments, Honeydue sends reminders for important dates. You can enter your regular bills in the app along with the people who are in charge of paying them. Honeydue will notify you or your partner when it’s time to pay, which should encourage you to pay your payments on time.

Additionally, you may divide costs and conveniently keep track of who owes what. You can enter all of your split expenses in an app similar to SplitWise, and it will calculate the overall sum to make it easier for you to settle up.

Live Chat:

The in-app conversation functionality of Honeydue is one of its best features.

Let’s say you want to know more about a dubious transaction your partner engaged in. Instead of switching back and forth between your chat and personal financial applications in such situation, you may send your partner a direct message or a sarcastic emoji.

Additionally, discussing individual costs via the app is far simpler than taking a snapshot from one account and texting it to someone. Talk about your mutual savings goal or your partner’s odd spending pattern in the app, not in bed.

Joint Cash Account:

You and your partner can use Honeydue’s Combined Cash account as a joint bank account. Because to Honeydue’s agreement with Sutton Bank, Joint Cash is FDIC-insured.

The following are the primary characteristics of a Joint Cash account:

  • Visa debit cards for each of you
  • No monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements
  • Fee-free access to more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide with your Visa card
  • Custom notifications
  • Real-time balance updates
  • Modern budgeting tools

Honeydue Security:

Your most private financial data needs to be linked in order for Honeydue to work properly.

Fortunately, Honeydue has put in place bank-level security procedures to secure you and your money. Your usernames, passwords, or security questions are not stored by the app. Additionally, it does not have access to your routing or account numbers.

Additionally, you can limit account access by setting PIN codes, touch or face ID, or multi-factor authentication.

Honeydue Pricing And Fees:

The money management system offered by Honeydue is totally free. It does ask for suggestions from its users, but these are entirely voluntary. If you like the platform, you can decide to add a regular tip of between $1 and $10 every month. You can cancel the tip at any time, or you can decide not to contribute one at all.

The good news is that there are no paywalls on Honeydue’s features, and whether or not you tip has no bearing on the status of your account.

Pros

  • 100% free
  • Easy-to-use budgeting app for couples
  • Highly-rated iPhone app
  • Optional Joint Cash account

Cons

  • No signup bonus
  • Limited customer support
  • No APY earning on Joint Cash deposits
  • No round up or investing features

Budgeting for Couples

Making a joint budget might be challenging. It’s challenging to change your perspective from solely considering your personal financial demands to weighing your partner’s needs and wants.

Couples may later experience financial hardship if they don’t take the time to talk about money now. A couple’s commitment to budgeting is necessary for long-term success. Here are some things you can do to get things going in the right direction.

Start with the Basics

Spend time discussing your financial habits, goals, and ambitions with your partner before you sit down to create your budget. It may be easier to move forward if you both have a basic understanding of one another’s financial perspectives.

Recognize that varied fashion trends are neither “good” nor “bad.” Being honest and getting to know the other person are the main goals of this stage. It’s simpler to know what to do once everything has been said.

You might need to alter your financial strategy if your partner is uneasy. Try to turn the situation into a positive one by framing it as a team effort to get off to the greatest possible financial start.

Determine Your Household Needs

It’s time to decide on the household necessities once you have a sense of each other’s financial preferences. This includes outlays for things like electricity bills, groceries, auto payments, rent or mortgage payments, and loan repayments.

The amount you spend on these things is flexible. By purchasing a less expensive automobile, spending less on groceries, or downsizing, you can save money. Keep in mind that you must fulfill these commitments before you can afford to buy your luxury or supplementary products.

Prioritize your needs before your wants when creating a joint budget as a pair. Make it clear why and what should come first. Furthermore, you need to decide how to deal with debt if one (or both) of you have it. You need a strategy to deal with it in a way that makes you both feel comfortable.

Create Long-Term Goals

It’s critical to have objectives for your relationship. You should include these long-term objectives in your financial plan. Your plan might aid in deciding when to start a family or when you can buy a home. You may use it to prepare for retirement or your ideal getaway.

It can be simpler to stick to a budget when you have clear objectives that you strive to achieve each month. It is simpler to rationalize overspending frequently if you are just restricting your spending and saving without a specific objective in mind.Get out of debt and start saving for a down payment on a home are two solid places to start. Additionally, you ought to prioritize retirement savings in your financial strategy.

Get out of debt and start saving for a down payment on a home are two solid places to start. Additionally, you ought to prioritize retirement savings in your financial strategy.

  • Create a plan to pay off your debt. List your debts from highest interest rate to lowest, and start paying them off one at a time.
  • Set clear savings goals, and determine when you want to hit each of the financial milestones as a couple. A clear plan will help you be ready to buy a home or move onto the next step.
  • Figure out which tax-advantaged retirement accounts to start contributing to. 

Address Individual Needs

After determining your household’s requirements, start discussing your own needs and desires. They may include things like haircuts, clothes expenses, gym subscriptions, and other things you might spend a variety of sums on.

While you continue to spend what your partner could perceive as excessive amounts on your hair, you might be tempted to criticize your spouse for not reducing the amount they spend on video games.

Recognize that your needs and desires differ from one another’s, and be willing to make concessions. You could wish to establish an allowance so that you can spend it on your desires without having to answer to the other person.

There is no cause to debate or fight over how that money is spent as long as each partner is following the budget.

Should You Combine Your Finances?

When creating a budget together, one important decision is whether to share finances. Personal taste will play a role here. There are three basic methods, though.

Combine All Finances

Almost all of what comes from you two goes into a big pot. Both earnings and costs are split equally. Although each partner may have a little account for their own discretionary spending, everything is often shared.

Separate All Finances

Each user has their own accounts while using this method. Each partner is given a share of the expenses. The division of expenses could be done on a 50/50 basis or according to each person’s income. When one partner owns a home, the other partner may occasionally even make rent payments.

Hybrid

For some couples, a blended strategy makes more sense. Maybe there’s a joint account for household costs and other objectives that you share (like vacations or saving up for a house). While keeping the remainder of their accounts separate, each partner makes a contribution to the joint account. Again, there are various ways to determine how much each couple contributes. It may be that they each contribute the same amount, a proportion of their income, or there may be another method.

Before moving too far into joint budgeting, it’s crucial to talk about money management. Make sure the method feels equal to both of you and that you are both sufficiently safeguarded in the event of a breakdown.

Set Up Budget Meetings to Track Your Spending

You must both participate in keeping tabs on your spending. Usually, a weekly budget meeting is effective. Discuss your progress toward both common and personal goals during this meeting. Ask about spending by category and the remaining funds.

You might need to review this every day at first, but gradually you can sit down once a week or even once a month. Selecting reliable financial software that you can link with your phones can be helpful. In fact, there are many apps out there that are made specifically to help couples manage their finances. These meetings can be shorter and just as productive as you get better at sticking to your budget.

Be mindful that it’s crucial to maintain your composure when talking about money. If one partner makes a mistake, resolve it and continue. Being irritated or dwelling on errors is not helpful.

Best Budgeting Apps

1. Quicken

Quicken is a long-established tool for managing personal accounts, and while its reputation was founded on a desktop version, it is also available as an app for your mobile devices.

Quicken has a comprehensive set of financial reporting features. These are organized around a few different topics, including budgeting, bills, accounts, and even investing. For budgeting, it allows you to enter your purchases and income so you can compare them to have a better picture of how much you spend versus how much you earn.

In terms of bills, you can see which utilities and such services you are constantly paying, as well as the amounts owed and how much money you have left over. For accounting purposes, you can even combine your banking and credit card payments in one location so you know exactly how much you’re paying out. This is especially useful because consumers frequently underestimate how much simple purchases might add to prices.

It also allows you to track your investments, whether they are part of your savings, investment portfolio, or 401k pension plan. This implies that you have a good notion of how much your savings and assets are worth, while it’s fair to say that

In total, Quicken combines your banking, investment reporting, and budgeting into a single dashboard that you can access from a PC or even a mobile device via the mobile app.

2. YNAB

You Need A Budget, often known as YNAB, is here just in case you require precise instructions. Because, hey, you really do need one if you don’t want to spend every every penny you have and more. Perhaps you have more money than you anticipated as well.

As you may anticipate, YNAB’s main goal is to assist you in reducing your expenditure and avoiding living paycheck to paycheck. Maintain the plan and moderate your spending, and soon YNAB will realize that you are using last month’s funds rather than those you just received.

It is simple to install, supports the bulk of transaction data that can be downloaded from banks, and automatically adjusts for use by either individuals or small businesses by altering its monetary categories in accordance with your requirements.

If you stray from your course, YNAB, which is surprisingly understanding and forgiving for a piece of software, will inform you what to do to get back on track. You’ll have to make some compromises, but if direction is what you need, this stands out from competitors like Quicken.

3. Banktree

When working simultaneously with various currencies, BankTree performs a good job of supporting them by providing balances in multiple currencies rather than rounding them off to a single total. The ability to scan receipts with its mobile app and input them later makes it useful for keeping track of anything else.

Although BankTree doesn’t have the most attractive interface and is a little bit trickier to use than some of its more sophisticated brethren, it does provide some quite neat reports that can be broken down by time or payee. Before deciding to buy this one, it would be worthwhile to try the free trial.

Although you are limited to using the desktop program on one PC, it comes with a year of updates and support. There is a fee for using the software on any subsequent PCs. Additionally, a browser-based version is accessible.

Regardless of the version you choose, BankTree offers a 30-day free trial so you can see if it’s right for you before making a purchase.

4. Money Dashboard

The iOS/Android app for Money Dashboard isn’t trying to revolutionize banking or offer anything truly ground-breaking, but it is perhaps one of the best money management tools available. Connect all of your UK bank and credit card accounts, and you’ll be able to log in once to access all of your balances in one location. That is reason enough for us to suggest it.

Money Dashboard will track your expenditure and provide you with a comprehensive pie chart showing your spending on loans, consumables, transportation, and other expenses. You can quickly see your total balance and see how much cash is available in each of your accounts. You can also compare this amount to the one from the previous month.

5. Moneydance

Moneydance is a desktop money management program with a very slick single-window layout that was designed especially for Mac users (but it is also available for Windows and Linux). You may instantly check your accounts, impending invoices, current expenses, and more when you load it up. When you click on an item in the left sidebar, the main content updates to reflect your selection.

One of Moneydance’s most helpful features is its account register, and its reporting capabilities are solid though not very eye-catching. This works on a very similar concept if you’re old-school and used to maintain a checkbook. Additionally, there is an iOS app for recording transactions while on the go, which afterwards syncs with the desktop software.

UK users must manually download their transaction history to stay on top of it and switch to their bank’s own app to transfer money because Moneydance is unable to support the connection protocols used by UK banks. However, US users are well-covered.

Mint

Why we advise it: Let’s start with Mint’s overwhelmingly positive App Store and Google Play reviews. (It has also by far the most reviews of any piece of software we looked at.) Credit cards, loans, investments, as well as bank and savings accounts are just a few of the many types of accounts that can be synced for no cost.

Mint tracks and organizes your expenses for budgetary purposes. Customization is possible for these endless categories. For these categories, you can set upper and lower limitations, and Mint will let you know when you’re approaching them.

Along with those budgeting features, Mint can help users track goals, boost savings, and pay down debt. The user’s credit score and net worth are also shown by the app. Bonus: Mint provides lots of help for using

Why you may want to think twice: The fact that Mint keeps track of almost everything for you is one of its many amazing benefits. But that might not be the ideal choice if you wish to budget more directly and actively. If you’re searching for an app that helps you manage your finances in preparation rather than just track them after the fact, then another software on our list may better suit your needs.

Conclusion

Avoid letting finances add unnecessary stress to your relationship. It’s vital to build solid habits early on when you begin considering the idea of integrating finances and daily life so that you can prevent major disputes later.


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