When you really get down to it, personal budgeting tools free are meant to be tools which will help you better understand where your money is going in the end. Of course, there’s no way that you can do this with a small amount of money. Therefore, you should start off with a few bucks per month. Once you’re awash with cash, you’ll feel like an expert and be more than ready to implement your newfound knowledge.
Personal budgeting tools are essential to staying on track with your money. However, if you navigate to the search bar and type “personal budgeting tools free,” the results usually consist of sites that are trying to sell you something. Either they have banner ads or will direct you to a page full of products.
The best personal budgeting tools on the market today? I’m glad you asked. Whether you’re looking for completely free software, or want to know about premium apps that will cost you a few bucks, I’ll help you decide which apps will meet your needs based on my extensive research.
We’ve compiled a list of top personal budgeting tools specifically for those who need to save a little money in these budget-tight times. Let’s take a look at what we have to offer (note: all prices stated are correct as of this writing. You can download any of the top budgeting applications listed here 100% free!
What does a budgeting tool do?
Budgeting gets a bad rap for being a monotonous and tedious task, but it can also be a helpful way to understand your spending habits. And a budgeting tool can make the process a lot easier if you find the right one for your needs.
That tool might be an already-formatted spreadsheet where you just plug in your transactions or an app that auto-categorizes your spending for you.
Because different budgeting tools offer slightly different approaches to tracking your money, first decide how intentional you want to be. Hands-on methods, such as manually entering your transactions into a spreadsheet, may take more time, but the process can help you be more thoughtful about your spending.
You’ll also want to decide if you want to pay for a budgeting tool. While the top-rated tools on this list come no cost to users, those who don’t mind paying a premium have options for budgeting tools with more robust features. A popular choice is budgeting app You Need A Budget (YNAB), which offers a 34-day free trial then costs $84 per year, or $11.99 per month. Users can set goals, customize spending categories, plus get access to 100+ free educational workshops offered every week. (Learn more in the app’s review.)
Mint.com is a free, comprehensive online budgeting tool that allows you to manage your money from any computer or mobile device. The platform has been around for more than a decade and was acquired by Intuit in 2009. It’s one of the most popular finance management tools out there, with over 12 million users worldwide and almost 5 million downloads on mobile devices alone.
Mint offers features like goal-setting, bill reminders, budgeting alerts, investment tracking, and more — all in one place! It also lets users connect accounts from over 500 banks so you can see all your finances in one place without having to log into multiple accounts separately (which is kind of annoying).
Personal Capital is a free personal finance and wealth management app. It allows you to keep track of your investments, create a budget, and track spending, as well as connect all of your accounts.
The free version’s features include:
- A net worth calculator that tells you how much money you have (or don’t have).
- An Investment Checkup tool that helps investors determine if they’re on track with their investing plan or need to make changes in order to reach their goals faster.
- A retirement planner that estimates how much money they’ll need in the future based on current assets and future expenses.
Wally is a personal finance app that allows you to track your income, spending, and savings. It is one of the best budgeting apps for people who are looking for a simple and easy way to keep track of their finances.
Wally has been around since 2014, but it’s still used by many people today because of its simplicity. The app shows you how much money is coming in as well as going out each month so that you can see how much money you have leftover at the end of the month to save or pay off debt
For a highly customizable way to track income and expenses, use a spreadsheet. “People can download budgeting spreadsheet templates that come formatted with formulas, dates and labels,” Dvorkin says. “This method helps take the guesswork out of organizing a budget, and it can also make it easier to edit a budget and track income.”
Both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets offer free budget templates to users. You can also create your own, though there can be a learning curve to using the programs. Microsoft provides free online training lessons on its support website for Office products. Otherwise, plenty of tutorials can be found on YouTube.
If you’re making a budget for the first time, a worksheet can eliminate some of the guesswork. These papers often have recommended percentages to indicate how much of your earnings should be spent on each category each month.
Several organizations offer free budgeting worksheets online. American Consumer Credit Counseling, a nonprofit credit counseling provider, has sheets for household budgeting, expense tracking and budgeting for specific needs. Meanwhile, Regions Bank has free worksheets anyone can download from its Next Step Financial Education website, including a personal spending plan worksheet and daily spending tracker.
“The resources and tools we offer through Regions Next Step, like these worksheets, can help people improve their financial skills, stay organized and take the next steps to meeting their goals,” says Joye Hehn, vice president of financial education strategy and implementation at Regions Bank.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
If you’re looking for a budgeting tool that will help you save money and keep track of your spending, You Need A Budget (YNAB) is the perfect online solution. YNAB offers its services for free for 34 days and offers a 14-day trial after that. If you’re still not sure if this is right for you, they also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee on all purchases.
YNAB has four main features: The Rule Simple, which helps users create their first budget; Roll with the Punches, which allows users to track their spending as it occurs; Keepers and Giveaways categories to help set goals, and Instant Access accounts where you can link checking or savings accounts to check out how much money is in them at any time without logging into the app itself.
PocketGuard is a free app that automatically categorizes expenses and income and connects to your bank account, credit cards, and the like. It helps you manage bills, subscriptions, and more by letting you set a budget for each category. Using PocketGuard can help you make sure you’re saving enough for retirement as well.
This app is a personal finance app for budgeting and saving. It offers budgeting and saving tools, as well as an online bank account to store your money. This makes it a good choice for people who are looking for an all-in-one solution. Albert also has a smartphone app that allows you to track your spending while on the go. The desktop version of Albert is free and helps users get started with their finances by tracking their income and expenses automatically.
Mvelopes is a budgeting program that helps people control their spending. It’s easy to use, and it’s free!
To get started, download the app from the Apple store or Google Play store, then follow the instructions to set up an account. Once you have an account, you can use Mvelopes online or through their app on your phone. The site is user-friendly and has step-by-step directions available if needed. You can also access all of your information in real-time through their mobile app so that you can make adjustments if needed while out shopping or eating at restaurants.
Goodbudget is an all-in-one budgeting tool, which makes it a great option for those who want to take control of their finances. The app allows you to quickly set up financial goals and track your spending habits in real-time. You can set daily or monthly budgets for various spending categories, and the app will notify you when you’re approaching them (or already over).
Pros: The app is free to use, and there are no hidden fees or charges; it’s also very easy to use, even if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy. They have both web and mobile versions available so that users can access their information anywhere they go. It also has many features like reminders, bill payments, and an extensive library of articles on personal finance topics such as credit scores and taxes
Cons: One potential con is that there are no cashback options available through Goodbudget’s shopping partnerships like there are with Mint Budgeting & Money Management Software – Personal Finance Manager
Designed specifically for partners who are managing money together, Honeydue helps couples stay on the same page financially. The free app allows people to link multiple accounts to share balances and spending information. A chat feature allows partners to discuss specific transactions if needed.
In terms of budgeting, Honeydue categorizes expenses to make it easy to ensure your monthly spending stays on track. The app will also send bill reminders. For those who are looking for a joint bank account, Honeydue offers those as well, with deposits insured by Sutton Bank.
SoFi Relay is another free budgeting app. It allows users to link accounts, review balances and set spending targets. It aggregates accounts and makes it easy to review spending by category.
The app also provides access to VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and makes it simple to connect with a professional to discuss financial goals and strategies. SoFi Relay users are entitled to a complimentary 30-minute call with one of the company’s in-house financial planners.
This savvy budgeting software is intended for those who like the idea of an envelope cash management system but don’t want the hassle of carrying physical envelopes.
Instead, Goodbudget lets users fund virtual envelopes that are used to track expenses and sync and share budget information across devices. The free version includes 10 regular envelopes, 10 more envelopes, one year of account history and access to community support forums.
Reducing expenses is often an integral part of creating a workable budget, and Truebill is an app that helps users identify sources of spending that may fly under the radar. Once you link a bank account, Truebill will automatically search for recurring payments such as subscription services and, if you want, cancel those accounts.
Truebill can also create a budget based on your transactions and monitor your spending. Through its bill negotiation feature, it may be able to lower monthly expenses for wireless, cable and insurance bills, among others. While the app is free to download and use, Truebill will collect 40% of your savings if it successfully negotiates down a bill.
These are the top budgeting tools on the market.
In this list, I’ve rounded up the best budgeting tools on the market. Some of them are free, while others have a paid option that’s worth considering.
- The best tool for beginners: The simplest way to get started is with Google Sheets, which is free and relatively easy to use. It won’t have all the bells and whistles of some of its competitors, but it’ll do if you’re just getting started.
- The best tool for advanced users: Mvelopes offers a mix of automated savings rules and manual overrides—perfect if you want an app that gives suggestions but also lets you tweak your own system to fit your needs perfectly.
- The best tool for investors: Personal Capital can help track all kinds of investments (not just stocks) in one place, including 401(k)s and IRAs as well as stock options from startups—and it’s got great customer service too!
Personal budgeting tools are useful for your finance. If you don’t have personal budgeting tools, maybe you need to learn how you can use it. I have collected many free personal budgeting tools and listed them out here with descriptions. Therefore, choose one of them as your own and make a start.
The last thing you want to worry about is your bank statements. There are many factors that could cause you undue concern such as looming debt and other financial-related problems. Don’t allow this happen to you, there are free online personal budgeting tools that can help you improve your finances.