This year has been unusual to say the least but it’s not over yet and if your finances have taken a hit due to a job loss or a health crisis, it is more important than ever to get back on track. The end of the year is a great time to examine your processes and find ways to manage your budget more effectively before the inevitable Christmas spending spree.
Though I personally prefer the good old fashion method of writing things down in my budget binder, I find that using digital tools can supplement that very well, especially when I am on the go. My favourite apps are the ones offered by my banks. I like them because I don’t have to link my personal accounts to an external site. Within their digital environment, many banks offer a form of budget management so check if your bank has an app before you go searching elsewhere.
Although these types of applications are more readily available now and you may find that your bank has one, they are often limited to a few basic functionalities and are not customizable. In that case, you may choose to use a third party app in your App store that will go a step further.
Here are 20 popular budgeting applications highly recommended by actual users:
- Mint: The popular all-in-one app offers the benefit of collecting our bills in one place and seeing our spending in real-time by linking to all of our bank accounts and credit cards.
- Major Finance: Real estate, RRSPs, insurance, personal portfolio. Beyond income and expenses, this application takes into account all aspects of our financial situation. A real bookkeeper! We particularly like the dream calculator, which allows us to assess our projects’ progress, such as a trip or a wedding.
- Paypal: We know, of course, the secure online payment service of the same name, but the Paypal mobile application also allows us to share a bill with friends at the restaurant easily or to collect money for a collective gift.
- Spendee: Thanks to this budget manager application, we can take photos of our invoices, classify them efficiently and export them to a cloud. Perfect for simplifying the organization of our paperwork!
- Faistonbudget.ca: Université Laval has set up a tailor-made budget calculator for students. The tool automatically considers certain aspects of the student budget, such as scholarships and tuition fees. Perfect for our big one who will soon be leaving for an apartment!
- Budget online: This application is widely used, and it corresponds to a standard budget system. You enter your expenses and income there yourself. The tables are clear and allow you to see your financial situation quickly.
- Option consummators: The organization has developed a spreadsheet to guide us in managing our monthly budget and our financial statement. All you have to do is enter our income and expenses in the appropriate boxes. Then the calculations are done automatically.
- Money Wise: This free application not only allows us to segment our expenses with user-friendly labels, but it also offers quite in-depth financial analysis by exporting our data to an Excel file.
- Home Budget: No more repulsive spreadsheets and depressing interfaces! This colorful app makes our budget experience (almost) fun. The big plus? Our family budget is automatically synchronized in the cloud so that our spouse is always on the same page.
- YNAB: ‘YNAB’ stands for ‘You Need a Budget.’ This application is available on your desktop and on your smartphone (Android and iOS), thanks to which you can update your expenses and income anytime and anywhere. This app allows you to program goals as well as to measure and improve your progress. The many small reports give you a clear overview. Currently, this application is free for the first 34 days of trial.
- Goodbudget: Goodbudget takes your monthly income and allocates parts of it to several digital envelopes such as races and subscriptions. During each expenditure, a part is withdrawn from this envelope. Of course, you need to be disciplined not to go over budget. This application focuses more on user-friendliness than on modern graphics. Goodbudget works on your desktop and your mobile phone (Android and iOS).
- Buddy: Buddy allows you to establish weekly or monthly budgets; this app will warn you when you risk overtaking them. Not only does the budget include your unavoidable fixed expenses, but it also gives you some room for unexpected charges or impulse purchases. Then Buddy will do the math for you. Its attractive design motivates you. For now, the digital budget app is only available to Apple users.
- Shoeboxed: Strictly speaking, Shoeboxed (Android and iOS) is not a budget application, but it can be included in our list as it allows you to keep your receipts in digital form. It would be best if you photographed them using your smartphone. This application will then deduce the date of purchase, the payment method, and the overall amount. You will, therefore, no longer have to keep them in a shoebox.
- Bankin: Bankin is one of the most popular budget management apps. This French app, which has received the Banque de France’s approval, allows you to scrutinize your expenses with a simple glance. Its interface is very pleasant and easy to use. It gives you access to your bank account with detailed visibility of money entering and leaving.
- Linxo: Linxo allows you to have an overview of your various personal but also professional bank accounts. Like Bankin ‘, it has been approved by the Banque de France. It, therefore, provides you with security for your data and peace of mind. Linxo presents your expenses and savings in the form of graphs, which can also be viewed from your computer.
- Tricount: With Tricount, the adage “Good accounts make good friends” takes on its full meaning. It is difficult and delicate to ask a loved one that they are still in debt to us. With this app, you will be rid of this embarrassment. Tricount helps couples, roommates, and friends keep track of payments. The interface is childishly simple. You just have to fill in the fields, enter the amount of each expense and the creditor (s).
- PilotBudget: PiloteBudget is an application recommended by the Banque de France. For each category (Resources, Charges, Credit, Savings) and sub-category (salaries, pensions, family benefits, rent, housing assistance, property tax, internet, automobile, livret A, life insurance, retirement savings, business.
- Daily Expenses 3: Daily Expenses 3 is very similar to PiloteBudget. Fill in all your charges, whatever they are. This will generate a pie chart for better visibility.
- Toshl Finance: With Toshl Finance, connect your bank (more than 100 French institutions) and follow each expenditure made, whatever their currency. You manage cash, credit cards, and accounts, including offline ones. The interface has a minimal design, and it is very easy to use.
- iSaveMoney: Suppose the iSaveMoney application does not systematically classify your expenses. In that case, it has an autocomplete function based on your previous entries: you keep control of the classification, and you have the possibility of going faster anyway.
It is never too late, no matter how late in the year it is or how old you are, to start a budget and get in control of your finances. Use whatever works for you, whether that be manual and/or digital, but choose a method that you can commit to and will make you accountable to yourself. Budgeting apps are a great way to do that.