Thousands of people in the country claim to not need any help with managing their money and finances yet find themselves in debt due to improper saving and spending.
Budgeting software is always a great way to get your life back on track, however it is often portrayed as being clunky boring computer software.
Times have changed in recent years, especially with the constant technological innovation that we are seeing towards mobile devices.
With the younger demographic (18-35 years old) switching more towards a mobile environment they don’t have the time to find a computer for personal budgeting software.
You’d be surprised to know that there is a ton of budgeting software out there that is not only easy to use, but mobile friendly as well, meaning you can use it wherever you are going.
We are going to review some of the best budgeting software out there so you can get an idea of what you can use to get your life back on track.
YNAB (You Need a Budget) - Best Overall Budgeting Software
We have YNAB as our best budgeting software as it is not only fantastic at what it does, but it is also offered in a variety of different mediums and tailored to that younger demographic that we mentioned.
While YNAB isn’t a free budgeting software, it does offer you a 34 day free trial that you can use to experiment around with.
Even if you don’t plan on renewing the subscription, trying it out for those 34 days is a great way to start saving money.
They have plenty of resources on the website and within the software itself to not only determine where your spending is going awry but also to educate you on how you can change those spending habits as well.
There is a large amount of customization within the software itself meaning you can edit categories and have things represented in just the way you want it.
This helps for the active approach YNAB takes as it is a budgeting software that makes you designate each dollar to a budget category.
While we would like YNAB more if it was free, it only costs $11.99 a month or $84 annually. There is a bit of a learning curve with YNAB as well, but as we mentioned, there are plenty of resources and videos on the website and within the budgeting software itself to help you learn it.
Overall, it’s the active approach they take towards money management that propels them above other personal budgeting software that makes it shine above the rest.
Personal Capital - Best Free Budgeting Software
Personal capital has a lot more to offer than just budgeting, but for the sake of this review we are going to focus solely on that aspect.
Personal Capital allows you to sync up all your accounts onto it, making it easy to track all of your finances.
Another bonus that we love about this budgeting software is that it also tracks and syncs up your investment portfolio as well.
Personal Capital has what they call a “360-degree view” which is a group of financial tools that can help you understand everything you need to know.
The budgeting end of the software thrives using the 50-30-20 rule, which is 50% to mandatory expenses, 30% to what you want, and 20% towards savings.
Unlike YNAB, what we like about Personal Capital is that it tracks your bills and also informs you when you have to make a payment on them.
If you are a forgetful person who misses payments for this reason, Personal Capital is a budgeting software that will help you out.
Asides from that, the budgeting software does everything you would need in the form of tracking your payments and analyzing your cash flow.
The fact that it connects to all of your accounts makes things very easy to track and is definitely why we consider it one of the best free budgeting softwares out there.
Tiller - Best for Google Lovers
A few years ago, Microsoft Office completely dominated the market with programs like Word and Excel. While they still have a large market share, Google’s free software in the form of Sheets and Docs have started to grow in popularity.
Tiller is a customizable add-on for Google Sheets that can help you sync up all the information you have entered into spreadsheets along with sorting it and automating it for you.
This is what we love about Tiller as it’s not something that you have to download and use separately, it’s built right into the spreadsheets that you create.
We found that Tiller was a little challenging to use at times, however if you are an expert with spreadsheets, you shouldn’t have a problem with this budgeting software.
That being said, if you are new, you don’t have to worry about creating your own spreadsheets and templates as Tiller comes with all of that included, making your life that much easier.
If you are a college student, you are also in luck as you are going to get your first year absolutely free with this budgeting software. Other than that, you’re looking at $79 on the year or $6.58 a month.
If you have group expenses, Tiller will automatically pull that data and put it onto the spreadsheet, but you do have the option to easily split it however you need to. This can make sorting everything quite easy.
The final thing that we are going to mention about Tiller Money is that only recently have they started to support Microsoft Excel.
With that in beta testing, it still might be a bit of time before it becomes a reliable piece of home software for budgeting. We do like the integration with Google Sheets however and it does work quite well.
Digit - Easiest to Use
Digit is actually quite different than most budgeting software out there and can be rather interesting to use for a younger demographic.
It strives to help you achieve both your short-term and long-term goals and it does it through being linked to your bank account.
Digit has an algorithm that will spend a few days analyzing your spending habits and how you are using your money.
From there, it will automatically withdraw money from your checking account and deposit it either into a Digit savings account, or a retirement account.
This makes it quite easy to use as all you really have to do is sign up and from there the budgeting software will do the rest of the work.
As for the automatic withdrawals, they are based around your spending the amount of money in your checking, so you still have to have some discretion if you want to maximize your savings with this budgeting software.
Digit also has an option to invest, although not in the way you might think. Instead of choosing individual stocks, you are instead matched with a portfolio of ETFs based on your investing goals.
Depending on who you are, this can be seen as both a pro or a con. It’s great for those who are new to investing, but those who are experienced might not like the lack of control.
Digit does cost money, although it is quite affordable at $5 a month. If you are looking to budget but don’t want to spend too much time doing so, Digit and it’s ease of use might be the budgeting software you are looking for.
FamZoo - Best for Kids
With FamZoo, we are looking at a budgeting software that is created to teach children the importance of money and how learning to save at a young age can be very beneficial to their future.
FamZoo is meant to be used by a family, with the parent’s signing up as the primary account holder. From there, they are responsible for transferring money over to their children’s subaccounts.
What we really enjoy about FamZoo is that it can be kept very basic for a young child, or it can go rather in-depth for teens who are starting to work.
They have multiple plans out there to choose from, from simply transaction tracking, to paying your children for chores and their allowance, to finally budgeting percentages for those who are starting to work.
The thing we want to talk about the most with this budgeting software however is the parent-paid interest.
To do this, all you have to do is set a percentage rate, and your children will get money from your account at the end of the month based on how much they have saved.
This is a great way to teach children about the benefits of saving early and can make them excited to collect money instead of spending money.
While FamZoo isn’t free, it’s fairly cheap with multiple plans to choose from. If you want to look at monthly, you are going to be paying $5.99 a month.
In our opinion this is definitely worth it, as spending some money now to teach your children the importance of budgeting and saving is better than having to spend money down the road to bail them out.
Because the budgeting software is made to be used by kids, it’s quite easy to use as well and we strongly recommend it if you are trying to teach your kids how to save money and budget.
Trim - Best for Saving Money on Bills
Trim is much different than your standard budgeting software, because it focuses more on saving money on your subscriptions and also negotiating your bills.
If you are someone who already negotiates their own bills, then maybe Trim isn’t for you, however if you are someone who is nervous to do, Trim can do that for you.
Trim will easily negotiate bills for you along with cancelling any unused subscriptions, allowing you to save a lot of money each month just from basic expenses.
As for fees, all you are going to be doing is paying Trim 33% of the money that they help you save, not bad if you think about it.
As for their budgeting end, it’s pretty standard in comparison to other budgeting software. You don’t have the option to invest, however you can speak with advisors and start planning for retirement and learn how to get out of debt. Overall it’s a solid service, but other services do the budgeting aspect better.
If you are only looking to budget your money, Trim might not be the budgeting software you need, however if you are looking to save money on bills as well, you should definitely consider this home software to help you out.
Acorns - Best for Those On a Budget
If you are looking at using budgeting software, it’s generally because you are trying to save money.
Acorns is great for you then as you get a good amount of services for a maximum of $5 a month depending on the plan you are choosing.
We found that it was great like Tiller for those who want to invest in money but don’t want to worry about choosing stocks themselves. The automation is where Acorns shines as a piece of budgeting software.
Everything is done for you and all your accounts and cards are linked together for easy access.
There are also a ton of resources on this home software, allowing you to learn about budgeting and investing while you are doing it.
They do also have an investment section for kids and while it isn’t as in-depth as FamZoo, it still is a great tool for children.
While FamZoo is intended for children and has some features for older people, Acorns is great for the serious budgeter with some features for children.
If you are looking to save money and get everything automated, Acorns might be a service for you to look into.
HoneyMoney - Best for Families
When using HoneyMoney, we found it worked well for analyzing and managing family financial funds.
It works to ask questions so it can understand what kind of spender you are, and then identify ways to help you save and budget.
While certain aspects of the budgeting software are free, others are not, so it’s up to you to decide how in-depth you want to get with HoneyMoney.
That being said, it does provide an incredibly easy to use interface and if you are paying, it is quite a minimal amount.
One of the things that stood out to us the most with this budgeting software is the customer support.
They were excellent and timely and were easily able to help us get back on track. While the customer support end of things works extremely well, we did have some faults with the app itself.
After prolonged usage of entering monthly transactions, we found the app itself started to lag and slow down.
A simple restart fixed the issue, but we found it slightly annoying having to wait a few seconds during those periods where it was slow.
We recommend giving it a try if you are new to budgeting and want to be able to easily budget accounts between you and your partner.
Each of these budgeting softwares have their niche that they fill and then offer standard budgeting resources.
Before you pick a service, we recommend taking the time to analyze your lifestyle and see which one would best work for you.
If you find you are paying too much for bills, Trim might be for you, and if you have kids, maybe FamZoo or Acorns can help there.
No matter what you decide to choose, budgeting software can only go so far to help you. It is up to you to invest yourself into learning and create a solid plan using the resources the software provides you.
The final thing to look at when choosing budgeting software is the price. As we mentioned, it is slightly ironic to pay for budgeting software when you are trying to budget.
If you do have the money, the monthly subscriptions are definitely worth it as you are going to be getting a lot more features.
If spending any money is a problem, going with free budgeting software isn’t that big of a problem. Find out what works for you and your lifestyle and roll with it.