Retirement Budgeting Cash Flow

Top Five Budgeting Apps for Your Family

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Sixty percent of Americans need serious help with their family budget.1 A fee-only financial planner or financial coach can help. Many cities, states and nonprofit organizations also offer free courses, provide counsel and give suggestions.

Spending vs saving isn’t a new dilemma in America  by any means; the  statistics have stayed fairly similar since 2009. The good news is, today’s savvy savers are leveraging top software applications to help keep track of their money.  Here are five personal budget software apps we like that you can start using today.


Cost: Free

One of the oldest, most well-established apps in the personal budget software market, Mint is a free budgeting app offered by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quickbooks. This app offers almost everything any family would need to start budgeting and stay organized with day-to-day finances. You can use it to create a budget, track expenses, alert you when a bill is due, monitor your investments and more. For budgeting, this app will automatically categorize a transaction you’ve made (assuming you’ve linked that account to the software) to keep you abreast of your spending   habits and find places you may be able to save.

Mint features include:

  • Web-based automatic updates and categorization based on transactions
  • Investment monitoring
  • Credit checks
  • Automatic alerts for going over budget
  • A dashboard to view overall cash flow or breakdown by category
  • Ability to set goals and create budget subcategories
  • IOS, Android and desktop compatibility

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Costs: About $7/month or $84/year

YNAB, is popular for  its alternative approach to thinking about your money. This software uses an “every dollar has a job” method; every single dollar in your possession is designated for a purpose, which could be saving, paying off debt, investing, etc. The theory is, by accounting for every single dollar, you’re forced to spend wisely and rethink where  your money is going. 

YNAB features include:

  • 34-day free trial
  • Bank syncing to connect all accounts into one place
  • Comprehensive progress reports and real-time updates
  • Goal-setting and tracking
  • Support and personal education from a team of experts
  • IOS, Android and desktop compatibility


Cost: Free, or $6/month or $50/year for Goodbudget Plus

Following the envelope system, Goodbudget creates virtual envelopes for your money, breaking expenses down into categories like gas, groceries, eating out, debt payoff, etc. From there, the premise is fairly simple: as you spend money in a category, its bar on a chart fills with green. If you’re about to overspend in a category, the app will send you an alert, giving you a chance to reallocate funds or think twice about your purchase. Built with couples and families in mind, Goodbudget can be synced across multiple devices (the amount depends on which version of the app you’re using) to help keep multiple people in touch with household spending.

Goodbudget features include:

  • A personalized, in-depth dashboard of your entire financial picture
  • Easy-to-use tools to set and track budgeting goals 
  • Sync devices with spouse, partner or family members (varies by version)
  • Stores history for one year (more on Plus)
  • Downloadable budget history 
  • IOS and Android compatible


Cost: Free, or $3.99/month or $34.99/year for Pocketguard Plus

From investments and loans to savings and cash, this app is designed to sync all of your accounts into one easy-to-view personalized dashboard. As purchases are made, the app updates in real-time and categorizes each transaction to help you better understand what you’re spending your money on and where you may be able to save.

Pocketguard features include:

  • Syncs across all accounts, including cash (if using Plus version)
  • Personalized, automated budget built based on your goals, bills and income level
  • Certified SSL 256-Bit for security
  • Examples and opportunities for savings based on your spending habits
  • IOS and Android compatible


Cost: Basic is $6/month, Plus is $19/month, Complete is $59/month

Combining several common budgeting beliefs into one app, Mvelopes uses the “every dollar has a job” idea in conjunction with the envelope method. Through your digital envelopes like clothes, groceries, gas, etc., this app allows you to place every dollar into a category and keep track of it automatically. The concept is, once you’ve run out of money in that category, you don't“borrow” from the others. The budget will then reset at the beginning of your next pay period.

Mvelopes features include:

  • Syncing across bank and credit card accounts
  • Real-time budgeting and transaction syncing
  • Unlimited envelopes
  • Rapid debt reduction planning (with Plus and Complete) 
  • IOS, Android and desktop compatibility

Budgeting software can be a useful tool for a wide variety of consumers. For example, you may be very good at keeping track of your money and even written out a monthly budget for years. But with today’s tools, budgeting gets even easier with automatic transaction updates, account syncing and more.

And for those who are ready to get serious about their spending, incorporating these apps into your money management system can be an eyeopening experience as you set a personal budget, develop goals and track your progress.


This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Kelly Financial Planning. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.