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Finance

Best Budget Apps of December 2023

Our experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.Budgeting can already feel difficult, but with the right budget app, you should be able to track your spending habits, find ways to spend less and save more, or budget effectively as a couple.Limited Time Offer: New customers get a full year free when you import your Mint data within 3 months of sign-up date$3.99 monthly subscription or $47.88 annual subscriptionN/AN/Aone year freeQuicken Simplifi is a great budgeting tool if you want to create a detailed monthly spending and savings plan and don’t mind paying for a subscription. If you would rather get a budgeting app that doesn’t have a subscription fee, you’ll have to consider other options.Coming from Mint? Import your history and get 50% OFF with MINT50.Premium Plan with a 7-day free-trial, then $14.99 per month or $99.99 annuallyMonarch Money is an overall solid option if you prioritize creating monthly budgets and saving for individual savings goals. The main downside of the app is that it doesn’t offer a free plan. You’ll have to a monthly or annual subscription fee.Free to create a budget. Subscription fee applies to premium services.Rocket Money is featured in our best budgeting apps guide. While the Rocket Money app is free, there is a subscription fee if you want to use Premium features, like concierge services or premium chat.Check out our picks for best budgeting apps, and read more about how we chose the winners.Rocket Money (previously known as TrueBill) is our best budgeting app overall because it has a variety of tools to help you save and limit spending. Rocket Money has both a free plan and a premium plan. With the free plan, you’ll be able to link bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts to track spending and you’ll also be able to create a budget. The premium plan includes concierge services, which review your bills and subscriptions to help you cancel or get refunds for these services on your behalf. It also includes premium customer chat, unlimited budgets, customizable budget categories, a savings account, real-time updated syncing, and a credit score report.The app’s standout feature is Bill Negotiation. You’ll upload a copy of your bill, and Rocket Money will determine whether you can get the same service with the company for a lower price. Rocket Money may also help you get refunds if you’re charged bank overdraft fees or late fees.When Rocket Money negotiates a bill, you’ll have to pay a percentage (you may choose any amount from 30% to 60%) of whatever it will save you for the year. If you plan to change your internet, cable, phone, or wireless provider in the next year, you could end up losing money, though.Pricing: You may choose how much to pay each month through a sliding scale. Rocket Money has a free plan that’s $0. The Premium plan has a 7-day free trial; after the free trial, you’ll have to pay around $4 to $12 per month (the lower-price plans are billed annually instead of monthly).Rocket Money ReviewHoneydue is a budgeting app designed specifically for couples. The sign-up process is short and simple — you’ll create an account by setting up your email, then invite your partner to Honeydue.Honeydue allows you to see both your individual and shared finances in one place. You also have to option of setting limits to how much your partner can see. When you connect a bank account to the app, you may choose to share both balance and transaction information, share information only, or share no information.With Honeydue, you can organize your finances by creating monthly bill reminders or discussing personal financial information through the app’s chat feature.If you would like an additional place to store money for a common goal, like a holiday budget or a couple’s vacation, Honeydue also offers a joint bank account with debit cards called Honeydue Joint Cash. Your funds will be secure at Sutton Bank, Member FDIC. The account also doesn’t have monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.You won’t be able to access Honeydue through your computer; it’s only available through a mobile app. Some of our other top picks have both online and mobile platforms for more convenience.Pricing: FreeQapital is a mobile app that can help you save and invest money either individually or as a couple. The Qapital Account is a bank account that is FDIC-insured through Lincoln Savings Bank and other partner banks. Through Qapital, you’ll be able to make unlimited personalized savings goals. The platform also has a unique savings feature called “Rules.” Rules are Qapital’s savings tools that you may apply to savings goals to encourage you to save in a variety of ways. For example, you could use the “52 Week Rule” to save $1,378 over the course of a year, or the “Set and Forget Rule” to deposit a specific amount of money into your Qapital account each week.Qapital doesn’t have a free plan. After the 30-day free trial, you’ll have to select one of the monthly fee plans to continue using the platform. The biggest difference between the Basic, Complete, and Premier Plans is that the Complete and Premier Plans also allow you to invest, and the Premier Plan turns savings into a game with a tool called Money Missions.Pricing: 30-day free trial then Basic ($3 monthly), Complete ($6 monthly), or Premier Plan ($12 monthly)Qapital ReviewQuicken Simplifi might be a good choice if you want a budgeting app that provides a detailed breakdown of your spending and savings. In addition to letting you create budgets with customizable categories and make individual savings goals, Quicken Simplifi analyzes your spending and savings through charts and data.You can receive monthly reports for spending, general income, income after expenses, savings, and net worth. The app also has a watchlist tool that allows you to track areas in your spending, and it has another tool that can monitor bills to make sure you pay them on time.The one major downside to this app is that it doesn’t have a free plan. You’ll have to pay a subscription fee, although you can try the app for 30 days with a money-back guarantee.Pricing: $3.99 monthly subscription or $47.88 annual subscriptionQuicken Simplfi ReviewYes, numerous financial apps are available on the Google Play and Apple store. There are apps that help you categorize your spending, save for individual financial goals, or implement strategies like the 52-week money challenge.Intuit announced that Mint will be shut down in 2024. Intuit is asking Mint users to transition to Credit Karma, but there are also alternative budgeting apps you can explore if you’re looking for budgeting features that Credit Karma doesn’t have.In most cases, the best budgeting app for beginners will be one that makes budgeting easy — this means it has an easy-to-use interface and links to your accounts, so you don’t have to enter every transaction manually. It can also be good to have an app that teaches you about money.  Rocket Money is our best budgeting app overall, and it has a free plan. If you’re in a couple, our top pick is Honeydue which is also free to download.We include ratings from the Better Business Bureau to evaluate how financial institutions address customer issues and handle transparency. Rocket Money has a B rating due to a high volume of customer complaints.Honeydue has an F rating because it hasn’t responded to three customer complaints and it hasn’t been in operation for a long time.Qapital has an F rating because it has received over 100 customer complaints on the BBB website, has failed to respond to a few customer complaints, and has one unresolved customer complaint.Quicken has an F rating because it has received a high volume of customer complaints filed, and failed to respond to 13 customer complaints. A good BBB rating won’t guarantee you’ll have a good relationship with a company. You also might want to read customer reviews or talk to current customers before making your decision.Intuit does have some public issues surrounding its tax-filing software, TurboTax. We consulted banking and financial planning experts to inform these picks and provide their advice on finding the budgeting app for your needs.Here’s what they had to say about budgeting apps. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)What should I look for in a budgeting app? Mykail James, MBA, certified financial education instructor, BoujieBudgets.com:”My best tip for people who are looking to start using a budgeting app is to figure out what you’re missing in your financial system. For example, if you are a person who knows that you want to stick to a zero-based budget, and you’ve been doing that manually, but you need maybe a little bit more help with the organization, then you can center your focus on searching for apps specifically solve your problem.”Sophia Acevedo, certified educator in personal finance, banking reporter, Personal Finance Insider:”I would look for features that would help me with my goals. Like if I’m trying to curb spending, I would look for a budgeting app that helps me minimize payments in certain spending areas.” How do I know if a budgeting app is right for me? Mykail James, MBA, CFEI:”Give it time. Every budgeting app is going to feel uncomfortable during the first month. Give it at least three months before deciding if it’s not something for you. Actively try and use it before considering a switch.” Sophia Acevedo, CEPF:”I would first try out the free version and see how it works. Some budgeting apps are entirely free, while others have different plans at a variety of price points.”Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product, we outline the limitations, too. Research is an important part of choosing a budgeting app that fits your needs. First, we compiled a list of 18 popular budgeting apps available in both the Google Play Store and Apple Store. Then, we reviewed each budgeting app for a week. To determine our top picks, we reviewed the initial sign-up process, pricing, budgeting tools, and user experience. We also considered whether each app accomplished everything it advertised, and how regular users reviewed the product on the Apple and Google Play store.

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