How to Set Up an Emergency Fund on a Budget

Trying to take care of a personal budget is not easy, especially with all the little fees and growing prices of every little thing. Balancing the checkbook used to be the only way to track spending, and budgeting used to be done by very tedious techniques. Tech changed it all, and made budgeting easier for everyone. 

If you’re trying to get control of your budget or need a little help seeing where your weak points are, it’s a good idea to try an app on your phone. These apps for budgeting and personal finances will be able to put you back on track in a pinch. 

Mint

Mint is the big grandaddy of all budgeting apps, and it is one of the best apps for newbie budgeters. This app connects to your checking, savings, credit cards, and investment accounts in order to track your spending. 

The budgeting tools on this are incredible and in-depth, making it a great choice for people who really can’t figure out where their money is going. It’s free, has plenty of promotions that can help you improve your life, and also gives you alerts when unexpected bills arise. What’s not to love?

Qapital

Qapital isn’t a budgeting app in the most common sense of the word, but you can absolutely use it as such. This is an app that connects to your bank account, creates a savings account for you, and lets you add to the savings account according to rules you set. You even get to budget according to the goals you have. 

Along with automated savings, Qapital gives you a debit card and the option to pay bills through the app. These two features make it a great choice for people who want a laissez-faire way of improving their finances and budget for fun. 

YNAB

YNAB stands for “You Need A Budget,” and it’s part of one of the largest personal finance franchises in the world. Adherents to this budgeting practice are all about “zero-sum” budgeting. The app, unsurprisingly, makes sure that every dollar has a job that furthers your goals and improves your standing. 

Though it’s not free, the extremely hands-on approach that YNAB offers is definitely worth it. That being said, this is an app that teaches you how to radically change your mindset about everything money-related. If you’re not ready for serious change, you may want to skip it for a more relaxed approach. 

Mvelopes

In the old days before computers were common, people who wanted to budget would take a portion of money out of their bank and stuff it into a variety of different envelopes. Each envelope would serve a different purpose, such as food, rent, gas, or entertainment. 

Mvelopes is the modern-day equivalent of that, and honestly, it works fairly well. As far as budget and personal finance apps go, this is a great choice for people who want a reliable and old school approach that’s just mildly tweaked for modern life. It can cost a bit of money, but it’s definitely worth it when you see how much you save.

Albert

Did you ever want to have a finance professional look at your spending and help you develop a budgeting plan for you? If so, you’ll enjoy what Albert has to offer. This app uses high-level AI to analyze spending, figure out your lifestyle needs, and answer all your financial questions for you. 

If you have tons of finance questions, Albert will help you out. You can ask anything from savings help to debt reduction, all straight from your phone. Better still, they even offer up an automated savings portion for people who want to stock up on savings. 

PocketGuard

Are you the type of person who enjoys impulse spending at Amazon, or just gets a little too crazy at the bar? Most apps for budgeting and personal finance won’t stop you from splurging, and that’s not a good thing for your wallet. 

That’s where PocketGuard shines. 

PocketGuard is one of the only apps out there specially designed to prevent overspending. It tracks your regular expenses, looks for ways to save money on recurring bills, and also gives you a heads up on how you can save more every day. 

Trim

Trim started off as an app that works to encourage savings but quickly expanded into so much more. This app is a must-have for people who tend to get into subscription services they want to quit, want to lower monthly bills automatically, and just make ends meet faster than ever before. 

It connects to your bank accounts, finds services you don’t want or need, and offers to cut those off. It’s way easier than calling people up and asking them to cancel, don’t you think?

Cinch

Budgeting is rarely ever a “one size fits all” type of deal, so why should your app treat it that way? Cinch is one of the few personal finance apps that takes time to get to know you, your lifestyle, your goals, and your income before it offers up advice. 

After it gets your data, Cinch uses AI to come up with realistic plans to help you reduce debt, increase savings, and even lower certain payments. Their ad campaign call it “a way of life,” and honestly, it really is. You’ll love it.

Goodbudget

Most people who are married end up pooling their money together, and it only makes sense to have an app that budgets for the both of you. Goodbudget is one of the few that can sync two budgets into one, making it a serious trailblazer in that respect. 

Like Mvelopes, Goodbudget uses the old fashioned “envelope method” to make your money work. It syncs up between multiple devices and accounts, which means that neither you nor your spouse will have to worry about breaking your couples’ budget.

Personal Capital

Many might argue that a budget isn’t complete without an investment side. It’s a good way to look at things. Personal Capital is a hybrid app of sorts, with both budget tracking and investment tracking functions as part of its menu of features. 

Along with excellent budgeting options, Personal Capital offers insightful financial advice and investment guidance via their AI system. If you wanted a financial planner but never could afford one, Personal Capital is right for you.