Best budget apps for iPhone: An easier way to spend less and save more!

Best budget apps for iPhone: An easier way to spend less and save more!

The best budget apps for iPhone to help you spend smarter, save faster, and get your finances under control!

Looking for the best iPhone apps to help you take control of your finances? Budgeting may not sound sexy, but it's what lets us afford all the truly sexy things we love, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs! From bill payments to saving for vacations and holidays, financial planning is all about making the most of what we have, and that's where budgeting apps can help! But which budgeting app is the best choice for you?

BUDGT

Best budget apps for iPhone: BUDGT

BUDGT for iPhone doesn't require you to give it any personal account information or login information, so it's simple to start and even simpler to keep using. Enter how much income you have or enter the amount of money you'd like to budget, it doesn't have to be all of it. Then start adding daily and monthly expenses. Just keep in mind that since budget doesn't pull from your bank accounts, it's completely up to you to manage it and keep it up to date.

If you don't want to hand over bank credentials, BUDGT is a great option that's simple to get started with.

Mint

Best budget apps for iPhone: Mint

If you want fine-tuned control over all your personal finance accounts in one app, Mint is a great option. You can link bank accounts and credit cards, and from there Mint can pull everything into one place to give you an overview of what 's coming in compared to what's going out. Mint lets you set up budgets or different categories, and since Mint monitors your bank and credit accounts, it can notify you when you're nearing a limit. Mint also supports Touch ID in place of a passcode if you choose.

If you live in the US or Canada, don't want to manually enter transactions, and want granular control over expense categories, Mint is a great option.

Check (formerly Pageonce)

Best budget apps for iPhone: Check

Check, now owned by Intuit, is very similar to Mint in terms of functionality and feature set, but caters to a different kind of person. Aside from creating budgets, Check can help you monitor credit scores, investment portfolios, and more. Most of these additional features require a monthly subscription, but may well be worth it if you have a lot to manage, or want to invest smarter.

If you have decent control over your finances already but want to save more and invest smarter, you should consider Check.

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Best budget apps for iPhone: YNAB

You Need a Budget, better known as YNAB, is a subscription based service that gives you a complete snapshot of your financial situation. Start off with the Mac app and enter all of your accounts. From there you can use iCloud sync to bring your transactions down to your iPhone. YNAB supports importing transactions on your Mac as well. Since you have a complete picture of your financial portfolio, YNAB can help you make smarter decisions before committing to large purchases.

If you want a complete budgeting suite for both Mac and iOS, give You Need a Budget a try.

Pocket Expense

Best budget apps for iPhone: Pocket Expense

Pocket Expense by Appxy is a simple to use budgeting app that like BUDGT, doesn't require you to give it any information about any of your accounts. Just set up all your payment and income accounts one time, and then add transactions as you need to. For the most part, recurring stuff only needs to be dealt with once. After that, Pocket Expense requires very little maintenance in exchange for beautiful charts, graphs, and summaries of where you are budget wise in each category. While Pocket Expense is free to use, an additional $5 via IAP gets you syncing support across all your devices.

For a flexible budgeting app that's as customizable or as simple as you want it to be, give Pocket Expense a try.

Unsplurge

Best budget apps for iPhone: Unsplurge

Unsplurge is a unique budget app where you can save up for specific things. Perhaps you've been eyeing a new Mac computer or a new iPad but don't feel comfortable making the purchase right now. That's where Unsplurge comes in. Set a specific goal for yourself, or multiple goals, and then add to your savings accounts for each goal as you have money to put towards them. Unsplurge also has a community and social aspect so you can converse with other members and get help staying on track.

If you want a budget app that helps you save money to put towards specific savings goals, Unsplurge is a great utility that'll help you do just that.

Your picks for best budget apps for iPhone?

We are aware that personal finances are just that, personal. Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to managing their money. Let us know in the comments what apps you're using to budget your money and save better. How does it work for you and have you seen good results?

Note: Originally published, July 2013. Updated, November 2014.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Best budget apps for iPhone: An easier way to spend less and save more!

47 Comments

The Personal Capital apps are the best ones I've ever used. I switched from Mint once I realized Personal Capital does most of the same, plus adds great portfolio evaluations and recommendations on how to save on fees, and proper mix of investments for my retirement plans. But it also lets me track my expenses, categories, etc.

BUDGT is awesome, I have been using it for the past 4 months and it has helped me save an average of $600 more every month. I really like that look of Spendee and I'm considering trying it out.

My vote is for Check. I can pay all of my bills right from my phone. Which is very helpful when on the road.

YNAB is the one I use.

A lot of apps fail to address the main reason a lot of people look for budget / expense tracking apps. They want to get their finances under control.

Fully-automatic apps: (mint!)
It didn't really help me, in a sense that it did not make me spend consciously. I would spend, spend, spend and then I would just sort the categories at the end of the month and feel real guilty about my spending. It didn't make me think at the point of exchange.

Expense Tracking Apps:
Expense tracking apps made me aware of my spending. I was realizing how much ordering take out was costing and I took action. The problem with these single-focused tracking apps is that there's no "next step". I am aware of how I spend my money, I made some changes to save some money, now what?

Budgeting Apps:
These come into play when you are aware of your spending and want to make a change or perhaps keep a good thing going smoothly. The problem with most budgeting apps is that they assume we know the basics of budgeting.

I definitely did not, and I was very frustrated in the early days when numbers didn't add up, expense were missing, and some apps were very basic and didn't have any flexibility.

YNAB
Expense Tracking (mobile & Desktop)
Powerful budgeting software
YNAB's own methodology (whether you think you need one, worth a read)
Support community

=D

A huge second for YNAB. You need the desktop software (which comes in both Mac/Windows versions), as the mobile version is just about entering transactions, but their entire process is fantastic. In the year and a half since we've been using YNAB, our finances have completely turned around. Cannot recommend highly enough.

I've tried a few finance apps and the one that I find most useful and easy to use is iCanSpend. The voice input is surprisingly good too!

I've tried a number of Budget Apps, sometimes being Canadian makes the app less useful. I have been using HomeBudget by Anishu for months now and it works for me. They have a lite version that convinced me to buy the full version.

I like PocketMoney to keep track of my expenses. It is pretty simple to use and I like that it has iCloud backup in case anything happens to my phone.

Sent from the iMore App

Money Zen. It is just simple and powerful. Tagging expenses and incomes. With a virtual account called "Expense Account", (like budget, but powerful than budget), the money left over this month can spend in next month. It is the only app that I see in App Store that support store the money you would SAVE, and the money you would SPEND SEPARATELY.

You should try Moneyger,
1.Easy to use
2.Fast transactions
3.Simple!

Available on appstore

Agh! Thanks neither Spendee or Dollarbird are budget apps, they are spend trackers! I just wasted my money.

The title of the article is budget and expense trackers. lol Either way, i'm actually going to split it into two separate apps, and those two are going into expense tracking. hopefully that helps.

Im looking for an expense tracker app. However, I would like an app that allows someone else to see the expenses and add their expenses to the same 'budget'.

Anything out there like that? Reason-- I want to budget our spending money with my wife, and we both need to feed/see our expenses.

Fingers crossed :)

Mint is more comfortable and preferable for me. It notifies me when my am nearing by budget. There are more apps available out there to track your expense and mint is a notifiable one. But it does not help to organize expense for our organizations. To say more, organizations need more complicated, customized app that has designed for those purposes. To share my experience with others here, I have found a time and expense tracking app for my iPad and iPhone last month which is really good enough to recommend. It has made my work easy and reduced my burden of tracking time and expense. I have found it from the company called karya technologies http://www.karyatech.com/industries/time-and-expense-management.html and it was worth a try. Thanks for giving this opportunity to share my experience to our community.

Can anyone point out an app that works with Quickbooks but is a standalone app, and doesn't upload financial data to a web site?

If any financial tracking app does not export to most of the popular accounting software packages (Simply Accounting, Quickbooks, MS Money, etc, even AccPac), AND does not operate as a standalone app (ie, does NOT forward every intimate detail of your personal and business finances to some online provider where any hacker can look through your personal information at will), then it gets a 0 out of 5. Those two features are a base requirement, you don't even get reviewed by me unless they're there.

I don't understand why people think it's OK to upload every financial detail, including bank account numbers and personal information, to some fly-by-night online service provider like MINT or Expensify who have NO track record of trustworthiness or high security. I mean, if hackers can swipe credit card numbers from the networks of mega-retailers, banks, and credit card companies who have spent millions of dollars on their network security, and have teams of people monitoring their networks 24x7, how the heck is MINT or Speedex going to stop a hacker from stealing your data? Don't use them.

By the way, while I was writing this I found an expense/time/mileage tracking app that claims to have support for Quickbooks and is a standalone app. It's called iSlips, but it's expensive. Hopefully they have a try-before-you-buy mechanism. Cheers!

Budget Cash & carry best budget app for iPhone. This app shows you all, monthly income, expenses and savings in detail. And you can also see your budget statistics in details through graphs which gives you a clear view of your transactions and their breakdown into expense, income, category and budgetary changes.Available on: http://www.mobilemediacity.com/budget-cash-carry/

​I love the app "budge it". It is a free app that let's you manage your finances without neither logging your expenses nor linking your credit cards(who doesn't hate that!). Super smart planner! www.budgeit.me

I created my own Excel Spreadsheet;
I use 1 column per month and list all my income/bills/investments/etc on separate rows.
I have a starting balance and an ending balance per month.
I color code every "category" (automatic payments, manual payments, investments)
I used to store it in my OneDrive app but it hasn't adjusted well with Mac OS Yosemite so i store it in my Dropbox app now.

I Love HomeBudget, it has multi currency support, you can enter the expenses, income and transfers manually or you can download the transactions from major banks. You can setup recurrent expenses, recurrent transfers, recurrent income(weekly, biweekly, semi monthly and monthly) and even has reminders. They also have a version for your computer (Mac and Windows) and you can sync the information between devices.

Famously simple budget app is really straightforward but has powerful trend analysis so you can see how well you're doing. Check it out.

Sent from the iMore App

For those that at hopeless at budgeting try Left to Spend.

Basically you tell the app how much you can afford to spend per day and then you will be given a total amount that you can spend based on how much you have left over from previous days and how much you can spend today (requires pro version which is an in app purchase).

Works very well for me but has not really been updated for iOS 8 to take advantage of notification widgets. Which work make it really great.

I use Expense Tracker 2.0 to track my daily Expenses.It's a great tool to keep track of your savings and expenses. It even creates a detailed financial report in PDF which you can email to anyone. It motivates you if you're doing well with savings and it warns you if you're spending too much. Love it and I recommend others also to use this great app.

Expense Tracker 2.0 on Apple App Store:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/expense-tracker-2.0-financial/id581877887?m...