Best iPhone app to help budget your money

Best iPhone app to help budget your money

There are lots of apps out there to help you take control of your financial life and budgeting apps for iPhone are no exception. While expense and bill tracking apps can give you your financial position at a glance, they don't do much to help you save money or deter you from spending money you can't afford to. That's where budgeting apps come in handy.

Mint.com not only shows you brief summaries of all your accounts and cash flows but lets you set up budgets for yourself complete with alerts and custom categories. If you need a little help staying on track, Mint.com can provide it.

Mint.com allows you to add bank accounts and credit card accounts which will begin filtering in transactions related to your balances and transactions. This will filter into the cash flow section and show you how much you've spent compared to what you've earned.

The main feature of Mint.com that really sets is apart from standard expense tracking apps is the ability to budget your money where needed. Under the budgets section you can set a master budget for the month as well as break it down by category. You can set budgets for anything you'd like so if you want a gas and transportation budget that's separate from an eating out budget, you can easily do so. You'll see a nicely laid out menu that shows each budget and a horizontal graph representation of how much you have left. The bar is green as long as you're still within that budget for the month. If you exceed the budget, the bar will turn red, therefore drawing attention to itself easily.

Mint.com will set up some generic budget accounts for you but you can add, edit, or delete them as wanted along with creating your own custom budget categories. You can also add transactions directly from the budget screen, or any screen in the app for that matter. Just tap the create new icon in the lower right hand corner of Mint.com and you can add a transaction manually. This is nice for times when you pay with cash instead of your bank card or credit cards. Since those are automatically pulled in if you have them linked, there's no need to manually add them.

A lot of budget apps that are available in the App Store require you to manually enter information which can be clunky and time consuming. Since Mint.com pulls from all major credit card and bank providers, there's almost nothing left to do except to create budgets and add the occasional cash transaction. You can easily see your budgets at a glance and Mint.com will notify you if you exceed a budget for the month so you can try and stay on track or cut expenses elsewhere. You can also log in to your Mint.com account on the web for even more useful tools and data comparisons.

If saving money and having tighter control of your finances is a goal, Mint.com can definitely help you get there.

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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Reader comments

Best iPhone app to help budget your money

16 Comments

I've tried mint for a while but alerts come in almost a week late... That's rite.. A week. Ill get an overdraft and if I didn't check other apps I used I wouldn't know until it was entirely too late.

In addition, transactions are often wrongly interpreted within the budget. So if I go to 7-11 it will accept it as a hit to the gas budget. And if I switch it off and get gas at 7-11 it will only be accepted as the previous correction. This is only a single example.

Another headache is if you have multiple credit cards under a single bank. Mint will NEVER be able to pick up the other credit cards.

I personally use pageonce tho it doesn't budget at least I'm updated in real time via actual accounts.

Until intuit gives us a mobile quickbooks ill never be satisfied.

But all, after over a year of using so many apps, mint has been out performed by others. It's proven personally to be pretty worthless.

Use YNAB. PERIOD. It's the best and nothing else compares. It alo will integrate with quickbooks for you.

There shouldnt even be a "review" of the best. YNAB mauls them all.

To say that Mint is the best is absurd. Mint is junk. Almost every bank app will fo what mint does. Nothing else is on level terms with YNAB.

I agree mint is useless. On another note, you're not budgeting if you're monitoring your accounts. You should be monitoring your budget, not actual bank accounts. Having any application automatically categorize a purchase isn't budgeting. You HAVE to insert it yourself. PERIOD. You can't have any app or software do it for you. You have to set a budget, then spend from the budget. Not your bank accounts. If you do this, you will always be budgeting to zero and not spending to zero.

I have played with mint before trying to set up a budget for my sister in law. Anyone that has had any small amount of financial schooling or training knows that Mint is a complete joke when trying to budget. It's still trying to train you to look at your bank accounts.

To answer your question , no, I didn't read the whole article. Didn't need to. It's still going about the process of a budget the wrong way.
From your article" ....manually entering transactions....clunky and time consuming.." ???? REALLY?? You CAN'T , I repeat, CAN'T have a budget where you don't have to enter each transaction. You have to know where each dollar is going. You have to make each dollar have a job. If you don't then you're just spending and categorizing your purchases. That's no where near the same as a budget. And again, almost every major bank already does this for you already.

So you see, no need to read your article. It's full of misinformation about what a budget actually is and what it's designed to do. Skimming was enough for me.

"budget:
An itemized summary of estimated or intended expenditures for a given period.
A systematic plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period.
The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time"

The categorizing of purchases with a set limit on each category, as this app allows you to do (as demonstrated by the photos for those who choose to skim instead of read) is a budget by definition. The app does train you to keep an eye on your bank account by virtue of showing you where each dollar that you spend is going, i.e. it's "job." Linking this app to your bank account allows for a more seamless flow of information in a very busy world, which is the generally the main point of productivity apps.

You may disagree with how others choose to physically manage their money, but the definition of budget remains the same. If you have another app that you find better, I encourage you to post your review and why you find it to be a better app, but please be respectful of others, nobody likes a keyboard warrior.

That being said, Allyson - thank you for the review, I appreciate your help and the time you spent on it.

Mint pulled in all my credit cards from chase under the same account. I also get notifications in time.
Actually, I didn't experience any of the issues you're describing

I have Mint and I also think it is lame as all get-out. Both the iPhone app and the pc online version.

BP41 says YNAB is very good, so it may be worth a try. PageOnce does what it does well, but it has to many limitations to be fully effective as well. All in all, I'm not sure there is an app that does a great job on smart phones. I hope something comes thru soon. But for this post to say Mint is all that...?!?...I seriously disagree.

I said mint is the best for budgeting. Which I think it is. Pageonce is not a budgeting app, it's a bill and expense tracking tool. I picked it on Monday as best for that category. We can never please everyone and of course not everyone will agree but that's ok too.

You're a business owner right ???? I can't see how you could ever recommend Mint. It's in poor taste that you suggest something when you know(or should know) that there are far far better options. Mint is free, if you want to call it the best FREE budgeting app then you might have something. To call it the best period is flat out wrong. You run a business, you should know how to budget and what exactly budgeting is. What you're suggesting tells me that you don't know either. Sorry to be so harsh, but this is just misleading and needs to be corrected.

I'm not recommending mint to run a business. I use quickbooks and an accountant for that. This is for personal use. And for that, I still thinks it's a good balance of easy to use and a good budgeting tool for personal finances. Not everyone will agree and that's ok.

That's not what I meant. I was implying that your knowledge of business should have brought you to a different conclusion on what is the "best". Again, Mint may be the "best" FREE app but it certainly isn't the best. IMO, your article should reflect that. Or simply make it a review. Obviously we disagree and I only have pointed these things out because this site is known for accurate information. Your title is misleading and so is the context. Telling people that manually entering info is a pain and hassle isn't doing them any good. You HAVE to if you want to be on a budget. No other way around it.

I enjoy your articles and this site. Look forward to more from you.

All the best,
BP

easy people its a review and I like Spending....tried the free version and ended up buying the app

I do agree entering data is the best way to realize how much your dishing out

Have you tried Budget Boss? It's a powerful budget planning app that predicts your account balance into the future to help show your savings potential if you stick to your budget. The app is packed with useful features: predicted cash-flow analysis, quality data visualization, savings & debt calculator tools, data export capability, intuitive UI. Check it out!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id606136295?at=10l3Vy&ct=d_im

Damian Toohey, Finnoggin LLC