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Our Favorites- Personal Budget Software Apps Thumbnail

Our Favorites- Personal Budget Software Apps


Forty percent of Americans spend less than their yearly income, but an almost equal 38 percent spend the equivalent of their paycheck. That leaves 18 percent of Americans left spending more than they make, meaning a good number of us (almost 60 percent) may need help with our budgeting and spending habits.

As complex as financial planning CAN be, the bottom line is that it all comes back to the basics. Creating a budget, sticking to it, and monitoring it as your life situations change. 

The dilemma of "Do I spend it now or do I save it for my future self" isn’t a new issue in America by any means. The good news is, today we all have the ability to leverage top software applications to help keep our family’s money on track. Below are some of our favorite budget software apps. 


Cost: Free

Considered to be one of the oldest, most well-established apps in the personal budget software game, 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 staying organized with their day-to-day finances. You can use it to create a budget, track your expenses, alert you when a bill is due, monitor your investments and more. As far as budgeting, this app can automatically categorize a transaction you’ve made (assuming you’ve linked that account to the software) to help give you important oversight into your spending habits and understand where 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
  • 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

You Need a Budget, or YNAB, is embraced for its alternative approach to thinking about your money. This software uses an “every dollar has a job” method, meaning every single dollar in your possession is designated for a purpose - saving, paying off debt, investing, etc. The theory is, by accounting for every single dollar, you’re forced to spend wisely and rethink what your money is being used for. 

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

Embracing 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, you can watch the bar on a chart fill 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 next 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 aware of 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 on which version is used)
  • Stores history for one year (or 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

Bottom Line

Regardless which budget tool you and your family prefer, the most important part about budgeting is systematically taking the time (generally annually ) to sit down and discuss your money pasts, presents, and futures and how YOU will dictate it. Please, feel free to reach out to  Macaulay & Associates if you need help getting started or you simply want to share with us how YOU began taking control of YOUR financial future. 


  1. http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/downloads/NFCS_2015_Report_Natl_Findings.pdf

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. 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.