How are you managing your money? Is it a daily struggle to keep track of all the receipts? Is your cash way too easily misplaced inside cookie-jars, under mattresses, among the tons of purses and pockets your wardrobe is made of? Or do you usually wait until the end of the month to take the red pill of a credit card reality check? Whichever category you fall into, an expense tracker app might help you better monitor your spending habits.
Temptations are stalking us at every corner – a Starbucks latte here, a shopping spree there, those ballet classes your childhood self always dreamed about. Splurging is a favorite past time activity.
Soon, though, you’ll find yourself hemorrhaging money with no practical experience or idea on how to stop it. Know your budget limit and log the expenses as you go. Literally.
The best expense tracker app will keep your pace so that, even if you’re dealing with vast amounts of business money or just looking to save some for a future holiday, you won’t cross boundaries you’ll later regret.
Below we list the red-carpet apps for the task. All are free, though some will ask for additional fees for premium tools.
What Are Your Spending Habits? You Will Finally Know with the Best Expense Tracker App
‘Stay on top of your money, credit and identity.’
BillGuard has been around on the app market since 2011, but it has only recently started to grow its legion of loyal fans. On the Apple iTunes app review site, this expense tracker app is rated at 4.5 out of 5. So it couldn’t have possibly missed our list.
BillGuard monitors your debit and credit card expenses. It keeps track of your spending habits by month, type, and location.
It also takes note of any transactions that don’t align with your usual spending pattern, and if it encounters any suspicious activity, it will quickly raise the alarm.
The best thing of all is that this three-in-one expense tracker is free. For an additional fee of $83.88/year you can add identity theft insurance and credit monitoring features.
‘That horizon might be closer than you think.’
Mint, a popular budgeting and personal finance app and a major competitor of BillGuard, not only helps you track your expenses; it also allows your smartphone to sync up all your accounts, from credit card accounts to mutual funds to IRA and 401(k) forms.
It then scrutinizes your financial status. If you’ve broken a budget limit, Mint will pinpoint that along with other potential areas where you could save from to keep with your monthly budget engagement.
The app organizes spending categories intuitively. When you near the last dollars of the designated category, the Intuit’s Mint Personal Finance expense tracker app will warn you using brightly colored graphics.
It’s simple. When the money runs out, stop spending.
This free app is teaming with fun features that could actually succeed where your economy teacher failed – to make the world of management a pleasure trip.
‘Budget with a why’
GoodBudget promises you’ll never be caught off-guard by the electricity bill or a sudden expense. It offers digital and diligent logging of your expenses and income in the form of yesteryear envelope budgeting. The graphic is certainly family-friendly, giving off a retro vibe.
After all, past generations have had to fight their own un-digital battle with budgeting – and one of the methods employed was envelopes.
Being a GoodBudgeter means you’ll be making budgeting categories for all your needs – rent, paying bills, grocery shopping, dates, children, college education, etc.
This way, the money you set aside for these expenses are sure to be spent in the right place and on designated purposes rather than scattered around chaotically.
In line with our other spending tracker apps, GoodBudget is free as well. Available on iOS and Android, it also offers unlimited categories and extensive syncing capabilities up to five devices at a cost of $45/ year.
Does it sound eerily familiar? The name is a straight giveaway. Just like GoodBudget, Mvelopes is a budgeting strategy classic-spin-off.
Although to be fair, Mvelopes does bring the novelty of account integration into the equation. Mvelopes aims to be your Android financial advisor while also resurrecting that economist strain hidden somewhere inside you.
This expense tracker app first outlines your financial past history and future expectations by asking you a few questions. Based on your answers, the app will provide summary guidelines for long-term investments and budgeting strategies.
It does this by syncing up your bank accounts, tracking credit transactions and monitoring debt flow. Don’t worry, like most spending apps out there, its security system is safe, if not entirely bulletproof.
After loading and scanning the accounts, Mvelopes presents you with budget options set in envelopes, much like GoodBudget. As you craft a budget, Mvelopes then separates it from your total amount in your bank account.
This way, you’re not spending your net worth. Instead, you acquire a keen awareness of both how much you can afford to spend and how little you need to in actuality.
‘Meet Penny, your personal finance coach’.
Let’s say you’re the kind of person who collects coaches: a fitness coach, a mind coach (psychotherapist or Buddhist yoga instructor) or a finance coach. Penny is happy to fill the latter spot.
This money tracking app keeps tabs on your transactions via text messages where chatty Penny gives you a heads up on an incoming credit card payment, takes stock of money saved and saving goals, and throws the occasional tease regarding your spending habits.
Penny succeeds in taking some of the edge off tight budget damage control with light and humorous graphics. Another neat feature includes a social component to the money tracking, with Penny reminding you of where and with whom you did the spending.
You might not enjoy the close scrutiny or the finger-wagging, but remember. You’re in for a penny in for a pound.
Whichever of these favorite budgeting and personal finance tools you choose, just take some time to review your spending. They’re designed to suit your needs and offer diverse capabilities from a wide range of options, such as optimizing building up credit points or monitoring investments or simply keeping you informed.
The best expense tracker app out there, for Android or iOS or Kindle, is both free and useful. You won’t get a better deal than that.