Learn Budgeting 101 15 Best Budgeting Apps in 2021

15 Best Budgeting Apps in 2021

According to the 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, more than half (51%) of Canadians don't budget their money. One of the common reasons for this was that they felt overwhelmed with the process.

Today, things like budgeting should be the least of your worries. You don't need to have a notebook, pen, and calculator to crunch the numbers every time you make a purchase or get paid.

Having a budget on your mobile device can play a huge role in the overall health of your finances. Here's everything you need to know about the best budgeting apps in Canada.

What is a Budgeting App?

A budgeting app is a mobile software application designed to accurately organize and track your weekly/monthly/yearly income, spending, and savings. As a result, you can figure out your long-term financial goals and work towards achieving them.

How Do Budget Apps Work?

Budgeting apps provide well-laid-out categories where you note your total income, list all your expenses, and how much you should spend on each. The apps will help you track your spending throughout the week/month, so you don't overspend on anything.

To boost user experience, different budgeting apps come with distinctive features such as syncing with bank accounts, bill reminders, automatic saving, alerts on where to find deals, and so much more.

Benefits of Having a Budgeting App

Budgeting apps come with a range of benefits, including:

Prevent Overspending

A budget app is an on-the-go tool that'll help keep you financially responsible by preventing you from going beyond your means. Too much spending, too many expenses, and maxed out credit cards affect your ability to repay debt and cover emergency costs.

Track Your Spending

Sometimes, you may not know where your money goes – even after spending responsibly. A budgeting app keeps an account of every expense. As a result, you know where your money goes and can adjust accordingly.

Girl using a budgeting app

What are the Best Budgeting Apps for Canadians?

Looking for a budgeting app that'll help you achieve much-needed financial freedom? This guide categorizes budget apps according to use:

Best Free Budget Apps

We understand that you are trying to save money and may not be willing to pay for a budgeting app. If this is the case, these free budget apps should come in handy:

1. Mint

Mint is a free budget app designed by Intuit. It allows you to create a detailed budget by categorizing your expenses. It keeps track of your day-to-day spending, alerting you when you surpass the budget.

The app can link to most of your financial accounts—bank accounts, loans, investment accounts, and credit cards —showing you where your money goes. This feature allows you to keep track of your credit score through weekly checks.

Additionally, you can get bill alerts and even an option to pay these bills via the Mint app. It's available for both Android and iOS devices.

2. Wally

Wally is a mobile financial app that solely deals with budgeting. It balances your income and expenses, allowing you to see where you spend your money. If you're traveling outside Canada, you can still use this app since it supports almost all foreign currencies.

Additionally, you can sync the app with your banks and get alerts for paying bills. This app is available for iPhone, Android, and desktop users.

Best Money Savings Apps

3. Flipp

Walking to various local stores, looking for affordable alternatives can be tiring and time-consuming.

But with Flipp, you don't have to go through this trouble.

This app merges all your local weekly circulars into one easy-to-navigate site that helps you track the best trending deals in town. You can also get notifications for expiring offers, online coupons, occasional sales by different retailers, and so much more.

Moreover, it has a "List" feature where you can make a shopping list and then points out the best deals in your area for those products. It's free for web, Android, and iOS users.

4. Ampli

Ampli helps you save money on shopping by earning some of it back. By using the AMPLI5 promo code, you get an automatic $5 welcome bonus to kickstart your cashback earnings.

It has a "Dreamstakes" feature that lets you enter competitions, share the app on Facebook, or link your bank account to win more money. All you need to get started is download the app for free for the web, Android, or iOS users.

5. Checkout51

Checkout51 is a free app developed by Canucks that can help you save your money on groceries. Instead of wasting time clipping paper coupons to get discounts, this app reduces your grocery bill through cash backs. It provides a list of items that offer cash back deals.

After you purchase from your local store or online, you should upload the receipt via this app so that the cashback deposits into your account. Once completed, Checkout51 will mail you a cheque when your cash adds up to $20.

Best App for Tracking Expenses

Do you find yourself overspending? These expense tracking apps should help you manage your spending better:

6. You Need a Budget

Founded in 2004, the YNAB app has grown to be one of the leading expense tracking apps available in the market. This online finance app can help you track your finances by connecting to your financial accounts and pulling account balances in real-time.

Additionally, it helps you better understand your saving and spending habits by providing educational material on personal finance. It also features goal tracking and personal support features. YNAB charges US$11.99 a month to use its services. It's available for both Android and iOS users.

7. MOKA

MOKA is the first automated goal-based investing and saving app that offers Canadians the chance to grow their wealth and invest their spare cash. This efficient automated tracking platform allows you to save a small amount of money on everything you purchase. For instance, if you buy a cup of coffee worth $3.20 using a credit card, the MOKA app rounds up the purchase to $4.00 and saves the extra 0.80 cents in your account.

Additionally, you can accelerate your investment growth or achieve your financial goals by using recurring investments, one-time investments, and roundup multiplier features. The MOKA app has a monthly flat fee of $3, whether you have a small or large account. It's available for both Android and iOS.

8. PocketGuard

If you're looking for a user-friendly and straightforward expenses tracking app, PocketGuard is a sure bet. This app organizes and tracks your expenses and tells you what you can afford to spend.

This financial app comes in a basic edition properly stacked at no cost. If you want to boost usability, you can subscribe to the PocketGuard Plus worth a US$3.99 monthly subscription or a US$34.99 annual charge. This will allow you to create your own categories, export transaction data, manage ATM deposits and withdrawals, and so much more.

Couple using a budgeting app

Best Budget Apps for Couples

Before money discussions become full-on arguments, you and your significant other need to be on the same page about shared finances. These money apps for couples should come in handy:

9. GoodBudget

GoodBudget operates using two virtual envelopes: the "regular" that track recurring expenses like debt payoff, rent, and groceries, and the "more" envelopes, which cover occasional expenses like car insurance, property taxes, and auto repairs. Additionally, this app gives you a report on your monthly spending.

With the free version, you get 20 virtual envelopes to control your spending and account access for two devices. For $7 monthly (or $60 annually), you get unlimited envelopes and account access for up to five devices.

10. HoneyDue

If you're looking for an effective way to combine your finances with your better half, HoneyDue can help. This dashboard displays all your financial accounts in one place so you can have a glance at where you stand. After syncing each of your bank, loan, and investment accounts to the app, you'll have a snapshot of your balances in the activity log.

This app helps couples categorize and monitor account transactions. They can also set spending limits in each category, and the app notifies them when they hit the limit. The HoneyDue app is free to download and use.

11. Zeta

This budgeting tool helps couples stay on top of their finances together. It helps keep track of shared money, communicate with each other, build a plan, and set goals. Zeta works perfectly for couples who share objectives and expenses but separate finances.

The app allows both of you to connect your credit cards and bank accounts to see all your money in one place. This app is free of charge on both Android and iOS.

Couple using a budgeting app

Best Travel Budget App

If you're aspiring to add some comfort and ease to your travel expense tracking, below are three of the best travel budget apps that make logging the numbers and mileage easier than you ever expected:

12. Tripcoin

Tripcoin is an offline budget app that allows you to track your travel expenses anywhere in the world – regardless of the network coverage. The app processes your purchases to give you a spending summary of your trip. Its interface presents bar graphs and charts that allow you to see your daily expenses and pinpoint which purchase types are taking up most of your cash flow.

This app is completely free and only available for iOS users.

13. Spendee

Spendee links to your bank accounts and tracks your cash movement using user-friendly, brightly-colored charts and diagrams. This provides you with all the information you need to track your budget without being too complicated.

Additionally, Spendlee allows you to set up customizable alerts, link your account to multiple users, and features smart budgets which help you save on bigger items such as a dream summer vacation.

Their basic version is available for free on Android and iOS users. You can subscribe to Spendee Premium at an annual fee of $22.99 or Spendee Plus, which costs $14.99 per year.

Best App for Tracking Credit Card Balances

Running more than one credit card each month can get complicated. To avoid this, use money tracking apps to track monthly payments and spending. Money tracker apps' functions vary since some focus more on rewards while others monitor payment dates.

Here are some of the best money tracking apps to help you manage your credit cards on one platform:

14. KOHO

KOHO bundles budgeting, savings, and track earning rewards all into a single app. It also doubles as a prepaid payment card. Its new Early Payroll feature lets you receive an interest-free $100 from your paycheque three-days before deposit. The budgeting feature identifies which categories you spend the most.

What's more, you'll earn 1.20% interest on unspent cash and 0.5% cashback on all of your purchases, depending on whether you go for the card's free or Premium versions. KOHO Premium costs $84 a year or $9 a month.

15. Wallet

Like many money tracking apps, Wallet gives you an informational summary of your financial activity. The Wallet app lets you upload data from other finance apps and your bank. It'll even allow you to take pictures of your receipts so you can archive them.

The app also has an extremely easy-to-use interface that enables you to effectively manage all your loyalty and reward cards without having to carry them.

The basic app is free for iOS and Android. The free version does not automatically sync to your bank accounts. For an additional fee of $6.50 monthly, or $38 annually, you get bank account syncing and other premium features.

Choose a Budget App That Works for You

Download the best budget app for your needs and become more money savvy. With a budget in mind, taking short-term loans should never be a worry because you can plan how to repay on time.

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