Every family can benefit from creating a spending plan and tracking expenses to ensure our hard-earned money is going toward the things we value most. For busy families, a budget app can help make this quick and painless. There are countless apps available, so here are a few things to consider before choosing one for you:
1. Do I want to enter all of our spending manually or have an app that does it automatically by being linked to our accounts?
2. Will there be only one member of the household tracking our budget or do we need an app that syncs among devices for multiple family members? (If we'll be using more than one device, are they all iPhones, Androids, or a mix of devices?)
3. Am I willing to pay a one-time or monthly fee for the app?
Once you've considered the questions above, you'll be on track to select an app that will work for you. Every family has different needs and preferences, and there are plenty of budget apps out there with a variety of features. Take a look at the options below for some examples.
This app is called "a modern, cloud-syncing take on the proven envelope budgeting method." You make virtual envelopes for all your budgeting categories - groceries, dining out, household items, etc. Then, you set a monthly amount you want to budget for each category, and put those amounts in your virtual envelopes. As you make purchases, you simply enter the expense in the app and it's deducted from the corresponding envelope.
The Goodbudget app is great for collaborating with a spouse, family member, or friend. It's one of the few apps that syncs across multiple devices including iPhones, Android phones, and the web. It also has reports so you can view your spending by cateogory, by vendor, by month, etc.
The app is free for up to 10 regular envelopes on two devices. You can also pay $5 per month for unlimited envelopes, access on unlimited devices, and 5 years of history.
Mint is a more hands-off budgeting app, designed for use on the web and iPhone. The service analyzes your bank accounts to see what you have been spending money on. You can set up a budget and track your spending without much effort. Expenses don't always get correctly categoried, but it's a quick and easy way to check in on your accounts and see how you're doing all in one place.
This budget and expense tracking app was designed for folks who are frequently traveling internationally. It allows for spending in multiple currencies while showing your overall budget in your home currency. You can set a budget for the entire trip or per-day spending; and choose your own spending categories like accommodations, transport, and meals out. This app has a free trial and then charges $3