Top Budgeting and Financial Planning Apps 2019

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Written by Alice Stevens | July 25th, 2019
Alice Stevens is a language enthusiast, loves history, and enjoys traveling. She manages content for BestCompany.com specializing in finance, insurance, and car warranty.

Creating and sticking to a budget is the bedrock of effectively managing your finances. It helps you set short-term and long-term financial goals and achieve them.

But, it can be a difficult thing to do.

Luckily, there’s an app for that.

Actually, there are several.

“There are many different kinds of budgeting apps that each have their own perks. Depending on what your goals are, some may be better than others for your situation,” says Matt Dworetsky, Dworetsky Financial President.

As you research different budgeting and financial planning apps, here are a few great ones to consider.

Budgeting

Mint

Security features: VeriSign for data transfer and multi-factor authentication
Cost: Free
Compatible devices: iOS and Android

How it works

Mint was created by Intuit, which is the company that owns quickbooks and turbotax. If you use any of these additional services, you can use your same Intuit account to access Mint.

Mint users can view all of their financial information in one place on the app. It allows you to track spending, create a budget, track bill payment, and view investments. Mint also shows you your credit score and sends alerts for ATM fees, bill due dates, overspending, and unusual spending.

Finance expert opinion

Matt Dworetsky, Dworetsky Financial President
“Mint is a great “one stop shop' budgeting app. You can connect your bank account, credit cards, monthly bills, and investment accounts to Mint and see all of your financial information organized in one place. Mint will send you updates on your spending so you can see how and where your money is being spent, as well as offer ideas on how you can budget better. One of the best things about Mint is that you no longer have to log into multiple websites to track your finances, Mint makes it easy by organizing everything on one dashboard.”

Tommy Wilke, CreditLiftoff.com Co-founder
“Mint is free and works on a variety of different platforms. Mint will create a budget based on your spending habits, tracks your bills, provides alerts (i.e. late payment), and reports your credit score on an ongoing basis... what's not to like here?”

Wally

Security features: Password protected
Cost: Free
Compatible devices: iOS and Android

How it works

Wally allows users to track daily and monthly spending by scanning receipts and inputting spending amounts manually. While the manual input is not as convenient as an automated update, it does help you track spending. Seeing how you spend money daily, weekly, and monthly, helps you understand your habits and make changes as needed to meet your goals.

Finance expert opinion

Matt Dworetsky, Dworetsky Financial President
“With Wally, every time you make a purchase, you can manually enter it into Wally or take a picture of your receipt. It will then show a breakdown of how you spend your money to help you budget. A con with Wally is that it doesn’t actually link to your financial accounts, so you have to be accountable with updating the app to make sure the numbers match. Even though it might be a little more work on your end, it’s a free app that will help you get the basics of budgeting.”

YNAB

Security features: Data encryption, bcrypt hash user passwords, accredited data centers
Cost: $6.99 per month or $83.99 per year
Compatible devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Apple Watch

How it works

YNAB stands for “You Need A Budget.” It syncs to bank accounts in the U.S. and Canada. It makes it easy to set budgets and track spending for individuals and people with shared finances. YNAB also creates reports and tracks progress towards financial goals. Budgets can be set in different currencies.

YNAB’s philosophy is to empower people to be active and informed about their finances so that they control their own spending.

To support its app users, YNAB offers online budgeting workshops for free. YNAB professionals also offer individualized support to users via email. Because of these additional services, YNAB has a monthly fee. YNAB offers a full refund if its app does not help people.

YNAB offers a 34-day free trial. Students can use the app for free for one year. If they continue, they can get a one-time 10 percent discount.

Finance expert opinion

Marco Baatjes, Bottom Line Cents Founder
“One of the top budgeting apps in 2019 is You Need a Budget or better known as YNAB. It is the most popular and go-to budgeting and personal finance app and only costs $6.99 per month (which is a monthly in app purchase) with the first month being free and it could literally change your life and how you work with your money. The password and data security makes it impossible for a hacker to figure out the exact combination and the plus side is if you do end up deleting your account all your data is wiped from their database. YNAB works by implementing a zero based budget which means at the beginning of every month you ensure that every dollar is accounted for. I like using YNAB as it makes budgeting far  easier, it provides eye candy reports and it helps you set goals. This makes paying debt off much easier than if you were using a mundane excel spreadsheet.”

Tommy Wilke, CreditLiftoff.com Co-founder
“YNAB accounts for every dollar you earn and then puts together a budget based on those earned dollars. Unfortunately, it is only free for a limited time.”

Personal Capital

Security Features: layered security, encryption, and strict internal access controls
Cost: Free, can upgrade for more services with certain investment asset requirements
Compatible Devices: iOS, Android, Smart Watch, Apple Watch, tablets, computers

How it works

Personal Capital allows users to track their spending, investments, portfolio, and home value. It combines daily budgeting with long-term financial planning and tracking in one app.

Personal Capital offers its financial tools app for free. If you are interested in additional services, like access to an advisory team, 24/7 phone assistance, and more, there are additional features that you can add to the app.

Finance expert opinion

Tommy Wilke, CreditLiftoff.com Co-founder
“Personal Capital is ideal for investors who like to review investment performance. It also comes with a Fee Analyzer which helps cut fees on 401(k)s.”

Kyle Kroeger, Financial Wolves Founder
“My favorite budgeting app still remains Personal Capital. I've set a few boundaries on my monthly expenses and their intuitive dashboard for spending and cash flow makes it very easy for me to manage my cash flow. They don't bombard you with in-app purchases. Their graphs are very simple and easy to use. I've been able to repay over $60,000 of student loans in less than five years by maintaining disciplined spending. It's simply the best free option out there.”

Financial planning

Vimvest

Security features: bank level 256-bit encryption, user funds insured up to $250,000 by SIPC ®
Cost: Free
Compatible devices: iOS

How it works

With Vimvest, users create financial goals for investing, saving, and donating to charity. All of the money you donate to charity using Vimvest goes directly to the charity.

When Vimvest users deposit money into their Vimvest account, they can put it towards each goal. Users can also make one deposit that spilts across their goals with the Vimvest Split™ feature.

Vimvest is a good tool for saving and planning for the future.

Founder insight

Justin Bailey, Vimvest Co-founder
“The app includes a Goal Marketplace, which is an inspiration hub of thousands of long-term, short-term, and charitable goals to help people discover goals and curate their future. There are also tons of ideas, insights, tips, and stories for users to learn more about goals and money. When setting up a goal, users tell Vimvest how much they need and when they need it, and Vimvest lays out the path to get there. If users want to get to their goals even sooner, they can turn on the “Lifestyle Boost” feature to deposit a set amount into the Split every time they swipe their card.”

HomeZada

Security features: encryption in transit and at rest, two factor authentication, Amazon AWS cloud hosting
Cost: Free (home inventory, News and Recommendations, contacts); additional features for $59 per year or $99 per year
Compatible devices: all mobile, tablet, desktop devices

How it works

HomeZada allows users to store their home inventory in case of an insurance claim, store contacts, and view news and recommendations. Users can also share access to their account with other people if they’d like to.

For an annual subscription fee, users can view their house’s current value estimate and 3-year value forecast, equity, mortgage balance. Users can also track their mortgage budget, home insurance, utilities, and property taxes.

Additionally, HomeZada allows you to set a preventive maintenance schedule to avoid more expensive future repairs. You can also plan remodel projects, track their budgets, and keep digital records.

With HomeZada, you can manage rental properties and get your home ready to sell.

While this app doesn’t help with your overall budget, it’s a great tool for homeowners to track their home expenses and projects.

Founder insight

John Bodrozic, HomeZada Co-founder
“The biggest tip for getting the most out of HomeZada is to take one step at a time when starting out. Start with what is important to you as a homeowner first and then grow with the app features over time. It might be that you really need to focus on getting a handle on home value, mortgage balance, and home equity first. You might live in an area highly susceptible to natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, etc.) so protecting your home with a home inventory is most important. You might be a first-time homeowner and realize that you don’t really know all the regular maintenance tasks you need to do. Start using a part of HomeZada first and then grow with it over time.”

Fabric Vault

Security Features: 256-bit encryption
Cost: Free
Compatible devices: Web-based

How it works

Fabric Vault lets you securely store your financial information — bank accounts, retirement investments, insurance policies, etc. You can also create and store a will with Fabric Wills. You can share your vault with your partner or spouse for easy access if you passed away.

It’s a nice resource for getting your finances in order and preparing your family for the future.

Founder insight

Adam Erlebacher, Fabric Founder
“After our first child arrived, I knew I needed to get my finances in order. While I had some savings, I hadn’t created a last will and testament, bought life insurance, or set up a college savings account. These were all new products that I never had to think about before starting a family. Buying life insurance was a total nightmare that took three meetings with an insurance salesman, a health exam, and multiple phone calls. I believed there had to be a better way to help families achieve long-term financial security.”

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