Top 5 Budgeting Apps for Young Professionals

With all of the advancements in technology and online banking over the years, it’s easy to find yourself a bit lost when it comes to money management. How should you start and maintain a simple budget? What resources should you use? Thankfully there are several money management apps on the market today that can help you with everything from budget creation and maintenance to investing for retirement. But how do you know which one is right for you?

Of all the apps available today there are five that are worth noting if you are looking to gain more control over your finances.

  • Mint is a free personal financial management service that allows you to set up a budget, track your bills and investments and offers alerts and advice in regards to your spending.
  • HoneyFi is a free budget app that was created with couples and joint accounts in mind. It offers more transparency into your accounts, allowing each user to add comments on specific transactions and will suggest a budget based on previous spending.
  • Trim is a free app that helps streamline your spending by canceling subscriptions you no longer utilize and negotiating lower rates on anything from the cable bill to car insurance. It also allows you to see how much you spent on certain items over the month, for instance Amazon purchases.
  • Acorns is an easy introduction to investing and offers three different plan rates of $1, $2 or $3 a month depending on what features you want access to. At the base level it will allow you to create recurring investments, round up on every purchase and add the difference to your investment, and has several partner stores that will add to your investment when you shop with them. The base plan is free for college students.
  • You Need a Budget is a budgeting app that puts a focus on visualization. For $6.99/month, you can set and track savings goals, automatically sync your information between all your devices so you are never left guessing how much money you have designated for an event, and offers free workshops and online support. They also offer a 100% money back guarantee.

Out of these five, if you are willing to spend the money, You Need a Budget touts the biggest payout. Claiming their users save, on average, $600 in the first two months and $6,000 in the first year, they go one step further to back that up with a 34-day free trial. The visualization factor is a big seller here, as it puts names and progress in the forefront and not just numbers and dollar signs. The program allows you to categorize all of your money into specific categories and follow a set of rules to stay on top of your spending. Their main goal is to help you only spend money that is 30 days old or more. Essentially using last month’s wages to pay this month’s bills, etc.

If you are not interested in making a financial investment to start out and just want something to get you in the door, Mint offers the most services and is a good all-around app for budgeting and investing. By streamlining all of your bills into the app, you can see every due date and amount at once, and Mint will alert you a few days before a bill is due so you will always pay on time. It was created by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, which offers a higher level of security for your financial information.

The most important thing to remember when selecting a budget app is that they aren’t one size fits all. You might try one, find out you don’t like and have to switch to another. With a little research, and a good idea of what your end goals are, you can easily find an option that fits your lifestyle and take greater control over your money, once and for all.