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Reddit‘s 20 Best Budget Apps for Taking Control of Your Finances in 2023

If you‘re looking for the perfect budget app to get your finances on track, the vast wisdom of Reddit has you covered. Across dozens of subreddits dedicated to personal finance, frugal living, and budgeting, Redditors have shared their experiences with countless budgeting tools to compile a master list of the absolute best options available.

We‘ve scoured through the most popular finance-related subreddits like r/personalfinance, r/frugal, r/budget, and more to bring you this ultimate guide to Reddit‘s 20 top budget app picks for 2023. Whether you‘re a total beginner or a seasoned budgeter, you‘re sure to find the ideal app to match your money management style and goals.

But before we dive into the list, let‘s quickly go over why budgeting is so critical in the first place, and how an app can help simplify the process. Having a budget and sticking to it is the foundation of good financial health. It allows you to track your income and expenses, identify areas where you may be overspending, set savings goals, and ultimately gain more control over your money.

While you can certainly budget the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper or spreadsheet, apps have revolutionized personal finance by making budgeting easier, more automated, and even kind of fun. With features like account syncing, automatic expense categorization, bill reminders, spending insights, and goal tracking, the best budget apps help you stay on top of your finances with minimal effort required.

Of course, with so many options to choose from, finding the right budgeting app for your needs and preferences can feel overwhelming. That‘s where the collective wisdom of Reddit comes in handy. Here are the 20 best budget apps according to Reddit, starting with a deeper dive into the most frequently recommended options:

1. YNAB (You Need a Budget)

YNAB consistently tops the list of Reddit‘s favorite budget apps, and for good reason. More than just an app, YNAB is a whole budgeting philosophy and methodology designed to help you be more intentional with your money.

The main principle behind YNAB is "giving every dollar a job", meaning you allocate all of your income into specific spending and saving categories before the month begins. Throughout the month, you track your expenses and adjust your budget as needed to stay on track. YNAB also emphasizes setting financial goals and building up your savings over time.

Redditors rave about YNAB‘s user-friendly interface, the ability to easily sync accounts and import transactions, and the strong sense of community in the YNAB forums and subreddit. "YNAB completely changed my relationship with money and helped me finally pay off my credit card debt," says one r/ynab member. "It clicked in a way that nothing else had before."

The main downside of YNAB is the cost – after a 34-day free trial, it‘s $14.99/month or $98.99/year. However, many users insist it‘s worth every penny and has more than paid for itself. If you‘re serious about getting your finances in shape and want the support of a tried-and-true system, YNAB is hard to beat.

2. Mint

Mint is another hugely popular pick that makes budgeting a breeze by syncing all your financial accounts in one place and providing a wealth of valuable insights. With Mint, you can see a complete overview of your income, expenses, bills, investments, and credit score all on a single dashboard.

One of Mint‘s standout features is how it automatically categorizes your transactions and gives you a clear picture of where your money is going each month. You can set budgets for each category and get alerts when you‘re close to going over. Mint also provides free credit score monitoring, bill tracking and reminders, savings goals, and even investment tracking.

Many Redditors love Mint for being a fantastic all-in-one budget and finance app that‘s also completely free to use. "Mint was a game-changer for me in terms of staying on top of my entire financial picture," says one r/personalfinance user. "It‘s great for tracking Net Worth progress over time too."

The main complaint some have about Mint is that the auto-categorization isn‘t always 100% accurate, so you may need to make some manual adjustments. A few users have also noted that because it‘s free, Mint pushes a lot of financial product offers and recommendations that not everyone wants. But overall, it‘s an excellent comprehensive tool for tracking your finances.

3. EveryDollar

EveryDollar is the budgeting app created by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, based on his "Baby Steps" approach and zero-based budgeting principles. Similar to YNAB, with EveryDollar you assign every dollar of income to a specific expense category and savings goal, aiming to have zero dollars left over.

The app has a simple, user-friendly interface where you set up your monthly budget, track expenses, and monitor your progress. You can choose to manually enter transactions or sync your bank accounts for automatic importing (requires a paid subscription). EveryDollar also lets you track your debt payoff, set up custom funds for specific savings goals, and share your budget with a partner.

Reddit users who are fans of the Dave Ramsey method or prefer zero-based budgeting often recommend EveryDollar as a great digital tool for implementing those strategies. "If you like Dave‘s approach, the EveryDollar app is amazing for keeping you accountable and focused on your financial goals," says an r/DaveRamsey member.

The free version of EveryDollar requires manual expense tracking, while the paid EveryDollar Plus ($129.99/year) enables automatic transaction importing and bank account syncing. Some users find the cost hard to justify, but others feel the convenience is worth it.

4. Personal Capital

While Personal Capital is primarily an investment management service, the free tools offered in its app are fantastic for budgeting and tracking your entire net worth. Personal Capital allows you to link all your accounts (including checking, savings, credit cards, loans, investments, and retirement) to get a comprehensive financial overview.

In terms of budgeting, Personal Capital categorizes your expenses and provides clear spending insights and reports so you can see exactly where your money is going. It also enables you to set a monthly spending target and easily track your progress. The app sends alerts when you‘re approaching your budget limit in specific categories.

What sets Personal Capital apart is its robust investment and retirement planning tools that let you analyze your portfolio, calculate your net worth, and forecast your financial future. It also offers a free Portfolio Checkup to help you optimize your investments.

"I initially got Personal Capital to keep tabs on my investments, but I love it for budgeting now too," shares an r/personalfinance user. "It‘s an awesome all-around money management app, especially for tracking Net Worth."

The budgeting tools are free, but Personal Capital does offer optional paid Wealth Management services for a fee based on your investment account balance. Some users find the push to sign up for advisory services annoying, but you can simply decline and enjoy the free tools.

5. PocketGuard

PocketGuard is an intelligent budgeting app that helps you easily track your spending, find extra ways to save, and avoid overspending. By syncing your accounts and analyzing your income and recurring bills, PocketGuard calculates how much you have available to spend each month and helps you create a personalized budget.

With its "In My Pocket" feature, PocketGuard clearly shows how much spendable cash you have at any given moment, subtracting upcoming bills and necessities, savings goals, and pre-budgeted money. The app automatically categorizes expenses and lets you know if you‘re spending too much in certain areas.

PocketGuard also helps you find savings opportunities by identifying and canceling unnecessary subscriptions, comparing your monthly bills to better deals, and automatically transferring funds to your savings based on your budget and goals.

"PocketGuard makes it super easy to see how much I can safely spend without derailing my budget or goals," explains an r/povertyfinance user. "It‘s great if you struggle with overspending and need some guardrails in place."

The basic version of PocketGuard is free, while PocketGuard Plus ($7.99/month or $79.99/year) unlocks additional features like cash flow projections, custom spending categories, and exporting data. Some users find the subscription cost a bit high, but the free version still packs a lot of useful functionality.

Honorable Mentions

In addition to the top 5 picks above, here are 15 more highly recommended budgeting apps according to Reddit:

  1. Goodbudget: Utilizes the envelope budgeting method with virtual "envelopes" for different spending categories.

  2. Honeydue: Designed for couples to seamlessly budget, track, and manage money together.

  3. Clarity Money: Allows you to monitor subscriptions, get spending insights, and automate savings.

  4. Simple: A budgeting app and online bank account combined, with built-in budgeting tools and "Safe-to-Spend" tracking.

  5. Wally: A sleek, user-friendly app for managing expenses, setting budgets, and tracking savings goals.

  6. Mvelopes: Another popular digital envelope budgeting app with real-time budget syncing.

  7. Empower: Provides categorized spending insights, subscription tracking, and automatic savings.

  8. Truebill: Helps you manage and cancel subscriptions, get refunds on fees, and automate savings.

  9. Zeta: Joint budgeting app for couples with bill reminders, spending insights, and goal setting.

  10. Fudget: A simple, no-frills budgeting app for quickly logging income and expenses.

  11. GnuCash: Free, open-source accounting software you can use for budgeting and expense tracking.

  12. Albert: Combines budgeting features with a savings account and investment advisory services.

  13. Qube Money: A budgeting app and digital cash envelope system with a linked debit card.

  14. CountAbout: Enables you to create custom spending and income categories for more precise budgeting.

  15. Money Patrol: Basic expense tracking and budgeting app with a clean, streamlined interface.

Tips for Choosing the Right Budget App

With so many great options out there, how do you pick the budgeting app that‘s best for your unique financial situation and goals? Here are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Identify your specific needs and budgeting style. Do you prefer a hands-on, zero-based budget or a more automated tracking approach? Are you budgeting solo or with a partner? Knowing your requirements will help narrow down the options.

  2. Consider the features that matter most to you, such as automatic expense categorization, savings goal tracking, debt payoff planning, investment monitoring, or multi-user access. Make sure the app you choose has the tools you‘ll actually use.

  3. Look for an app with strong security measures and data encryption to keep your sensitive financial information safe. Check user reviews and do your own research on the company‘s security protocols.

  4. Evaluate the app‘s ease of use and interface. Is it simple to navigate and understand? Can you easily input and access the information you need? The best budgeting app is one you‘ll actually stick with, so choose a design that works for you.

  5. Determine your budget for a budgeting app. While many great options are free, some more advanced apps charge a monthly or annual subscription fee. Consider how much you‘re willing to invest in a tool to manage your money.

  6. Take advantage of free trials when available to test out an app before committing to a paid subscription. See how well it syncs with your accounts, captures your spending, and generates valuable insights.

  7. Read reviews and get firsthand perspectives from real users on Reddit and other forums. Learn what people love about an app and what common issues or drawbacks to watch out for.

Ultimately, the right budgeting app is the one that you‘ll use consistently and that supports your financial goals. Don‘t be afraid to experiment with a few different options to find the best fit. And remember, even the fanciest app can‘t do the work for you – it‘s a tool to facilitate better money habits, not a magic solution.

Final Thoughts

Budgeting may not be the most glamorous part of personal finance, but it‘s an essential skill for achieving your short-term and long-term money goals. Whether you‘re paying off debt, building an emergency fund, saving for a big purchase, or investing for retirement, having a clear plan for your income and expenses is key.

Fortunately, with the wealth of exceptional budgeting apps available today (thanks in large part to the wisdom of Reddit), getting a handle on your finances is easier than ever. From all-in-one money management tools to niche apps for envelope budgeting or couple‘s finances, there‘s an option for every budgeting style and need.

So take advantage of the collective experience and honest opinions of Reddit to find your budgeting app match. With a little trial and error, you‘re sure to land on a tool that empowers you to make the most of your money. Your future financially savvy self will thank you.