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Why in the world would anyone want to stay on a budget? Budgeting – the art of making your money work for you –  is definitely a skill worth learning as it can help you pay down debt, create savings, and live a less-cluttered life. While many apps provide helpful information and fun features, a good budgeting app should help you develop a spending plan and provide a platform to help you stay with that plan.  So, this list for beginners highlights budgeting apps that include certain features.

Budgeting App Key Features:

  • Free and Easy to Use
  • Simple and Straightforward
  • Compatible with Android and IOS
  • Able to Sync Between Devices
  • Limited/No Ads
  • Option to Upgrade for More Features

If you’re looking to create your first budget, here are 5 excellent apps to help you get started.

iSave Money App (Premium Version: One-time $5 purchase)

This app is simple, free and able to be set up in minutes. If you choose to update to the Premium version, you can create an account with a password but it’s not necessary in order to start budgeting. A “Save-o-meter” on the app’s dashboard gives you a fun visual reminder of how many dollars you’ve saved so far.

Every Dollar App (Plus Version: $99/year)

Developed by the financial guru, Dave Ramsey, the Every Dollar App allows you to set up a monthly budget and access it from your smartphone, desktop or other electronic device. There are no advertisements to be seen and a cheerful encouragement greets you every time you create an Every Dollar budget.  (The technique where every dollar of your income is given a specific job with no “leftovers”) To sync the app with your bank account, you can upgrade to Every Dollar Plus .

Good Budget App (Plus Version: $45/year)

Based on the good ol’ “Envelope System”, this budgeting app gives you 20 virtual envelopes in which to organize your income – 10 for monthly expenses and 10 for yearly ones. The platform emphasizes the importance of spending only the money you have left in each specific envelope, not the money you have left in your bank account. Good Budget Plus gives you unlimited envelopes and accounts along with a couple other features.

Fudget App (Pro Version: One-time $1.50 purchase)

 This app has an intuitive design but in case you need help figuring it out, there is a step by step guide that will help you set up your first budget as soon as you download the app.  It appears that the app creator started with only iOS compatibility but has made an updated version to include Android phones as well. Several helpful options (exporting files, built-in calculator etc.) can be accessed by upgrading to Fudget Pro for a one-time purchase.

 Mobills App (Pro Version: $24/year)

The Mobills platform has an impressive array of financial tools  including the Mobills Budgeting App. Based out of Brazil, the Mobills team has made their services accessible in at least 7 languages. If you like this app and want to step up to the Pro Plan, you’ll have access to some great additional features including:

  • Financial graphs and reports
  • A credit card manager to help you avoid interest fees
  • Import and export options for your budgeting data
  • Email alerts to keep you up to date on your bills

So, how hard could it really be?

Now that you have a few great options, why not pick out an app and start planning your budget? Be warned; retaking control of your money can be difficult and will require some hard work and discipline. (Can I really afford to go see that movie in theatres?) In the end though, there’s nothing like being in charge of your finances and choosing when and where to use them. Hopefully, one of these budgeting apps will provide a useful tool to jump start the process. Remember: “It’s time to stop tracking your spending and start planning your spending.”

Post Author: Kyle

Kyle is an independent writer for Ascend who covers a multitude of personal finance related topics.

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