The 7 Best Budgeting Apps for 2024

Alexander Reed

Alexander Reed

Published on Oct 10

If you're like me, you probably find budgeting about as fun as watching paint dry. It's not exactly the most thrilling task, but much like drying paint, it's necessary if you want things to turn out right. So, how do we make budgeting less of a chore and more of a game? The answer is simple, my friend: budgeting and expense tracking apps

 

And no, I don't mean those basic calculator apps you probably had on your Nokia 3310 back in the day. I'm talking about smart, intuitive and dare I say, fun budgeting apps that turn the boring task of tracking your expenses into a breeze. Let's dive into my list of the 7 best apps for budgeting for 2024. 

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Rocket Money

Rocket Money

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

4.3

Rocket Money
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Rocket Money

Rocket Money, securing the seventh spot on 2024's best budgeting apps list, is a hit for its simplicity and effectiveness. Its free version is a dream for those who want a straightforward way to track spending, offering daily updates on transactions and categorizing expenses neatly. It even lets you monitor your bank balances and manage budgets in two categories. For those willing to invest a bit more, the premium version, costing between $3 to $12 per month, ramps up the experience with features like Cancellation Concierge for managing subscriptions and real-time sync for immediate financial updates. 

 

The standout feature, however, is Rocket Money's bill negotiation service, which takes the hassle out of haggling over bills like cable and internet, although it does come with a 30% to 60% success fee on the first year's savings. Other notable premium features include Pay Advance for those pre-payday cash crunches and a data export option, incredibly handy during tax season. Despite some users finding the pricing model a bit complex and the success fee surprising, Rocket Money is largely praised for making budget management and expense tracking significantly more accessible and efficient. 

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Empower Personal Dashboard

Empower Personal Dashboard

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

4.1

Empower Personal Dashboard
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Empower Personal Dashboard

Empower Personal Dashboard, sitting at number six on our 2024 list of top budgeting apps, isn't just about giving you a glimpse of your finances. It dives deep, making budgeting a breeze. Whether you're tracking your daily expenses or planning long-term investments, Empower has got you covered. The app excels in offering a clear, consolidated view of all your accounts—be it checking, savings, investments or even those pesky credit card and loan balances. 

 

But where Empower truly shines is in its budgeting prowess. It's like having a financial wizard in your pocket, constantly analyzing your cash flow and offering smart, tailored advice to boost your savings game. The app's ability to track your real-time net worth and provide detailed insights on where your money's going (or should be going) is a game-changer. With features like these, Empower doesn't just help you manage your finances; it empowers you to make informed decisions that align with your financial goals. 

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SoFi

SoFi

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

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SoFi
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SoFi

SoFi is much more than a budgeting app; it's a complete financial ecosystem and it's making waves as a community-focused platform. SoFi positions itself as a tool for proactive financial management, offering up to a whopping 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings accounts with direct deposit. 

 

At its core, SoFi Insights, the budgeting tool within the app, is an all-in-one hub for keeping track of your financial life. It's fantastic for monitoring expenses across various categories, from groceries to utility bills and offers monthly savings analysis, along with tips to stay within your budget. The app is also adept at providing a holistic view of your finances, including assets, liabilities and goals. It’s particularly useful for tracking spending progress against monthly targets and planning for upcoming expenses. 

 

One of the coolest things about SoFi is its community aspect. You can compare your spending habits with others in the SoFi community, which can be a huge motivator to save more. Plus, there's no cost to use SoFi Insights, making it accessible to everyone. And if you're a SoFi member, you can even get a 30-minute consultation with a financial planning professional at no extra charge – a valuable resource for diving into your financial goals and strategies.

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EveryDollar

EveryDollar

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

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EveryDollar
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EveryDollar

EveryDollar snags the fourth spot on our list, shining as a straightforward, no-nonsense budgeting app. Its entire atmosphere revolves around making every dollar count. You start by setting up a monthly budget based on your income and expenses. As you go about your month, simply log your expenses in the app and it'll do the rest—tracking your spending and showing how much you have left in each budget category. It's this simple, focused approach that makes EveryDollar a go-to for those who want to keep a tight rein on their finances without any complicated features. 

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PocketGuard

PocketGuard

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

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PocketGuard
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PocketGuard

PocketGuard, sitting proudly at number three on our list, is like a financial watchdog for your wallet. It brilliantly simplifies budgeting by providing a real-time snapshot of your finances. The app's standout 'In My Pocket' feature is a game-changer—it calculates how much money you can safely spend after your bills, savings and goals are accounted for. This makes PocketGuard particularly useful in situations like planning for a big purchase or a vacation. By clearly showing the available spendable cash, it helps ensure that you're not dipping into funds earmarked for essential expenses or savings goals. 

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Goodbudget

Goodbudget

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

4.1

Goodbudget
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Goodbudget

Goodbudget, a modern twist on the classic envelope budgeting system, secures a notable second position on our list. This app brings the simplicity of allocating funds to different spending categories into the digital realm. Its real charm lies in its adaptability; you can create the envelopes to fit your personal financial goals and needs. What's more, Goodbudget shines in situations where budgeting is a team effort, like with families or couples. Its sharing and syncing features make it a seamless and collaborative tool for managing household finances together, ensuring everyone stays on the same financial page. 

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You Need a Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Personal Budgeting and Expense Tracking Apps

4.6

You Need a Budget (YNAB)
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You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Crowned as the best budgeting app of 2024, You Need a Budget (YNAB) isn't just about tracking expenses; it's a whole new way of thinking about money. YNAB's philosophy? Give every dollar a job. This app champions proactive budgeting, guiding you to allocate each dollar towards specific categories and it's a game-changer for anyone stuck in the paycheck-to-paycheck loop. 

 

YNAB isn't just numbers and categories; it's about molding your spending behavior. It offers a balance of automation and hands-on management, letting you tweak your budget on the fly to cover any overspending. Plus, its collaborative features and robust educational support make it more than just an app—it's a budgeting partner. Sure, it's not free ($14.99 per month or $99 annually) and there's a learning curve, but users often find the investment pays off big, with significant savings reported in just months. While YNAB may not cover every financial aspect like investment tracking, its focus on budgeting is unparalleled, making it a worthy leader in the budgeting app world. 

Why Using a Budget is Important

With chatter about a potential recession and wild interest rate cuts in 2024, there's never been a better time to get serious about budgeting. Picture this: UBS predicts the Fed will slash rates down to just 1.25% by early 2025. That's huge, considering they've been hiking them up to fight inflation since 2022. 

 

In a financial rollercoaster like this, your budget is your safety harness. It's not just about keeping tabs on your spending; it's about being ready for whatever the economy throws at you. Think of it as your personal finance GPS, helping you navigate through economic ups and downs, ensuring you're set for both sunny and rainy days. Plus, there's a certain chill factor in knowing you've got your money game on lock, no matter what. 

Conclusion

And there we wrap up our journey through the top 7 budgeting apps for 2024. Each app, with its unique features and approaches, caters to a range of financial needs and styles. Whether you're just starting to navigate budgeting or a finance-savvy individual looking to fine-tune your strategy, this list offers something for everyone. So, why not take the plunge and try one out? Embracing one of these apps could be your first step towards financial clarity and freedom from stress. After all, in the world of personal finance, being equipped with the right tools is half the battle won. 

My Personal Recommendation

“If I had to pick just one standout from this list, it'd be SoFi, especially given its growing popularity and diverse offerings. It's more than a typical budgeting app; it's an overall amazing financial toolkit. With SoFi, you're not just tracking expenses; you're getting a real-time view of your entire financial picture, from spending to savings and even investments. And let's not forget the 4.60% APY on offer, which is quite impressive compared to its peers. Give SoFi a try and see how its unique approach to financial management can transform your money game. Remember, the best budgeting app is the one that clicks with you, so feel free to explore until you find your perfect match. Good luck in 2024!” 

Alexander Reed

Alexander Reed

Verified Reviewer

Verified Reviewer

Alexander Reed has always been drawn to cybersecurity and data and made his living out of writing about these topics. His favorite apps are Robinhood and Otter AI.

Writer for since October 2023

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Alexander Reed

Alexander Reed

Verified Reviewer

Verified Reviewer

Alexander Reed has always been drawn to cybersecurity and data and made his living out of writing about these topics. His favorite apps are Robinhood and Otter AI.

Writer for Best of Apps since Oct 10

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