If you have an iDevice and need to be tracking how much money you spend, the iTunes App Store has lots of offerings in this category. Below are five budgeting apps, each with something unique in terms of design and/or features. These apps are either free or under $1, so you can give them a try and see which one fits your personal finance needs.
The key to stretching your dollars is to budget your spending, so check out these apps and see which one might help you save money or keep up with your expenses.
If writing or typing the amount of money you spend discourages you from keeping a budget, the Siri-style speech to text app, iCanSpend (99 cents), enables you to speak your expenditures rather than type them in manually. However, the only problem is, it doesn’t seem to work as efficiently as I hoped it would.
iCanSpend includes simple enough instructions. You can manually tap the Payday or green Paying (shouldn’t it be “Payment” or “Income“?) button to record income, and the red Spending button for the amount of money you’re dishing out.
To voice your expenditures, you’re supposed to tap the blue button and state how much you spent and where you spent it – e.g., $10 at McDonald’s. For payments or refunds, you say the amount you received, followed by the word, “payment” or ‘‘refund.” That’s pretty cool, but in my tests I kept getting null feedback, asking me too many times to retry.
Voice recognition software is always getting better, so this app may be worth watching for improvements.
In addition to a log of all your transactions, iCanSpend also includes Notifications integration which can tell you how much you have left to spend in your budget. Which means you don’t even have to open the app to check your balance. This would be a useful feature in other apps of its kind.
The free trial version of Smart Budget (30 transactions limit) may be worth checking out for the full 99 cents version. You simply start off by adding your income followed by expenditures.
The app contains nifty little icons for spending categories, and you can set items to repeat on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. There are other features, however, such as the ability to export and/or print budget sheets that are not in the app. The app design has the old pen and paper feel, so you might find this one attractive to use.
You may find My Weekly Budget (99 cents) a very simple and straightforward way to track your budget. I would suggest using this app to track your discretionary spending. i.e. the amount you have left after paying your required expenses.
So if for example you have $260.00 left over after paying rent, credit card debt, and utilities, then use My Weekly Budget to monitor how you’re spending what is left from your income. Your goal may be to not spend it all so that you can build your savings account or save for a larger ticketed item.
By keeping your budget tracking simple and direct, you may be more likely to maintain it. With My Weekly Budget, you can customize your categories, send a weekly report via email, optionally carry-forward any over-spend or under-spend to the next week, and much more.
Also, inputting amounts is seriously easy because the decimal points are added for you. Just tap in the number and it does the rest.
While the icon for the ad-supported Best Budget Free is little amateurish (at least take off the word, “Free“), the user interface is well designed and straightforward to use. In addition to tracking your income and expenses, you can also set reminders within the app and export your budgets in the form of HTML, CSV, and PDF.
It would be great however if this and other budget apps could give you a little pop-up notice indicating you have ”overspent” on particular categories of items.
Even more straight forward than My Weekly Budget, Spendings is about as simple as it may get. Just like opening a bank account, you start off by adding the amount of money you have to spend, and then simply add your spending from item to item.
There’s nothing special about Spendings, but I think its clean, minimalist design is pleasing to the eye. A budget app shouldn’t look complicated, and this one is far from that.
You can set up to 10 different budgets at time, but you must pay 99 cents to unlock the multiple budgets feature. Nevertheless, download Spendings and see how it works for you. It might be well worth the investment for the extra features.
There several dozen more budget and personal finance apps in the App Store. While all of them have similar features, the key is finding one that fits your particular needs and that you find accessible and easy to use.
For other budget related ideas, check out these articles:
- The 3 Best Free Personal Finance Managers For iPhone
- Track Your Spending With One Of These iPhone Finance Apps [Digital Dollar]
- How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online
Let us know what personal finance app you use on a regular basis and why you use it.