The Best Budgeting Apps to Keep Your Finances In Check

I just want to be able to add guac to my order without feeling guilty, okay?

Street Style In Barcelona
(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

No matter how old you are, budgeting is hard. You've got numbers here, numbers there, and a million different things to keep in mind every time you're trying to figure out if you can go out for dinner. Thankfully, we're living in the digital age, and now we have apps to do the hard work for us. Hallelujah! Whatever your financial style—maybe you need a chatbot to roast you for spending $100 on drinks in a week; maybe you want to share an app with your partner to keep track of your mutual expenses—there's an app for that. Ahead, the best budgeting apps so that you can keep your finances in tip-top shape. (If you're looking for investment apps, we've got a guide to that too.)

1. Cleo

Cleo is the most talkative of the bunch, and we mean that in the best way. The app looks at all your financial details in read-only mode, then sorts through your transaction history, figuring out all your spending habits so it can tell you about them in text message-style. Cleo also features a fun "roast me" mode, where the app can make light of what you're not doing right—like spending $122 on drinks in a single night, like the guy mentioned here.

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2. Mint

Created by the same people who brought you QuickBooks and TurboTax, Mint knows what's up when it comes to personal finance. This app is one of the few that automatically updates and categorizes your transactions in real-time. Bonus: you can look at your credit score via the app for free.

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3. Albert

Albert monitors all your spending habits and alerts you about the bills you have coming up and when you're risking an overdraft fee. If you need an advance to avoid the wrath of an overdraft, you can ask the app for a quick advance of up to $100—you won't incur interest, and you won't be forced to undergo a credit check.

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4. Zeta

Meet Zeta, the budgeting app for couples. First, you'll add all your accounts and invite your partner to do the same. You'll both input savings and spending goals, individually and mutually, and Zeta will send you both updates about how you're doing. While the app is designed for couples, you're still in control of how much info you share with your partner. When you add an account, for example, you have the option to have it be personal or shared.

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5. You Need A Budget (YNAB)

You Need A Budget, known as YNAB among its loyal users, bases your budget on how much you make and what you currently have in your accounts. Every dollar is accounted for to determine what you should be putting towards living expenses, credit card payments, and savings.

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6. Honey Fi

Money can be hard to talk about with your partner, but HoneyFi aims to make it easier. The app syncs to your accounts three to four times a day, examining your spending habits to provide you with an accurate daily household budget. One of the most accessible apps on this list, HoneyFi is supported by over 10,000 financial institutions.

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7. Personal Capital

While this may not exactly count as a budgeting app, if you're looking to invest, give Personal Capital a shot. The app offers free analysis of your investment fees and your asset classes, among other complicated areas of your financial health. Investing is a scary process, and if you need help along the way, there's a human advisor you can chat with for any of those questions you've been pondering.

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8. Simple

Have you always wished your bank account included a built-in budgeting app? Meet Simple. This app replaces your checking account by offering the ability to budget and bank in the same place. Gone are the days of switching between apps or tabs, and surprise: It has no fees!

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9. PocketGuard

PocketGuard is one of the more straightforward of the bunch. It keeps it real and shows you what you can spend at any given moment based on your bills, savings, and spending goals in mind. So get that iced vanilla latte feeling guilt-free and know your still on track.

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Bianca Rodriguez

Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.