The 7 Best Budgeting Apps of 2020

A man finding best budgeting app using smartphone

It sounds easy when you read those budgeting guides you can get with a single search engine query. However, you’ve tried to budget once or twice, and it failed. Truthfully, it’s disheartening, especially when you do not see progress. If only you had some practical tools that always reminded you if you’re overspending or saving insufficiently.

Fortunately, it’s the age where financial technology has grown to new heights. You can now get notifications that you want, including applications that help you manage and maintain your budgets effectively. However, with so many budgeting apps available, it’s challenging to find which one works best for your needs.

You won’t have to worry about that at all. We’ve taken the long route to help you with these seven excellent budgeting apps suitable for beginning and advanced budgeters. So, if you’re using one of these, great! If not, you might find the perfect one that fits the glove on our list!

Factors in Selecting These Applications

Mobile phone with a cloud of apps

Of course, we didn’t just go around picking the first search engine result and copying their listings! We dove in-depth, using them for three months to get to know their features better.

Almost every application offers each of the items in our criteria below. Truthfully, each of them excels mostly in one criterion, such as more features over the others, pros and cons, and who can use it the best way possible.

Below are some of them with a few explanations.

  • Style of Money Management: With a wide variety of budgeting apps available for Singaporeans, you have an enormous diversity of function and feature-specific budgeting apps. Having seven apps gives us leeway to provide you with apps perfect for any situation.
  • Features: Sometimes, a single app can do so many things because they have so many features. It can be a good thing, but it can also be confusing. We’ve gone through the chaff to give you the best ones with just enough features.
  • Ease of Use: An app can be perfect for a specific money management style and have many features you can use. However, if it’s intimidating when you start it up, then it’s not useful. Our list of apps is intuitive enough that you can get started in a single minute.
  • Monthly Fees, If Any: These are both free and paid apps you can find in both Android and iOS. Plus, each of these has web browser versions you can access anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Pros and Cons: Lastly, we’ll tell you what we like and don’t like about each one of them. Yes, each one of them is helpful, but they’re not perfect either. It’s best always to manage your expectations.

 

1. Best Overall Pick: Mint

An app that has 20 million users should be part of any budgeter’s preferences. Truthfully, Mint is one of the best ones out there. With a well-balanced set of features, you can use it as a beginner and expand your budget control as you get familiar with budgeting and see success.

Design: Mint displays all your financial information in just one area. Additionally, it automatically syncs your report as soon as your bank account has an activity. Don’t be scared of synchronizing Mint with your bank — it’s fully secure! Everything we’ve mentioned here is so easy to do because it only takes a few taps!

Functionality: Mint excels in categorizing your transactions, making it easy to view the information you need conveniently. For example, if you spent on groceries, Mint takes the time and location you made the spending. Then, it categorizes it into groceries using that information.

Additionally, it can generate budget plans for you automatically once it gathers enough data. If you have zero ideas about budgets, following the app’s advice can save you thousands per year.

Reports: Lastly, Mint is effective in showing you notifications about your spending in different categories. Plus, you get a free credit score to help you gauge whether you’re ready to take on a new loan.

Other things you should know: The app is free to use. However, you’re paying for advertising. Additionally, the auto-categorization feature doesn’t work effectively in most cases, making it seem like a gimmick rather than a useful feature sometimes. But overall, Mint is one of the best apps you can use.

What We Like About Mint Auto-Synchronizing and Transaction Categorization
What We Don’t Like About Mint In-App Ads and The Occasional Glitches
Cost Free
Best For Beginners or people who can invest no time in budgeting

 

2. Zero Based-Budgeting: YNAB

You need a budget. So the developers at You Need A Budget made an app that helps you make one. However, with the advanced features, You Need A Budget (YNAB) has, it can be confusing, especially for the first-time budgeter. Plus, if you’re not inclined to do zero-based budgeting, you might find YNAB limiting.

Design: YNAB is perfect for zero-based budgeting, and if you’re starting on this, the app’s instructional support can help you learn more about monitoring your income and expenses the zero-based budgeting way.

Functionality: Once you’ve decided on an objective, the app helps you get started on allocating your set budget into different categories. The app will encourage you to look at the expenses you both want and need, no matter how challenging and extensive the expense amount.

The goal-setting ability and recommendations, dynamic color categories (which turn red when you’ve overspent and yellow if it is underfunded), and budget inspector make for a genuinely compelling and detail-oriented dive into your zero-based budget.

Reporting: You can now synchronize your bank account with the app like Mint does (at least on YNAB 5). Any change to your balance from any platform or device will reflect immediately on all devices.

Other things you should know: YNAB is only free during the first 34 days. Unfortunately, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account if you love using it. You’ll only spend S $114 a year to use YNAB, which is about S $9.50 a month (except you’re paying yearly)

What We Like About YNAB So many useful and flexible features including goal setting, savings contribution, and customizable categories
What We Don’t Like About YNAB It’s not free. No bill tracking or bill pay features. Lacking reports
Cost 34-day free trial/S $114 yearly
Best For Advanced Mint users. Zero-based budgeters

So, What is Zero-Based Budgeting?

Sorry, we got carried away and didn’t bother to explain this right at the start.

In a nutshell, zero-based budgeting is all about objective-driven spending. To urge yourself to learn about the actual state of your financial situation, you’ll have a budget that encourages spending big on something you need.

For example, if you needed a new house and have the means to pay for it, go for it if you’re on a zero-based budget. Now that you have a financial commitment, you can work out your budgeting goals in a focused and defined manner.

Alternatively, if you have outstanding debt, the discipline of a zero-based budget is truthfully one of the most fruitful solutions you can use.

 

3. Overspending Control: PocketGuard

If you think about it, you can open Microsoft Excel and create your budget. Simple formulas allow you to add up and see the sum of everything you’re dealing with. However, it would’ve been more effective if it had notifications to tell you if you’ve overspent. That’s what PocketGuard’s developers (and many other apps in this list) figured out.

Design: The app will ask you to synchronize all your available bank accounts to help you track spending. PocketGuard’s notifications and alerts system make it extremely useful in many situations, and we’ll get to that later. As a mobile-oriented budget app, it has a clean interface with a workflow that can get you started immediately and find the information you need in one place.

Functionality: Both iOS and Android editions have the same level of money management workflow. Synchronizing your data is probably the most buggy part. However, past this, you only need to set your spending limits.

PocketGuard’s algorithms notify you if you’ve overspent in one category. Additionally, it will warn you if your spending trajectory is heading towards disaster. This feature is convenient, especially if you’re one always to spend spontaneously.

Reporting: PocketGuard ensures its reporting is less overwhelming as possible. You can view beautiful graphs and charts of your spending in single sliding pages, making the information easy to digest and actionable conveniently.

Other Things You Should Know: The app is genuinely convenient despite the initial synchronizing hiccup. However, its limited free version is minimal. Cash transaction tracking, which includes the bank account syncs, needs PocketGuard Plus, which is about S $48 per year. Additionally, you might get solicitations through the app or email with offers from other suppliers.

What We Like About PocketGuard Convenient spending limit alerts. Cash transaction tracking (PocketGuard Plus)
What We Don’t Like About PocketGuard It’s not free. In-app and email advertising
Cost Limited Free/Paid (S $48 per year)
Best For Mobile budgeters. On-the-go spenders. Birds-eye-view budgeting.

 

4. Type-A Personality Budgeting Partner: YNAB

We’ve gone through You Need A Budget (YNAB) is an excellent application for zero-budgeters and anyone who wants their money going to their objectives in the best way possible. However, we believe this application to be the best for Type-A personality people.

A Background on What Type-A Is: Zero-based budgeting has helped many people meet their budgeting goals. Suppose you’re a Type-A person who tried many budgeting strategies but has yet to try objective-based budgeting. In that case, that strategy, plus YNAB, is truly made for you because of your objective-driven motivations.

Why YNAB Benefits Type-A People: Objectives keep Type-A people focused and productive. Truthfully, the majority of Type-A personalities share similar traits with relaxed and slow-but-sure Type-Bs.

However, if you’re always one to feel that you have to win or meet your objectives when you start something, then YNAB’s zero-based budgeting, the down-to-the-last-dollar approach is undoubtedly perfect for you.

What We Like About YNAB Flexibility makes it a great partner for Type-A personalities who need everything down to the last tack.
What We Don’t Like About YNAB It’s not free. No bill tracking or bill pay features. Lacking reports, which may trouble Type-A detail-oriented savers.
Cost S $114 yearly
Best For Zero-based Type-A personality budgeters

 

5. Full Household Management System: Goodbudget

Goodbudget is different from everything on this list because it takes in the spending of everybody in the house. It recognizes the names and devices of people logged into the same account.

In doing so, the entire house has an idea of the existing budget for everything, making them think twice and about everyone when they spend money.

Design: The app’s design is simple. Imagine storing money in an envelope with labels for “groceries,” “bills,” and others. In doing so, you have an intuitive interface that allows you to deduct cash from designated categories without overthinking it.

Functionality: Conveniently log the location, time, and item you’ve purchased, then deduct the cost from your envelope. Goodbudget works with any budget style, including zero-based budgeting. However, you might need to use the app’s paid options if you’re going beyond ten envelopes.

Reporting: You can access your transactions and expenses graphs conveniently in a quick-access account option on Goodbudget.

Other Things You Should Know: Goodbudget is a non-intrusive app that will not ask you to sync your bank accounts with it. So, you’ll need to log all your expenses manually as you would on pen or paper.

What We Like About Goodbudget Intuitive envelope-oriented budgeting system. Full family budget spending synchronization. In-depth reports.
What We Don’t Like About Goodbudget Does not sync to bank accounts. Limited Free Version. Not investor-friendly.
Cost Limited Free/ S $68 per year
Best For Advanced Mint users. Zero-based budgeting

 

6. The Investor’s Partner for Precision: Personal Capital

Budgeting for investors is different from household and zero-based budgeting. It contends with numerous factors that require separate and specialized monitoring. Personal Capital saw these shortcomings, allowing them to attract many users.

Design: Personal Capital’s interface is mobile-oriented and straightforward. Users can intuitively focus on distinct elements, making their investment information easy to digest. Truthfully, enormous, and numerous graphs can be overwhelming.

Functionality: The app’s interface is fully customizable. Additionally, it has excellent investment management tools, making it quickly confusing to the uninitiated.

If you’re not sure about investments, you can ask financial advisors for a fee to help you. You can get automated regarding investment taxes too.

Reporting: You can conveniently access graphs and reports on your mobile phone. Additionally, the investment graphs appear similar to standard interfaces, especially the candle and wick format.

Other Things You Should Know: It costs about 0.49-0.89% management fee to use Personal Capital. It might appear free, but you’ll need to pay that and have a maintaining balance of S $136,000 too.

What We Like About Personal Capital Fully customizable. In-depth investment management tools. Accessible financial advisors. Helpful with taxes too.
What We Don’t Like About Personal Captal This investment platform requires a minimum of S $136,000 to use.
Cost 0.49-0.89% Management Fee (from your investment profits)
Best For Serious investors who love remote and compact mobile platforms to do bids and more.

 

7. All-Inclusive Budgeting: Clarity Money

Clarity Money is entirely free, making it a perfect alternative for the widely-used Mint. However, it’s convenient, especially its precise credit score tracking and product recommendations (advertisements) too.

Design: The design is easy because it is mobile-oriented. Start the app, and you can get started on syncing your bank accounts fast. However, there’s low customizability on categorizations, forcing you to adapt to it. However, if you do, it’s handy to a great extent.

Functionality: You can track your credit score easily through Clarity Money. Plus, you can set up your notifications for spending updates (like PocketGuard) and additional ones for upcoming bills, account balances, and others.

Reporting: You’ll always see your overview once you log into the app. It provides you with a solid overview of your balance and recent transactions you’ve made.

Other Things You Should Know: Some of Mint’s remarkable features, including supporting all financial institutions, are missing from this application. Plus, the iOS version has features missing in the Android iteration. However, it’s completely free to use!

What We Like About Clarity Money Intuitive Features. Good Recommendations. Credit Score Tracking
What We Don’t Like About Clarity Money iOS-exclusive missing features. Low Customizability
Cost Free
Best For iOS users. Users who want simplified budgeting

 

Runner Up: Goodbudget for Almost Anything

While it does not have an excellent bank-syncing capacity, and you’ll have to do everything manually, Goodbudget can cater to all kinds of budgets. While Personal Capital does excel best in investor-oriented budgeting, Goodbudget can handle so much more.

 

You’ll Make No Blind Purchases With Objective-Driven Budgeting Practices.

Young couple sitting together on sofa choosing best budget app

Even with the best applications, acceptable budgeting practices will always reign supreme. These applications make it easy and fun to budget, but the follow-through and commitment are still up to the budget. So, remain to do your best in making sure your budget works!

About GM Creditz

GM Creditz is a low-cost and flexible loan provider.

Our aim is to give you the money you want, when it’s needed, whether you have a sudden emergency that has set you back financially or if you want a boost to help kick start your future plans. Put simply, we cater for individuals with different financial situations, whether you have a good credit report or one where other lenders are unwilling to offer you a loan, we want to help.

We have built our business on solid principles by offering a fair and transparent service, and, as a reputable lender, we make sure you can afford your repayments. Depending on the amount, we offer unsecured loans so you don’t need to secure an asset like your house or car against the loan. You don’t need a guarantor either as we work hard to provide you with the money you need at a rate you can afford.

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