The Best Budgeting Apps of 2023

Quick Answer

The best mobile apps for budgeting offer an array of features that make it easier to manage your expenses, set and achieve financial goals and more. Here are our top choices for 2023.

Afro Woman Using Mobile at Street

Budgeting is crucial to a successful financial plan, but it's not always easy, especially if you're doing it all on your own. The best budgeting apps can help you get your finances in order, stay organized and work toward your money goals.

Here are our choices for the top five budgeting apps that are currently available.

Our Picks for the Best Budgeting Apps of 2023
PocketGuard Cost: Free, with a premium tier

App Store rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store rating: 4.4/5

Best feature: Simple snapshot of how much you can spend

Mint Cost: Free, with a premium tier

App Store rating: 4.8/5

Google Play Store rating: 4.3/5

Best feature: Provides alerts to help you manage spending and watch for fraud

You Need a Budget Cost: $99 annually

App Store rating: 4.8/5

Google Play Store rating: 4.6/5

Best feature: Helps you assign a purpose for every dollar with a zero-based budget

Goodbudget Cost: Free, with a premium tier

App Store rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store rating: 4.3/5

Best feature: Lets you view your budget across multiple devices

Personal Capital Cost: Free

App Store rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store rating: 4.3/5

Best feature: Also helps you track your investment accounts


If you're looking for a simple approach to budgeting, PocketGuard is a solid choice. The app connects to your financial accounts and keeps track of your transactions and bills. Then it gives you a snapshot of how much you have available to spend based on your income, past and upcoming bills, and the money you've budgeted for spending and savings goals.

If you want more detailed budgeting, you can get it through spending reports. If you upgrade your membership to PocketGuard Plus, you can also create a debt payoff plan, make up your own spending categories, change transaction dates, add cash accounts and more.

PocketGuard Plus costs $7.99 per month or $34.99 annually. Alternatively, you can pay a lump sum of $79.99 for a lifetime membership.

The PocketGuard app may be a good option for someone who just wants to know how much they have to spend on any given day. The free version has some significant limitations, however, especially when it comes to creating your own spending categories to tailor the app to your needs.

Pros Cons
Lets you know how much you can spend at any given time Free features are limited
Personalized spending reports The website is difficult to navigate
Offers tools to help you with debt payoff and savings goals


One of the first free budgeting apps, Mint connects to your financial accounts and helps you keep track of your spending by categorizing expenses as they come in—though you can adjust the categories and other details of each transaction if you wish.

Mint will track your bill due dates and send you reminders, so you don't get slapped with late fees. You'll also get alerts when you pay ATM fees, when you go over budget, when there's a large or suspicious transaction on one of your accounts and more. You can set various money goals, get insights into your spending habits, track both spending and investment accounts, monitor your credit and more.

The Mint app is a solid choice for people who want a mostly free budgeting app with all the bells and whistles. However, the constant flow of advertisements can be annoying. To get rid of them, you'll need to sign up for the premium version, which is only available for iOS users, at $4.99 per month. Mint Premium also offers subscription cancellation and advanced analytics and graphs.

Pros Cons
Most features are free Ads can feel intrusive
Direct import and automatic categorizing can help you save time Premium tier not available for Android users
Custom alerts and reminders can help you stay on top of bills No joint accounts

You Need a Budget

A zero-based budget is one where you budget every single dollar you earn. You Need a Budget (YNAB) allows you to connect your financial accounts and maintain a strict budget based on your spending habits.

The YNAB app lets you share your budget with a partner, set and track various financial goals, review spending and net worth reports, track debt and investment accounts and more. You'll also get access to a trove of resources, including workshops and guides.

YNAB's biggest drawback is that it doesn't offer a free version of its budgeting software. It costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year. That can be worth it if you're a serious budgeter who prefers the zero-based budgeting method over others. But if you're new to budgeting, it may be better to stick to a free app (at least for now).

Pros Cons
Allows for multiple budgets with joint accounts No free version after a 34-day trial
Direct importing and automatic categorization can help you save time No bill tracking, investment tracking or bill pay features
Easy to customize, create spending goals and track expenses Steep learning curve compared to other budgeting apps


Goodbudget is an envelope-based budgeting app that lets you share your budget with others. You'll create virtual envelopes for individual spending categories, then use those to manage your money.

Once the money from one envelope is gone, you can no longer spend money in that area unless you take it from another envelope. One big difference between Goodbudget and other top budgeting apps is that you can't connect your financial accounts and directly import transactions. Instead, you'll need to manually update your transactions from each account.

This approach may be worth considering if your finances are relatively simple and you only have a few financial accounts. But the more accounts you have, the longer it will take to manually update transactions across all of them.

The Goodbudget app has a free version with 10 envelopes, but you only get one year of budgeting history, and you can only share one account across two devices. If you upgrade to Goodbudget Plus, you'll get unlimited envelopes, unlimited accounts across up to five devices and seven years of history. The premium version of the app costs $8 monthly or $70 annually.

Pros Cons
Simplifies the budgeting process Free features are limited
Free version available Doesn't connect to financial accounts, requiring more legwork
Provides spending reports No investing tools or resources

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is primarily an app for managing your investment accounts, but you can also connect it to your existing financial accounts and use the app to track your budget and spending.

You can track your progress with your net worth, develop your retirement savings strategy, get some insights on your current investment portfolio and more with the Personal Capital app.

However, because Personal Capital's main draw is that it provides access to digital wealth advisors, you might not get as much use from it unless you can qualify to be a Personal Capital member. But that requires at least $100,000 in investments, which is out of reach for many people.

Pros Cons
Free budgeting tool with reports High minimum balance requirement for premium investment tools and resources
Free investment tools Geared toward investment-minded users
Investment management and resources for eligible users

Other Options for Creating a Budget Without an App

Using a budgeting app can help you stay on top of your budget. But if you want to create a budget on your own, you may consider:

  • Making a budget spreadsheet: Budgeting templates available for free online can help you find the right approach. Keep in mind, though, that some budgeting spreadsheet methods may require complicated formulas, so it might not be the best option if you're not familiar with the software.
  • Pen and paper: If you consider yourself old school and want to write down everything to keep track, develop a system that works for you. That may include binders, folders and other storage options to stay organized.

Whether you use a spreadsheet or pen and paper, you'll need to do everything manually. Again, this might not be a problem if you only have a few accounts to keep track of. But as your financial situation gets more complicated, you may want to use a budgeting app to make things easier and less time-consuming.

Evaluate Your Budget to Ensure You're Still on the Right Track

As with anything in your financial life, it's important to evaluate your approach to budgeting at least once a year to determine if it's still working for you and helping you achieve your financial goals. This can include evaluating whether your current budgeting app is still right for you or if you should switch your budget over to another one.

Because this can be a time-consuming process, it's important to take your time to research your options and consider how to proceed. As you evaluate your financial health, it's important to keep an eye on your credit, which you can do for free through Experian.