For those with lower incomes, budgeting can be tricky. Thankfully, today, there are a variety of best budgeting apps available to help manage finances effectively and save money while doing so. From tracking expenses more easily to reaching financial objectives faster, the right app could make all the difference!

Overview of Budget-Friendly Apps

Image of a mobile device with budgeting app installed

Budgeting apps can be a great aid in managing one’s personal finances and achieving savings goals. They enable users to keep track of their expenditures to stay within budget, as well as provide

  • Organize income and expenses, either manually or by linking to their financial accounts

  • Simplify decision-making processes

  • Create categories for the main monthly expenses

  • Avoid an excessive number of subcategories to prevent confusion

For those who need to keep track of their finances, available premium budgeting tools offer different advantages that cater to varied user needs, while some are free for people on tight budgets.

With so many options available today, choosing which is right for you can be tricky, but these top-rated choices should cover all your requirements.

  1. Best for Zero-Based Budgeting: You Need a Budget (YNAB)

  2. Best free budgeting app: Mint

  3. Best for Quick Cash Advances: Empower

  4. Best for Envelope System Budgeting: Goodbudget

  5. Best for Tracking Spending: Pocketguard

  6. Best Budgeting App for Couples with Low Income: Zeta

  7. Best for Consolidated Financial Accounts: Rocket Money

You Need a Budget: Best for Zero-Based Budgeting

Image of YNAB homepage

Price: $14.99/month or $99/year

Specifications:

  • Zero-based budgeting system

  • Envelope method

Pros:

  • Available on multiple platforms

  • Manual and automatic account linking options

  • Real-time sync

  • Separate categories, splitting transactions, goal tracking

Cons:

  • Higher price than most budgeting apps

  • No bill tracking feature

  • Steep learning curve

YNAB, or You Need a Budget, is one of the top budget apps due to its usage of zero-based budgeting and helping people better identify their financial goals.

Though it has a steep learning curve compared to other competing budget applications and comes at an expensive price point ($14.99 monthly or $99 annually), those in need have access to increased control over their finances with enhanced spending habits afforded by this app that don’t come from similar programs.

Unfortunately, YNAB lacks bill tracking abilities available on many alternate chosen alternatives, but overall, it still stands strong for individuals wanting a more hands-on approach when forming budgets if they can invest time into mastering how it works.

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 3.5/5

  • Features: 4.5/5

  • Price: 3/5

  • Security: 5/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Mint: Best Free Comprehensive Budgeting App

Image Mint homapage

Price: iOS users can download and use the Mint app for free. An optional premium version is available to these iOS users for $4.99 monthly.

Specifications:

  • Expense tracking

  • Bill reminders

  • Credit score monitoring

Pros:

  • Free to use

  • Secure

  • Syncs to a diverse set of financial accounts

  • Alert and reminder tools

  • Free credit monitoring services

  • Calculates net worth

Cons:

  • Takes time to set up

  • Categories may be assigned incorrectly

  • Occasional account connection issues

Mint is a widely used, free budgeting app that offers many tools for personal finance management. Its complimentary version allows users to keep track of their expenses, review credit scores, and set reminders for bill payments, all without any cost. However, it does come with ads.

For those who are willing to pay $4.99 per month they can access Mint Premium, which has no advertisements, plus other added benefits such as subscription cancellation services.

The user interface and its varied options make this resource ideal for novice individuals looking into managing finances effectively, though some minor setup time may be needed on occasions where there could be issues connecting the account or if automatic categorization requires manual altering later down the line to get exact results required.

In spite of these minimal inconveniences, having a dependable tool like Mint accessible at no charge remains an extremely attractive choice when searching around budgeting apps available today.

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 4.5/5

  • Price: 5/5

  • Security: 4.5/5

  • Overall: 4.5/5

Empower: Best for Quick Cash Advances

Image of Empower homepage

Price: N/A

Specifications:

  • Cash advances

  • Budgeting tools

  • Credit-building features

Pros:

  • Advances are funded within one day

  • Refunds users if the app causes an overdraft fee

  • Budgeting and credit-building features

Cons:

  • Advances are smaller than some other apps

  • Optional fees are high

  • Doesn’t notify users before withdrawing repayment

Empower is an excellent mobile application for those needing fast cash advances and comprehensive finance management capabilities. It can be especially beneficial to freelancers who have inconsistent income, as it offers small sums quickly and users are refunded in the event of overdraft fees due to Empower’s actions.

Its loans are not as large compared with some other apps’ offerings, and there may also be expensive optional charges associated with using this app that should keep buyers on their toes before they hit “purchase.”

You won’t get prior notification from Empower when repayment withdrawals occur, which could cause unwanted surprises. Although drawbacks exist surrounding the use of this helpful financial tool – particularly regarding costs – it remains a good option given all its personal capital managing features, such as budgeting advice alongside credit building options available too!

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Price: N/A

  • Security: 4/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Goodbudget: Best for Envelope System Budgeting

Image Goodbudget hompage

Price: $8/month or $70/year

Specifications:

  • Envelope system

  • Expense tracking

  • Goal setting

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Intuitive

  • Supports multiple devices

  • Provides reports

  • Supports multiple users

  • Can import bank transaction files

Cons:

  • Limited free plan

  • Requires manual logging

  • Takes time to use

  • Limited extra features

Goodbudget is an accessible budgeting app based on the envelope system, which lets users monitor expenses without linking to any financial accounts. To stay within a given spending category, funds are transferred into virtual envelopes that can be used for tracking purposes – 20 of these being available in its free version and unlimited versions through paid subscriptions.

The user-friendly design and educational resources make Goodbudget easy to use while managing finances. It lacks some features in similar apps due to manual transaction input requirements instead of automated ones connected directly by bank accounts.

However, Goodbudget offers a comprehensive toolset perfect for those wanting simple control over their money management plan sans linked banking services.

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 3.5/5

  • Price: 4/5

  • Security: 4/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Pocketguard: Best for Tracking Spending

An image showing the Pocketguard homepage

Price: For free, you can access Pocketguard. There is also a Plus version for $7.99 per month, $34.99 annually, or a lifetime subscription at the cost of $79.99 available to choose from should you wish it.

Specifications:

  • Transaction tracking

  • Bill negotiation for upcoming bills

  • Subscription management

Pros:

  • Free basic features

  • Syncs with various financial accounts

  • Real-time spending updates

  • Bill negotiation service

Cons:

  • Takes time to set up

  • Categories may be assigned incorrectly

  • Occasional account connection issues

Pocketguard is a budgeting app that helps over-spenders monitor their balance, expenses, and transactions using hashtag categorization. The free version can be upgraded to PocketGuard Plus with premium options at $7.99 monthly, $34.99 annually, or a lifetime subscription for just under eighty dollars.

The interface has been designed for convenience while giving real-time spending updates, allowing users an easier way to curb excessive expenditure habits through bill negotiation services, too! Setting up may take some time, and certain expenditures might not always fit preprogrammed category labels, thus requiring manual adjustments accordingly.

Overall, Pocketguard proves invaluable in managing finances, helping its users easily keep track of spending whilst simultaneously availing them better rates on bills so they don’t go overboard financially or mentally!

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Price: 4/5

  • Security: 4/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Zeta: Best Budgeting App for Couples with Low Income

Image of Zeta homepage

Price: Free

Specifications:

  • Designed for couples

  • Shared and personal bank accounts

  • Bill tracking

Pros:

  • Works with personal and joint accounts

  • Automatic and manual synchronization

  • Share budgets and goals

  • Split bills and communicate in the app

  • Keep track of monthly bills

Cons:

  • Not optimized for tablets

  • Prone to bugs

Zeta is a budgeting app tailored for couples with limited finances, offering joint banking facilities and messaging features to record their spending together. It allows partners to link individual and combined accounts, make shared money allocations, and view income, expenses, and investments all on one platform.

Although Zeta does not have an optimization feature that works across tablets or has been known to be buggy from time to time, it remains the ideal choice for those looking for partnership financial management solutions due to its user-friendly design plus range of functions specifically suited towards couple activities. This makes tracking goals effortless, whether they are working on savings or other objectives associated with money matters.

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Price: 5/5

  • Security: 4/5

  • Overall: 4.5/5

Rocket Money: Best for Consolidated Financial Accounts

Image of Rocket Money homepage

Price: N/A

Specifications:

  • Consolidates financial accounts

  • Bill negotiation with a premium subscription

  • Expense tracking

Pros:

  • Comprehensive financial management

  • Simplifies managing finances in one place

  • Bill negotiation with a premium subscription

Cons:

  • Takes time to set up

  • Categories may be assigned incorrectly

  • Occasional account connection issues

Rocket Money is the perfect budgeting app for those who want to monitor their financial accounts in one place. Its straightforward user interface and plenty of features make it easy to use, even with some setup time needed before getting started.

While occasional account connection problems have been reported, this doesn’t take away from its ability as a great way to view all your finances at once – plus, you can get bills negotiated! Despite these minor issues occasionally, Rocket Money remains an excellent choice if you’re looking for a reliable platform where tracking money becomes effortless.

Rating:

  • Ease of use: 4/5

  • Features: 4/5

  • Price: N/A

  • Security: 4/5

  • Overall: 4/5

Choosing the Right Budgeting App for Your Needs

When it comes to picking the ideal budgeting app, a few essential criteria should be taken into account, such as personal financial objectives, preferred functionalities, and ease of use.

It is imperative to select an application that provides features including bank synchronization, expenditure tracking, and classifying costs. Prioritizing apps with safety precautions, user-friendly interfaces, and additional amenities like automated savings options, cost reduction tips, or payment notifications are also recommended for consideration.

Before settling on any specific program for money management purposes, it is wise practice to explore different solutions available and read testimonials from users who have experienced them firsthand – this can help you get a better sense of their merits and flaws.

Picking the right one based on individual needs will not only assist in financially managing affairs but could potentially contribute towards reaching monetary goals via helpful saving opportunities that were previously undetected!

App NameBest ForPriceKey FeaturesOverall Rating
You Need a Budget (YNAB)Zero-Based Budgeting$14.99/month or $99/yearZero-based budgeting, Envelope method4/5
MintFree Comprehensive BudgetingFree (Premium: $4.99/month)Expense tracking, Bill reminders, Credit score monitoring4.5/5
EmpowerQuick Cash AdvancesN/ACash advances, Budgeting tools, Credit-building features4/5
GoodbudgetEnvelope System Budgeting$8/month or $70/yearEnvelope system, Expense tracking, Goal setting4/5
PocketguardTracking SpendingFree (Plus: $7.99/month or $34.99/year)Transaction tracking, Bill negotiation, Subscription management4/5
ZetaCouples with Low IncomeFreeDesigned for couples, Shared and personal bank accounts4.5/5
Rocket MoneyConsolidated Financial AccountsN/AConsolidates financial accounts, Expense tracking4/5
This table includes an overview of each app’s best use case, pricing, key features, pros, cons, and overall rating, allowing for a comprehensive comparison.

Understanding the Features of Budgeting Apps

Budgeting apps are designed to assist users in managing their finances more effectively, providing them with cash flow tracking capabilities and detailed reports. Through these tools, people can identify spending habits that need improvement and devise a plan to reach financial goals.

Aside from the basic features of budgeting applications mentioned earlier, some offer additional tools such as automated savings options or money-saving suggestions, as well as bill alerts and access credit scores for investors.

By understanding what each app offers in terms of services, you will be able to decide which one suits your needs better.

The Importance of Security in Budgeting Apps

Security should be taken seriously when using budgeting apps as it helps protect your financial data. Most of these apps use state-of-the-art security measures and third-party connections for users to link their accounts without sharing logins with the app provider. Even if someone could gain access, they would only see transactions but wouldn’t be permitted any changes on an account level.

When selecting a budgeting application, you need to take into consideration robust safety features such as encryption methods, high-security standards, or even manual addition of transaction records or linking accounts, which prioritizes that one’s personal finances are safeguarded while using this kind of tool.

Summary

By taking the time to research different budgeting apps, their features, and security measures while considering one’s unique requirements – you can be sure that a suitable best-budgeting app is found. This will help manage personal finances, save money efficiently, and accomplish financial objectives.

Consequently, budgeting applications are an indispensable asset for those with limited incomes when it comes to properly keeping track of their funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you budget for low income?

Creating a budget with low income is achievable by following the 50-20-30 rule: prioritize essential needs, like housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation with 50% of your income; use 20% to save an emergency fund and pay down debt; finally, leave 30% for all other expenses.

Is there a free budgeting app?

Mint is a free budgeting app that offers users an array of money management tools such as net worth analysis, categorization of expenses, and account links. It also provides credit score tracking, bill notifications, and enhanced security features – all accessible in the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). With Mint’s help, you can conveniently manage your finances while tracking what goes into them.

What is the best overall budgeting app for people with low income?

For those with limited funds, three popular budgeting apps – YNAB, Mint, and PocketGuard – can be extremely useful in achieving their financial goals. These applications provide the necessary tools to plan effectively for a more secure future.

Can budgeting apps help me save money?

Budgeting apps can greatly help achieve financial goals by providing an easy way to monitor spending, recognize where money could have been saved better, and create strategies for successful savings.

Are budgeting apps safe to use?

When looking for a budgeting app, make sure that it has top-notch security and encryption safeguards. This is an essential factor to consider, as these features provide extra protection.