We're not sure that keeping a budget, or balancing the books has ever really been an easy task. It's certainly gotten more difficult as technology has surged ahead, letting use cash more and more infrequently, while we spend more of our money in a digital marketplace. All is not lost though, because there are plenty of great apps available on the Google Play Store that are made to help you stay in the green, and stick to your budget.
We've grabbed up 5 of the best budgeting apps out there, to make sure you stay on target in 2016.
Spendee is a bright, and easy to use budget app, which is always important. It's already bad enough we have to spend time making sure we have enough money to pay the bills, and enjoy ourselves, the least we should hope for is ease of use. The addition of bright colors, graphs to show spending habits, and customisable categories with matching icons is definitely a plus. You'll need to input everything manually here, but it as easy as tapping to add an item, picking a category, typing out the amount, and then saving your entry. You can choose to add tags, notes, and even a location tracker, but that's up to how detailed you want to be.
Spendee uses Material Design so it's really easy to navigate. Once your create and name your first wallet, you have access to a timeline, overview, and your budgets. If you rock the free version of this app you only get access to one wallet, but you can upgrade to Pro by paying monthly — or yearly, for access to more features. Your timeline will show where you spent or earned money, your overview gives you insights on your spending habits and cash flow, and your budget will show you how close to over spending you are and how much you can continue to burn through without breaking your bank.
Mint is probably the most recognizable app on our list, and with good reason. It's powered by Intuit, the same company that owns Quicken, Turbo Tax, and Quick Books. This app is made to be your financial hub. It will link up with your bank accounts, and credit cards, and lets you enter in manual transactions as well. There is financial advice, the Mint life blog, and you can even link up your credit score through the app. This app is colorful, connected and really well done. If you've been looking for a financial hub, this might be the app for you.
The Mint app is broken into two basic pieces. Once you've loaded up the app, and added your bank accounts you'll have access to the Updates, and Overview pages. These serve as your main hub when using Mint. Updates will show your recent transactions, both those you've made on linked accounts, and those you've manually put in. Keep in mind, that while your credit, or check card transactions are automatically updated in the app, you'll have to input every cash transaction manually. Under recent transactions you'll find uncategorized transactions—which you can edit so that are in the proper category, followed by Advice, Recently used accounts, and then the Mint life blog. Swiping or tapping to switch over to Overview will show you your finances in a variety of graphs. You'll see how much money is in each linked account, along with bar graphs for your budget and cash flow, your credit score and more financial advice, along with a chart filled with your spending habits each month. There is also a sidebar menu that allows you to look at any of these details in depth.
Wally+ is a visually stunning budget app, that is still in beta for the time being. If you're looking for an easy way to keep an eye on when and where you're spending money, without needing the ability to export your budgets, then this one should definitely catch your eye. Wally+ lets you do the run of the mill adding income, expenses and making a monthly savings target. It also lets you location tag where you're spending money using foursquare, and even lets you tag friends in the process. Being able to look over your finances and realize you spent 70 in beer because you were out from friends from college, makes it much easier to keep track of things.
The home page of Wally+ also helps to keep you on track. At the top you'll see a daily budget, your remaining money for the month, and your expenses for the month. Below that you'll see where you spent your money each day with the amount you spent where. When you input an expense you have the option of choosing a location, or you can take a photo and input it manually if you'd prefer. The review section will show you breakdowns of how much you're spending on what, but you can also filter by location, or tags. At the moment Wally+ is still in beta, but it's already a great budgeting tool, so we're still hoping to see a lot more from them.
4. Wallet - Budget Tracker
Wallet - Budget Tracker is a very cut and dry manual entry budget app. You'll be able to add income and expenses across multiple accounts, categorize your purchases, and keep track of your cash flow. You can make multiple budgets, which means you can have a setup for groceries, another one for that new gym membership you picked up, and another to make sure that the car loan is being paid off in a timely manner. There are two really fantastic features about Budget that makes it stand out though. It can export in three different formats; PDF, XLS, and CSV which means that you can easily track your spending and then file it away until you need it for tax time. You can also add and track larger debts like school loans, or your mortage payment schedule.
Wallet is a really solid, well rounded budget app. With access to plenty of charts that give you a visual representation of your spending habits. The category options also let you see where your money is going, or if you're overspending somewhere. The feature of allowing friends to see your budget can also help for shared household budgets amongst family or roommates. There is even a report function that lets you see your average spending, daily and monthly expenses and plenty more. The free version does quite well, but if you want to get access to more features you can grab the Pro version, there is even a 45 day trial to check out the premium features.
5. Goodbudget: Budget and Finance
Goodbudget: Budget and Finance is an app that aims to make it as simple as possible to stay on budget. The app really does reflect that too, there aren't any flashy colors here. Instead you'll find an easy to navigate interface that tries to keep things simple. You adjust your budget by allocating money for different things into envelopes. Each envelope will give you a running tally of how much you've spent on specific things.You can even link your account with your partner's making sure that keeping your house on a budget is easier than ever.
There are four sections to Goodbudget. Envelopes show you how much money you have to spend overall, as well as how much you budgetted aside for various needs like groceries or gas. Transactions will show you all of your income or expenses, as well as where you spent your money, and which envelope you spent out of. Accounts will show you the money in your bank account, and credit account. Last of the four is reports, where you'll find two graphs that display your spending habits. Spending by envelope is a pie graph that shows how much you've spent out of your envelopes, and Income v. Spending is a bar graph that shows the disparity between your income and expenses. All of these options are available in the free version of the app, but upgrading to Goodbudget Plus for $45 a year will let you have unlimited envelopes, unlimited accounts, sync multiple accounts, and more.
As you can see there are plenty of choices when it comes to which type of app you use to balance your budget. Whether you need to be able to export your budget for future use, or just want an easy way to view your finances, there is definitely an app out there that can help you out. Which budget app looks like it's up your alley? Did we miss a great app that you use to budget? Let us know in the comments!