Tracking expenses, saving money and sticking to your budget can be tough. It takes time to achieve your financial goals.
You want to take control of your finances, but you don’t know where to start.
You’ve heard of budgeting apps, but you are wondering…
Which app is best for budgeting?
Thankfully, nowadays, there is an app for almost anything including budgeting – there are hundreds of them.
To help you sift through the near-endless budgeting apps in Australia, we’ve compiled a list to help you make a decision faster.
But before we get there, let’s answer an important question.
Do budgeting apps really work?
Having an app to track your expenses and create a budget is definitely a good idea. However, experts say simply downloading an app on your phone won’t necessarily lead to better financial management.
Budgeting apps will only work if you put in the work. But if you are reading this article, I guess you are tired of your current financial status and want to make a U-turn.
So, what are the best budgeting apps?
Imagine a budgeting tool so cool that it fits snuggly in your front pocket.
A calculator is a wonderful device, but maybe you want something that offers a bit more when it comes to managing your finances. A tool that helps you create a budget, save money or track your expenses.
After all, the emergence of other financial services such as fintech, online banks, mobile banks and so on let you manage your money even from your smartphone.
Wouldn’t it be nice to add a budgeting app to the mix?
To help you get started, here’s a list of the best budgeting apps in Australia.
They are all available through the Google Play store and the Apple App Store.
PressPay is not associated with any of these apps, we’re providing this unbiased analysis to help you improve your own personal finances.
What is the best FREE budgeting app?
1. MoneyBrilliant outcompetes many paid competitors.
MoneyBrilliant app connects you to more banks than any other app and comes with a free version that outcompetes many paid competitors.
The app can connect credit cards, bank accounts, loans, superannuation and many more. It’s expressive features also enable you to use Insurance Tracking and Bill Watch for bills like gas and electricity.
It categorises your transactions so that you understand exactly where your money goes.
Personalises and creates priorities based on what is financially important for you.
It automates records of your possible occupation-specific tax deductions. It also automatically bases your budget on your previous experience.
The basic MoneyBrilliant Plan is free, but the Premium Plan of $9.99 per month.
2. Pocketbook, Australia’s most loved app
Pocketbook is the crème de la crème of all budget apps and comes with all bells and whistles.
Its most outstanding feature is its automatic syncing feature. The feature syncs Pocketbook with your bank accounts to give you a view of all your spending. You don’t have to manually enter expenses in the app, saving you all the hustle.
It categorises your transactions, giving you a full breakdown of your expenses so you can find places to trim and save money.
It also has a comprehensive FAQ for beginners and encrypts all your information for security.
The pocketbook app makes your budgeting super easy.
3. Spendee gets your money into shape.
Like Pocketbook, Spendee also syncs all your bank accounts, and you can use it whenever and wherever. You can track everything in one easy-to-navigate place.
You can use Spendee globally because it operates in multiple currencies for people who need to switch between them by a simple swipe.
Spendee enables couples, families, or roommates with shared expenses to share wallets.
It helps you categorise spending, even adds location and pictures.
It comes with an easy to understand graphic that tracks your account balances and puts all your transactions from various bank accounts in one place.
The basic plan is free, but the Plus and Premium Plans come with a yearly fee.
4. MoneyTree teaches you how to grow your cash tree for free.
MoneyTree helps you make your financial strategy more fruitful.
It combines every branch of finance, from your bank accounts to digital money. It collects, analyses, and displays your financial data from various institutions and services.
The app also assesses your loyalty points like MYER one or Frequent Flyer to keep you up to date on your total points. It also updates you on when to use them and alerts you if they are about to expire.
It also comes with a work expenses tracker that you can export into a spreadsheet.
You can easily track your financial situation with their colourful and easy-to-understand graphs.
There are so many budgeting apps you can explore. But maybe you also want to know the best monthly budget apps.
What is the best MONTHLY budget app?
5. Pocketsmith enables you to see all your financials in one place.
Pocketsmith will help you simplify and strengthen your relationship with money. It automatically imports your bank transactions to give you a live banking feed via your mobile and desktop app.
Pocketsmith gives you access to many useful reports and an easy navigation dashboard to provide you with a clear and comprehensive summary of your transactions.
That’s not all; it also offers you a range of fabulous features such as cash and digital spending projections. It gives you calendars where you can choose daily, weekly or monthly flexible spending options to suit your lifestyle and financial needs.
Its dashboard gives you access to reports on your income, expenses, cash flow statements, and net worth. You can also connect it to your Xero account to simplify your expenses.
6. GoodBudget helps you budget with a “why” in mind.
The envelope budgeting system is a solid budgeting strategy that has stood the test of time. It involves splitting up cash into different envelopes to take care of specific purposes such as rent or groceries.
The concept is simple, and that’s why GoodBudget jumped onto the idea and gave it an upgrade to fit the digital age.
GoodBudget lets you create virtual envelopes for you to spend from. GoddBudget’s simplicity makes it the best app for beginners who want to start saving their money.
It helps you put your spending into perspective because it allows you to break down your budget into various expenses and gives you personalised reports. You can also export your reports to Microsoft Excel.
It enables you to play around with envelopes adjusting budgets as you see fit.
For example, set monthly limits for shopping, groceries, etc., to help you make budgeting easier. It categorises your spending by category, schedules transactions, and automatic envelope fills.
It presents your spending on cool-looking pie-charts and links to your bank accounts.
The app operates globally in both the free and the paid version. However, the free version still lets you use up to 10 envelopes.
You can use the same app account from multiple devices, making it useful for couples or partners to share their activity.
Plus, you don’t have to link to your bank accounts.
7. Frollo makes you feel good about money.
Frollo is similar to Pocketbook and MoneyBrilliant, but it’s newer and not as popular.
The app offers free and secure synchronisation with bank accounts, loans, credit cards, investments and superannuation into an aesthetically pleasing interface. The interface allows you to monitor your expenses and take weekly and monthly challenges to save money.
Its Frollo Score feature gives you a score between 1-1000, which tells you how you’re doing financially, based on your spending habits, debts and savings.
You can sync from Australian bank accounts, including investments and superannuation. It automatically categorises your transactions, sets saving goals, and tracks tax-deductible expenses. It gives you push notifications and personal insights.
How to choose the best budgeting app
Budgeting apps make setting up and managing your budget easier, faster and more accurate. Because a budgeting app automatically pulls income and expenses transactions from all your financial accounts.
Eventually, the app gives you insight into your spending habits, broken down into spending categories. A budgeting app also allows you to enable warning if you’re moving closer to exceeding your budget.
But how do you choose a budgeting app to ensure it meets your specific needs?
Consider these features as you weigh your options.
- Ability to change categories by deleting irrelevant categories, editing the name or adding your own. Avoid those that lock you into a default set of income and expense categories. Accurate and detailed reports will be more useful for your financial management goals.
- Adaptable incomes and expense limits – Your income and expenses fluctuate, and you want a budget app that allows you to adjust. Envelope budgeting is the best option for handling fluctuating monthly income and expenses. An app that works with this principle rolls unused money in spending categories to the following month. Envelope based apps will automatically distribute your paychecks among your budget categories to reflect how you plan to spend them.
- Ability to do simple reports and export your data. You should be able to follow your budget on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. The reports should be real-time and exportable for easier analysis.
- Your budgeting app should also offer data security, protection and easy to set up.
What’s the best budgeting App for you?
That’s the million-dollar question.
But it depends on your needs and budget.
You know you need a budgeting app, especially when you’re just starting. But in my honest opinion, the answer is simple…
The best budgeting app is whichever one will get you to stop nibbling on every buck and start taking control of your spending.
Start downloading the apps and see what works for you. Will you start mastering your finances today?