MAR 30, 2022
Have you ever gotten to the end of the month only to look at your bank account and wonder where all your money went? If so, you are not alone. Researches show that 65 percent of North Americans don't know how much money they spend each month.
You don't need to live in fear of your spending habits. Taking control of your personal finances by using a spending tracker app can help you see exactly where your money is going so you can decide what expenses you can eliminate and avoid overpaying on interests and overdraft fees.
With so many money tracker apps on the market, choosing the best fit to your needs could be a challenge. Here is a detailed overview of a few apps that can help you decide better.
There are several expense tracker apps available to help you monitor and control your finances. We downloaded and worked with a few of them and captured our brief overview here. Compare the features and choose the one that will work best for your financial goals.
Best for: budgeting and credit monitoring
Mint from Intuit is designed to help you stick to your monthly budget. Decide how much you want to spend each month in multiple categories, like dining out, groceries, alcohol, subscriptions, and more. The app will alert you when you have overspent in a category. It will also send alerts when it notices suspicious activity on your accounts and to remind you about upcoming payments.
One drawback with Mint is that you have to maintain your bills due dates manually. Meaning that if your bill cycle is less than thirty days like credit cards and it’s due date changes from month to month, your alert will go over probably after the due date is passed after a couple of months. Also, it doesn’t keep track of category adjustments you make to some of your transactions and causes you the pain of re-doing them every time.
Best for: expense tracking and auto-reminders
In addition to predicting your upcoming week’s expenses and tracking your spending on each category, you can see exactly how much you are spending on subscription services, bills, and recurring payments with the Walletifai app expense manager. You’ll get an alert if your bank account doesn’t have enough money to pay an upcoming bill, helping you avoid overdraft or NSF (non-sufficient fund) fees. You’ll also be alerted if you’ve missed a recurring payment, if your subscription or bill has grown over time, if you are charged twice for the same service, and if your account incurs a larger than expected transaction.
Best for: data analysis and daily spending
The PocketGuard app gives you detailed information about how much money you have to spend each day based on pre-budgeted information provided manually, upcoming bills, and your savings goals that you set and maintain actively. It auto-creates spend categories, but you can also make up your own based on how you spend your money.
Best for: committed budgeters
YNAB follows a zero-based budgeting system, which means you have to plan how every dollar you earn will be spent. There is a 34-day trial, after which it costs $84 a year or $11.99 a month.
A drawback of this app is the time commitment involved. Consider this app if you are committed to learning how to budget and will take advantage of the app’s workshops, advice, and guides.
Best for: zero-based budgeters
EveryDollar also follows a zero-based budgeting system and lets you decide where every dollar you earn goes. There is a free version, or you can pay $129.99 to upgrade to Ramsey+ (after a 14-day free trial) to access courses, virtual groups, and financial coaches.
Unless you are already very familiar with zero-based budgeting, you will need to pay for the upgraded version of this app to get the most out of it.
In addition to helping you with monthly budgeting, an expense tracker app can help you reach your financial goals, like building your savings, paying off a particular debt, or saving up for a significant expense. Choose a money management app that will help you maximize your wallet and strengthen your control over your personal finances.