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Top Budgeting Apps in 2022

by Amarachukwu
Top Budgeting Apps in 2022

We are currently at the dusk of 2021 and with 2021 coming to an end and ushering us into a brand new and unforeseen new year, would you say you have met the financial goals which you had at the beginning of the year? 

If the answer is in the negative, there are several other people who have experienced a similar year or even had it worse. For most people, it is the same endless cycle of financial choices and repercussions over and over again. It gets a little depressing when paychecks seem to lose their value almost the same day they were received. It may seem as though, money is never enough no matter the raise one gets. To get out of this difficult cycle, people aim to increase their income when most of the time, it is a spending problem and not even an income problem. That is why some people with less paycheck seem to achieve their financial goals while some higher earners seem to never have money when they need it. With proper budgeting, these painful cycles would be left in 2021. And no, budgeting does not mean ‘ a long list of bills’ 

Before understanding what budgeting is, it is important to recognize what budgeting is not. 

There is no denying the fact that budgeting has become a necessary skill for humans. No thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic that has threatened every aspect of humans- including the economy, there is no better time to perfect budgeting skills than this.

This is why budgeting apps in 2021 have been a topic, worthy to vividly look into. This is because they have been proven to guard and guide users on managing their finances and getting the best out of the same.

While there is nothing wrong with having a hand-written budget, these AI-empowered apps have played the roles of ‘budget buddies’ to users and have assisted them to make the best possible financial decisions in the year 2021. They can also be carried about on your mobile devices. So they do not inconvenient users.

Top 5 Budgeting Apps in 2021

Upon comparing several budgeting apps available to American consumers in the year 2021, we have come up with 5 unique budgeting apps. These apps are not just great for managing budgets, they also manage the savings of users and have other unique features that are great for personal finance as well as money management.

Top budgeting apps in 2021 are;

This budgeting app owned by Empower Retirement has impressive reporting options, manages your investments and tracks your spending. Interestingly, it costs $0 to use. The time period for the free version is also unlimited. So, you don’t have to worry about subscription charges.

It gives a holistic picture of your entire financial strength, including your daily expenses and tracks your portfolio performance.

The Personal Capital is user-friendly, available for both Android and iOS users, and has a desktop version

The Mint app is a great app for the everyday consumer as it was designed to monitor daily activities.

This app gives you personalized insights into your finances, allows you to customize your budgets and monitors your subscription. When you prepare your budget with the mint app, it automatically puts your expenses in categories for clarity.

It is also available to both iOS and Android users.

  • You Need A Budget (YNAB)

You Need A Budget or YNAB as its been popularly called was specially designed to help users save money and live a debt-free life.

If you have financial goals you want to achieve, then You Need A Budget!

The period for the free version of this app lasts 34 days. After which, users will pay $14.99 monthly or $98.99 annually as the case may be (this is as of 1st of December, 2021).

Aside from tracking your financial goals, the YNAB also sends reports on your financial habits and you get support from YNAB staff online in real-time.

You can access the YNAB from both your desktop and mobile devices, as well as other devices with voice-activation enabled.

Top Budgeting Apps in 2022

  • PocketGuard

The Pocketguard is renowned to present data in simple terms. It compares the amount you have with how much your expenses are, and gives you your balance. The data are also presented in a customized pie chart, telling you which expense takes the most of your budget.

 This app also helps you to negotiate for better deals on recurring expenses like cable and cell phone subscriptions. It also has an auto-saving feature that helps you to save money automatically.

It is also available to iOS and Android users.

This app is a typical traditional envelope-style budgeting; only that the envelopes are electronic. It was designed after Japanese Kakeibo which translates to “household financial book” or “household account ledger”.

Just as you distribute your money into different envelopes for different purposes and have them labeled, the Good budget distributes the money for your expenses into several labeled e-envelopes.

Its free version period is unlimited but provides users with just 20 envelopes per account to organize their finances.

The app’s plus version, on the other hand, offers users unlimited envelopes and costs $7 per month or $60 per year. Depending on which option the user prefers.

Both iOS and Android users can download the Good budget.

The functions of budgeting apps in 2021 cannot be ignored. But before you decide to stick to any budgeting app, you may want to consider 4 important aspects of the app. They are

  • Is the app free or not? If not, how expensive is it?
  • How user-friendly is it? how smooth is the navigation? What services does the app offer?
  • It’s your finance we are talking about here. If you doubt the app’s security, then you don’t have a business using it.
  • Customer Service. If you run into a technical hurdle while using the app, what customer service options are available to you? How responsive are they? How effective are they?

What Budgeting is Not

  • As said earlier, budgeting is not a long list of bills. 
  • Budgeting cannot be made and stored in your head. It is more like you are mentally trying to justify what you are using your money for and I bet you, a couple of months or even weeks for now, you might not remember. Mental-bills-jotting is not a sustainable budgeting method. It is actually not a budgeting method at all. 
  • Keeping track of money already spent is not budgeting. You want to be able to make your money productive. Not keeping track of how you blew out a whole month’s worth in one night out. 
  • Budgeting is not a restrict-all-wants model. Budgeting is not as restrictive as people make it out to be. Making a budget does not require you to give up everything you love to purchase. 
  • Budgeting is not for poor people. A prominent misconception is that budgeting is for people who are majorly short of money. This is not true. Everyone at their own level of earning should be financially responsible and take control of their money.
  • Budgeting is only for people good at Math: This is by far one of the funniest and absolutely untrue misconceptions about budgeting. You do not necessarily have to be good at Math or employ a budgeting guru to create your financial plan. That is what some apps are created for which we will talk about later in this article.  

Eliminating these misconceptions about budgeting puts you in the right frame of mind to learn how to crush those financial goals. Now that you know what budgeting is not, let’s see what budgeting actually is. 

What is Budgeting?

Simply, budgeting is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. This involves planning how you want your money to be spent. Budgeting is so important for many reasons with the foremost benefit being that your money can solve the most pressing need you have instead of the least of your priorities. With budgeting, everything you spend for is synced to its allocated budgeting. This saves you the pain of needing something in the future and having no money to fulfill that need because a ‘want’ robbed a ‘need.’

Steps to successful budgeting 

There are four major components that every functional and proper budget should have: 

  1. Mandatory bills and expenses: These are necessary things that without which, life might be difficult. In order of priority, this comes first. For example, school fees, feeding, transport, rent, electricity etc. are basic  things we cannot do without, also known as ‘Needs.’
  2. Debt repayment: The next portion of income set aside should be allocated to debt repayment if you acquired any form of debt like student loans, mortgage, personal loans, etc. 
  3. Savings and investment: Saving means capital preservation which involves keeping money in a safe ‘place’  and coming back to it intact. Investment on the other hand is putting your money to work and giving it a chance to grow over time. Saving for a long period of time is not advisable because of the enemy called inflation. Saving also does not create an opportunity to build wealth. It only preserves your capital which might not be worth much in the coming years. This is why, money aimed at a project over some months should be put in an interest-generating savings account while money with no utility in the nearest future, be invested. 
  4. Miscellaneous/Leisure: allocating a portion of income for every expense to the last detail is not just difficult, it is also not feasible. This is why you need to budget for miscellanies as well because you never know what might come up which you didn’t quite prepare for. For example, social events and charity might require you to spend what was not budgeted for. With a miscellaneous budget set in place, it would not be difficult to spend money. If, however, money was not set aside for miscellaneous expenses, you might spend from money meant for something else thereby disrupting a plan you have set. 

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