Budgeting Apps

Hello everyone,

We recently talked about why a budget is such a great tool to control your finances.  That information isn’t as helpful to you without the practical application of creating a budget.  There are so many budgeting apps and programs available to you that can help you with this task.  Below are some apps that you can download on your computers or phone to help you create your budget.  This blog post is not a promotion for any of the apps discussed.  This blog is for informational purposes only.  I find that creating my budget in Excel is far better for me.  A budget is personal, so you will have to find what works best for you.

The list below is in no particular order.

Mint Budgeting App (Free)

As you can see from the picture above, this app is a pretty comprehensive tool.  What I like about this app is that it can give you an excellent picture of where you stand financially.  You can connect the Mint App to your bank account.  By doing this you will be able to track those incidental expenses that we seem never to count, but a dollar here and there throughout the month can add up.

Don’t be too concerned with security when using this app.  This app has the same security as your bank.  But you MUST apply due diligence nonetheless.  Make sure you are checking on your account to ensure that the expenditures you are taking on are your expenses.

Another useful feature of this app is that it will send you alerts to unusual charges.  It will also give you tips on how to stay on budget.  Mint does include your credit score.  I think it is crucial to know this information.  You need to know your financial status.

You can get the Mint apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android.  By downloading this app, you can see your budget whenever you want to at the push of a button (or a few buttons).  There is also a way for you to connect to your account via online access. A feature that I found was quite interesting is the bill pay component.  Bill pay will help you manage and pay your bills in one place.

PocketGaurd Budget App (FREE App) 


The PocketGaurd budget app also connects to your bank accounts.  A feature that lets you connect your account provides you with current transactions and balances.

Take a look at the picture above.  You will be able to see figures that will let you know what the spendable amount is currently in your pocket.  I will also let you know how much income you have in your account versus how much you have spent.  With PocketGaurd you will be able to do financial analyses of your spending to produce a clear picture of your cash flow.

You will get simple charts that are easy to understand and shows you exactly where you are spending your money.  A Starbucks coffee here-and-there might not be such an issue.  However, this app will let you know for sure if you are buying Starbucks in a way that lets you know if it is truly a problem for your budget.  These charts will help you to decide where you can cut back.

PocketGuard works on iPhoneAndroid as well as, online.  For all of my Apple “heads” (LOL…  A Kris Funny), you can also use this app on your Apple watch.

You Need a Budget (FREE 34 day Trial)

You Need A Budget (YNAB) app gives you a bit more control.  It helps you to create a budget you can follow.

YNAB focuses on four aspects of spending:

  1. It gives every dollar you have a function or a job to do in your budget
  2. It helps you to plan for infrequent expenses, like that here-and-there Starbucks Coffee purchase
  3. It helps you when or if you over spend
  4. It helps you learn how to live with less financial stress

YNAB provides learning incentives through their app with classes that helps you get started.  These classes are a free feature that comes with the service.

This app does come with a charge.  You can try it out for 34 days for free on a trial membership.  At the end of the trial, you can pay $50 a year of $5 a month.  Just like a budgeting company to give you options that will fit into your finances.

YNAB app will work on your computer, iPhone, and Android.

Good Budget (FREE with Pay upgrade)

Are you aware of the envelope method to budget your money?  Many people have had great success with this method.  Good Budget has taken the premise of the envelope method and created an app.  You can leave your envelopes at home with this budget app.

This app helps you to sync your budgets across all of your devices from iPhone to Android.  In my family, I am an Apple “head,” and my husband is an Android Athlete.  With an app like Good Budget, we can both use the same app and the same account.  Talk about collaborative budgeting; Good Budget makes it easy for everyone to participate in the family finances.

Good Budget is available on iPhone and Android for free.  However, you can obtain a pro subscription for $15 (three-month use) or $24 (for six-month use).  Personally, I find their pro subscription rather expensive for the features that you get compared to what you get with some of the other free apps.

Wally (FREE)

Wally is more comparable to an expense tracker than to a budget tracker.  Wally will let you let you log your expenses manually or with a picture of your receipt.  You will get notifications with this App.  This app is useful for students who don’t have a lot of extensive financial considerations.

Wally is free for iPhone and Android.  There was no mention of a web base use.

Level Money (FREE)

Level money helps you stick to your budget.  This app is useful for those who frequently overspend during the month.  The Level Money app lets you know what you can spend on a daily.  It can also help you with a savings plan for big purchases or to pay down your debts.

Bank account connection is also a feature of Level Money.  You can create goals for yourself.  You can make plans with this app that will help you stick to your goals even without a budget.

Level Money is free on iPhone and Android.


I could go on and on about different apps that can help you budget, however, at some point, I will start to become redundant.  I think these first six apps can get you started.  However, you can also look into these apps if the above apps are not sufficient for you, your budget and your financial goals.

I hope this was helpful information.  The research I did for this blog also helped me to look into one of these apps for my personal use.


Benefits of Budgeting


If you have 1 dollar to your name, you should begin a budget.  You may ask yourself why budgeting is important.  One word can address this question perfectly: Control.  You MUST control your money.  Even as little as $1.00 needs your attention and control.  Yes, budgeting required additional work.  Budgeting can also curtail your freedom in enjoying yourself with abandon.  Nevertheless, budgeting is your friend.  It will show you how to spend your money, how to save your money and how to grow your money.  It will prevent overspending and bad debt.  Budgeting does not prevent you from enjoying the things in life that cost money,  it ensures that you can enjoy the things you want when you want it.  Budgeting does require more work, but it pays off in dividends.

Benefits of Budgeting

1.  Control

Being intentional about how you spend your money is a sign of wise financial stewardship.  With budgeting, you control your money instead of your money controlling you.  Budgeting will prevent some stressors in your life.  You can’t put a price tag on that.  By budgeting your money, you will find that there are fewer instances of having to adjust your funds because of an expense you did not intend to occur.  It will also help you to get the things you want without depriving yourself of the things you need.  It can also help you to decide how to make adjustments to your spending.  Instead of getting a cup of Starbucks coffee every morning at a price of $5.00 a weekday, which ends up being $100 a month, you can buy a large can of coffee for $10 a month (brew at home) and use the $90 you saved to buy those cute shoes or video game you have been eyeing.

2. Setting goals

Financial goal setting is easier when you have a budget.  You avoid spending money on things that will deter the reaching of that goal.  Also, budgeting makes it easier to make ends meet each month.

3. Keeping Track of your money

Budgeting helps you to see clearly what money is coming in, how fast it is going out, and where it is going.  The end of the month is when we most question where we spent our money if we don’t keep track.  Budgeting prevents these types of mysteries in your life.  A budget will tell you what you can afford, whether you can take advantage of buying something new, investing in a new venture, or how to lower your debt.  It can also shed light on what’s important based on how you spend your money.  Budgeting puts you in a position where your money is working for you instead of against you and your goals.

4. Organizing your money

You need to categorize your money.  A budget can help you identify expenditures and savings.   It’s easier for you to make adjustments when you are financially organized.  When your financial transactions are organized it saves you time.

5. Let your money work for you

Budgeting helps you decide in advance how your money will work for you.  Investing in things that will help you accrue more money not only provides you with some security, it also helps you to gain more money without putting in more hours at your job or in your career.

6. Saving for expected and unexpected costs

Budgeting allows you to make a savings plan.  You should be putting money aside for expected costs as well as unexpected costs.  You don’t want to be caught in a financial situation that can deter your goals.  Planning for the unexpected is part of good financial stewardship.  There is no such thing as extra money.  Extra money is money that has yet to be allocated.

7. Building good relationships

If your money is attached to another person, budgeting will help you to communicate with your partner.  Your partner could be a parent that helps to finance your life, a spouse, or a future investor.  Financial teamwork prevents conflict on how money is used.  Creating a budget with your partner will help you to avoid or resolve personal differences and increase trust in the relationship.  Budgeting is your teacher on spending responsibility and accountability.

8.  Provides early warning to potential financial problems

Don’t close your eyes to the “BIG PICTURE” view of your finances.  The big picture will help you to see potential problems on the horizon.  Budgeting will help you to make adjustments before the problem occurs.

9.  Taking on good debts instead of bad debts

Debt is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes we have to take on debts, but how you assume debt will determine if it is a good plan or a mistake.  Budgeting shows you how much debt you can realistically take on without causing too much stress on your finances or on your sanity.  Debt is the fabric of the American Capitalist Regime.  Control is the key to succeeding.

10.  Producing additional money

People who budget do not throw their money away.  Budgeting eliminates unnecessary spending on things like late fees, penalties, and interest percentages.  Thes small expenditures add up over time.  It is up to you if it will be negative or positive.

In Conclusion

Budgeting does have some drawbacks.  If it is going to work, you have to make real significant changes in your spending life.  Budgeting does not save you from bad spending habits.  Budgeting helps you with your goals and your focus.  You must stick with it!

In our next post, I want to provide you with some practical tips on how to create a budget and how to live on a budget.  This is an individual exercise.  Everyone’s budget will not the same, because everyone’s financial outlook isn’t the same.   Till next time!






Money Management

Hello Students and Blog Readers,

Over the next couple of blog posts, we will be talking about finances.  It is so important to have your finances in order.  After you reach the age of 18 is never too early or too late to address your financial situation.  Students are a major population that seems to overlook their finances.  They either wait until they have a “real” paying job or they are forced to address financial issues as a result of a credit denial.

It is my hope that this series will help you to establish good financial stewardship.  However, educating yourself on financial responsibility is where you should start.

I hope you join me as we delve into this topic.  Please post your comments and question as we move forward.  I do not promise to have all of the answers, but this is where we help each other as a team. Thank you for being a part of the Tri-P Blog community.



Generally Speaking

In this category, we will talk about issues from a general perspective.  Many of the posts in this category will relate to all student regardless of student class, or major.

I want to provide you with great material that can help you in your general lives.

I hope you enjoy this category.

Kris Y. Coleman