The 9 Best Budgeting Apps for 2020

Best Budgeting Apps for 2020

A new year provides ample opportunity to start anew in innumerable ways. That simple turn of the calendar is marked by well-wishes, resolutions and plans for the 12 months ahead. And, for many, that includes vital financial decisions.

Whether it’s goal setting for 2020 or budgeting wisely with a new decade, the undertaking can be incredibly daunting. Luckily, help is available at your fingertips. Financial control is just a few swipes away with popular phone apps that aid in spending tracking, credit improvement, cent by cent saving and much more.

Budget Apps

With an abundance of apps at your disposal, we’ve completed the hard work by narrowing down to the best nine apps currently available. These apps not only simplify the budgeting process, but immensely aid those who need a knowledgeable, guiding hand.

Here are the best budget apps for 2020:

1. Mint

The increasingly popular Mint service is available across the United States and Canada, providing a variety of management services to put you back on top of the almighty dollar. Mint offers unlimited and up-to-date credit scores, reminders for upcoming bills, warnings when accounts are low on funds, easy budget creation and financial suggestions based on spending habits. It’s an all-in-one service that boasts simple setup and ease-of-access – and all available with just one download.

  • Cost: Free
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: If you’re new to the budgeting business or seeking simple and free assistance.

Top Dollar Takeaway: As a product of the Intuit brand – think TurboTax and QuickBooks – Mint has ample financial knowledge behind its brand.


YNAB (why-nab), or “You Need A Budget,” is a multi-platform personal budget program. Launched in September 2004, YNAB has grown and evolved in its 16-year history. Today, it is available as multiple apps – from your cell phone to Alexa and the Apple Watch – and teaches users how to prioritize and plan through a proactive system (one that plans for every earned dollar). YNAB claims that new budgeters save approximately $600 by their second month and more than $6,000 across the first year, all via real-time information, debt paydown features, goal tracking, graph and chart reports, personal support and a top priority of security.

  • Cost: Subscription plans at $11.99 monthly or $84 annually
  • Operating System: Android, iOS, iPad, Apple Watch and Alexa
  • It’s for you if…: You’re a visual learner.

Top Dollar Takeaway: YNAB extends a 34-day trial to new users, allowing more than a month to experience its budgeting benefits.

3. PocketGuard

It’s easy to overspend, which is precisely what PocketGuard combats with its app. The brand helps to simplify personal finance by tracking spending, creating budgets and lowering bill amounts, so “you can spend more time living while staying on top of your finances.” The app shares the big budget picture with easy access to credit cards, accounts, loans and investments in a single place as well as autopilot features and transactional categorization for a better understanding of finances.

  • Cost: Free
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You need a simple and straightforward way to budget.

Top Dollar Takeaway: PocketGuard doesn’t just budget, but helps to discover hidden savings toward long-term financial health. This platform can assist in bill payment negotiation, lower interest rates, higher interest savings accounts and more.

4. Personal Capital

When it comes to budgeting, savvy investments often play a critical role. Personal Capital is an online investment tool that boasts its ability to “transform financial lives.” The company has more than $12 billion in assets currently under management with more than 22,000 clients across the U.S. It routinely aids in account monitoring, management of net worth, robust investment portfolios, retirement planning and more, in addition to basic and broad views for budgeting.

  • Cost: Free for the basic app; Advanced features (such as wealth management) have varied fees
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You have significant dollars and cents to invest.

Top Dollar Takeaway: Personal Capital extends FDIC insured accounts, 1.55% annual percentage yield for all accounts and personal capital advisors dedicated to investment assistance and wealth management.

5. Albert

Albert wants to do the work for you. Calling itself a “new type of financial service,” Albert allows users to connect their financial accounts to the app then let the business do the tough work. Through proprietary algorithms, the brand details spending and savings via auto transfers up to three times per week. You can also operate the program entirely through text messages.

  • Cost: Free for basic; Subscription fees for Albert Genius
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You don’t want to be a hands-on budgeter.

Top Dollar Takeaway: Access up to $100 from your next paycheck with Albert Instant – a stress-free feature from the app that advances cash (and no interest, late fees or credit check) with automatic repayment occurring on your next payday.

6. Goodbudget

Goodbudget aids users in categorizing their spending and portioning income toward those specific designations (i.e. the envelope system). Choose your own categories and, each month, set aside what you need for various bills as well as groceries, gas, debt payoff, leisure and other items.

  • Cost: Free with fees ($6 monthly or $50 annually) for a Plus account
  • Operating System: Android and iOS as well as the web
  • It’s for you if…: You are a fan of the envelope system.

Top Dollar Takeaway: Multiple devices can access the same account, allowing couples or families to share a budget.

7. Mvelopes

Also capitalizing on the envelope system, appropriately named Mvelopes extends a system that reduces stress, budgets bucks and cultivates debt reduction. The app’s approach has four steps to financial freedom: give your money a purpose, avoid debt, simplify and plan for tomorrow.

  • Cost: $6/month or $60/year with Plus and Complete options available
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You want live chat support and weekly webinars.

Top Dollar Takeaway: A free month at any level is available for new Mvelopes users.

8. Clarity Money

Trim the budget, reduce and organize expenses, track spending, monitor your credit score – all with comprehensive budgeting app Clarity Money. Link your financial accounts and utilize pie charts to revamp your spending habits.

  • Cost: Free
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You need to track and cancel your lingering subscription services.

Top Dollar Takeaway: It’s been touted as “App of the Day’ by Apple in July 2018 and is backed by financial leader Goldman Sachs Bank.

9. Wally

Considered a personal finance app, Wally sets itself apart by not connecting to your bank accounts and providing no-frills budgeting. You can track expenses and income, budget appropriately and avoid overspending through a simple and straightforward system.

  • Cost: Free
  • Operating System: Android and iOS
  • It’s for you if…: You have a long-held love for Excel spreadsheets.

Top Dollar Takeaway: Wally is available in 18 languages with support for nearly every foreign currency.

You might be a pro already at budget creation or you may be new to the task. But novices and experts alike often need a helping hand, and these apps are at the quite convenient ready.

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Marissa Anwar

Marissa Anwar is a NYC and Toronto based executive with Ph.D in Genetics, and is the Managing Director of Thirty Six Montsh; one of the first personal finance sites in Canada. Her extensive corporate background includes stints in bio-tech, telecommunications, UNTWO, blockchain, (named one of the top 8 women in Blockchain in 2018), influencer marketing (launched influencer marketing projects for credit card companies and airlines). She most recently tackled the role of VP, Innovation and Marketing specializing in digital and broadcast media. She is also part of the Forbes Communication Panel.