The 4 Best Budgeting Apps and Why Each One's a Winner

Do you even need a budget app? Well, if you're a fan of having more money, you'll need an app to track that money. With more than 2 billion smartphones used today, the world is obviously moving towards a more electronic lifestyle, as pointed out by Northeastern University experts.

The only problem is, ironically, the endless list of choices. It can be hard to know where to begin.

Fortunately, we can help. Here are our picks for the best budgeting apps available, and why each one outshines the standard money-tracking app.

MINT
Even if you've never personally used a budgeting app, you've likely heard of Mint. With 15 million users, Mint is the most popular of all web-based budget applications. This app is free (CRUCIAL for those trying to honor a budget) and is currently available for both Apple and Android platforms. The strength of Mint is in its versatility and ease of use. Setting up an account takes a few short minutes and you can see the state of your finances at a glance. It allows you to link your credit, debit, and investment accounts. Want to know your net worth? Mint can tell you that! (Or maybe you really DON'T want to see that in writing, but the option is there).

Once you've learned your way around, you have the ability to get extremely detailed – which for some is where the app loses its appeal. For most, though, its ability to give you an accurate picture of your budget and financial standing is a life saver.

PROSPER DAILY
The ProsperDaily app, previously called "Bill Guard," is fabulous. Like Mint, it's also free to users. When compared to Mint it isn't as robust, but offers more user-friendly navigation for the everyday consumer. ProsperDaily helps you build and monitor your credit as you stick with your spending plan by offering relevant insights like "You're paying high interest on your credit cards." What makes it stand out among budget apps is its identity theft protection software that has saved countless users from the headache of dealing with fraud. Another cool feature provides consumers the ability to flag suspicious charges and warn other users at the same time. In that sense, it's like Waze - for your budget!

YOU NEED A BUDGET (YNAB)
Can a budget app have a cult following? Apparently, yes! You Need A Budget users are passionate about it, which is arguably the most reliable form of advertising. YNAB uses some different approaches compared to other budget apps. One stand out attribute is it's accountability feature. You can join forces with another user and hold each other accountable for reaching your finance goals. A downside to the app is its inability to track your investments.

Mvelopes
Part philosophy, part mobile app, all helpful, Mvelopes takes the popular "envelopes" method of budgeting and links it to your smart phone for on-the-go decision making. If you hate your debt, this program's for you. You're given up to 25 digital envelopes to work with, and once your cash in one is gone, it's gone. That is, it's gone until you get paid again. The app comes with access to a supportive community of like-minded savers, so you can browse Q&A's or ask your own questions for quick, real-life answers.

Determining the best budgeting app for you may take some trial and error. Don't be afraid to try a couple and see how they work for you. For even more options, check out Forbes' comprehensive run down of what's available on the budget app marketplace today. Your bank account will thank you!

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