New year, new budgeting apps?

2020 is the start of not only a new year, but a new decade and many find themselves resolving to better themselves physically, spiritually, and financially. If you find yourself among those looking to get a handle on their financial situation but find it overwhelming to tackle, and perhaps don’t know where to start, fear not! Here is a list of 2020’s best budgeting apps.  Every budgeting app on this list is easy to use and understand, even if you are new to managing money!

1. Mint

The first of our budgeting apps is Mint! designed by Intuit (who brought us TurboTax and Quickbooks), it is no surprise that it is found on many lists like this, and for good reasons! Mint is an intuitive tool to monitor your finances with an easy-to-use interface and real-time spending tracking. The app syncs to your bank accounts, tracking your bills, spending, payments, and investing. You can access the app through iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Colourful diagrams of your spending and sprouting trees that grow with your investments serve as an additional benefit to the visual learner. Mint promises to “help you effortlessly manage your finances” and by doing so it has earned its place on this list.

Cost: Free

Pros: Simple to use, links automatically to your accounts, real-time spending profile and available on many platforms.

Cons: Targeted ads, access to personal information, and no French support.

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2. You Need A Budget (YNAB):

You Need A Budget is another favourite among budgeters and lay-people alike. YNAB assumes a zero-based budgeting system, which allocates your entire income for the month into either planned spending or savings. By assigning every dollar you make, the app does two things. It grants insight into your spending habits and it motivates you to adhere to them as you take on a more active role in your finances. YNAB provides you access to classes to learn better money management, promising to give you “total control of your money.” Visual graphs break down the “jobs” for your money, and allow you to watch your savings grow! Say goodbye to living paycheck to paycheck in 2020 with YNAB.

Cost: $6.99/ month or $83.99/ year

Pros: 34-day free trial with an additional 12 months for students, option to sync to bank accounts or input manually, real-time information from multiple devices, access to classes.

Cons: Fees, bills annually as soon as the trial ends, requires active use and no French support

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3. Mylo

Also known to many as Canadian Acorns, Mylo connects to your credit and debit cards through your bank account and rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar, putting the excess into an investment of your choice. This is a perfect app for those saving for anything from a trip to a home or even retirement. This isn’t designed as a budgeting app, but it will help you save for a rainy day and will help with budget planning.

One typical downfall with investments (other than market fluctuations) is that investing sometimes does not align with your ethics, but you can sleep like a baby knowing that all investment categories are Socially Responsible Investments. These support companies that support a number of causes from fighting climate change to sustainable development. If you are feeling generous, you are also able to set up a “round-up to give” account where excess money will be transferred to a Canadian charity of your choice! Mylo offers a way to save for that financial goal of yours while also doing some good.

Cost: $3/month

Pros: Ethics, set-and-forget, withdraw investments the next day, cashback incentives and exclusive discounts.

Cons: Market fluctuations.

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4. Mvelopes

Mvelopes uses the “cash envelope” method where you allocate money into envelopes or categories for the month. Once the money from an envelope runs out, you are done with that category for the month. Mvelopes uses this tried and true method and takes it digital by directly linking to your bank accounts and credit cards. This is the app to use if you are an over-spender, as it forces you to stick to your budget. It is available on iOS, Android and desktop. Build your self-control and your savings with Mvelopes and “change your money habits for good.”

Cost: $6/mo

Pros: Easy to use and learn, familiar system

Cons: No guidance without paying for Plus or Complete

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5. Pocket Guard

Pocket Guard does the math many of us do at the beginning of every pay period. It factors in your income, bills, and payments and tells you exactly how much money you have left for the month. The app links to your bank account, where you can set up pending payments for all your bills and set aside what you want for savings and estimated groceries. Everything leftover is money for take-aways, coffees, and other non-essentials. There is a Pocket Guard Plus option for those who also wish to keep detailed track of their spending and investments at $4/mo. The app is available on iOS, Android and desktop to help you prosper financially.

Cost: Free

Pros: Easy to use, program recurring income, set recurring bills, spending limits 

Cons: App has a few bugs with recurring payments, many Canadian banks not supported

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The apps above will help you reach your 2020 financial goals and gain independence over your future. Finances can be scary and overwhelming when you have little to no training in the field. These apps are helpful tools to allow you to gain an understanding of basic budgeting and investing while making it more approachable. However, no tool, no matter how well-made, is a substitute for a professional. 

If you’re looking to review your budget to get a better rate on your mortgage or set you up for your first home purchase you can get in touch with me here!

Here’s to a prosperous and independent new year and a new decade!