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Budgeting apps to make your budget a success

As part of the 2021 DMK Budget Series, our editors put together a list popular apps available to make budgeting easy and successful.  Select an app that's easy to use, suited to your goals and with features that apply to your specific needs.  Many are free! 

What's included in this years Budget Series?

The 2021 DMK Budget Series includes:

Are Budget and Savings Apps safe to use?

When choosing software or apps that require personal financial information, it's best to select the app that meets your desired comfort level based on the app's systems security and encryption measures.  Consider apps that have multiple reviews and recommendations from reputable sources, along with indicators available on their site or app information that specify they have security protocol designed to keep your information safe in an effort to avoid risks of breeches and hacking.   When using savings or budget apps that link to your current bank account, know that occasionally some apps may have communication problems based on your banks encryption methods as well. 

When planning to use online/mobile app only banking alternatives, the bank should be FDIC Insured.  You should read the disclaimers so you understand the functionality of their online/mobile app - banking features, fees and limits.  You should also understand foreign ATM fees, over the counter and cash back fees and cooperating ATMs where you can withdraw your money with no fee.  

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Best Budget Apps List for 2021

1. Mint

A popular app that is known to be one of the most comprehensive FREE budget apps currently available

Features 

  • Links and tracks monthly expenses
  • Provides option to organize by spending categories 
  • Free credit report
  • Refreshed app in August using data-driven "Mintsights" which can provide financial recommendations

Cost - FREE but suggests offers for other services or apps that may have a cost


2. Albert

Set it up and forget about it.  This app has a built in automatic saver that makes it an all-in-one option for budgeting and saving

Features

  • Requires very little task management on behalf of the user
  • Analyzes income, budget, spending and financial health
  • Includes a Albert Savings Account that is FDIC insured up to $250,000 for auto transfers
  • Offers the paid premium service, Albert Genius™ that provides it's users the chance to text financial advisors money questions at any time 
  • The app pays $1 for every $100 saved for subscribers of the paid premium service, Albert Genius™ 
  • The app pays .25 for every $100 saved for non subscribers of Albert Genius™

Cost - FREE for non-subscribers of the premium service called Albert Genius™ and an amount the users deems fair for the premium service with a minimum monthly fee of $4 (most subscribers pay $6)


3. Goodbudget

Simple and clear budget app that utilizes virtual envelopes to help users control their spending

Features

  • Easy to add and edit budget that tracks your expenses, savings and income estimates
  • Sync and share budgets
  • Pie charts that help you visualize your allocations for spending
  • Schedule one time or reoccurring transactions through your bank account for automatic payments using the app

Cost - Free plan includes 10 regular envelopes and 10 annual envelopes, Plus plan is $6/month or $50/year comes with unlimited envelopes and access to e-mail support


4. Clarity Money

Budget app that has recently been acquired by Marcus, a Goldman Sachs Brand.  Marcus offers no fee, fixed rate personal loans and high yield savings accounts

Features

  • Links bank accounts, investments and loans to the app for easy management 
  • Pie charts to display finances that has indicators when overspending
  • Identifies reoccurring expenses and helps cancel unwanted accounts 
  • Includes a non-interest bearing Automatic Savings Account that is FDIC insured for easy transfer
  • Free credit score from Experian

Cost - Free app at may undergo changes once integrated with Marcus


5. YNAB

"You Need a Budget" is a debt management and budget app designed for those who are focused on immediate savings

Features

  • Asks the user for expectations for savings goal then links appropriate accounts to transfer funds accordingly by the debt manager
  • Organizes spending categorial to assist the user recognize overspending
  • Service claims that it can save new users on average $600 by the second month and over $6000 by the end of the first year

Cost - $6.99 per month billed annually at $83.99 after a free 34-day trial

-OurDMK.com


References: A portion of this article was created with information obtained from Forbes, "The Best Budgeting Apps of 2019", updated April 24, 2019, by: Kristin Stroller



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