The 8 Best Budget Apps for 2022 - NerdWallet (2023)

Basic budget apps typically connect with your financial accounts, track spending and categorize expenses so you can see where your money is going. But many apps do much more than that.

We took a look at the most popular apps and assessed their features for you. (Jump to the methodology.)

The best budget apps

  • Mint, for just about everything

  • YNAB, for hands-on zero-based budgeting

  • Goodbudget, for hands-on envelope budgeting

  • EveryDollar, for simple zero-based budgeting

  • Personal Capital, for tracking wealth and spending

  • PocketGuard, for a simplified budgeting snapshot

  • Honeydue, for budgeting with a partner

  • Fudget, for budgeting without syncing accounts

The 8 Best Budget Apps for 2022 - NerdWallet (1)

(Video) Breaking Down The Best Budgeting Apps to Improve Your Money Management | NerdWallet

Mint, for just about everything

Why we recommend it: Let’s start with Mint’s very high ratings in both the App Store and Google Play. (It also has, by far, more reviews than any other app we reviewed.) It’s free and syncs many kinds of accounts: checking and savings, credit cards, loans, investments and bills.

As far as the actual budgeting, Mint tracks your expenses and places them in budget categories. You can personalize these categories, which are unlimited. You set limits for these categories, and Mint lets you know if you’re approaching those limits.

Besides those budgeting features, Mint may help users pay down debt, save more money and track goals by providing "Mintsights." The app also shows users their credit score and net worth. Bonus: Mint provides tons of support for using the app, including a detailed FAQ.

Why you may want to think twice: Mint is impressive in many ways, including the fact that it tracks just about everything on your behalf. But that may not be ideal if you’re looking to be more actively hands-on in your budgeting. If you’re searching for an app in which you plan ahead for your money, rather than track it after the fact, other apps on our list may work better for you.

Cost: Free

Apple store rating: 4.8

Google Play rating: 4.3

YNAB, for hands-on zero-based budgeting

Why we recommend it: This app is designed so that users plan ahead for their financial decisions, rather than track past transactions. YNAB follows the zero-based budgeting system, which has you make a plan for every dollar you earn.

As soon as you get paid, you tell YNAB how much of your income should go toward various categories, including expenses, goals and savings. The idea is that you become more intentional with your money when you’re prompted to actively decide what to do with it.

With all this decision making, YNAB is about as hands-on as you can get. To help users trek up that learning curve, YNAB’s website offers many educational resources describing exactly how to budget and use the app.

YNAB allows you to link your checking and savings accounts, as well as credit cards and loans. The app works on the phone, desktop, iPad, Apple Watch and Alexa.

Why you may want to think twice: You have to be committed to keep up with YNAB. By design, it works best for users who want to get hands-on while planning for their money. Also, its price is high compared to the other apps on our list.

Cost: Pay either $14.99 per month or $99 per year, although you can try it out in a free 34-day trial. College students can use YNAB for free for a year.

Apple store rating: 4.8

Google Play rating: 4.6

Goodbudget, for hands-on envelope budgeting

Why we recommend it: Goodbudget is more about planning for your finances than tracking previous transactions. This app is based on the envelope budgeting system, in which you portion out your monthly income toward specific spending categories (called envelopes).

This app doesn’t connect your bank accounts. You manually add account balances (that you can pull from your bank’s website), as well as cash amounts, debts and income. Then you assign money toward envelopes.

You can access the app from your phone and the web. You’ll also find many helpful articles and videos that help you use the app.

Goodbudget offers a free version that allows one account, two devices and limited envelopes. Its paid version, Goodbudget Plus, allows unlimited envelopes and accounts, up to five devices and other perks.

Why you may want to think twice: Because you can’t sync financial accounts, you must enter every expense. If you’re not up for that work, the app probably won’t be effective.

Cost: Goodbudget is free. Goodbudget Plus is $8 per month or $70 per year.

Apple store rating: 4.7

Google Play rating: 4.3

EveryDollar, for simple zero-based budgeting

Why we recommend it: This apps offers a zero-based budgeting framework that’s simpler (and perhaps easier to manage) than YNAB.

(Video) Best Budgeting Apps for 2022 (ALL-NEW Features!)

Let’s start with the straightforward free version of EveryDollar. You don’t sync accounts, but rather manually enter incoming and outgoing money throughout the month. You also categorize line items in your budget and set reminders for bill payments.

The premium, paid version of EveryDollar includes those features but also allows you to connect with your bank account. Your transactions automatically appear in the app, which also provides custom reports and recommendations based on your habits. You can also connect your saving and investing accounts.

Why you may want to think twice: The free version of EveryDollar is pretty bare-bones, and the premium version is pretty pricey. Also, the app’s website offers few resources to help you understand how to use the app before signing up for a trial. Recently, its overall rating on Google Play has fallen from 4 to 3.5.

Cost: The basic version of EveryDollar is free. You can try the premium version for free for 14 days. After the trial, you can pay $79.99 a year or $12.99 a month.

Apple store rating: 4.8

Google Play rating: 3.5

Personal Capital, for tracking wealth and spending

Why we recommend it: Personal Capital is primarily an investment tool, but its free app includes features helpful for budgeters looking to track their spending.

You can connect and monitor checking, savings and credit card accounts, as well as IRAs, 401(k)s, mortgages and loans. The app provides a spending snapshot by listing recent transactions by category. You can customize those categories and see the percentage of total monthly spending each category represents.

Personal Capital also serves up a net worth and portfolio tracker. The app can be accessed through both phone and desktop.

Why you may want to think twice: If your goal is to plan out your spending and saving, you may want to go another route. This app’s budgeting features helped it make the list, but its investment tools are what make it unique. Other apps have more in-the-weeds budgeting capabilities.

Cost: Free

Apple store rating: 4.7

Google Play rating: 4.3

🤓Nerdy Tip

Another app worth checking out is Copilot (iOS only). That app tracks investments, in addition to tracking and categorizing expenses.

PocketGuard, for a simplified budgeting snapshot

Why we recommend it: PocketGuard’s catalog of features isn’t the most robust on our list, but that’s part of why we like it. The app is big on simplifying.

You can connect your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investments and track bills. With that intel, the app shows how much you have left to spend after setting aside funds for necessities, bills and goals.

PocketGuard also tracks your net worth and gives you the option to not link your accounts and instead track your finances manually. The paid version, PocketGuard Plus, offers a debt payoff plan, the option to export your transactions and other features.

Why you may want to think twice: This app does a lot of work for you. That’s good for a mostly hands-off experience, but less so if you want to plan for your money.

Cost: Basic PocketGuard is free. PocketGuard Plus is $7.99 per month, $34.99 per year or $79.99 for a lifetime purchase.

Apple store rating: 4.7

Google Play rating: 4.4

(Video) 4 Budgeting Systems You Need to Know

Honeydue, for budgeting with a partner

Why we recommend it: Honeydue is designed so you and your partner can view both your financial pictures in one app. Both partners can sync bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investments. (Although you can choose how much you share with your significant other.)

The free budget app automatically categorizes expenses, but you’re also able to create custom categories. Together, you can set up monthly limits on each of these categories, and Honeydue will alert you when you or your partner is nearing them.

Honeydue also sends reminders for upcoming bills and lets you chat and send emojis.

Why you may want to think twice: Like a few other apps on our list, Honeydue leans more toward reflecting and learning about past transactions, rather than planning ahead for expenses. It's also recently lost ground on Google Play ratings, dropping to 3.7 from 4.1.

Cost: Free

Apple store rating: 4.5

Google Play rating: 3.7

Fudget, for budgeting without syncing accounts

Why we recommend it: Consider Fudget if you’d rather not sync financial accounts and would prefer a straightforward, calculator-esque interface over fancy features.

In Fudget’s ultra-simple design, you make lists of incoming and outgoing money and track your balances. There aren’t even any budget categories. The Pro account allows you to also export your budget, along with other extras.

Why you may want to think twice: This app is likely too simple for you if you’d prefer categorization of expenses, insights or just about anything else besides the basics. And if you don’t have it in you to log every expense, it’s likely best to look elsewhere. We also didn’t find much in the way of user guides.

Cost: Free for Fudget; $3.99 one-time purchase to upgrade to Fudget Pro.

Apple store rating: 4.8

Google Play rating: 4.7

Budgeting resources from NerdWallet

The free NerdWallet app lets you track your cash, see your net worth and debt, and track your credit score. We chose not to include ourselves in the list above in order to present an unbiased view.

Before you build a budget

NerdWallet breaks down your spending and shows you ways to save.

(Video) BEST BUDGETING APPS: I Tried 18 Apps!!

The 8 Best Budget Apps for 2022 - NerdWallet (2)

We also offer other free options you can try:

  • Use a budget planner to record your expenses.

  • Explore online budget spreadsheets for a quick check of your finances.

  • Estimate how to divide your monthly income with a budget calculator.

  • Try an expense tracker app.

Methodology to identify the best budget apps

To come up with the lists above, we first reviewed 18 money apps. We appreciated apps that allowed users to do the following:

  • Sync several types of financial accounts (and opt out of syncing).

  • Plan ahead for financial decisions versus simply tracking past transactions.

  • See their expenses categorized and create custom categories.

  • Track bills and receive alerts for upcoming due dates.

  • Share financial information with partners.

  • Access the app via both the mobile app and desktop.

We also gave unofficial bonus points for nice-to-have features, such as showing credit score and net worth, as well as investment trackers and detailed help guides. We also noted apps that were free or relatively inexpensive.

The experiences of real users matter, too. So we read reviews of the apps in the iOS App Store and Google Play, noting complaints and kudos. We only included apps that received at least 4.5 stars (out of 5) in the iOS App Store or at least 3.5 out of 5 on Google Play, as well as at least 1,000 reviews. Those ratings were checked and updated on Dec. 12, 2022.

(Video) I Compared the Top Budgeting Apps (Here's What I Found)


Is NerdWallet budget app safe? ›

The NerdWallet app is safe. NerdWallet does not store bank passwords or credentials. When you download the app, this is what you'll see on the homepage. You'll see your net worth, credit score, cash flow, and more.

What is the 50 20 30 rule? ›

One of the most common percentage-based budgets is the 50/30/20 rule. The idea is to divide your income into three categories, spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings.

What is the 40 20 10 rule? ›

40% of your income goes towards your savings. 30% of your income goes towards necessary expenses (food, rent, bills, etc.). 20% of your income goes towards discretionary spending (entertainment, travel, etc.). 10% of your income goes towards contributory activities (donations, charity, tithe, etc.).

Is the 50 30 20 rule realistic? ›

The 50/30/20 has worked for some people — especially in past years when the cost of living was lower — but it's especially unfeasible for low-income Americans and people who live in expensive cities like San Francisco or New York. There, it's next to impossible to find a rent or mortgage at half your take-home salary.

What is better than NerdWallet? ›'s top 5 competitors in December 2022 are:,,,, and more. According to Similarweb data of monthly visits,'s top competitor in January 2023 is with 19.1M visits.

Does NerdWallet hurt your credit score? ›

No. Checking your credit score on NerdWallet only prompts a soft inquiry on your credit report - not a hard inquiry - and will never impact your score in any way, no matter how often you check it.

What is cash stuffing? ›

Cash stuffing is none other than the envelope system with Gen Z flair. As explained by money guru Dave Ramsey, the envelope system is a budgeting tool that has you allocating cash into different buckets (by way of designated envelopes) as a strategy to control monthly spending.

How much should one person spend on groceries per month? ›

Monthly Grocery Budget

The average cost of food per month for one person ranges from $150 to $300, depending on age. However, these national averages vary based on where you live and the quality of your food purchases.

What are the four walls? ›

Basically, the four walls are the things you absolutely must pay for to keep on living. As Dave Ramsey lists them, the four walls are food, shelter, basic clothing, and basic transportation.

What is the 70 20 10 rule money? ›

The biggest chunk, 70%, goes towards living expenses while 20% goes towards repaying any debt, or to savings if all your debt is covered. The remaining 10% is your 'fun bucket', money set aside for the things you want after your essentials, debt and savings goals are taken care of.

What is the thumb rule to buy a car? ›

Remember the thumb rule: Always remember the thumb rule of not spending more than half of your annual income on a new car. For instance, if an individual earns Rs 10 lakh per annum, the ideal budget for the vehicle would be Rs. 5 lakhs.

What is the $27.40 rule? ›

As a general rule, you can save $10,000 in a year by saving $27.40 a day, $192.30 a week, $384.62 every two weeks, or $833.33 a month. It will take discipline, cutting back, and increasing income to make this happen.

Which budget rule is best? ›

The basic rule of thumb is to divide your monthly after-tax income into three spending categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or paying off debt. By regularly keeping your expenses balanced across these main spending areas, you can put your money to work more efficiently.

What is the best money rule? ›

The 50-30-20 rule is a common way to allocate the spending categories in your personal or household budget. The rule targets 50% of your after-tax income toward necessities, 30% toward things you don't need—but make life a little nicer—and the final 20% toward paying down debt and/or adding to your savings.

Is 1% rule still realistic? ›

The 1% rule is a guideline that real estate investors use to choose viable investment options for their portfolios. Although the rule has helped many investors make wise decisions regarding their investment properties, the current real estate market may make following the 1% rule unrealistic.

Who are the top NerdWallet competitors? ›

Top 10 NerdWallet competitors
  • Frank.
  • SmartAsset.
  • Credit Sesame.
  • Fintastico.
  • GoBear.
  • The Penny Hoarder.
  • Evolution Finance.
  • Credit Karma.

Who is NerdWallet owned by? ›

In 2009, Tim and co-founder Jake Gibson started NerdWallet with a goal to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions. Since then, he's been busy as CEO of NerdWallet, helping inspire our Nerds to bring clarity to personal finance. "NerdWallet is on a mission shared by a dedicated group of Nerds.

Is NerdWallet worth buying? ›

Yes, NerdWallet is a credible and unbiased resource. It holds positive ratings with a variety of review aggregators for its money-tracking tools, mobile app, and personal finance reviews. Besides editorial content, it's noteworthy for its financial tracking, handling of credit score issues, and mobile app.

Can NerdWallet be trusted? ›

Is NerdWallet Safe to Use? Overall, NerdWallet is safe to use.

Is NerdWallet better than Credit Karma? ›

Credit Karma is likely the best option for you if your primary concern is managing or improving your credit score. If your primary concern is budgeting and finance tracking, NerdWallet is likely the better choice.

What FICO score does NerdWallet use? ›

NerdWallet uses VantageScore® 3.0 and your TransUnion® credit report data. Most lending decisions are made using the FICO® model.

What is a suspicious amount of cash? ›

The $10,000 Rule

Ever wondered how much cash deposit is suspicious? The Rule, as created by the Bank Secrecy Act, declares that any individual or business receiving more than $10 000 in a single or multiple cash transactions is legally obligated to report this to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What is the 100 envelope challenge? ›

The "100 Envelopes Challenge" is TikTok's latest savings hack. It promises to help users save up to $5,000 by stashing cash in labeled envelopes over the course of 100 days.

How much cash should I hide at home? ›

“We would recommend between $100 to $300 of cash in your wallet, but also having a reserve of $1,000 or so in a safe at home,” Anderson says. Depending on your spending habits, a couple hundred dollars may be more than enough for your daily expenses or not enough.

How can I cut my grocery bill by 90 percent? ›

  1. Shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi or Trader Joes. ...
  2. Compare prices between stores — even if it means driving to a few different ones at first. ...
  3. Plan your meals for the week based on what's on sale. ...
  4. Clip coupons and look for discount codes. ...
  5. Always, always, always eat your leftovers.
Jun 14, 2022

What is the average weekly grocery bill for 2? ›

Feeding Two Adults

Here are the USDA weekly grocery spending guidelines for households with one adult female and one adult male: Thrifty: $119.40. Low-cost: $122.90. Moderate-cost: $152.30.

What is average monthly grocery bill for 2? ›

Average Cost of Groceries per Month for 2 People

A male and a female between the ages of 19 and 50 who are grocery shopping as a household can expect to spend between $477 a month if they're being thrifty, and $763 if they're being a little more freewheeling with their spending.

What should be the first priority in a budget? ›

1. Mortgage or Rent Payments. A safe home for you and your family always comes first, so paying your rent or mortgage should always be your highest priority payment.

What are the only three things you can do with money? ›

You can only do three things with your money. You can spend it. You can invest it. Or you can give it away.

What is the 10 20 30 rule in finance? ›

Popularized by Elizabeth Warren in her book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, this budgeting rule involves putting 50% of your after-tax income into mandatory living expenses or needs, 30% into wants, and 20% toward savings and debt repayment.

What should I cut out to save money? ›

But you might need some inspiration for where to start. Here you go: 24 ways to cut spending and save more money!
Here are some of our final tips on how to cut spending.
  • Take shopping apps off your phone. ...
  • Go on a short-term spending freeze. ...
  • Ditch your credit cards. ...
  • Buy used. ...
  • Wait before you buy.
Feb 16, 2023

What's the 30 day rule with money? ›

What Is the 30-Day Rule? Instead of allowing yourself to make that impulse purchase, wait for 30 days before you buy — that's the 30-day rule. Following this rule means you defer all non-essential purchases for 30 days, which gives you ample time to think about whether you really need to make the purchase.

What is the financial Rule of 7? ›

We saw in the previous section that investing in the S&P 500 has historically allowed investors to double their money about every six or seven years. Your initial $1,000 investment will grow to $2,000 by year 7, $4,000 by year 14, and $6,000 by year 18.

What should you not say when buying a car? ›

Things to Never Say to a Dealer
  1. “I'm ready to buy now.” ...
  2. “I can afford this much per month.” ...
  3. “Yes, I have a trade-in.” ...
  4. “I'm only buying the car with cash.” ...
  5. “I'm not sure…which model do you think I need?” ...
  6. “Oh, I've wanted one of these all my life.” ...
  7. “I'll take whatever the popular options are.”

What should you not do when buying a car? ›

What to avoid when buying a used car
  1. Not test-driving the car thoroughly. ...
  2. Not looking at maintenance ratings. ...
  3. Not getting a mechanic to look at it. ...
  4. Not asking about the vehicle history. ...
  5. Not asking for the car you want. ...
  6. Not negotiating up from the dealer cost. ...
  7. Not reviewing the final sale paperwork carefully.

What is the 24 10 rule for a car? ›

The 24-10 rule for cars states that you need at least 24 months of continuous insurance coverage, with no gaps or lapses in cover, before you can get the maximum benefit from a car insurance policy. The policy must also include ten years of no-claims bonus.

Can I trust NerdWallet app? ›

Is NerdWallet Safe to Use? Overall, NerdWallet is safe to use.

Is NerdWallet app legit? ›

Yes, NerdWallet is legitimate. It is a popular personal finance website that has helped many people make better financial decisions. More than 77,000 consumers have given the NerdWallet app a 4.8 out of 5 star rating, and the website provides financial guidance to more than 100 million consumers each year.

What is the safest budgeting app? ›

  • Best Budgeting Apps.
  • Empower.
  • Mint.
  • YNAB (You Need A Budget)
  • PocketGuard.
  • Goodbudget.
  • Stash.
  • Honeydue.
3 days ago

Does NerdWallet sell your info? ›

You can learn about NerdWallet's security practices here. NerdWallet does not sell your account information to third parties, nor do NerdWallet employees have the ability to see or access your account details.

Why does NerdWallet want my SSN? ›

For example, we may ask for your Social Security number, or a portion of it, to verify your identity in connection with services that enable you to see your current credit score or other financial information.

Is it safe to link my bank account to NerdWallet? ›

How does NerdWallet protect my personal information? We use industry-standard security controls, such as cryptography, to protect your personally identifying information. And our partners Yodlee, TransUnion, and Plaid do the same.

Is there a fee for NerdWallet? ›

Best of all, it's free. See all your savings, credit cards, and investments together in one place. With everything connected, you'll get timely nerdy insights so you can be sure you're making the right financial decisions for you. Best of all, it's free.

What credit score does NerdWallet use? ›

The two types of credit scores most commonly used in credit decisions are the FICO score and its competitor, VantageScore®. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to present your credit report and a VantageScore® 3.0.

Is there anything better than Mint? ›

Best Alternatives to Mint Budget Tracker
  • Personal Capital (Empower)–Best Overall Alternative to ...
  • Tiller Money–Best for those who love spreadsheets. ...
  • Monarch Money–Best for Couples. ...
  • CountAbout–Best for converting data from Mint. ...
  • Simplifi–Best budgeting app for smartphones. ...
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)–Best for budgeting.
Dec 22, 2022

What app is better than Mint? ›

List Of The Top Mint Alternatives
  • Personal Capital.
  • Tiller.
  • YNAB (You Need A Budget)
  • Quicken.
  • Banktivity.
  • Every Dollar.
  • Moneydance.
  • PocketSmith.
Feb 12, 2023

What is the number one budgeting app? ›

Compare the Best Budgeting Apps
AppFree TrialPrice
You Need a Budget (YNAB): Best Overall34 days$99 per year
Mint: Best Free Budgeting AppN/AFree
Simplifi by Quicken: Best for Cash Flow30 days$47.99 per year
PocketGuard: Best for OverspendersFree version available, no free trial of paid versionFree / $39.99 per year
2 more rows

How does NerdWallet make its money? ›

Their business model is based on affiliate commissions. Financial companies, such as credit card companies or banks offering personal loans, pay NerdWallet for every sign up that is generated by NerdWallet's platforms.

What is the primary purpose of NerdWallet? ›

NerdWallet is a personal finance resource with a mission to provide clarity to consumers across all of life's financial decisions.

What are the benefits of using NerdWallet? ›

NerdWallet's benefits
  • Health and wellness. Competitive health insurance for you and your dependents, plus mental health support through Ginger. ...
  • Retirement support. Along with competitive salaries, we offer retirement solutions, matching 401Ks for all Nerds. ...
  • True work-life balance.


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