The best budgeting app for 2020

The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has caused millions of people to be out of work. Almost 40% of Americans need to borrow money to cover an emergency. Coronavirus is a pandemic and for most of us, causing abnormal working and living conditions.

Getting your finances on track isn’t as easy as it looks. Detailing every dollar that comes in and goes out can be exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you have a budget in place, you’ll spend much less time updating and maintaining it. Using a budgeting app helps you manage money straight from your phone.

Since everyone has different styles of how they prefer to handle their money, the “best” budgeting app for you will depend on your style and goals. For instance, some apps (like You Need A Budget) foster ongoing diligence around tracking, while apps like Mint are more passive. Here’s a roundup of the best based on App Store reviews and personal experience using the apps.

Read more: The best tax software 

While you can set and maintain a monthly budget in Personal Capital, it’s the culmination of budgeting, investment monitoring, and retirement goal-tracking that make it worthy of a download. 

When you sign up, you’ll include retirement-focused information, like your age, when you plan on retiring, and how much money you have in your savings and investment accounts. Once you link the accounts you want to be managed, like your checking, savings, and investment accounts, you’ll be able to get a general overview of where your money is going. The charts make it easy to track your expenses and cash flow from month-to-month. It’s a great app to monitor not only where your money is going, but if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals and other long-term plans. 

Cost: Free.

Download Personal Capital.

Many budgeting apps allow you to link bank accounts so the app can track where your money is going. You Need a Budget (YNAB) does this but also gives users the option to manually add transactions to avoid linking bank accounts. This is helpful for those who don’t want to let third-party apps have access to their financial accounts — or those who prefer manual logging.

But if you do want to connect yours, you can. YNAB connects not only with major banks, but local credit unions and institutions as well. You can also add credit cards and then immediately set a goal for it, like paying off your balance over time or creating a budget to include your entire balance.

After linking all your accounts you want to be monitored, you’ll give every dollar currently in your accounts an assignment. Rule No. 1 of YNAB is “give every dollar a job.” This means that you shouldn’t have any leftover money by the time everything is assigned. (If you do, leftovers can go towards emergency savings, investments or retirement contributions. Or even fun things like birthday parties and vacations.)

The greatest difference between YNAB and many other budgeting apps is you only budget the money you have; YNAB doesn’t allow “forecasting,” or creating budgets for future incoming dollars. 

It doesn’t just end with tracking your money; YNAB wants to make sure you understand the importance of financial management. They offer free daily workshops on budgeting, debt, building savings, and more, along with a rich library of educational resources. 

After signing up, you’ll get to use the app for free for the first 34 days. After that, it’s $84 a year. It’s a hefty cost, especially if you’re already strapped for cash and need a budget app like YNAB to help get you on track. But hundreds of thousands of users swear by this app, with many claiming the savings from using YNAB far outweigh the cost. 

Cost: Free for the first 34 days;…

Read More: The best budgeting app for 2020

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