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Best Budgeting App

The Best Budgeting Apps in Canada to Make the Most of Your Money

No one likes to budget but you need a way to make sure your bills are paid each month. To successfully manage a budget you need to be somewhat disciplined and stick with it. There is no one right budgeting method that will work for everyone. Some people will love tracking on a spreadsheet; others are comfortable with online budget apps. If you are the latter, we have compiled a list of 4 of the best budgeting apps for you to consider.

What are Budgeting Apps?

Budgeting apps integrate with your banking to keep track of your spending. Using a budgeting app is similar to tracking your expenses on a budgeting spreadsheet, budget template, or excel budget template. The beauty of a budget app is that it records everything automatically, so you don’t have to spend time tracking your expenses and manually inputting them onto a spreadsheet.

How Budgeting Apps Work

Depending on the app, you can link your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments to the app, and it will automatically track your income and expenses. Another feature is that the app will let you see how much you spend in various categories. You’ll be able to know if you are over budget, under budget, or on budget with your estimated expenses.

You can also set up the app to send notifications, so you’ll know if your balance declines below a certain amount. This feature can help you monitor your account to avoid going into overdraft or being short of cash.

Pros of Budgeting Apps

There are a lot of advantages to using a budgeting app. A budgeting app could be an excellent option if you want an easy way to manage your money. In fact, 20% of Canadians use a digital budgeting app to manage their finances.

They help track spending

Budgeting apps can help you keep track of your bills and discretionary spending. They allow you to create a realistic budget by showing you exactly how much you spend in various categories. As a result, you’ll get an accurate picture of where your money is going each month.

Budgets help people feel in control of their money. The 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey found that those who budget are more likely to stay current with their financial obligations, less likely to borrow to meet their expenses, and more likely to live within their means.

Budgeting apps reduce your workload

It’s easy to forget about your budget when life gets busy. These apps make monitoring your finances simple by recording your transactions automatically, and you can customize the notification feature to help you stay on top of your budget. The notifications can let you know if your balance is falling below a certain amount, so you won’t be caught short financially. It can also let you know if there’s suspicious activity on your account.

They can help you create a budget that works for you

A budgeting app can help you create a realistic budget by showing you exactly where your money is going. People are sometimes under budget or over budget in certain areas or need to budget for regular expenses such as annual home maintenance. Reviewing your expenditures will indicate whether you need to adjust your budget, spending, or both.

Cons of budgeting apps

There’s no question that budgeting apps have a lot of great features, but they also have their limitations. The benefits you will get from using a budgeting app depend on what you want the app to do for you.

You need to be involved

The recording of your income and expenses is relatively automatic. Still, you need to review your finances regularly to benefit from the information the app records. Taking advantage of notifications will help inform you of things you need to be aware of. To make the most of your app, though, you need to use it to monitor your income, spending, and saving to see if you’re on track to achieve your goals.

It may not work with your finances

If your income is unpredictable or sporadic, it may be challenging to use a budgeting app. Your employment situation may not provide a source of regular income the app can account for. This can be true if you are a seasonal worker, on a contract, or a freelancer. As a result, the app may not give you the most accurate picture of your finances if your income is irregular.

Security and privacy

Digital tools can be subject to cyber-attacks and hacking. As a result, your information could be at risk if the app is compromised. Since budgeting apps are usually connected to your banking, you could be in a difficult situation if the app is compromised.

Which is the Best Budgeting App?

The best budgeting app for you will depend on what you want to accomplish. Some people want a very straightforward app, and others want one that tracks all their personal, business, and travel expenses, still others might want one that can be shared with another person. For our purposes, we’ll look at four popular budgeting apps for you to consider.

Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps, and it’s available in Canada. You can use it to integrate your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage, loans, and investments. You can use their budget categories or customize categories to match your needs. In addition, Mint will track your spending and net worth, so you’ll know where you stand financially.

Mint is a free budget app with security features such as multi-factor authentication to help keep your information safe. Through the app, you’ll get budget alerts to know if you’re going over your budget, paying fees, or seeing suspicious transactions. The Mint app also lets you monitor your credit score free of charge. While the app has limitations, it does offer great features that can be very useful.

Koho is a prepaid credit card that combines spending, budgeting, and rewards all in one app. It tracks your spending and will give you real-time insights into where your money is going. Koho is free to use and has several reward features you can increase by subscribing to one of their premium options.

Due to its simplicity, it’s a great tool to use if you are learning how to budget money and want one app to keep track of all your spending. Using the Koho app will help you avoid overspending because you can only spend what you load onto the card. The no-fee version will save you money on service charges and comes with rewards such as cashback for certain purchases.

YNAB is short for You Need A Budget. Like Mint, it is a well-known budgeting app and is often ranked among the best. It will sync all your accounts in one place so you can track your spending. YNAB’s philosophy is to “give every dollar a job,” and they offer features such as support, data security, budgeting tips, and live education.

YNAB allows users to track their expenses accurately and encourages them to categorize their funds. By doing this, money is allocated for planned spending so that people have money when costs such as car maintenance or holidays arise. YNAB encourages people to make a spending plan and interact with their finances.

You can try YNAB free for 34 days. However, once your trial expires, there is a fee of USD 14.99 monthly or USD 99 annually if you choose to continue.

Banking Apps

Canadian banks offer banking apps for their customers. Some are traditional, allowing you to do your banking on your phone, including viewing balances, transactions, transfers, and bill payments. Other banks like TD, offer apps with more detail so you can track your spending. TD MySpend provides a daily digest of the previous day’s transactions and will monitor and categorize your spending.

A bank app can be a good choice if you want something simple to use and integrated with your financial institution without involving a third party. The apps banks offer are free to use and benefit from the bank’s security.

How to Choose a Budgeting App

Choosing the best budgeting app for you will depend on your goals. When starting the budgeting process, you may want something easy to use and free of charge. On the other hand, consider a different app if you want one that can be joint, provides detailed budgeting advice or tracks multiple things like savings, spending, debt, and net worth.

If no amount of budgeting is working and your debt is overwhelming, help is available to get you back on track. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 519-310-5646 for a free consultation to review your options. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your financial situation and recommend solutions for you.

John Adamson, Licensed Insolvency Trustee Ontario

John Adamson, CPA, CMA

John is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (1994), a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP – 1994), and a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accounting designation (CPA, CMA – 1992). His experience includes more than 25 years of helping individuals, small businesses, their owners and even lenders, find solutions to their debt problems.

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