A budgeting app is an app designed to help you optimize the spending and savings choices you make each month. By putting all your financial commitments and goals in one place, a budgeting app can give you better visibility into your financial choices and habits.
Similar to the apps you may use from your bank or credit union, a budgeting app may provide additional functionality such as financial goal setting and cash flow tracking across multiple financial accounts. Budgeting apps can sync with your bank and credit card accounts to provide a holistic view of your finances.
Some budgeting apps will use a specific budgeting approach—like envelope or zero-based budgeting—while others will address budgeting more generally, allowing for customization based on your needs. A fully featured budgeting app can help you track spending, manage recurring bill payment, set savings goals and manage monthly cash flow.
Do Budgeting Apps Really Work?
Budgeting apps are a great tool to help ensure you’re living your budget, not just planning one. They can provide insights into your spending habits, identifying where your money goes and where you can make improvements.
As with any app, whether or not it “works” depends largely on how you use it. A challenge with budgeting generally—whether managed with an app, a spreadsheet, or more manual means—is committing not only to having a budget but to making your financial decisions in line with it. Many people find that the interactivity and automation provided by a budgeting app helps keep them motivated to stay on top of their personal finances.