7 Best Budgeting Apps For Smart Money Management

Woman with coffee using smartphone
Mar 7, 2023 last_updated min_read

Mobile apps can help us take care of basically any task these days. We use them for shopping, learning, dating, paying taxes, and a myriad of other aspects of our lives. And while it’s true the majority of them can assist you in spending your hard-earned money, there’s also a variety of apps that help you manage your finances better and save more.

Going through your bills on a smartphone

Using budgeting apps is a lot more convenient than sticking to old-school methods like keeping track of your expenses in a notebook or a dedicated spreadsheet. Not only do they include a ton of handy functions, but they’re also a lot easier to use on the go – which is how most of us spend most of our lives (and money)! In this review, the Honeygain team is going to introduce 7 of the most popular and useful budgeting apps so you can choose the one that works for you – and get a more solid grasp on your personal finances.


💸 Price: Free (or $59.99/a year for Pro)

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

Emma is a free budgeting app (paid Pro version is available, too) that leverages open banking systems by combining the information from all your bank accounts, investment accounts, crypto exchanges, and wallets. Seeing all your financial information in one budgeting app is a lot more convenient than checking all the separate accounts and trying to work the numbers in your head!

In addition to that, Emma has functionalities for defining and tracking your budget, reviewing detailed statistics on your spending, and identifying the subscriptions and bank fees that might be eating your money away without you even noticing. It also has bank-level encryption and is approved by both ICO and FCA – which means your financial information is kept completely confidential. Due to its playful UI and elements of gamification (e.g., quests), Emma is often listed among the best budget apps for college students.


💸 Price: Free

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

Using a Touch ID

Loved by its 25 million users, which already makes it probably the best budgeting app, Mint is a product of Intuit – the company behind TurboTax and Quickbooks. Similarly to Emma, this free budgeting app uses the information from your bank accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, credit cards, PayPal, and other sources to provide you with a complete picture of your finances. In addition to that, it also lets you track your bills, financial goals, and subscriptions, so you never miss a payment!

Mint also offers a very convenient expense tracker that categorizes your spending automatically (edits are an option, though) and allows you to set up custom budgets for each category. As for safety, Mint uses VeriSign security scanning, 256-bit encryption, and multi-factor authentication, lets you set up a Touch ID, and offers a chance to delete your data remotely in case of theft or loss. And if you verify your identity, you can also check your credit score and net worth for free! All of these features definitely make Mint one of the best budgeting apps in the market.


💸 Price: Free (or £1–4.99 for paid plans: Plus, Pro, or Ultra)

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

Just like the previously mentioned budgeting apps, Plum can be linked with major banks and get insight into your monthly income and expenses – however, it has more to do with saving and investing than simply tracking your spending habits. According to its website, it has already helped 1,000,000+ Brits set over 670 million pounds aside!

Plum takes away a certain sum of money from your accounts every few days after carefully deducting the perfect amount from the given data for better money management. This budget app then lands in instant-access or easy-access saving pockets, with the latter type offering interests of 0.25–0.4% (with paid plans), provided by Investec Bank Plc. There’s also a variety of extra options you can set up for automatic savings with Plum: money can be set aside on every payday, rainy day (literally!), or even according to the rules of the 52-week challenge! Could this be the best budgeting app for those who are up for a challenge? Probably yes!

Discussing the payments in chat


💸 Price: Free

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

What sets Honeydue apart from other budgeting apps (aside from a superb choice of name, of course!) is the fact that it’s couple-oriented. When you haven’t got much experience with sharing your expenses, diving into a serious relationship might certainly be tricky – and that’s exactly where Honeydue steps in. According to one user, it’s an ‘an absolute must for couples sharing finances or those with trouble staying on the same page.’

Honeydue can be linked with your accounts in 20,000+ financial institutions in 5 countries and protects your data using 256-bit encryption and multi-factor authentication. Aside from a bill and expense tracker, this free budgeting app also includes a chat option where you can discuss transactions and plans with your significant other. Unfortunately, you can’t set financial goals or manage your savings like you would with budgeting apps like Mint or Plum.

Money Dashboard

💸 Price: Free

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

Similarly to Mint, Money Dashboard lets you connect your bank and savings accounts, credit cards, and even crypto wallets, see all your bills and subscriptions in one place, create specific budgets and categorize your spending (both automatically and manually). The longer you use the app, though, the less you’ll actually have to do with it, as it learns about your preferences and habits as time passes, making it one of the most advanced budgeting tools around.

Money dashboard

As for security, Money Dashboard uses an Extended Validation security certificate with 256-bit encryption and offers biometric security. It’s also fully GDPR-compliant, authorized and regulated by FCA, and supported by ISO 27001-certified services. They must be doing something right because users seem to really trust this budgeting app: Money Dashboard has won the title of the Best Personal Finance App in the British Bank Awards three times (in 2017, 2018, and 2020)!


💸 Price: Free (or $34.99/a year for Plus)

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

Like most budgeting apps, PocketGuard allows you to track your expenses, set limits, and categorize your spending (each category is called a pocket – hence the name of the app). More uniquely, you can index them even further by using hashtags! A bit like Plum, PocketGuard’s also not limited to showing the information of all your financial accounts in one place: it also has an automated saving functionality that allows you to set certain sums of money away in regular intervals (however, unlike with Plum, you won’t be earning any interest on your savings).

What's unique about PocketGuard is a feature called In My Pocket, which allows you to see how much money you have to spend on any given day. Basically, the app takes your income, subtracts everything you need to spend or put away for bills and savings, and divides it for individual days. Simple yet smart! The app’s security measures include PIN codes, Touch IDs, Face IDs, and 256-bit SSL encryption. As far as security goes, PocketGuard just has to be one of the best free budgeting apps around.


💸 Price: Free (or $5.99–$9.99/a month for paid plans: Plus or Crusher)

🤳 OS: Android and iOS

If you’re looking for budget apps for college students or simply young adults, you might want to take a look at Cleo. What makes it different from most budgeting apps is its AI chatbot that acts as your financial advisor that can provide you with financial information, hype you, or even roast you for irresponsible spending. While Cleo’s not student-specific, its funky design, bold humour, GIFs, and trivia games mostly appeal to younger crowds looking for a cool budgeting app. It’s not stingy with security, either: not only does Cleo use 256-bit SSL encryption, but it also promises a $250k pledge coverage in case of losses are attributable to use of Cleo.

Once you connect Cleo with your financial accounts, it acts as an expense tracker, allows you to set up budgets for custom periods of time, and helps you save money with options like round-up, automatic savings, and even swear jars. More uniquely, the paid plans include a chance of borrowing money without extra fees or interest, as well as cashback opportunities when shopping with your selected retailers. If you are feeling quirky yet responsible for your finances, this could be the best budgeting app for you.

A bee text divider

If you always thought budgeting is not compatible with your active lifestyle – think again! Modern budgeting apps offer a great way to manage your finances and track your spending wherever you go without the need to carry heavy document folders, figure out complicated spreadsheets or analyze bank statements. Sure, learning more about personal finance from books, podcasts, or even movies can’t hurt – but you can certainly start taking your first steps with these best budgeting apps without a ton of knowledge already gained.

Naturally, planning your budget and saving money is not all that personal finance encompasses: first of all, you need to be earning money to cover your needs and wants, with or without the best budgeting apps. If you’re interested in taking up an extra source of passive income, consider Honeygain – a crowdsourced web intelligence network that pays you for sharing your unused Internet bandwidth. Click the button below to sign up now, and we’ll top up your budget with $2 for free!