Best Family Budgeting Apps of 2021

by Kate Daugherty

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The best family budgeting apps help you track your monthly income and expenses and give you access to your budget anywhere, at any time. To determine the best family budgeting apps for 2021, we looked at multiple features, including ease of use, account linking, and customizable categories, so that you can make the best choice for your family.

Best Family Budgeting Apps of 2021

Here are Family Money Adventure’s picks for the best budgeting apps for families.

Mint

Mint has won many best budget app awards over the years and offers account linking to thousands of financial institutions. Be warned, this is a free budgeting app, but there are ads everywhere, making it hard to see your data.

Who It’s Best For

  • This is a great app if you’re new to budgeting or want to see an overview of your finances quickly.

Pros

  • Easy Set-Up: Mint is one of the easiest apps to set up and use. Just create an account, add your financial information and start creating your budget.
  • Customizable Budgets and Reports: Once you import your data, there are different reports to give you insights into your spending and savings potential.

Cons

  • Synchronization: Mint occasionally has problems syncing with outside financial institutions.
  • Lackluster Customer Service: Mint only offers email support and can be slow to fix reported issues.

Cost

  • Mint is free but includes ads. Mint Credit Monitor is a premium version for $16.99/month, which includes your Equifax score and credit report.

 

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a free budgeting and investment app that offers more insight into your investments than your average budget app. It monitors your 401(k), Roth, and other retirement accounts and has budgeting features that point out where you can save so you can invest more. The budgeting features do, however, take a backseat to the investment features.

 

Who It’s Best For

  • Personal Capital is best for DIY investors who want to review their budget with an eye toward more investing,

Pros

  • Easy Set-Up: Personal Capital is user-friendly and easy to set up.  Just input your external account information and start building your budget.
  • Large Purchase Planning: Personal Capital can run investment scenarios, so if you like to plan ahead for future growth or are planning a large purchase, these features could be very helpful.

Cons

  • High Investment Fees: Personal Capital’s investment fees are .89% on the first million invested and drop with higher account balances.  This fee is relatively high, though still less than working with a financial institution.
  • Account Minimums: Personal Capital has an investment minimum of $100,000.00, which may be a barrier for some folks.

Cost

  • Personal Capital’s budgeting app is free to use, but there are fees if you invest with them.

 

RELATED: It’s Not Me, It’s You: Breaking Up With Our Monthly Budget

 

You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Often included among the best budget apps, YNAB promotes the popular Zero-Based Budgeting strategy. Every dollar is given a job: spending, saving, or investing- down to the last penny.

Who It’s Best For

  • YNAB is best for people who want to dive deep into their finances and pay off debt or save for a large investment.

Pros

  • Comprehensive: YNAB offers an extensive view of your finances and lets you see where you habitually overspend.
  • Customer Service: They have responsive customer support, and most emails receive a reply in 24 hours.

Cons

  • Cost: YNAB is the most expensive app listed, and you can find most features in other free or lower-cost apps.
  • Hard to Remove Reimbursable Expenses: YNAB does not have a way to remove or hide a transaction that doesn’t apply to your budget, like reimbursable work expenses.

Cost

  • YNAB offers a 34-day free trial, with monthly billing of $11.99 or yearly at $84.00.

 

Zeta

Zeta is a relative newcomer that has made several best budgeting app lists because it allows couples to track joint finances through one interface. Each person controls how much data they share with their partner, and accounts can even be completely hidden.

Who It’s Best For

  • Zeta is best for couples who have shared expenses and are ready to mingle finances.

Pros

  • Create Multiple Budgets: Zeta allows you to create your own personal budget and a shared budget for joint expenses. You can also split expenses within the app so that each partner can pay their fair share.
  • In-App Communication: Zeta lets you send a message to your partner right through the app or add a note so that you and your partner are always on the same financial page.

Cons

  • Slow Account Syncing: Zeta can be slow to synchronize external accounts.
  • Manual Data Entry: Zeta does not automatically track progress toward larger goals and requires manual updates.

Cost

  • Zeta is free to use but contains ads and has a tip jar feature if you enjoy using the app.

 

Zeta

Zeta Money Manager is a free budgeting app designed for couples.

Zeta helps you stay on top of your finances together.


We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

 

PocketGuard

PocketGuard tells you what is left in your pocket after recurring expenses are paid. Millennials may enjoy the hashtag and emoji features, and the clean, simple structure could work well for someone who just wants to know what they have in their pocket at any given time.

Who It’s Best For

  • Pocket Guard is geared toward younger users with a predictable paycheck and is great if you just want to know what’s left to spend after bills and savings have been accounted for.

Pros

  • In My Pocket (IMP): The IMP feature helps you determine at a glance if that impulse purchase is covered. It gives you your available balance after the bills have been paid, and shows you upcoming transactions.
  • Hashtags: PocketGuard lets you tag specific transactions related to each other. For example, if you go on vacation, you can create a hashtag related to gas, food, and hotel expenses and create a report based on the hashtag later.

Cons

  • Lacks Investment Options: This is a transaction-based budget app, and PocketGuard is not set up to incorporate investment accounts.
  • Not All Features Available for Free: While PocketGuard is free, there are features, such as cash tracking and custom categories, that are only available for PocketGuard Plus users.

Cost

  • Free version with ads, or $34.99/year for PocketGuard Plus

 

RELATED: What is The Anti Budget?

 

Mvelopes

Paper envelope budgets are popular because they are pretty simple: you can only spend what is available in the designated envelope, and once it’s gone, you (theoretically) stop spending until next month. Mvelopes is a budget app that allows users to create digital envelopes and portion their available funds accordingly.

Who It’s Best For

  • Mvelopes is best for those prone to overspending and looking for a simple system to pay off debt.

Pros

  • Spending Breakdowns: Mvelopes offers spending breakdowns and forces you to think about what goes into and out of each envelope.  This mindfulness can help you regain control of debt and curb hidden spending.
  • Debt Reduction Center: A popular feature is the Debt Roll-Down program for those subscribing to the Premier Account, and it is essentially the snowball method of debt repayment.

Cons

  • Account Set-Up: Mvelopes can take some time to set up and get all of your transactions allocated correctly.
  • Lack of Previous Transactions: Mvelopes does not import your previous expenses, so it’s best to start at the first of the month, or your earlier transactions may be missing.

Cost

  • 30-Day Free trial
  • Mvelopes Basic-$5.97/ month
  • Mvelopes Premier- $9.95/ month
  • Mvelopes Plus- $19.97/ month

 

Clarity Money/Marcus Insights

Clarity Money, soon to be Marcus Insights (Marcus by Goldman Sachs), is a free budgeting app that offers basic expense review, transaction importing.

Who It’s Best For

  • Clarity Money is best for people who want to see all of their accounts at a glance but don’t necessarily want to create a formal budget.

Pros

  • Monthly Spending Breakdowns: Clarity provides a monthly spending breakdown and category overview, along with cash flow information, so you know how you’re doing each month.
  • Useful Push Notifications: Clarity sends you push notifications based on when you get paid, if your balance goes below a set point, or when an expense is withdrawn from your account.

Cons

  • Only syncs to linked accounts: Clarity can link several accounts but only tracks spending from those accounts, and you cannot manually add transactions from an unlinked account.
  • No Budget Customization: Clarity provides one-size-fits-all budget categories that can’t be customized.

Cost

  • Free with ads

 

RELATED: Best Family Budget For Every Personality Type 

 

Other Budgeting Apps to Consider

These budgeting apps either offer similar features to the apps already listed or have recently launched and don’t have many customer reviews yet.

Honeydue

Similar to the Zeta App, Honeydue is a couples app and gets positive reviews for organization and access to financial institutions.

  • Cost: Free

Wally

While Wally may be too complicated for most users, it’s a useful budgeting app if you deal in foreign currency or have multiple people involved in a budget (think event planning, etc.)

  • Cost: Free but in-app add-ons to unlock premium features

Goodbudget

Goodbudget is similar to Mvelopes but doesn’t sync with your bank accounts, and the free version doesn’t offer priority email support.

  • Cost: $7.00/month or $60.00/year for unlimited envelopes

Albert

Albert is a free basic savings platform with the ability to keep all of your accounts in one place. Albert offers basic budget features, but the focus is really on their in-house products.

  • Cost: The basic version is free, but additional features cost $4.00 a month with an option to pay what you want above that.

Honeyfi

Honeyfi is a two-person/couple budgeting app, similar to both Zeta and Honeydue, but without the in-app chat features and organization.

  • Cost: Free 30-day trial and $5.00/month or $60.00/year

Simplifi

Simplifi is Quicken’s answer to the personal finance app, and though it launched only recently, it does seem to have some interesting features, like excluding a transaction from your budget, which is helpful for reimbursable employment expenses.

  • Cost: 30 day free trial, $3.99/month or $39.99/year

 

What’s your favorite family budgeting app or software to manage family finances? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

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Best Family Budgeting Apps of 2021

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