Budgeting has one simple rule: spend less than you earn.
Unfortunately, 55% of American consumers say they either spend more money than they make or all the money they earn, according to a survey released in September of 2018.
So obviously, it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s easier done if you get help from a budget app. There are a ton of them on the market, all of which are better than just trying to do the math in your head as you go along.
I downloaded 17 of them and will give you a list of my top 5, but before we get there, remember that the best budget app is one that helps you follow the one simple rule: spend less than you earn.
Here are a couple more rules to follow before choosing:
1. It should be simple
There’s no need to overcomplicate things. You should be able to open a budgeting app and immediately begin using it. Maybe a few easy-to-follow instructions to get you started, but if you’re budgeting app needs a tutorial, then try another one.
2. It should be cheap
After all, the whole goal of a budgeting app is to help you save money. There’s enough apps out there with free features for you not to have to pay for one that by itself will cut into your budget.
So, something simple and cheap that will track how much you spend and how much you earn. There are a lot of apps that can do that, and to be honest, they all will work— for the most part – but only if you use them and stick to it!
Picking a budget app is a lot like picking a diet. They’ll ask you to track your expenses (count your calories) and record your income (exercise). Some will encourage you to cut certain things out of your budget (diet). And just like a diet, consistency and discipline are key.