Scoring the Top Mobile Budgeting Apps

Budgeting apps are arguably one of the most useful types of apps out there today. Anything that helps you manage your budget and puts together statistics to help you make financial decisions has to be a good thing.

App stores are bursting with budgeting apps vying for your attention, but how do you know what’s best? We give a grade to some of the best budgeting apps available today. is a budgeting system familiar to most people as it was one of the first budgeting applications of its kind. Mint is made by Intuit and has apps for iPad/iPhone and Android phones and tablets.

Price: Mint is totally free on all platforms.

Accounts: Mint allows users to track multiple accounts including checking, savings, credit cards, car or home loans, and student loans. It does not, however, have an account dedicated to tracking cash spending.

Budgeting: Users can set budgets for specific categories or create their own categories to use. Mint compares your income to your budgeted categories to let users know if they are budgeting more than their income. The budget is tracked    from transaction information that can be automatically read into Mint when the user supplies login credentials for their banking sites.

Security: Mint uses 128-bit encryption, which is the same as what banks use. It is also “read-only” which means that even if someone with malicious intent accessed your account, he or she couldn’t do anything.

Extras: Mint automatically categories transactions, but users can also tag transactions and correct Mint to better reflect spending habits.

Final grade: A

Expenditure tacks budgets and finances in general and is available through the App Store for apple products. Expenditure is developed by Shape and it even includes handy tools like a currency converter.

Price: Expenditure costs $2.99.

Accounts: This app does not have support for multiple accounts.

Budgeting: Expenditure allows users to add budget categories and asks users to manually input transactions in order to factor the data into the budget.

Security: Security features appear limited to whatever users have set up on their iPhones.

Extras: Users can specify whether transactions repeat at certain intervals so they don’t have to input them every month.

Final grade: C

MoneyWise is an Android only application (Sorry, Apple fans!) that has no accompanying desktop or Web version. MoneyWise, developed by Handy North, lets you work offline, manage budgets, and export graphs. LifeHacker also named MoneyWise “The Best Budget-Tracking App for Android” in 2012.

Price: MoneyWise has a free version and a “Pro” version that costs $7.00 in the Android store. The iPhone version costs $2.99.

Accounts: This app allows for multiple accounts and supports many different types. Users can include a cash account, credit cards, investments, and more.

Budgeting: Budgeting and adjusting budgets as you go is one of the great features on MoneyWise. It takes a minimal amount of tapping to make adjustments to existing budgets. You can also set budgets beginning at any time in the month, not just the first. Users must log transactions manually into the app for the transactions to appear in the budget.

Security: MoneyWise allows users to set a password just for the app so users can lock down their financial data. Users can also perform backups in order to secure a data archive.

Extras: It has graphs and charts that users can customize to view data in ways that are meaningful to them.

Final grade: A-

Angie Picardo is a writer for the personal finance website, NerdWallet, where you can find information on budgeting and planning travel expense by predicting jetblue baggage fees.

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