Top Budget Planner Apps to Save Money in 2024

money budget apps woman saving into jars

Best money budget apps to help mums save money

Many single mothers use their smartphones every day for various tasks. From checking emails to browsing social media to grocery shopping online, there are plenty of tasks to juggle on the go.

However, you may not realise that there is a wealth of apps that you can leverage to help keep your family finances in check, too.

Although budgeting may seem like another time-consuming chore, apps have made this task much easier and less stressful. Your financial health can now be controlled literally from the palm of your hand, so why not make the most of it?

Of course, you can make a spreadsheet to see where your money is going. But there are already money budget apps that are free to download to make things more convenient. You can use an app rather than labour over paper and pencil.

Here is what you need to know about personal budgeting apps for Australians in 2024, as well as the best ones on the market today.

How a money budget app can help your personal spending

Get an overview

See an accurate picture of your finances. It’s difficult to know exactly where you’re money’s going unless you track it on a monthly basis. Apps like this not only track your spending it gives you insights into your financial habits and ways to improve them. For example, if you’re always living paycheck to paycheck, even if you’re earning enough, you can easily see why. You get to track your bills and memberships or automatically categorise your transactions. It's like having a personal money manager right in your pocket.

Minimise unnecessary expenses

It can be an eye-opener to see last month’s or last year’s spending. Who knew your daily cup of coffee, weekly dinners, software dues, etc., could cost that much? It can help you identify areas where you should be cutting back, earning more, or saving more.

Set savings goals

With your finances all in one place, you can see how much money you have left over each period and direct that surplus towards your savings goals. Whether it’s a trip abroad, you're saving for a house deposit or college savings for your children; a budgeting app makes it easier to get motivated to set aside money for your big plans. You get to set monthly budgets and money goals right on your smartphone.

Automate your spending

The beauty of budgeting and saving apps lies in automation. You don’t need to categorise line items, set up reminders/schedules, and compare multiple accounts manually. The app allows you to do this and more. If you’re used to pen and paper or Excel, an app can streamline the whole process. It’s easier to crunch the numbers and quickly get insights into your spending and saving habits.

Get educated

Many apps for this purpose come with financial literacy tools like extensive knowledge bases and access to professional financial advisors. They can help with both long-term and short-term/emergency needs, from choosing investments wisely to connecting you to credit counsellors - all within the app.

What to look for in a money budget app

Budgeting apps range from the bare bones to the sophisticated. What’s best for you depends on your goals and situation. Whether you want to pay and receive money, use it to see how you spend your money or plan for the future decide what app you need.

With that said, here are important features to consider before choosing the best:

Cost

Many apps are free forever (like Mint and Humaniti), some offer a trial version, and some are fee-based. A free budgeting app with solid tracking features is probably enough for most people’s needs.

However, don’t discount the fee-based options. Paying for an app may sound ridiculous if you’re struggling to manage your finances, but the cost is worth it if the app helps improve your situation. While you may need to pay for a subscription to unlock full functionality, a paid app gives more than an overview of your spending. Premium features will be worth the money manager expense when you see how these apps work.

Ease of use

Choose an app that’s easy to use and navigate, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. You should be able to access all the main features from the first page and connect easily with customer support or helpdesk. Likewise, you should get to enjoy it on your iPhone, Android, or web app.

Some apps also double as payment apps. They access your financial accounts so you can automate paying your bills.

Features

Many free apps have a daily, weekly, or monthly planner, spending tracker, bill payment reminder, calendar, and bank/transaction syncing that should be adequate for beginner to intermediate users. You will also love a tracking and splitting feature for shared bills or group expenses.

(Some allow you to link your bank account to the app so you can easily see where your money goes. Just make sure you're using legit apps!)

You should also receive notifications for every transaction. Find an app that allows you to see screenshots and learn how you're using money.

You may need to pay a subscription to unlock more. If you wish to go beyond expense tracking or setting budgets and money goals, you may need to subscribe to unlock premium features. These add-ons may vary, but some include tips/recommendations from financial experts, investment planning, and wealth management, which are available on the app.

Customer support

Having someone troubleshoot technical and other issues is essential whether you’re using a free or paid app. Check out the reviews page on the app store to see how people rate the customer service for that company before you use the app.

Security

Check out the reviews page and the app’s main page to view the fine print about how they use your data and what to do in case of a security breach. Thoroughly read reviews before you download the app and/or sync your bank account.

Budget planners to help you set up a budget

Now that you have an idea of what to watch out for, here's a list of money budget apps available to Australians to help achieve your financial dreams:

Humaniti

Humaniti is Australia’s answer to the popular personal finance app Mint. Like Mint, Humaniti lets you view all of your bank accounts and financial transactions in one place free of charge, but with an added bonus: you can earn cash each week by doing surveys. Members are rewarded when they answer a series of questions about a variety of topics. Each survey takes a few minutes to complete and is definitely worthwhile as it’s super easy, and the few dollars each week add up nicely if you keep at it.

The Humaniti app makes personal finances effortless with navigation to manage and save, track and compare spending, property valuations, loyalty programs, superannuation balance and more from a single dashboard. It pulls up your transactions quickly and provides graphs for easy visual analysis.

Overall, Humaniti compares very favourably along-side other budgeting and saving apps that collate all your resources in one place, with the great perk to proactively earn with the survey functionality.

Also, when a member completes a survey, Humaniti donates an additional 10% to charity … LOVE this.

money budget app

Free? Yes
Pros: Free to use, complete view of all your finances, earn money when doing surveys
Cons: The user interface could be improved, and the site collects a lot of personal and financial data. (Any personally identifiable information is deidentified, and no personal details are ever shared. Humaniti uses deidentified spending behaviour to qualify members for relevant surveys.)
You will love this app if: You want to earn a bit of cash while tracking your finances.

Mint

Mint is another app that syncs your accounts, allowing you to monitor your expenditures. You also have the option of manually inputting any cash transactions that you make. This means that jar of loose coins that you use to buy your morning coffee (which can cost you quite a lot over a year) is also factored into your overall budget.

The app’s easy-to-use interface allows you to see which categories you are spending the most in and presents these in neat charts and graphs for you to digest. Mint even allows you to pay your bills through the app and lets you set savings goals. The biggest feature of Mint is its customised financial tips based on your spending habits, which can help you overcome poor money habits.

Free? Yes
Pros: Free app, solid features with personalised financial advice/recommendations
Cons: Bill pay option discontinued, ads can be annoying
You will love this app if: You are new to budgeting.

Simplifi by Quicken

Simplifi by Quicken is a highly-rated money budget app with complete customisation. It lets you personalise your spending plan in real time based on how much money you have left. The app also tracks spending, uncovers savings (it finds subscriptions you don’t use or use infrequently), and gives a clear picture of your balance for the period.

Simplifi also offers bank account syncing, spending watch lists, and other cash flow tools, plus best-in-class security to protect data and privacy. Backed by the Intuit and Quicken network, which connects to thousands of financial institutions, this app is perfect for those who want strong functionalities.

money budget app

Free? Free 30-day trial
Pros: Highly customisable and easy to use and understand
Cons: Some users complain of technical issues
You will love this app if you need a streamlined tool to manage your spending.

Money budget apps to manage your spending (cont.)

Personal Capital

If you’re looking for an app that combines robust budgeting features with investment tracking, Personal Capital may be right for you. This money budget app is mainly a paid investment tool with free functionalities to help you track cash spending. You can also connect your bank accounts, from checking to savings, as well as credit cards, loans and mortgages.

What’s more, if you’re a keen investor, the net worth and portfolio tracker can be accessed on mobile and desktop. You can check your credit score and retirement readiness score, check for hidden fees, and chat with a dedicated financial advisor to help you with financial and retirement planning. This is the meat of the app and what you pay for monthly. Overall, a solid investment tool.

Free? Yes
Pros: Combines budgeting and wealth management with portfolio tracking
Cons: Fee for investment tools
You will love this app if: You are an investor or interested in growing your investments.

Goodbudget

Goodbudget is another envelope-based personal finance app that takes the pain out of handling your money. You can allocate your resources and track expenses, savings, cash and spending patterns. It’s a solid app overall, but a big downside is that while it links to your bank account, all it does is let you check the balance. This is great if you don’t like sharing your financial details and you mainly use cash. Not so great for people who rely on credit cards.

money budget app

Free? Yes, free for 10 regular and 10 annual envelopes
Pros: Great cash management app that lets you roll over leftover cash into next month’s envelope
Cons: No option to sync transactions and credit cards, even in the paid version
You will love this app if: You’re a fan of the envelope system and use cash most of the time.

YNAB (You Need a Budget)

Last on our list of apps: If you suck at allocating your money, the YNAB app has a good chance of changing your life. YNAB is focused mainly on helping people manage their financial resources. And for those who already do it, the app teaches you how to become better at allocating your money. YNAB’s number 1 rule is to “Give Every Dollar a Job,” meaning that each dollar should have a purpose. This helps restrain overspending while improving discipline. The app itself is easy to use and there are plenty of resources on the YNAB website to help you stick with your money goals.

Free? Yes, free to try for 34 days
Pros: Good customer support, very detailed spending tracker
Cons: No retirement planning or bill payment features
You will love this app if: You want an app that really helps you stick with your money goals.

PocketGuard

PocketGuard helps you determine whether you can afford to make certain purchases or not. The app syncs all of your bank accounts and requires you to identify all recurring bills and expenses. This information helps the app predict your ability to make future purchases.

We’ve all felt that moment of panic when your kids have filled the trolley with things that you’re not sure you can afford. PocketGuard tells you how much spending room you have in your pocket so that you have more confidence at the checkout.

money budget app

Free? Yes
Pros: Excellent tool, added features and customer support, track cash transactions with Pocketguard Plus
Cons: Ads and email offers, no technical support via phone
You will love this app if: You want to track both cash and bank transactions.

EveryDollar

EveryDollar is an app that’s similar to YNAB but more intuitive and easier to use. The free version is basic and lets you enter money that comes in and goes out, categorise your items, set up bill payment reminders, and set savings goals.

The premium version lets you connect to over 10,000 banks, connect your savings and investment accounts, receive spending insights, get smart tracking recommendations, connect with financial advisors and access reports. What sets EveryDollar apart from other similar apps is its uncomplicated zero-based budgeting, where your planned spending and savings are subtracted from your monthly income from the get-go.

Free? Yes (basic features)
Pros: Complete spending tracking features, connect with financial advisors
Cons: Premium version is pricier than similar apps
You will love this app if: You need a detailed budgeting and spending tracking system to help you handle your financial resources.

Mvelopes

If you’re a little old school and you like the idea of putting money aside into different envelopes for your groceries or even your energy bills, then give Mvelopes a try. It translates this cash management process into app form. Mvelopes joins your bank accounts together and groups your spending into different labelled envelopes. You then set limits on your spending for each category.

There’s no reason why you should spend hours at night trying to manage your money for yourself. Using these apps, you can customise your budget planner and enjoy it on your smartphone. This means that you can spend less time worrying about money and more quality time with your little ones!

money budget app

Free? Yes, 30-day free trial
Pros: Basic and advanced tools
Cons: Users report multiple bugs, the learning curve can be steep, doesn’t support tracking or management of investment accounts
You will love this app if: You like the envelope system and a simple but full-featured app.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a budget?

It is a financial plan that helps you achieve your financial goals by tracking your income and expenses within a specific time period, usually monthly.

How can these apps help me with my finances?

An app is a digital tool designed to assist you in managing your financial resources by tracking your transactions and providing insights into your spending habits.

Why should I use a planner?

A planner helps you visualize your cash flow and set financial goals, making it easier to track your expenses and savings.

Where can I find a budgeting and savings app?

You can download them from the app store on your device and choose from a variety of tracker and money management apps to choose from.

How do I start managing my money with an app?

Begin by creating a monthly budget planner on the app, linking your bank account, and categorizing your expenses to effectively manage your money.

Is there a free trial for these apps?

Many of these offer a free trial period for users to test their features before committing to a subscription or in-app purchases.

What features should I look for in an app?

Look for a budgeting app that includes financial goals tracking, expense categorization, notification reminders, and the ability to link your savings account.

Can I find apps specifically for Australians in 2024?

There are apps for Australians in 2024 that cater to the specific financial needs of individuals living in Australia and offer tools for effective money management.

Are there any totally free budgeting apps available?

Yes. Mint and Humaniti are completely free.

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