10 Best Budget Planner Apps
Say goodbye to the hassle of manually listing and calculating all your daily, weekly, or monthly expenses on a piece of paper to track down your spending and budget your income better. With plenty of apps that are easy to use and manage, you can simplify your budgeting efforts wherever you may go.
Most of these apps can be linked with your bank accounts to manage other aspects of your finances, like debt repayments and investments.
Here are 10 of the most popular budget planner apps for Aussies:
About: PocketSmith is heralded as the Australian alternative to Mint, an internationally recognised budgeting app that only supports banks and financial institutions in the US and Canada.
Cost: Basic Plan is free, Premium Plan at AU$14 per month or (AU$10.50/month when paid annually), and Super Plan at AU$28 per month (AU$20/month when paid annually)
PocketSmith has a budget planning calendar that allows you to schedule your upcoming bills and budgets into specific periods, like daily, weekly, or monthly. Additionally, you can create cash projections and see your daily bank balances up to 30 years into the future. What a great way to motivate your slacking self to efficiently handle your finances, right?
Aside from budgeting and financial planning, PocketSmith also has many other useful tools, such as:
- Automatic live bank feeds for 163 Australian institutions
- Automatic currency conversion based on daily rates
- Spending categorisation, labelling and annotation
- Xero integration
- Income and expense reporting
- Net worth tracking
- Cash Flow statement updates automatically
Living up to its self-proclamation as a Mint alternative, PocketSmith also offers an Express Migration tool that easily transfers all your accounts, transactions and categories over from Mint.
Additional features include:
- Email notifications, which send summaries of your financial activity
- Two-factor authentications, which gives your account an added security
- Advisor Access, which allow another Pocketsmith user to access and manage your account without bypassing your consent
About: Australian Taxation Office’s all-inclusive app for all things tax-related
Made exclusively for Aussies, the ATO app allows all individual taxpayers, small business owners, and self-managed super fund trustees in the country to conveniently conduct tax and super affairs and access related information.
The app features a tool called myDeductions, which:
- Keeps records of your work and general expenses for efficient tax return filing, if you are an employee
- Records your general expenses and the cost of managing your tax affairs, if you are not an employee
- Keeps records of your income and deductions, if you are a sole trader
How is this relevant to budgeting? Well, by efficiently managing your taxes, you can estimate your net monthly income before allocating your income to your expenses and savings.
Aside from conveniently keeping your expenses and income records, the ATO app also has other useful features:
- ABN Lookup
- Business Performance Check
- Fuel Tax Credit Calculator
- Key Dates for Tax and Super Obligations
- Payment Plan Estimator
- Super Guarantee Contributions
- Super Guarantee Eligibility
- Tax Withheld Calculator
The app also comes with a voice authentication capability for fast yet secure access.
3. YNAB (You Need A Budget)
About: This app uses a zero-based budgeting system that allows users to plan for every dollar they earn and live on last month’s income.
Price: 34-day free trial; AU$17 monthly or AU$117 annually
This American multi-platform personal budgeting program has been around for more than a decade and has helped millions of people worldwide. It also can be synced to Australian Bank accounts with Budget Feeder.
Connecting YNAB to your bank accounts allows the app to automatically pull in your transactions. However, you can also set up an unlinked account if you don’t want to connect directly to your bank.
What sets YNAB apart from other budgeting apps is its step-by-step guides for linking banks and credit cards, managing separate spending and savings accounts, budget customisations, and financial goal-setting. There are also plenty of useful resources to help you get started and stay on track of your budgeting plans, such as app user guides, budgeting advice and free workshops.
About: This Sydney-based budget planner and personal finance offers a straightforward budgeting planning platform at no charge.
Australia’s very own budgeting app automatically syncs your accounts from multiple banks and provides coverage for more than 80% of Australia’s banking data to conveniently track and manage finances in one platform.
The app categorises and assigns value to each of your purchases and then calculates how much you spend on a specific period to efficiently analyse your spending. It also lets you set a monthly allowance for each type of spending, as well as notify you when you’re getting too close to your monthly limits and when you have upcoming bills.
More Pocketbook features are also in the works, including:
- Daily spend reminders
- Saving secrets
- Financial Health Score
About: The app works like a personal financial assistant that connects bank accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, superannuation and loyalty cards in one place on any device.
Cost: Free Basic Plan, Plus Plan at AU$9.90 per month or AU$99 per year
MoneyBrilliant connects to over 200 financial institutions through its partner, Yodlee, an international software company that provides account aggregation service.
What’s unique about MoneyBrilliant is that automatically calculates your budget based on your past spending. It also gives a monthly view of your money, allowing you to plan ahead for changes to your cash flow.
Other great services that the app provides include:
- Banking Optimisation, which automatically finds cheaper transaction accounts and credit cards and savings accounts
- Transaction Categorisation, which sorts out transactions automatically as you connect accounts
- Bill Reminder, which detects your upcoming bills and reminds you before they are due or if they have been paid or missed
- Bill Watch, which looks for better, money-saving deals on electricity and gas (Additional products and services are in the works.)
- Bill Shock Alert, which lets you known when your utility service providers have increased their prices
- Tax Deduction Identifier, which looks for allowable tax deductions in your transactions
- Tax Deduction Organiser, which keeps track of all your yearly tax-deductible expenses and provides a downloadable report of the details to your accountant or tax adviser
About: This personal financial management tool helps you make smart decisions about your money with its range of services without charging fees.
Like other budgeting apps, you can link multiple bank accounts to your ClarityMoney account to efficiently manage your finances in one platform. Within the app, you can organise expenses, track your spending, and categorise them into different groups. You can also cancel subscription services and monitor your credit score.
About: This app follows the envelope system, which assigns money toward different spending categories.
Cost: Basic is free; Plus version is AU$8 per month or AU$70 annually
Goodbudget allows multiple devices to access the same account, making it ideal for parents and their kids to share a budget. Unlike other apps, however, it doesn’t sync bank accounts. Instead, it lets you manually add account balances, cash amounts, and debts. Once the accounts and income are entered, you can assign money toward different “envelopes” or spending categories.
The Basic account has limited spending categories and allows access from two devices. The paid version offers unlimited envelopes and access by five devices.
About: This bill-splitting app works best if you have shared expenses that need to be paid separately.
Splitwise is ideal if you need to split expenses with a housemate or any other individual or group. The automatically splits all the payments you enter between members of a group and then tallies a total of who-owes-who what. It also sends you email reminders when expenses are due or when you forget to pay someone back.
Although not primarily designed for budgeting, it provides an insight into how much money you’re lending to people or how much you owe others.
About: Wally is an income and expenses tracker with built-in support for virtually all foreign currencies.
Cost: Free Basic Plan; AU$3 per month or $35 yearly Advanced Plan
Wally and its Android version, Wally+, is more of a spending tracker than a full-fledged budgeting app. It can’t set budgets for individual categories.
Nonetheless, it can effectively track your spending and savings and is useful for budgeting especially when used with a more sophisticated financial app like Pocketbook.
About: This app uses digital envelopes to manage your cash flow and budget.
Cost: Basic at AU$8/month or AU$77/year; Premier at AU$14/month or AU$140/year; Plus at AU$27/month or AU$267/year
Mvelopes is another budgeting app that follows the traditional envelope budgeting strategy, which requires you to allocate cash in different envelopes for different spending categories. While effective, it hardly works if you use credit and debit cards.
Mvelopes makes it easy to use envelope budgeting in a digital world using “digital envelopes”. The app can also connect to unlimited financial accounts for real-time budget matching.
Budgeting Starts with the Right Mindset
Regardless of the budgeting app you use, you won't be able to achieve successful budgeting if you do not have the right mindset. Apps can only help simplify the process for you. Some may stir your motivation and improve your financial literacy. However, they cannot force you to do something out of your will. If you aspire to save and attain your financial goals through smart budgeting, you have must have the resolve to stick to your budget despite the challenges and temptations.