Never Wonder Where Your Money Went With These 8 Expense Tracking Apps
Ever asked yourself where all your money is going?
Then you could probably use some help from an expense tracking app.
A digitized log of your spending easily shows you how you’re spending your dollars. Most apps go beyond a simple spending diary though. They sum up your expenses by budget categories and prompt you to create spending limits.
With an expense tracking app, you can identify unhealthy spending habits so you can make necessary changes. If you’ve been in denial about how much of your paycheck is going to takeout meals, for instance, an expense tracking app will tell you the truth. Maybe then you’ll be convinced to cook more at home to save money.
We’ve summed up eight of the best expense tracking apps so you can find the right one for you and take better control of your spending.
8 Best Expense Tracking Apps
Knowledge is power, so take control of your finances with one of these apps.
1. Rocket Money
Rocket Money, formerly known as Truebill, offers tools for tracking expenses, budgeting and managing subscriptions.
Rocket Money lets you calculate and create an allowance, so you know exactly how much money you have to spend each month. You can also set up goals for categories you want to watch, such as eating out at restaurants and transportation.
The app offers additional features — such as spending insights — that can help you build better budgets. You can see where your money is going each month and receive alerts when you approach your spending limits.
The app also checks your bank account for any recurring charges, which makes it easier to discover subscriptions you may have forgotten.
While Rocket Money is free, you’ll pay $3 to $12 each month for premium features. How much you pay is up to you.
The free version of EveryDollar requires you to manually enter your financial transactions to track your spending. When you swipe your debit card at the grocery store or buy clothes online, it’s up to you to log those purchases.
For $79.99 a year, the app’s premium version will track your expenses automatically by syncing to your bank accounts. It also provides access to Ramsey’s Financial Peace courses and helps you track your way through his “Baby Steps” plan.
You can sign up for a 14-day free trial of EveryDollar Premium to test it out before committing to the annual cost.
It’s a good budgeting app for couples because you can log in from multiple devices. The free version of Goodbudget allows you to sign in from two devices and gives you up to 20 digital envelopes to work with.
The paid version costs $8 monthly or $70 annually and lets you log in from five devices. You can budget with an unlimited amount of envelopes using the paid version.
Goodbudget doesn’t sync to your financial accounts, so you’ll have to update your transactions manually or by downloading your transaction history from your bank’s website and importing it into the app.
Mint is a longstanding budgeting app, run by Intuit.
It’s a free app that syncs to your bank account and lets you customize your budget by creating as many spending categories as you want. Mint will analyze your finances and suggest budget limits based on your spending habits.
You can stay on top of upcoming bills with this app and get alerts when your balance is getting too low. Additional features of Mint allow you to check your credit score and track your investments.
5. Empower Personal Wealth
The Personal Capital app was bought out and is now called Empower Personal Wealth.
Many of the features have remained the same. You can still input various aspects of your financial life into the dashboard — including tracking your net worth, retirement savings and investments. It also includes a cash flow feature so you can stay on top of what you’re spending from linked bank and credit card accounts.
Empower Personal Wealth lets you customize your budget so you can take note of where you’re spending the most money. It also juxtaposes your current spending with how much you spent the previous month, so you can see if you’re on track to spend similarly.
This app is free to download and use for basic money management. However, if you want to take advantage of Empower Personal Wealth’s wealth management services, like getting advice from a financial adviser, you’ll be charged fees based on the size of your portfolio.
Simplifi is a money management app by Quicken. Sync your financial accounts to view all your spending in one place.
Simplifi automatically categorizes your spending, shows you upcoming bills and tracks recurring expenses to highlight subscriptions you may want to cancel. It also lets you set up savings goals and will give you tips on how to reach those goals faster.
This app costs $3.99 per month or $39.99 annually, but you can test it out with a free 30-day trial.
Tiller is an expense tracking tool for spreadsheet lovers. It takes the information from your linked financial accounts and imports that to your Google Sheets budget or Excel budget, which you can customize to your liking. Tiller also has budget templates you can use.
This app can automatically categorize your expenses or you can choose to manually categorize them. Tiller keeps you up-to-date on your spending with daily account activity emails.
Tiller costs $79 a year. Try it out at no cost with a free 30-day trial.
YNAB — or You Need a Budget — follows the zero-based budget principle of giving every dollar a job. Use this app to keep your spending in line with your budget.
Link your bank accounts to automatically track your expenses. YNAB will create reports so you can see how your spending compares to your money goals.
You can access this app from almost any device, including Alexa or your Apple Watch — which means you have no excuse to not know where your money is going.
YNAB costs $14.99 per month or $99 annually. Try it out for free for 34 days.
Nicole Dow is a former senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Rachel Christian, a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder, contributed to this story.