Best Budgeting Apps for 2021 | The Ascent by Motley Fool – Motley Fool

Just like there are different types of budgeting methods, there are also different types of budgeting apps. Here are the most common types of budgeting apps you’ll find.

Free budgeting apps

A free budget app is one that you can use without needing to pay any sort of monthly or yearly fee. Fortunately, if you’re looking for the best free budget app, there are plenty of options available. Keep in mind that in many cases, budgeting apps offer both a free version and a premium version with more features.

A paid budget app is one that comes with a fee to use. This is typically a monthly or a yearly fee, and you can often get a discount if you pay for a year upfront.

Expense-tracking budgeting apps

Expense-tracking budgeting apps connect to your financial accounts, such as your bank account and credit card accounts, to help you monitor your spending. They track your transactions and group them into categories so that you can see where you spend the most. This is the most popular type of budgeting app. Many of the best budgeting apps are based on expense-tracking systems.

Zero-sum budgeting apps

The zero-sum system of budgeting involves finding a purpose for every dollar of income you have. These can be bill payments, savings goals, debt, and everything else you spend money on. Zero-sum budgeting apps are an effective way to see where all your money is going and avoid wasting it. That makes them especially valuable for consumers who are tight on money or trying to pay off debt. You Need a Budget – YNAB is a popular and highly rated zero-sum budget app.

Investment/retirement planning budgeting apps

Quite a few budgeting apps let you connect your investment accounts and track your net worth. Investment and retirement planning budgeting apps take it a step further, though. They have tools designed to help you monitor your investment portfolio, review its performance, and make sure you’re on track to retire at the age you want.

Budgeting apps for couples

A budget app for couples is designed for two people to use together. These budgeting apps will usually let partners set up both personal and shared accounts. Zeta is widely considered to be the best budget app for couples.

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