How to Budget

The Best Budget Apps for 2024

Quick answer

The best budget apps for 2024 are Cheddar, Monarch, Simplifi, YNAB, Copilot, NerdWallet, RocketMoney, and Empower.

📈 Basic Budget Apps Overview

Budget apps are more than just trackers for spending and expenses. 🤔 They offer various features that help you understand where your money goes, provide insights into how to save money, and most importantly make bookkeeping delightful so you want to keep tracking your money month after month. We tested each app and dove into user reviews to create this list.

🚨 Important Notes

Phasing out by March 23, 2024, so it's not on our list.

🧀 Cheddar App
We’re keeping it off the list to maintain impartiality.

🏆 The Official List

1. Monarch Money

The Monarch team comprises many former members of the Mint product team. Their user interface is clean and straightforward, making it easy to navigate. The budget categorization system is impressive, and unlike Mint's problematic "rule" button, Monarch's rules for changing transaction categories work seamlessly. While the filter buttons are useful for drilling into transactions and cash flow, transaction accuracy could use some improvement. Nevertheless, the calendar feature for tracking recurring transactions adds a neat touch. The goals feature stands out as particularly slick, allowing for easy editing of names and amounts, as well as assigning them to specific accounts while updating the budget accordingly.

Top features:

• User-friendly interface
• Smart account linking
• Recurring transactions tracking

2. Simplifi

Switching to Simplifi for ex-Mint users has been mostly positive. The platform's transaction categorization works smoothly about 80% of the time, a significant improvement over Mint's inaccuracies. Simplifi's automatic categorization rules are particularly impressive, saving considerable time compared to Mint's unreliable system. Importing transactions from Mint is seamless, and recent updates, such as selective transaction loading, indicate Simplifi's commitment to user feedback and product improvement. With its beautiful interface, reliable account syncing, and affordability, Simplifi emerges as a top choice for streamlined financial management.

Top features:

• Accurate transaction categorization
• Automatic categorization rules
• Responsive to user feedback


YNAB (You Need A Budget) isn't just a budget app. It's a methodology that has an almost evangelical following. It brings users from "tracking your expenses" to "planing your expenses", and reaching that second phase is a financial game-changer for many people. YNAB has the most reviews online for any app we could find from people attributing it to paying off their debt and saving money for the first time in their lives. Of course, that comes with commitment and dedication to forming new habits to use the app correctly.  

Top features:

• Excellent for learning budgeting
• User-friendly mobile app
• Effective in helping users save money

4. Copilot

If you're looking for the most stunning and visually appealing user interface, Copilot wins. The UI is not only sleek and modern but also incredibly fun to configure and use, with thoughtful details such as customizable icons and intuitive displays making it stand out. Copilot's attention to detail shines through its masterful handling of recurring events, seamless budget rebalancing, and well-designed analytics. Although currently available only on iOS for mobile and Mac for desktop, Copilot's focus on exceptional design suggests promising potential for future expansion. Overall, Copilot transforms the often mundane task of tracking finances into an enjoyable and rewarding experience, making it a compelling alternative to traditional budgeting tools.

Top features:

• Stunning user interface
• Ability to connect crypto wallets and track multiple investments
• No advertisements

5. NerdWallet

NerdWallet's core business is selling various types of loans which is how they keep the app entirely free. Since the app is not their main focus, the downside is limited support and feature development. Leveraging Plaid for account linking, NerdWallet supports a wide range of banks and cards, including real estate holdings tracked automatically through Redfin integration. While some actions may require a few extra taps compared to Mint, NerdWallet offers a logical layout and intuitive presentation, making the adjustment to its interface relatively seamless. Overall, NerdWallet proves to be a solid choice for those seeking a robust financial management solution.

Top features:

• Free bank linking
• Comprehensive financial tracking
• User-friendly interface

6. RocketMoney

Rocket Money stands out with its sleek and user-friendly interface, with a focus on identifying and cancelling unwanted subscriptions for you. They promise to end your subscriptions, even communicating by email, phone call, or snail mail on your behalf. Rocket Money excels in managing subscriptions and monthly expenses, offering timely alerts for payment changes and insightful month-to-month comparisons. While some users appreciate the negotiation service for lowering bills, others have faced challenges with historical data loss during account relinking, highlighting a significant flaw in the app's functionality. Additionally, reliance on Plaid for account connections presents limitations, with some institutions unsupported or facing frequent reconnection issues. Despite these shortcomings, loyal users appreciate Rocket Money's simplicity and effectiveness in providing a clear overview of financial transactions and spending habits.

Top features:

• Easy visualization of all recurring charges
• Cancels subscriptions on your behalf
• User-friendly budget tracker

7. Empower

Empower offers a free financial management service, but users have reported experiencing persistent phone calls shortly after logging in, which can be off-putting for some. Despite a recent hiatus from these calls, previous users have noted frustration with the frequency and persistence of sales pitches. Furthermore, the app's inability to categorize accounts properly, particularly with checking and savings accounts often labeled as investments due to the financial institution, poses a significant inconvenience. The lack of budgeting tools, including the inability to set budgets on spending categories or roll over leftover amounts, further limits its functionality for users seeking comprehensive financial planning capabilities. While Empower stands out for its unique ability to pull in employer 401k accounts through Alight, its shortcomings in budgeting and persistent sales tactics may deter users looking for a more seamless and customizable financial management solution.

Top features:

• Offers a free version with essential features
• Tracks investments
• Tracks 401k