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The best budgeting apps: Find the Mint alternative that's right for you

Mint may be gone, but there are still many great budget apps that promise to help you set financial goals and save money. We tested that promise to find out which are the best ones.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
You Need a Budget (YNAB) | Best budget app overall
You need a budget YNAB
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Best budget app overall
View now View at YNAB
Rocket Money | Best free budget app
Rocket Money
Rocket Money
Best free budget app
View now View at Rocket Money
Goodbudget | Best budget app for the envelope method
Best budget app for the envelope method
View now View at App Store
Honeydue | Best budget app for couples/families
Best budget app for couples/families
View now View at Honeydue
PocketGuard | Best budget app for overspenders
Best budget app for overspenders
View now View at App Store

Budgeting can be challenging, but with many Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, it's a necessary evil for most of us. What that budget looks like, however, is different for everyone. Budget apps simplify the process by helping you track your spending, reach financial goals, and even lower your debt.

Also: Best early Black Friday deals: Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and more

With Intuit shutting down Mint, one of the most popular budget apps, users are looking for alternatives. If you're a former Mint user or simply looking to be budget-conscious ahead of the Black Friday shopping craze this holiday season, we've rounded up the best budget apps available today. 

The best budget apps of 2023

Pros & Cons
  • Long free trial period
  • Loan calculator
  • Compatible with many banks
  • Must purchase plan
  • No bill-paying capabilities
More Details

Free version: No free version, 30-day free trial | Paid version: Must purchase plan to use | Cost: $15/month or $99/year | Extra features: Bank account linking available

As one of the most popular budgeting apps, YNAB (why-nab) is a great choice for anyone looking to get serious about their personal finance, achieving savings goals, and wiping out debt. As a detailed budgeting tool, YNAB makes easy work of expense tracking in real-time thanks to the ability to link your bank accounts.

One downside is that YNAB requires a subscription to use it, as there is no free version of the app. YNAB gives users a 30-day free trial before charging the user for a subscription, a time in which the app claims to save users up to $200. After the 30-day trial period ends, users can pay $15/month or $99/year for the app. 

Pros & Cons
  • Bill negotiations
  • Sync all of your accounts
  • Sliding scale pricing
  • Limited features with free plan option
More Details

Free version: Bank account linking, balance alerts, subscription flagger, spending tracker | Paid version: Subscription cancellation assistant, money expert advice, bill negotiation, savings account, and credit card | Cost: $3-$12/month or $36-$144/year | Extra features: Sliding scale subscription cost

Rocket Money is a budget app that tracks subscriptions and bills and helps you identify potential savings in your recurrent expenses for free. It lets users link accounts and flags subscriptions for you, making it easy to cancel the ones you no longer need. The Rocket Money app also reminds you of due bills to prevent late payments and features a spending tracker for financial budgeting. 

The Rocket Money app is free for budgeting and spotting unnecessary subscriptions but there is a Premium subscription that gives users access to bill negotiation, a cancellations assistant to cancel those subscriptions for you, and more. The Premium subscription is available for a variable cost that ranges from $3 to $12 monthly.

Pros & Cons
  • Smart reporting
  • Affordable plan
  • Compatible with several devices
  • Must manually log items
  • Paid plan has the best features
More Details

Free version: Envelope budgeting and transaction tracking; limit 20 envelopes | Paid version: Unlimited envelopes, support for up to five devices,  | Cost: $8/month or $70/year | where are you make a good very good for you it's like

As a mom of three who enjoys a good budget (pun intended) with both spreadsheets and pen and paper, Goodbudget is one of my favorite apps. Goodbudget strips down the bells and whistles of a traditional budgeting app in favor of a straightforward approach that multiple household members can see and manage. 

Goodbudget has you allocate funds into digital envelopes, just like you'd put physical cash into paper envelopes. The budget can be set according to the user's individual needs and how often income comes in, and the user categorizes different expenses and sets a budget for each one.

For example, if we typically spend $180 on gas monthly, I create a $200 digital envelope in Goodbudget labeled Gas, to account for any pricing fluctuations. Whatever isn't used, I can "sweep" into savings or debt repayment. 

Pros & Cons
  • Free to use
  • Joint banking account
  • In-app messaging with partner
  • Few savings/financial goals abilities
  • There are ads
More Details

Free version: Does have ads | Paid version: No subscriptions | Cost: Free | Extra features: Bank account linking, messaging, joint banking account

Honeydue is a free app that is specifically designed for two people managing budgets together, which could help when couples and young families are building a shared financial picture. The fact that Honeydue is free means couples who don't want to invest in a budgeting app don't have to, though the app does have ads. 

The Honeydue app lets users link their bank accounts for real-time expense tracking, like Mint and other budget apps do, but it also has an in-app chat that lets the couple discuss finances without switching to a messaging app. 

There's also the option to open a joint bank account with a debit card that features no monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements. 

Pros & Cons
  • Suspicious transactions monitoring
  • Debt payoff plan
  • Negotiate interest rates
  • Paid plan for best features
  • Lower Google Play Store rating
More Details

Free version: Basic budgeting features | Paid version: Debt payoff plan, unlimited budgets, extended transaction history  | Cost: $8/month, $35/year, $80/lifetime | Extra features: Pie chart reports for free and paid users, "In My Pocket" tracker

Utilizing smart algorithms to manage and track spending, PocketGuard takes a modern approach to budgeting. The app monitors your bills, helping to remind you ahead of missing payments. True to its name, Pocketguard's built-in anti-fraud feature helps to keep track and alerts you of suspicious spending trends. 

With the "In My Pocket" (IMP) feature, the app automatically calculates monthly expenses and then notifies you of any leftover funds. 

While you don't have to pay to use PocketGuard, you must subscribe if you want to access all of the best features. 

What is the best budget app?

YNAB is our pick for the best budgeting app because it combines many features and is easy to use. However, that doesn't make YNAB the best budget app for everyone. Rocket Money is a top choice for anyone looking to save some cash, thanks to its sliding scale of pricing and expansive services. Here's how the apps we looked into stack up: 

Budgeting appZDNET's takeCostApp Store RatingGoogle Play Rating
You need a budget (YNAB)Best budget app overall$15/month4.804.7
Rocket MoneyBest free budget appFree or $3-$12/month4.304.4
GoodbudgetBest for the envelope methodFree or $8/month4.604.2
HoneydueBest for couplesFree with ads4.503.3
PocketGuardBest for overspendersFree or $8/month4.703.7

Which is the right budget app for you?

The right budget app for you will depend on how you want to budget, whether you want specific features like bill negotiations or credit scores, whether you have a single or combined checking account, and what price you're willing to spend per month for a subscription.

Below, I've broken down the options further.

Choose this budget app...If you...
You need a budget (YNAB)Are committed to creating and achieving your ideal financial budget. Its free trial lasts 30 days, so you can try it out for a month before subscribing.
Rocket MoneyWant great options for free or a lower price. The app can handle bill negotiations for you to get you lower prices on what you pay monthly.
GoodbudgetPrefer budgeting using the envelope method. You can sync your budget(s) across multiple users and devices.
HoneydueWould like to include your partner in your financial planning. Track expenses together and message in-app to discuss spending.
PocketGuardWant to track your spending. It has a debt payoff plan to get you back on track.

How did we choose these budgeting apps?

Choosing the best budget apps on this list involved a lot of testing and creating many accounts in different apps to compare their features and test their performance. Here are some ways you can narrow down your choices to decide which is best for you:

  • Financial needs: Consider not only your individual financial needs but also the goals you want to achieve. Do you want to track daily expenses and build an emergency fund? Or are you trying to cut expenses and pay down debt? Are you planning for a big life event you want to save for, like buying a car or a house? These are all things you should consider, as they will shape how you use your budgeting app.
  • Ease of use: It's worth testing out different options to determine which user interface you prefer in a budget app. I've been a committed budgeter for years, yet I don't like using the apps that link my bank account, so I prefer apps like Goodbudget, even if I don't use the envelope method in real life. I also like the data that PocketGuard offers, so I have a visual picture of my spending habits. If you like an app that links to your financial account in real time, then you'd do great with other apps like YNAB or Honeydue. 
  • Fees: Budgeting apps often charge a fee for their services, whether it is an upfront fee or an ongoing monthly or annual fee. Be sure to review all fees in advance, so you can be sure that you choose the right service for your needs. 

What is a budget app?

A budget app is a mobile service that typically allows you to track your spending and increase your savings.  You can typically sync your accounts to view a complete financial portrait, all within a single app. Here, you will find our picks for the best budgeting app for your financial needs. 

Do budgeting apps work?

Like anything else, a budget app only works if you use it regularly. Many apps offer financial tools and resources that can help you reduce your debt and expand your financial worth by providing expense and other reports.

Are there alternative budget apps worth considering?

There are many finance apps available in the App Store or the Google Play Store. However, not all of them are legit or can successfully help you create a budget. Below, are some other trustworthy budget app options. 

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