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It may seem like a daunting task to create a budget, but there are a number of tools and applications to help simplify the process. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular budgeting apps for Canadians and how they can help make budgeting as stress-free as possible.
How Do Budgeting Apps Help?
Budgeting apps are online applications that are typically made for smartphones and tablets that help you organize your money. These apps can analyze your spending and help you to create a personalized budget that fits your lifestyle. It is also a good way to get an overview of your finances as some of them allow you to sync your bank accounts, investment account, and credit cards. This can help you to set savings goals and many have tools and features that can help you pay down your debt. Additionally, using a budgeting app can help prevent overspending, as some will allow you to set spending limits.
Top Budgeting Apps For Canadians 2022
There are a number of different app solutions that can help you create and keep a budget. Below are some of the more popular options for Canadians:
Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps and is also amongst the oldest on the market. It allows users to link their financial accounts (bank, credit card, and investment accounts) and the app will categorize expenses as they are incurred.
The app is free to use and will label your spending into categories such as “Food” or “Shopping”. Taking your income and spending habits into account, the app will suggest a personalized budget for each of the spending categories. There are also several different notifications you can enable to notify you of upcoming payments or if your account balance falls below a certain point.
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You Need A Budget (YNAB)
This app allows you to link your banking and credit accounts from which it will analyze your spending habits. The main goal of YNAB is to help you develop and stick to a budget, with tools that are designed to help you reduce your debt. Additionally, the app encourages you to set specific goals and educates you on how you can reach them.
YNAB is free to use for the first 30 days. After the trial period, users can pay $11.99 monthly or an upfront fee of $84 for the year.
PocketGuard is an app that is designed to simply show how much you are spending. Users can sync their bank account in order for the app to calculate how much discretionary income will be left over after paying monthly bills. You can categorize expenses into multiple categories such as rent, groceries, and entertainment.
This app is free for users and includes all the standard features that you would expect a budgeting app to have. A cool tool is the “Lower Your Bills” feature which analyzes your bill payments and makes recommendations to alternatives where you could potentially be paying less.
Wally is a budgeting app that allows users to track income and expenses in multiple currencies. One cool feature is that you can split expenses amongst friends, so you can have an overview of how much each person owes you.
There is no charge to use Wally, but they are looking to roll out an optional premium service soon that will require a monthly subscription fee. One of the downsides with Wally is that it cannot be linked to financial institutions; meaning that you will have to input each line item manually. Essentially, this app is a digital version of a handwritten budget.
KOHO is a financial solution that combines the features of a budgeting and savings app into one single product where you can track your income and expenses in real-time. The KOHO prepaid Visa Card. Using the round-up feature, users can have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar with the difference being deposited directly into their savings account.
The basic KOHO card is free, but KOHO premium, which features added benefits such as cash back for eligible purchases, will cost $9 per month or an annual fee of $84. A new feature on the app is that users who have direct deposits set up can get an advance of $100 on their upcoming paycheque three days before it is deposited without any interest.
Moka is an app that rounds up all your spending to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into their investment account. For example, users who spend $1.50 on a coffee will have the purchase rounded up to $2 and $0.50 will be deposited into their Moka investment account.
A professional portfolio manager looks after the money in your Moka account, which is invested in a low-cost ETF. The cost of using the app is $3.99 or $15 per month, depending on the plan you choose.
The principle behind the Goodbudget app is the traditional envelope budgeting strategy – assigning an envelope to each spending category and filling them with cash each month. The app will allow you to create multiple envelopes and load them with a certain amount every month to build a habit of budgeting and responsible spending. Goodbudget can be synced with bank accounts to keep track of spending and balances and budgets can be shared with friends or family members.
The free version of the app will allow you to create up to ten envelopes for spending categories whereas it is unlimited for the premium version. The monthly fee for the premium version is $6 or users can pay an upfront fee of $50 for the year.
Personal Capital is a solution that is meant to provide a wide range of financial services in addition to budgeting. The free financial tracker tool offered by Personal Capital provides an overview of banking, investment, and credit accounts. Users can create a budget, set savings goals, and make projections on the future value of their savings and investments. Additionally, a retirement planning tool is available to analyze whether the user is on the right track to meet their savings goals.
The basic budgeting and retirement planning tools are completely free to use, but a premium service is available which offers more in-depth financial planning. For the premium version, users will be charged 0.89% of their account balance each year. While Personal Capital is currently only available for U.S. citizens, there are plans to make the product available to Canadians in the near future.
This budgeting app would be considered the Rolls Royce of budgeting apps, one with all the bells and whistles. Some of its additional features include using a variety of currencies, tracking your spending trends and even incorporating vehicle mileage. Another time-saving feature is that when you need to claim expenses, you can send that data to a CSV or HTML file which can include a digital copy of the receipts
TD Bank Mobile Banking App
We highly recommend that you download your bank’s app, they all run similarly and can help you manage your accounts. If you’re a customer of TD Bank then you, without a doubt, need to download their app, it’s by far one of the best financial apps out there. The TD Bank app has many of the same features that most budgeting apps have. But what makes it even better is that you can make transfers, pay bills and even make investments.
Overview Of The Top Budgeting Apps For Canadians
Sync Bank Accounts
Desktop, iOS, Android
Free trial (30 days),
Free for Basic,
$3.99/month – basic plan
$15/month – Moka 360
Free for basic,
Some free tools,
Of account balance
Desktop, iOS, Android
Budgeting, daily banking
Budgeting Apps vs. Creating A Budget Yourself
Using a budgeting app will likely be much more efficient than if you were to try and keep a budget using pen and paper. Apps are often automated, which means that transactions are inputted automatically and users can get real-time alerts and updates to stay up to date. When budgeting manually, you won’t know if you are in staying within your budget or on track for your goals until you compile all your receipts at the end of the month. Most apps will also feature user-friendly tools and visuals such as charts and overviews that are displayed in a manner that is easy to digest and provides insight into spending habits.
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Are Budgeting Apps Safe?
Most of the popular budgeting apps were created by financial institutions, which means that it comes with a certain commitment in regard to security. When evaluating different apps, look for ones that use end-to-end encryption, which prevents third-party users from accessing your information. Additional factors to look for are “read-only” features which mean that you cannot move money into different accounts directly from the app, and apps that will allow you to add your transactions manually should you choose to do so.
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Studies have shown that Canadians are much more likely to be able to keep up with their financial commitments if they have a monthly budget. A wide range of budgeting apps are available to help you stay up to date with your finances and manage your spending properly. Evaluate the features of the different apps to select one that best suits you and your needs. The great thing about a budgeting app, regardless of which one you choose, is that you actually keep an eye on your accounts, spending and saving which makes it all the easier to start to see results, whatever your financial goals are.
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