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The Top 5 Personal Budget Software Apps for Your Family

Forty percent of Americans spend less than their yearly income. But an almost equal 38 percent spend the equivalent of their paycheck. That leaves 18 percent of Americans left spending more than they make, meaning a good number of us (almost 60 percent) may need help with our budgeting and spending habits.

Problems with spending vs saving isn’t a new issue in America by any means. In fact, the stats have stayed fairly similar since 2009. But the good news is, today’s savvy savers are leveraging top software applications to help keep their family’s money on track. Below are the top five personal budget software apps you can begin taking advantage of today.

The Top 5 Personal Budget Software Apps for Your Family

Monarch Money (Our Personal Favorite)

Costs: Free or About $15/month

MonarchMoney is a budgeting tool designed to empower individuals to take control of their finances without breaking the bank. Unlike traditional budgeting methods that might focus solely on tracking expenses, MonarchMoney adopts a holistic approach, aiming to help users build wealth and achieve financial freedom.

Monarch Money features include:

  • Expense Tracking: Keep tabs on where your money is going with easy-to-use expense tracking tools.

  • Income Management: Monitor your income streams and ensure they align with your financial goals.

  • Goal Setting and Tracking: Set achievable financial goals and track your progress over time.

  • Customizable Budgets: Tailor your budget to suit your lifestyle and priorities, ensuring every dollar has a purpose.

  • Financial Education: Access a wealth of educational resources and personalized advice to enhance your financial literacy.

  • Multi-Platform Accessibility: Enjoy the convenience of accessing MonarchMoney on various devices, including iOS, Android, and desktop platforms.

Costs: About $7/month or $84/year

You Need a Budget, or YNAB, is embraced for its alternative approach to thinking about your money. This software uses an “every dollar has a job” method, meaning every single dollar in your possession is designated for a purpose - saving, paying off debt, investing, etc. The theory is, by accounting for every single dollar, you’re forced to spend wisely and rethink what your money is being used for. 

YNAB features include:

  • 34-day free trial

  • Bank syncing to connect all accounts into one place

  • Comprehensive progress reports and real-time updates

  • Goal-setting and tracking

  • Support and personal education from a team of experts

  • IOS, Android and desktop compatibility


Cost: Free, or $6/month or $50/year for Goodbudget Plus

Embracing the envelope system, Goodbudget creates virtual envelopes for your money, breaking expenses down into categories like gas, groceries, eating out, debt payoff, etc. From there, the premise is fairly simple. As you spend money in a category, you can watch the bar on a chart fill with green. If you’re about to overspend in a category, the app will send you an alert, giving you a chance to reallocate funds or think twice about your next purchase. Built with couples and families in mind, Goodbudget can be synced across multiple devices (the amount depends on which version of the app you’re using) to help keep multiple people aware of household spending.

Goodbudget features include:

  • A personalized, in-depth dashboard of your entire financial picture

  • Easy-to-use tools to set and track budgeting goals 

  • Sync devices with spouse, partner or family members (varies on which version is used)

  • Stores history for one year (or more on Plus)

  • Downloadable budget history 

  • IOS and Android compatible

Cost: Free, or  $3.99/month or $34.99/year for Pocketguard Plus

From investments and loans to savings and cash, this app is designed to sync all of your accounts into one easy-to-view personalized dashboard. As purchases are made, the app updates in real-time and categorizes each transaction to help you better understand what you’re spending your money on and where you may be able to save.

Pocketguard features include:

  • Syncs across all accounts, including cash (if using Plus version)

  • Personalized, automated budget built based on your goals, bills and income level

  • Certified SSL 256-Bit for security

  • Examples and opportunities for savings based on your spending habits

  • IOS and Android compatible

Costs: Free basic version, $129.99/year for EveryDollar Plus

EveryDollar, developed by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, is a budgeting tool that emphasizes simplicity and intentionality in managing your finances. The software follows the zero-based budgeting method, where every dollar is assigned a specific purpose, leaving no room for financial waste.

EveryDollar features include:

  • Zero-Based Budgeting: Allocate every dollar of your income to specific categories, such as groceries, utilities, savings, and entertainment, ensuring that your expenses align with your financial goals.

  • Expense Tracking: Easily track your expenses and monitor your spending habits to identify areas where you can cut back and save more.

  • Customizable Budgets: Tailor your budget to reflect your unique financial situation and priorities, whether you're paying off debt, saving for a big purchase, or planning for retirement.

  • Syncing with Bank Accounts: Connect your bank accounts to automatically import transactions, making it easier to stay up-to-date with your finances.

  • Debt Payoff Planning: Develop a strategic plan to pay off debt faster and achieve financial freedom sooner.

  • Goal Tracking: Set and track financial goals, whether it's building an emergency fund, saving for a vacation, or investing for the future.

  • EveryDollar Plus: For a subscription fee, EveryDollar Plus offers additional features such as automatic transaction imports, priority support, and customized reports for a more streamlined budgeting experience.

Budgeting software can be a useful tool for a wide variety of consumers. For example, you may be very good at keeping track of your money and even written out a monthly budget for years. But with today’s tools, budgeting gets even easier with automatic transaction updates, account syncing and more. And for those who are ready to get serious about their spending, incorporating these apps into your money management system can be an eye-opening experience as you set a personal budget, develop goals, and track your progress.

Invest In a Life You Love,

Donovan Carson - founder of Carson Capital



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