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Did you know that the leading cause of divorce is financial conflict? While romantic movies may tell a more idyllic story, the truth is that lasting love is all about logistics.
If you’re not on the same page financially, money can quickly put a strain on your relationship. Thus, it’s crucial to communicate about money management and set a budget as a couple.
Budgeting apps make this process easier. They keep you and your other half on the same page financially. To learn about the best budget apps for couples, keep reading.
What Is a Budget App?
Budgeting apps are financial tools that help you keep tabs on your spending. Most budget apps can be accessed right from your smartphone, allowing you to check in with your budget on the go.
Budget apps made for couples enable both parties to link their bank accounts and see the same financial picture. If problems arise with your spending habits, you can discuss them together and make adjustments as necessary.
Why Should You Use a Budget App?
By enhancing your financial awareness, you and your significant other will be more inclined to spend smarter and pursue your savings goals strategically.
Some important tips for budgeting as a couple include:
- Being honest with your partner about your spending priorities
- Budgeting your income together before you get paid
- Tracking your spending throughout the month to ensure you stay on budget
- Putting money aside for both long-term goals and short-term emergencies
- Following the 50 20 30 budget rule
What is the 50 20 30 Budget Rule?
The 50 20 30 rule is a budgeting guideline that encourages you to allocate your income in the following manner:
- 50% goes towards needs, such as groceries, health insurance, and other necessities
- 20% goes towards debt payments and savings, including student loans, retirement fund contributions, and mortgage payments
- 30% goes towards wants, like eating out, partaking in recreational activities, and purchasing gifts
You can tweak these ratios as needed. However, they’re a good jumping-off point for couples just starting their budgeting journey together.
What Is The Best Free Budgeting App For Couples?
Not all budgeting apps are created equal. Search for these key features as you compare options on the market:
Real-time data syncing – Ideally, you want to find a budget app that syncs data between multiple devices in real-time. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you have left to spend. If your budget app shows $500 (when you really only have $35 because your partner just paid the bills) you can easily blow your budget unintentionally. Thus, real-time data syncing prevents this problem.
Link to external bank accounts – The best budget apps make your life easier by tracking transactions automatically. They eliminate the hassle of doing it manually. For this to be possible, your budgeting app must be able to link to your bank accounts.
Customizable categories – Every couple’s budget looks different. Some couples want to save for a house, while others want to build up a thriving vacation fund. By choosing a budget app with customizable categories, you can tailor them to suit your spending habits and savings goals. For example, you can create a custom saving category for a wedding fund, a college fund, or whatever else motivates you and your partner to save.
Cost – Many budget apps are totally free. Others charge a small fee for upgraded features.
Best Free Budget App For Couples: 7 Outstanding Options
Without further ado, here are 7 of the best budget apps on the market for couples:
The Mint app is owned by Intuit, the creator of Quickbooks and TurboTax. It allows couples to effortlessly manage their finances all in one place.
Mint syncs with all of your financial accounts, including:
- Savings accounts
- Checking accounts
- Investment accounts
- Retirement accounts
As a result, you’ll enjoy automatic syncing of all your transactions, unless you pay in cash (in which case it’s easy to add manual transactions within the app). From there, Mint categorizes each transaction and creates an automated budget for you. You can use this budget as a reference during financial discussions between you and your partner.
Can Couples Use Mint?
Mint has many features that can enhance your financial standing as a couple:
Automated alerts – If you or your partner go over budget in a certain category, you can set up text and email alerts. Likewise, you can also create reminders about upcoming bills to ensure you never miss a payment.
Saving simulations – If you want to see how saving a little more each month could impact your annual savings, Mint enables you to test these simulations with ease. Say, you are envisioning saving a certain percentage of money by utilizing free food apps one month, Mint allows users to forecast anticipated spending behaviors.
Weekly summaries – Mint also offers a weekly summary of your spending. By reviewing this report as a couple, you can decide together if you should adjust your spending habits going forward.
Strong security – Lastly, Mint is a free app with top-notch security. This app is verified by TRUSTe and VeriSign and supported by RSA Security.
Goodbudget is a budgeting app based on the cash envelope budgeting system. In this system, you distribute your monthly income into different envelopes, each of which is dedicated to a specific expense, such as:
- Going out
- Pet expenses
Since each envelope only contains a limited amount of cash, they prevent you from overspending in one area and coming out short in another. In turn, you’ll have an easier time sticking to your budget.
With Goodbudget, this entire process is made virtual. The free version of the app offers 20 customizable envelopes. When money is taken out of one of these, both parties can see from their account and spend accordingly.
Other Goodbudget Features
Another awesome feature of Goodbudget is that it enables you to track your debt within the app, as well as your regular expenses. In turn, you and your significant other can stay on top of your credit card and loan payments.
The only downside of Goodbudget is that it doesn’t sync with bank accounts. Thus, you’ll have to enter all of your transactions manually.
In terms of cost, the basic version of Goodbudget is free. If you’re interested in investing in the Plus version, it costs $6 per month or $50 per year. By upgrading, you’ll enjoy an unlimited number of envelopes and be able to access your account from up to five different devices.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a budgeting app built around the zero-based budgeting method. The premise of this method is to allocate every dollar of your income to a specific purpose, broken down into the following categories:
- Debt payments
After allocating these funds, you shouldn’t have any income left over to distribute. Hence the name “zero-based budgeting.”
YNAB enables you to implement zero-based budgeting with ease. It uses four simple guidelines to help its users save money:
Give every dollar a job – By allocating every dollar you earn, you’re forced to create a thorough financial plan and stick with it. Not only will this give you more control over your finances, but it will encourage you to put more money into your savings.
Embrace your true expenses – YNAB allows you to set aside money for unexpected expenses, like birthday gifts, emergencies, and occasions when you need to put apps like TaskRabbit to use and hire a handyman on short notice. In turn, you’ll be prepared to pay for these bills without throwing off your entire budget.
Roll with the punches – Overspending happens. YNAB allows you to compensate for these occurrences by moving money around within the app. For instance, if you need to pull $50 from your savings to pay for a car repair, you can. This way, you can still stay within the general confines of your budget.
Make your money last – YNAB encourages its users to spend less than they earn by having them set aside their savings at the start of the month. In turn, you and your significant other can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck once and for all. And although you may experience times where you feel it may be necessary to flush out your closet and resort to the best app to sell clothes to compensate for unexpected expenses or impulsive spending, YNAB can help limit the rate at which this situation may occur.
More YNAB Advantages
As you can see, the YNAB app is perfect for couples intent on making every dollar of theirs go to good use. Some other notable benefits of YNAB include:
- Bank account syncing
- Goal setting tools
- Customizable spending categories
- Free financial workshops
YNAB also identifies areas where you and your partner may be overspending. The app will offer insightful suggestions on how you can cut back, which can come in handy.
YNAB is accessible from your smartphone, desktop, Apple Watch, or Amazon Echo, leaving you no excuse to neglect your budget. You can try the YNAB app for free with a 34-day trial. After that, it costs $11.99 a month or $84 a year.
4. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a free budgeting app made for investment-minded couples. It offers all the typical budget tracking features, with an added emphasis on investments.
By optimizing your investment strategy together, you and your partner can finally reach your financial goals.
Not only does Personal Capital sync with your bank accounts, but it also connects with your:
- 401(k) accounts
- IRA accounts
Personal Capital Advantages
Personal Capital shows your full financial portfolio, enabling you to visualize your entire net worth in one place. It even includes a convenient net worth tracker, which will show your financial progress over time.
Since Personal Capital is an investment management tool, it also shows a comprehensive breakdown of your investment portfolio. You can take advantage of Personal Capital’s Robo-advisor algorithms too. They’ll help you enhance your portfolio as new opportunities arise.
If you want even more personalized financial guidance, you can schedule a paid session with one of Personal Capital’s financial advisors. Besides that, the app is entirely free to use.
If you’re looking for an easy way to tell your honey when the bills are due, just download Honeydue. This free budgeting app was designed specifically with couples in mind.
It helps you track and budget your shared and individual expenses all in one place. Depending on your preference, you can share access to all of your financial accounts or keep some separate, including:
- Debit accounts
- Savings accounts
- Investment accounts
- Mortgages and loans
Honeydue also allows for direct messaging within the app. This way, you can share notes with your partner about certain transactions.
One great advantage of Honeydue is its bill reminder feature. Rather than nagging your partner, you can let Honeydue alert them that bills are coming up. In turn, you’ll avoid late penalties and improve your credit score.
Next, if you want to take your relationship to the next level, consider opening a joint bank account. Honeydue offers its own joint bank account that’s insured through Sutton Bank.
The Honeydue app also features top-notch security to protect your identity and personal data.
Zeta is another free budgeting app designed for couples. It allows you and your partner to link multiple accounts together in one place. Like Honeydue, it also enables you to keep some accounts separate when preferred.
Zeta syncs with your financial accounts multiple times a day, keeping you conveniently up to date on your spending.
It also allows you to leave your significant other memos and notes about transactions, whether you have a question or want to inform them about an unexpected purchase.
#### Zeta Advantages
Here are some of the amazing features offered on the Zeta app:
Bill splitting – If you and your partner keep your finances separate, but share certain bills (like rent and groceries), Zeta allows you to split expenses directly within the app.
Bill calendar – Zeta also provides a calendar where you can schedule bill payments ahead of time. By setting these reminders, you’ll never miss a payment again.
Goal setting – Zeta conveniently allows you to set goals in the app and track your progress as a couple.
As a bonus, the Zeta website offers many financial coaching resources free of charge. You can even take their “money personality” quiz to see how you and your partner match up financially.
Looking to guard you and your significant other’s pockets from overspending? PocketGuard can help with that. The app makes it easy to see exactly how much you and your partner have left to spend at any given time.
PocketGuard automatically syncs with your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts. From there, the app calculates the difference between your monthly spending so far and your pre-determined monthly budget.
In turn, you can see how much money you have left to spend for the rest of the day, week, and month.
PocketGuard offers many unique features to keep you on a budget:
“In My Pocket” – If you want to see how much you have left to spend on miscellaneous items, just check the “In My Pocket” feature.
Lower bills – PocketGuard looks for better deals on your recurring expenses to help lower your spending. For instance, the app may suggest cheaper options for your cell phone or cable provider.
Spending alerts – PocketGuard also notifies you and your partner when you approach your budget in any given category.
Security – PocketGuard uses bank-level security with 256-bit SSL encryption. In turn, you can trust that your financial data is safe.
More Budgeting Tips For Couples
When it comes to managing finances as a couple, it’s all about finding a method that works for you. Whether you want to share all of your accounts, keep some private, set bill payment reminders, or jot down memos in the app, there’s a budgeting app out there for every couple.
Budgeting apps can help you and your partner visualize your finances, pay bills on time, and stay on the same page. However, they’re not the only budgeting tool at your disposal. Another way to save more money as a couple is to sign up for RebateKey.
RebateKey allows you to earn cashback as you shop online for household items, clothes, electronics, and more. All of this cash can be transferred back into your bank account, which will please both you and your partner, as well as your budget app!