What are the best Budgeting tools?

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You’ve taken the first step to manage your money, but what tools should you use to budget? Per TechCrunch, budgeting has gained popularity over the last decade! It’s not surprising, it is time to tell our money where to go versus check in one day and see where it actually went (am I right?).


I use 3 of the four budgeting tools below. They vary between free and paid. I’ll share the pros and cons of each so you can decide what works best for you! (The article may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission for the referral at no cost to you, but sometimes with perks for you if you use my code.)


1. Mint

I use mint monthly. I like the trends tab where I can see the various categories of my expenses. 


  1. Free 

  2. Easy to use for expenses with minimal ads (that’s why it is free). 

  3. I use it for Expense tracking

  4. Net worth is in one place


  1. Not a one stop shop for retirement tracking but has a nice Net Worth summary

  2. Some accounts won’t link (known problems) due to two factor notification restrictions from 


2. Personal Capital


  • Free ; Links all your accounts in one place and has an interactive map. Great visuals

  • Fee Analyzer tool 

  • Wealth Dashboard for Retirement Planner  is really easy to use and motivates me to save for retirement

  • $20 Amazon gift card for signing up with my referral code and linking a retirement account with $1,000 balance or more

  • Net Worth is all in one place with a fun chart to track it


  1. In app requests for sales call with financial advisors

  2. Not the best for expenses categorizations but option exists.

  3. Desktop functionality (like the retirement tracker) still on on the App yet.


Related: How I Spent My Paycheck in June 2020 for a look into how I use the outputs from both Mint and Personal Capital.


3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)


  1. Free 34-day trial with 100% money back guarantee

  2. Strong customer service

  3. Educational videos

  4. Can manually enter transactions


  1. Cost consideration of $84 a year

  2. User note it takes a lot of time to learn


4. Excel Spreadsheet


  1. Free with Office package

  2. No frills

  3. You own the tool and content and don’t have to link any private information that you aren’t comfortable linking


  1. No frills (hehe, depends on how you look at it!). Need robust calculations to help analyze further

  2. Mainly manual

Related : More spreadsheet outputs are in this post “How I spent my Paycheck: March 2020”


source:TechCrunch. “The Value of TechCrunch50: Mint Acquired by Intuit for $170m Two Years After Winning TC40.” Accessed October 27, 2020.