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The 7 Best Budget Apps of September 2023

If you are looking for the best budgeting apps to manage your finances, we have you covered.

The list below includes budget apps that work for individuals and couples and are available on iPhone and Android devices.

Tracking your expenses manually is tedious, and this is often the reason why people give up on the process.

To stay on top of your finances, a free budget app or paid money management tool can make a world of difference.

Best Budgeting Apps in Canada

We have categorized the various budget apps you should look at downloading right now. The top 5 on our list are:

  • Best Overall Budget App: YNAB
  • Best Budget App for Cash Back: KOHO
  • Best Budget App for Micro-Investing: Moka
  • Best Free Budget App: Mint
  • Best Budget App for Couples: PocketSmith
Best Budget Apps

Best Overall Budget App: You Need a Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget, or YNAB for short, takes the top spot on our list of the best budgeting apps to take control of your money.

It is detailed, forces you to reckon with your spending, and offers tons of resources and free workshops to help you on your journey.

As per YNAB, new budgeters on the platform save $600 in their first 2 months and more than $6,000 in the first year.

The app utilizes your main rules:

  1. Give every dollar a job. You decide how to spend each dollar in your account beforehand and implement the plan.
  2. Embrace your true expenses. You account for large future expenses by breaking them into manageable chunks and planning ahead.
  3. Roll with the punches. Stay flexible with budget surprises and find ways to accommodate overspending in any category.
  4. Age your money. You will learn to only spend money that is at least 30 days old, so you are always ahead of the curve.

YNAB highlight: This budget app is forward-looking and simplifies the budgeting process. It also has a money-back guarantee and works great on iPhones and Android.

Security:  Your data is protected using bank-level 128-bit encryption.

Available on: iOS (iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch) and Android devices.

Pricing:  $11.99 per month or $84 per year. You can try out YNAB free for 34 days. The fee is in USD.


2. Best Budget App For CashBack: KOHO

KOHO combines a cashback app with other personal finance tools, including expense tracking, automatic savings toward financial goals, early payroll, and price matching.

On the budget side of things, you can set a monthly spending target and track your progress.

If you have plans to make a big purchase, you can create a goal, and the app automatically sets aside contributions on a daily, weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis.

It also rounds up your purchases and saves the difference.

A regular KOHO account pays 0.25% to 5% cash back on purchases you make using the KOHO prepaid Mastercard. If you sign up for a premium account, you enjoy additional benefits, including up to 2% cashback, no foreign exchange fees, free financial coaching, and more.

KOHO highlight: You can use the KOHO app to access $100 up to 3 days before your payday. There are no fees to use this service.

Security:  Your KOHO funds are held with People’s Trust, a CDIC-insured bank.

Available on: iOS and Android devices.

Pricing:  $0/month for regular KOHO account; $9/month or $84/year for KOHO Premium. The fees are in CAD.

Promotion:  Get a $20 cash bonus when you sign up for KOHO (use promo code CASHBACK).


3. Best Budget App For Micro-Investing: Moka

Moka invests your spare change using a low-cost, diversified ETF portfolio in a personal taxable, TFSA, or RRSP account.

If you have found it challenging to save money or invest, this app automates the process.

In addition to rounding up your purchases and saving the difference, you can set up financial goals and create a contribution plan to reach them, including using lump sums, recurring deposits, roundup multipliers, and more.

To get started, simply link your bank account to the app, and it takes care of the rest. It also offers cash back at several popular brands and retailers.

You can sign-up for its premium service (Moka 360) and earn double cash back, save on your utility bills, pay off your debt faster, and get free advice from a financial coach.

Moka highlight:  This app combines many benefits from investing to cashback and financial management. It is similar to the Acorns app in the United States.

Security: Moka uses 256-bit encryption to protect your data. Your investment account funds are held by a custodian that is CIPF-insured.

Available on: iOS and Android devices.

Promotion: Sign up for Moka here and get a $5 bonus.

Pricing: A regular Moka account costs $3.99/month (CAD). Moka 360 costs $15/month and comes with a 200% money-back guarantee. If you don’t save at least what you paid in fees for a year, they deposit $360 in your account.

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4. Best Free Budget App: Mint

The Mint budgeting app is owned by Intuit, the same company that owns TurboTax and QuickBooks. It is available in Canada and the U.S.

With Mint, you connect your bank accounts and can manage your finances using one dashboard, including tracking your goals, bill payments, investment, and more. In the U.S., it also offers free credit scores.

Mint highlight: This free tool is easy to use. Simply sync it with your accounts, create a budget, and start receiving alerts.

Security: Mint uses 128-bit SSL encryption to protect your account.

Available on: iOS and Android devices.

Pricing: Free          


5. Best Budget App for Couples and Expats: PocketSmith

This budgeting app supports multiple currencies and can connect to more than 12,000 financial institutions worldwide.

You can use it to organize your finances, forecast future cash flows, and create multiple budgets. You can also use it to manage your finances as a family or couple.

PocketSmith highlight: It allows for “what-if scenarios” and can help you see how your spending habits now can impact your finances long-term. It is great for ex-pats and offers automatic bank feeds. PocketSmith can also be connected with Mint, making for easy migration if you are looking at changing budget apps.

Security:  Your connection to the app is encrypted, and you can set up 2-factor authentication.

Available on: Web interface, iOS, and Android devices.

Pricing: The free PocketSmith version is very limited in its features. PocketSmith Premium costs $9.95/month or $90/year; PocketSmith Super costs $19.95/month or $169.92/year (USD).

With our exclusive link, you get 50% off a PocketSmith Premium plan for the first two months.


6. PocketGuard

This app links to your bank accounts, investments, and credit cards and displays your financial position in one place. It tracks your expenses and income and shows you how much you have to spend.

You can also use it to negotiate better rates on your phone or cable bill, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and set up automatic savings (AutoSave).

Security:  PocketGuard uses 256-bit encryption to protect your account, and funds in your AutoSave account are held at FDIC-insured banks.

Available on: iOS and Android. (U.S. and Canada).

Pricing: The basic version of the app is free. PocketGuard Plus costs $34.99/year or $3.99/month (USD).


7. Goodbudget

Goodbudget uses the old-school envelope budgeting method to divvy up your budget categories and spending using virtual envelopes.

You can only spend money from an envelope to pay for purchases that have been assigned to it. When an envelope is empty, that’s it!

You can sync and share your budgets across multiple devices and with family members.

Good highlight: If you have used the physical envelope strategy and liked it, this app is version 2.0.

Security: It uses 256-bit encryption to protect your personal information.

Available on:  Web, Android, and iPhone.

Pricing:  The free version accommodates ten regular envelopes and one bank account. The paid version costs $7/month or $60/year and allows for unlimited envelopes and bank accounts. The fees are in USD.


Why do you Need a Budgeting App?

A budget helps you to take back control of your finances.

If you often end up broke at the end of the month and have no good idea how your bank account got emptied, or you are struggling to pay off debt, creating a budget and sticking to it can be a lifesaver.

Even if you are doing okay financially, a good budgeting app can help you save more money so you can start planning for the future.

You can save for emergency expenses, invest for retirement or your kid’s college education, and pay off debt.

You can opt for a free budgeting app or choose a paid version. Either option will likely help you improve your finances in the long run.

In addition to the budget apps listed above, you can also check out Spendee, Wally, Personal Capital, and Clarity Money.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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