Afraid to look at your bank account, let alone plan a budget? Yep, me too. No matter what you’re earning and spending, here’s how to make budgeting a piece of cake.
I probably don’t have to tell you why you need a budget, but here it is anyways: you need a budget for a bunch of reasons. It helps you know how much you are spending, helps you figure out how to cut down on said spending, and helps you save money. All good things.
But if you’re anything like me, you have sorta ignored all the reasons why you need a budget because it sounds hard and scary — but it’s really not. Seriously. These apps make it so simple and give you options for what would work best, according to your life:
The Best Budgeting Apps
- Good Budget
- Left To Spend
Mint lets you see your whole financial life in one place. You fill in all your info so you can see how much is in every account and when your monthly car payment is due. You can even make those payments via the app, so kiss late fees goodbye. Mint also lets you know if there’s a suspicious transaction and when your funds are low — now you'll know to wait until payday before meeting friends for lunch.
Mint is all automated and does a good job of keeping track of your spending habits. It's kind of intense and gives you ways to check credit scores and investments, so it's definitely for the detail oriented.
Free on Android and iOS.
Ever heard of the envelope system to save money? This app does the same thing, just online. This app is great for anyone looking to budget their money. The free version gives you 10 envelopes where you can allot a certain amount of money to each month (like $300 for groceries and $140 for gas).
Wally is another budgeting app that's really easy to use, and even lets you take pictures of your receipts if you like having info like that around. You can even use Wally with lots of currencies, which is nice if you want to know how many Baht are going towards *this* Pad Thai each month while you're volunteering in Thailand
Wally is free on Android and iOS.
Saving up for a big trip? Maybe like a semester abroad while teaching English? Use Unsplurge to, well…stop splurging and start saving. The app lets you put money towards the goals in a way that makes it really easy to see how much you want to save for your emergency savings and your semester abroad in Romania.
Get Unsplurge on iOS.
Left To Spend
If you like to know exactly how much money you have left to spend on ice cream and new shoes, this app is for you. You decide how much to spend every day, then subtract your purchases to keep track of your daily spending amount.
Each time you open the app, you’ll see that you have $28.34 (or whatever amount) left so yep, you do have money to go out to eat (while you’re at it, here are some apps to save you money on food).
Digit is an app that does the saving for you. They've created an algorithm which automatically takes out small amounts of cash from your account (without overdrawing you) and puts it aside. You always have access to the cash, but it's essentially creating a savings account by pulling out money that you won't notice you're missing anyways. Forget about it and then 6 months or a year later you'll have a large sum that you can do something with!
There is a monthly fee of $2.99.
Qapital is an awesome free budgeting app. You can set up different rules on how they take out your money like rounding up all purchases or start a 52 week savings plan. There's tons of different options. And it's FREE.
See? Budgeting isn't scary at all. If you need a few more ideas on how to save money, you should skim ILP’s blog — we have tips on how to save cash in school and abroad.
And if you want to actually go abroad, well, we can help with that too! We've even got all of our tips on affording a semester abroad right here (including how to get an ILP discount).
International Language Programs sends college aged volunteers around the world to teach English and to travel…sign me up, right? Get more info about our volunteer program by clicking that button below: