The 4 best budgeting apps and calculators

If budgeting is the easiest thing you can do to get on top of your finances, then why aren’t we …

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If budgeting is the easiest thing you can do to get on top of your finances, then why aren’t we all doing it? It’s time to face the music and admit that budgeting is far harder than merely ticking a few boxes on a spreadsheet once a month.

Budgeting requires you to pay attention to your spending every single day and document your purchases every single day. You’re going to have to make peace with the fact that your budget is not just a once-a-month consideration.

Now that the tough love is out of the way, it’s time to focus on the good part: Apps. From budgeting tools that link straight to your bank account right through to online calculators that do all the hard work, our list of favourites has a little something to cater for every level of budgeting need.

A revolutionary approach to budgeting with Revolut

When it comes to FinTech, it doesn’t get much better than the slick Revolut app. The app boasts over 8 million users and a no-nonsense approach to banking. Customers can open their account in minutes on the app and there is no need to ever go into a brick-and-mortar institution. Only Revolut products can be managed with this app, so you’ll need a Revolut account to use it. 

This is an all-in-one app that allows users to manage all their finances from one place. The app includes built-in budgeting that immediately notifies the account holder of any ins and outs, and keeps track of where the funds trickle to. Those who find it hard to stash cash away for a rainy day can include an auto-savings function as well. 

While there is a standard version that carries no fee, those who want a few extra bits and bobs have an option to upgrade to Premium or Metal services. With Premium, customers can expect access to overseas medical insurance and LoungeKey Pass access. The Metal plan offers an exclusive Revolut Metal card and access to a concierge service.

This app is ideal for the frequent travellers who want streamlined banking at their fingertips and who need to keep an eye on their spending.

Nationwide simplifies the budget calculator

Budget calculators can sometimes be confusing, especially when they don’t have all the tabs you need to enter your information. The budget calculator on the Nationwide site, however, makes provision for almost every conceivable income or expense.

This fully-customisable calculator also provides users with the option to change the frequency of their income and expenses. Once users have worked their way through the six tabs, the service calculates whether they have any money left over (surplus). It will also calculate whether their bills are more than their income (deficit).

Users who would find this app handy are those who aren’t quite sure how to categorise their spending and have a few streams of income. It’s also a great tool for those who have variable income and expenditure, as it’s simple to reset the app and enter fresh figures, as opposed to using a static spreadsheet.

This is a great tool for beginner and seasoned budgeters. You are not required to be a Nationwide customer to use their tool. 

Ramp up your savings with Money Dashboard

One of the best features Money Dashboard offers, is the ability to view all your accounts on a single dashboard. Even if they’re all with different providers. The app’s budget planner allows you to refine your budget, especially if you need to create some space for additional savings.

The app is free and supports accounts from over 60 institutions, including current, savings, and credit card accounts. There is a progress tracker that highlights the progress you’ve made towards your financial goals.

This is the ideal app for those who don’t want to keep all their eggs in one basket but want a bird’s-eye view of their financial standing. 

Tandem encourages a simpler approach to budgeting

When searching for this app, it’s important to add the word “budget” to your search to get the right app as there is also a Tandem messaging app. The budgeting app is exclusive to Tandem customers. It offers users access to budgeting tools that are linked to their Tandem account. This allows real-time access to regular and anticipated spending.

If you have a minimalist approach to life, partnering with Tandem will work for you. Apart from the transactional account, users may also apply for a credit card or fixed savings account.

Great features of the app include the alerts that users get when they’re paid. It calculates the future monthly payments to provide users with an estimated balance that’s available for spending. It also highlights items that have increased in cost to alert users to potential overspending.

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