Your Money

5 of the best budget apps to help keep you on track

- August 17, 2021 4 MIN READ
Budget apps to help you keep on track

There are hundreds of personal finance apps out there, including plenty focused on saving and budgeting. We take a look at some the most popular budget apps available in Australia to help you decide what’s best for you.

Nobody likes having to stick to a budget. Nobody. Except maybe rich people (because, no surprise, being frugal is probably how they got rich in the first place).

It’s actually pretty easy for all of us to do the rich person thing and track our budget like a bloodhound. Naturally, there’s an app for that. Or many, many budget apps for that.

Which one you choose will depend on what you’re budgeting about. Some of these savings apps suit tracking for a short-term goal, others are more of a personal finance app that will help you refine your budget over time. They’ll all help you keep on top of what you’re spending your money on and why. One of the apps will even help you earn extra cash.

Let’s dive in and see what’s out there in the savings and budget apps space, so you can decide which one is best for you.

1. Pocketbook

Cost: Free

This one’s a Kochie favourite budget apps and the most popular personal finance app in Australia with more than 800,000 users. Pocketbook securely syncs with your bank account and helps by categorising every spend you make. This lets you easily see where you money is going and where you can cut back your spending.

Pocketbook also throws out tips and tricks along the way to direct your spending and learn to ‘spend smarter‘ by setting category limits. It will also keep track of your bills so you know what’s coming out of your bank account and when.

Best features:

  • Syncs with your bank account
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • Automatically categorises most of your transactions
  • Provides daily, weekly, monthly and half-yearly overviews
  • Shows you your upcoming bills and and other reoccurring payments
  • Lets you set spending limits overall and by category
  • Notifies you when you’re reaching your spending limits

2. Frollo

Cost: Free

Open banking fintech Frollo promises to fix your finances by giving you a warts-and-all reality check. It allows you to sync your bank accounts, investments, home loans and super to get a comprehensive overview of your financial situation in one place. You can then set some financial goals, develop a budget and track your spending across categories. Along the way it offers you deals, comparisons, check-ups and general tips to nudge you towards a better financial position.

Best features:

  • Syncs all of your financial accounts in near real time
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • Automatically categorises most of your transactions
  • Tracks tax deductible expenses
  • Compares your financial products with others in the market
  • Shows you your upcoming bills and and other reoccurring payments
  • Lets you set spending limits overall and by category
  • Notifies you when you’re reaching your spending limits
  • Tracks your progress towards your goals
  • Super slick and easy-to-operate user interface

3. MoneyBrilliant

Cost: Free for Basic product, $9.90 per month or $99 per annum for the Plus plan

This app is very similar to PocketBook, but it also allows you to sync all of your money as with Frollo. So you can see your bank accounts, insurance, home loans, superannuation and investments portfolios in one. If you opt to pay for the “Plus” program, you can also get things like a tax deduction function so you can track potential tax savings based on your occupation. Plus also offers coaching programs, bill notification and historical data, among other benefits.

Best Basic features:

  • Syncs all of your financial accounts
  • Shows you your upcoming bills and and other reoccurring payments
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • Tracks your debts and when you’ll be debt-free
  • Keeps track of your insurance details
  • Helps you create a retirement plan
  • Plans your optimal home loan payment strategy
  • Automatically categorises most of your transactions
  • Shows you your upcoming bills and and other reoccurring payments
  • Lets you set spending limits overall and by category
  • Notifies you when you’re reaching your spending limits

4. Humaniti

Cost: Free

Humaniti offers similar features to PocketBook and MoneyBook with a unique in-app offering. Along with the planning, budgeting and tracking across your financial accounts, you can also earn some income to boost your budget. The app pays you up to $10 (though most pay less than $2) to take quick surveys on behalf of corporate clients. The surveys will take you anywhere from three to 15 minutes to complete. They’re mostly research-based, asking about your shopping habits, preferences and opinions. Keep in mind that the app can also deidentify and aggregate your spending patterns to create insights to share with its corporate partners.

But wait, there’s more. It’s called Humaniti because along with helping you save and earn, the app will also donate an additional 10 per cent of any survey money you earn to its charity and not-for-profit partners.

Best features:

  • Syncs all of your financial accounts
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • Automatically categorises most of your transactions
  • Provides monthly overviews of your spending
  • Tracks your spending on subscriptions
  • Shows how your superannuation compares to similar people
  • Lets you earn a small additional income through surveys
  • Donates to charity

5. Finspo

Cost: Free

This app is a bit more specialised than the others. Finspo exists solely to help you pay off your mortgage faster. They’ve estimated that the average Australian spends about $4,500 more than necessary on their home loan each year. The app helps put more of the home loan fees and interest you pay back in your pocket.

Best features:

  • Alerts you 24/7 if something changes to your home loan (fees or interest rates)
  • Regularly compares your interest rate to the market
  • Gives you personalised insights to pay off your loan
  • Helps you reduce your bank fees and other costs of banking