Budgeting is the quintessential tool for creating financial stability in your life and protecting your family in the process. By setting a plan and sticking to it, you can pay your bills on time, create an emergency fund, eliminate debt, and invest in your future. And the process of tracking your expenses couldn’t be simpler nowadays thanks to these best budget apps for families.
To make the process even easier for you, we’ll be highlighting features, pointing out areas for improvement, and sharing the costs associated with using each of the best budget apps for families on our list.
Our ultimate goal is to help you find the right budgeting app for your family so that you can streamline the entire budgeting process and build a foundation of financial security throughout your lifetime.
Monarch Money is a powerful tool for all users! Whether you are single or a couple, you will find this platform equally powerful. It is a paid tool, but adding other members of your household (think partner, adult children, or even parents who might be living with you) comes at no added cost. Plus, you can determine what data becomes household data, allowing people to keep certain information separate.
It isn't just a budgeting tool either. Monarch Money tracks your spending, analyzes recurring expenses, encourages you to set and progress monitor goals, calculates your net worth, and even offers solid financial advice. It's web-based and an app for iOS and Android, so there's a lot of user flexibility as well.
Monarch Money has a ton of features that we love. Some of the ways that Monarch stands out from other budgeting apps include:
- A fully customizable dashboard that allows users to work with the data they want and need
- Ability to add other household members with separate log-in criteria
- Read-only data access and bank-level security to keep your account information protected
- A focus on future goals and progress to achieve them
- An ad-free experience that never includes any product upselling
Areas for Improvement
One of the most impressive aspects of Monarch Money is how responsive they are to user feedback. In fact, they actively request input for what their platform should tackle next.
Some suggestions we have would be for them to incorporate more cryptocurrency exchanges. They currently only support Coinbase. While we know that is a very popular crypto exchange, it certainly isn't the only one.
Additionally, we would be interested in seeing them offer the ability to track your credit score. While this information is readily (and freely!) available in multiple places, having it included in the Monarch dashboard seems reasonable enough.
After a free 7-day trial, you have two payment options. You can either pay month-by-month or pay a one-time annual fee.
Annual Fee: $99, or $8.33 per month
Related Content: Monarch Money Review: Modern Money Management
YNAB—short for You Need a Budget—is a budgeting app created by a former CPA named Jesse Mecham. Based on a four-rule method of budgeting, YNAB makes our list of the best budget apps for families because it helps out people who appreciate being proactive with their finances.
YNAB is often recommended by experts in the personal finance space and for good reason. The app has some pretty nice features that make it so successful. These include:
- Syncing in real-time across multiple devices
- Having a central view of all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and loan balances
- Smart categorization that learns your habits over time and allows you to split transactions
- Ability to have multiple budgets at once
- Helping you plan for occasional, non-monthly expenses
- Setting spending and savings goals with targets
- Loan Calculator
- Custom spending and net worth reports
- YNAB Together – build a budget with people you share your finances with
Areas for Improvement
While YNAB is well-loved among its users, there are areas for improvement with this app as well.
The first issue is that it’s quite a bit pricier than the competition. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive options out there.
The second problem is that it takes more time to figure out than other apps. So, many people may give up on it before they really give it enough time. And that could lead them not to budget at all.
YNAB is strictly a paid app. While you can try the app out with a free 34-day trial, the app, and all of its features cost $14.99/mo or $99/year.
EveryDollar is a budgeting app created by Ramsey Solutions, a business founded by personal finance expert, radio host, and best-selling author Dave Ramsey. The app is specifically geared to those following Dave Ramsey’s famous money management system.
There are some nice features to using EveryDollar and these include:
- Personalizing categories so you can have the ones you actually need
- Being able to split transactions up into multiple categories
- Syncing with more than one device so couples can use it together
- Setting savings goals
- Receiving due date reminders for bills
- Tracking debt payoff (premium version)
Areas for Improvement
While EveryDollar can be a great tool for families who follow Dave Ramsey's money management system, there are some definite downsides when you compare the app to others on the market.
The first downside is that the free version does not allow you to sync your bank accounts so you have to input every transaction manually, and that takes quite a bit of time.
The second noticeable downside is that it does not offer credit score monitoring or investment tracking with any of its subscriptions.
There are both free and paid versions of the EveryDollar app.
With the free version, you get access to basic budgeting features like budget personalization, setting up savings funds, and syncing the app across multiple devices.
With the premium plan—$12.99/mo or $79.99/year—you gain access to added features including connecting your bank accounts, recommendations based on your purchases, and custom income and spending reports.
Related Content: Mint vs. EveryDollar: Which Budget App is Better?
Tiller is an automated personal finance service created by Peter Polson that tracks all of your financial transactions—including income, expenses, and account balances—through a spreadsheet. Compatible with both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, Tiller is a great option for those who prefer using spreadsheets.
For being a spreadsheets-only tool, Tiller has some impressive features including:
- A variety of budget templates
- Multiple budget dashboards
- Automated data importation so you don’t have to enter anything manually
- Having the ability to categorize transactions automatically and to create custom category labels as necessary
- The option to use zero-sum budgeting
- Customized reports
- No ads
Areas for Improvement
Tiller is quite different from many of the other budgeting tools out there. That being said, there is one area for improvement that you should know about.
Tiller now has a downloadable app. It is essentially desktop only unless you want to download your spreadsheets to your phone using the Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel apps themselves.
Tiller is a paid subscription app. After a 30-day free trial, users pay $79/year which bills annually and works out to only $6.58/mo.
Related Content: Tiller Money Review: Take Your Spreadsheet Budget to the Next Level
Empower, formerly known as Personal Capital, is a budgeting app that also offers an investment tool so you can track your income, expenses, investments, and net worth all in one place.
Empower is a powerful tool that can help you see your entire financial picture at a glance. Some of the best features on the platform include:
- A dashboard with your net worth, assets, and liabilities all in one place
- A list of all of your monthly transactions including any deposits and expenses
- Cash flow charts
- Budgeting tool
- A glance at your entire portfolio including your holdings and allocations
- An investment checkup tool with data on your concentration, sectors, and style as well as the fees you’re currently paying
Areas for Improvement
There are two noticeable downsides to using Empower as a budgeting tool.
The first is that it’s pretty complex and while many people find great value in all of the features and customization available, those who are looking for a simple, easy-to-use budgeting app may feel overwhelmed by how much this app can actually do.
The second issue is that once you have $100,000 in investable assets visible on the Empower app, you can expect to start getting sales calls from their advisors. While you certainly don’t have to allow them to manage your retirement portfolio, you will be asked to—at least once per year.
Empower is a free app for all users. However, you do have the option to allow their licensed fiduciaries to manage your investments at a rate of 0.89% for portfolios less than 1 million dollars.
Related Content: Empower Review: Free Tools to Help You Build Wealth
Copilot brands itself as the best money tracker app available. Though it's relatively new to the scene, Copilot already landed a ton of awards including 2023 Finalist App Store Awards. What does that mean? People love it! Let's find out why.
Copilot aims to seamlessly sync your financial data. That's because the app uses your current data to help you create an optimized budget–without ever adjusting the total amount of your spending. You also have the ability to track your finances effortlessly.
The dashboard is slick, and it allows users to compare their current spending pace against their monthly budget. Plus, you can review all of your transactions and upcoming recurring bills.
Things we love about Copilot include:
- It's really intuitive
- The sleek interface
- A very responsive development team
- The way that users' behavior drives the tool–not the other way around!
- How simple it is to re-categorize transactions (even though it's usually so accurate, you won't need to often!)
Areas for Improvement
Currently, Copilot does not offer users the ability to create and track goals. As people who believe that goals are supremely important, it's always helpful when budgeting tools build in that feature. We've heard, though, that goals are coming soon!
You can pay two ways. Copilot offers a monthly option that costs $13 a month, or you can pay an annual fee that breaks down to just under $8/month.
Honeydue is a personal finance app geared toward helping couples manage their money together. Originally created by Eugene Park and Thien Tran, Honeydue was later acquired by Mission Lane—a financial technology company.
Honeydue has nice features for couples looking to budget together and keep each other accountable for their joint spending and savings goals. The features couples who use the app enjoy most are:
- Having all individual and joint bank accounts, loans, and investments visible in one spot
- Receiving bill reminders before due dates and tracking bills that have already been paid
- Being able to communicate with your partner about certain transactions right in the app
- Having access to a joint bank account with no fees or minimums
- Keeping certain expenses private by assigning them to you only
Areas for Improvement
While Honeydue is a great budgeting tool for partners, there are a couple of ways the Honeydue app could be improved.
First, there is no desktop version of the tool, only the app. So, couples looking to budget together will have to sit together looking at one phone or each of their phones separately instead of looking at one large computer screen.
Second, their customer support is limited to a telephone number, an online forum, and an address you can write to. Users do not have access to instant messaging.
Honeydue is a free mobile app. Plus, the joint banking account within the app has no fees or minimums.
Related Content: Date Night Ideas That Aren't Boring
Other Budget Apps to Consider
Not sure these tools are right for you? There are more best budget apps for families to consider! Check out these other contenders:
The folks behind Quicken created the budgeting tool Simplifi. As its name suggests, this tool is about keeping things simple.
Are you looking to get an overall picture of your finances while monitoring your spending? Do you want help setting and tracking a range of goals? This straightforward tool might be exactly what you need.
Simplifi is billed annually, and it breaks down to less than $3/month.
CountAbout is a little bit different because it's actually a web-based tool. Still, you can import data form other platforms like Quicken. It also syncs to other financial institutions.
Once you have everything linked, you can use CountAbout for budgeting and recurring transactions. You can also schedule payments and run financial reports. There is even an add-on option that makes this a versatile tool for small business owners.
CountAbout costs $9.99/year or $39.99/year, depending on the version of the tool you use.
Qube takes everyone's favorite cash envelopes and brings them into the digital world! Users receive a debit card and then categorize all of their money into different qubes. These qubes function just like paper envelopes, with the added convenience of being able to use them online.
Qube comes in three plans: basic ($0), premium ($8/month), and family ($15/month).
Do you want a more hands-on approach to your money? GoodBudget might be the tool for you. Users actually import their data and transactions manually. While this is definitely more time-consuming, it makes up for that in two ways. There's no need to re-categorize transactions, and you can't hide from your finances. When you interact with your numbers on this level, there's no denying your financial picture. Users rave about this built-in accountability piece.
There's a free option and a paid version ($8/month), depending on which best suits your needs.
Final Thoughts on the Best Budget Apps for Families
With so many great budgeting apps on the market these days, you’re sure to find one that meets your particular needs. And using one of these tools regularly can help you build financial security to last a lifetime.
After all, when you're looking for the best budget apps for families, the best one is the one your family will consistently use.
Which of these best budget apps for families is your favorite? Are you using a budget app right now for your family finances?
Please let us know in the comments below.