Our Favorite Budgeting Apps (& The Ones to Avoid!) – EP 363

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The most beloved budgeting app, Mint, is no longer going to be with us for next year. So in this episode, we’re checking out the other best budgeting apps as well as the worst! Jen and Jill list app recommendations judging from its ability down to the app’s promised data privacy, which are all accompanied by reviews from other fellow Mint users on Reddit.

You think you can trust these apps because of the publicity they get, but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. We prefer to be safe rather than sorry.


  • Friends. Our friends Cody and Justin are hosts of The Financial Independence Show. They share stories and insights on financial freedom, early retirement and more. They feature regular people like you and me who have achieved incredible financial wins. Everyone’s going to find something they like in their podcast.

    If you are interested in financial independence, early retirement, or just cool stories of normal people doing cool things financially, Check out The Financial Independent Show! They just replayed an episode that Jen was a guest on.

9 Best Budget Apps

This article from US News lists the 9 best budgeting apps to help organize finances.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jen uses Empower to collect all of her transactions to export into Google Docs. This works for her, as she’s not a big budgeter. Empower is free and more focused on investment tracking than budgeting. For budgeting beginners, Simplifi by Quicken is your go-to. It’s one of the most recognizable names in the budgeting software space. It’s ad-free and affordable, but that does not mean less quality, as it provides a simplified way for budgeting. For categorizing, try Monarch, as it takes a top-notch approach when it comes to customization and a user-friendly interface.

If you’re interested in trying something new in budgeting, Jill recommends You Need A Budget (YNAB) for their zero-based budget, wherein you are going to assign every dollar a task. Know more about the other Mint alternatives and the apps Jen and Jill have mentioned in this episode, you have to sign up on our newsletter to know more!

Good for your wallet but not for your privacy: 60% of 20 popular budgeting apps share your data

This article is based on survey research done by Incogni about the different popular budgeting apps and the data they’re collecting and sharing with third parties.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jen always feels like she’s on a mission to find the perfect free budgeting app, and she learned from Reddit that it does not exist—they will not give everything you want, and even if they do, some of them scarily sell your data. NerdWallet takes the title of the most “generous” app when it comes to sharing user data, as it shares 14 data points out of the survey’s 6 categories (including the user’s name, phone number, and purchase history) with third parties. The app interestingly admits to sharing more data it collects than it declares in its Google Play data safety section.

Jill reminds us how these apps have to make money one way or another. They’re either going to make money directly from you or from ads—many do both! Like Everydollar and Money Lover, which collect and share data from six categories with third parties.

What’s most important to you when making a budget?

Jen and Jill do it their own way. Jill takes control of her budget using her pen, paper, and spreadsheets, while Jen focuses on tracking her habits and real-time spending by doing the 90-day inventory challenge rather than allocating specific amounts to categories.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Jessica H for letting us hear about the wonderful adventures you and William had!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. Many of you know we have a newsletter called The Friendletter that goes out 3x a week where we send out freebies, saving tips, and life hacks to help you save money. We want to give a shout out to this friend for replying to us this sweet email:

This issue had the tips I didn't know I needed in my life. I feel like a smarty pants now.

Thanks for listening if you want freebies, saving tips, and values-based spending hacks sent to your inbox every week head to frugalfriendspodcast.com/friendletter to get the goodies! And if you already get the friendletter start sharing it with your friends to get more free goodies!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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