Whether you’ve just begun to budget as a couple or have been doing so for several years, managing finances together can be tricky.
The best budgeting apps for couples can make it easier to sync multiple bank accounts and achieve your shared financial goals. You can also plan for upcoming expenses, pay off debt, and track your net worth. As newlyweds, my wife and I tried a handful of budgeting apps to reduce some of the financial turbulence we encountered when merging our budgets.
Joint budgeting doesn’t have to be stressful. Regardless of your strategy, the best budgeting apps can make managing your money less complicated, so you can spend more time building your relationship and enjoying life.
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When choosing a budgeting app, there are many different strategies to consider, such as zero-based budgeting, envelope budgeting, and values-based spending. The following apps take different approaches to helping you customize your budget and optimize your finances.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is one of the most extensive budgeting apps for couples and arguably the best option for households in a tough financial situation, struggling to pay the bills, or new to budgeting. The platform is incredibly functional, as you can access your budget from a smartwatch, phone, tablet, or computer.
The YNAB budget strategy follows a zero-based budgeting method, which assigns every dollar to a task. You begin by assigning a specific dollar amount for essential expenses, and your remaining income can be saved, invested, or set aside for upcoming and sporadic expenses. And you can create seemingly unlimited spending categories, though fewer is probably better.
YNAB wants you to reach a point where you’re paying this month’s bills with last month’s income.
YNAB has an extensive walkthrough process to help you plan for life’s ordinary and overlooked expenses. When I first used YNAB, I was impressed with the setup process and found it very helpful as I was changing careers right after we had our first child. Linking to our checking account by Plaid and the interactive reports makes it easy to track your progress and save time.
A generous 34-day free trial provides full access to the budgeting tools. After that, it’s $14.99 monthly or $99 paid annually. College students can enjoy a 365-day free trial before a paid subscription is necessary.
Our YNAB review takes an in-depth look at the app’s various features.
Honeydue is a budgeting app that is specifically designed for couples. It has personalized features that allow you to check account balances, budget, and pay bills. The free app is available for Android and iOS devices.
Some of the Honeydue’s top features include:
- The ability to automatically sync accounts
- Set reminders for upcoming bills
- Category-based budgeting
- An in-app chat between partners
- Splitting expenses
You can assign spending limits to budget categories. You can also split transactions into multiple categories for more precision in how you spend your money.
As mentioned above, Honeydue is a free budgeting app, which is another bonus.
3. Simplifi by Quicken
Simplifi by Quicken is a mobile-only platform and a superb option for basic budgeting at an affordable cost. You’ll pay $3.99 monthly or $34 annually for a customizable interface that can follow one or more budget strategies, such as zero-based, envelope, or the 50/30/20 budget.
Here are some key features:
- Create customized savings goals
- Project cash flows using income and future expenses
- View your “left to spend amount” to avoid overdrafts
- Track your investments and savings accounts
After joining Simplifi, you can add your better half, financial advisors, and other family members through the “Spaces” tab. Each person can view the same account details.
Read our Simplifi by Quicken review for more.
4. Tiller Money
It all starts with the Foundation Template, which provides a high-level overview of your income and expenses on one tab. Secondary tabs dig deeper by itemizing transactions and providing colorful charts to present your money habits.
Installing other budget spreadsheet templates to pursue a specific strategy or track a particular expense category is also possible. Tiller’s flexibility offers more customization potential than run-of-the-mill budgeting apps.
Here is our Tiller Money review for you to learn more.
Not every couple merges their finances, preferring to maintain separate accounts. Zeta caters to budgeting with separate accounts but is joint account-friendly, too. Zeta is more than a budgeting app, as you can create a joint bank account or multiple personal accounts. Each account offers up to $250,000 in FDIC Insurance benefits through Piermont Bank (FDIC Cert# 59154).
A basic membership is free and includes basic budgeting tools, over 55,000 free in-network Allpoint ATMs, and online bill pay. You can also track spending and earn a competitive interest rate on deposits, although a high-yield savings account will pay more interest.
A Zeta+ premium membership costs $6.99 monthly. Premium perks include automated finances and additional virtual cards that children can use for family banking.
Empower (formerly Personal Capital) is better for couples who have a firm grasp on their budget and are ready to build wealth. The free budgeting app includes tools that allow you to create savings goals and compare your income to expenses to calculate your savings rate.
The powerful net worth tracker can link to most financial accounts. You can add manual transactions and physical assets for an accurate liquid net worth projection.
In addition to the financial planning tools, Empower offers a free investment portfolio analysis with insights on your asset allocation and investment fund expense ratios. Customers with at least $100,000 in investable assets may also enroll in managed portfolios which include financial advisor access, although an annual asset management fee applies.
Learn more with our Empower Personal Dashboard review.
Goodbudget is an enticing option for couples looking for digital money envelopes. The app allows you to set multiple budget categories and sync across several Android and iOS devices. You can also create savings goals and track your debt payoff progress.
The budget envelope app has a free and paid plan. Free users can utilize 10 regular envelopes and 10 additional envelopes through one account and up to two devices. The plan can also track up to one year of history.
For $8 monthly or $70 annually, paid users have access to unlimited envelopes and accounts across five devices. This is the best plan for couples. This premium plan also stores up to seven years of history and provides email support instead of community-sourced support for your budget questions.
8. Monarch Money
Monarch Money provides premium budgeting tools for couples with colorful and customizable displays. Users can easily visualize where their paycheck goes and how they spend or save their take-home pay.
You can sync multiple accounts, assign accounts to shared financial goals, and receive monthly email reports summarizing your financial progress. It’s also easy to track your net worth, investments, and recurring transactions within the dashboard.
After a seven-day free trial, you pay $14.99 monthly or $99.99 when billed annually.
Our Monarch Money review highlights this app’s best budgeting features.
9. Rocket Money
Rocket Money specializes in helping households reduce monthly spending and track banking transactions. I find the budgeting tools very straightforward – ideal for couples who don’t want an in-depth spending plan.
The free plan is suitable for tracking expenses and a budget with a handful of categories. However, you must purchase a premium plan for unlimited budgeting categories, subscription cancellations, shared accounts, and net worth tracking.
I like Rocket Money for quickly viewing spending activity from linked bank accounts to make sure I’m not overspending. The bill reminders and subscription management tools can help you automate your finances.
People who are serious about budgeting may find Rocket Money inferior to YNAB or Tiller, which have more extensive categories, reports, and hands-on help that detail-oriented couples are looking for.
Rocket Money can help you negotiate lower monthly subscription fees on your cell phone, cable, internet, and other bills. All users have access to the bill negotiation service, and the one-time success fee only applies if it saves you money.
Our Rocket Money review provides more details.
10. Lunch Money
Lunch Money is a personal finance app for world travelers needing multi-currency reports or who desire a customizable monthly budget. The web-first platform lets you connect bank accounts, crypto, and investment accounts for auto-categorization. It’s also possible to upload financial data via CSV files.
The premium budget software lets you create customizable rules and view transactions in a spreadsheet-style layout. There are colorful charts and pie graphs to review stats and trends.
If you prefer a straightforward budgeting app with some advanced capabilities, Lunch Money’s 30-day free trial makes it worth trying out. If you like what you see, a paid subscription costs $10 monthly or between $40 and $150 per year. You pay what’s fair for an annual membership.
One of Lunch Money’s downsides is that it doesn’t offer a mobile app that lets you budget from your phone. However, the user-friendly dashboard is accessible from mobile browsers.
Learn more in our Lunch Money review.
EveryDollar is a compelling option for Dave Ramsey fans, as many couples have followed his baby steps to get out of debt. This budgeting app follows Dave’s method of envelope budgeting to help you manage your money.
EveryDollar lets you sync your accounts, establish savings goals, and access group financial coaching and advanced budgeting reports. It also supports access across multiple devices.
Unfortunately, there is no longer a free version, and users must now subscribe to Ramsey+ to access the interactive budgeting tools. Ramsey Plus has a 14-day free trial and then costs $59.99 for three months, $99.99 for six months, or $129.99 for 12 months. The annual plan has the lowest average monthly cost.
Other Ramsey+ features include access to Financial Peace University, Ramsey SmartTax online tax prep (in partnership with TaxSlayer), and other money management on-demand video courses.
Read our EveryDollar review for more.
12. OneMain Trim
OneMain Trim (previously Ask Trim) is a free personal finance assistant that can help individuals or couples manage money better and reduce recurring expenses. The platform states that the average user saves $213 during their first year thanks to the expense reduction features.
Trim’s budgeting tools are mainly spending insights that compare your current spending to previous trends over a similar period. You can link your banking accounts, and the Trim will start working behind the scenes to look for ways to save money and highlight larger-than-usual expenses.
This platform shines in bill negotiation as it can help you spend less and look for discounts. It can also cancel subscriptions for you at your request. Consider this tool if you don’t have the time to call customer service to explore potential savings or don’t want to engage in these discussions. An expert can do so on your behalf with confidence.
Trim is free to use, and you only pay a 15% fee on successful bill reductions. You won’t pay any fees for unsuccessful negotiations.
This app can be a good option if you only need a temporary budgeting app to clean up your finances. For example, you may live within your means but want an extra set of eyes looking for ways to improve your finances.
It’s no secret that money is a leading source of conflict among couples. By using budgeting apps to approach your financial goals together, you and your partner can avoid relationship struggles and free up more time to focus on other priorities.
Budgeting apps can also help you stay on the same page. Talking about money or combining finances can be uncomfortable, and budgeting platforms like the ones featured above can promote transparent communication and help you visualize the future.
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Lunch Money is an easy-to-use budgeting app that allows you to connect your accounts, make a customizable budget, and track your expenses. You can also track your net worth. But it doesn’t offer a mobile app for budgeting on the go, which will turn off some potential users. Is Lunch money worth it? Find out in our full review.
About Josh Patoka
After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.
He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.
Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.