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Updated on Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Making spur of the moment spending decisions without consulting your budget is the easiest way to get off track financially. Luckily, you can have a spending plan at your fingertips with a financial app like BUDGT.
The Inside Scoop on BUDGT
BUDGT is made up of three main features, a monthly budget, your daily expense tracking and a progress report.
Unlike other budget systems where you enter financial account information and have exact facts and figures in the dashboard, BUDGT is very basic.
You create a budget with your income, expenses and savings goals. The budget can be exported as a .csv to use in Excel if necessary.
Then BUDGT gives you a daily allowance. You enter purchases and they’re put into categories. If you’re forgetful, BUDGT has a timer you can set to remind you to put in expenses for each day.
Besides the micro day-to-day tracking feature, you can look at your monthly budget at a macro level. The progress report shows your spending for the entire month.
How does BUDGT work?
Currently, BUDGT is a standalone iOS app that can’t be synced with any other device. However, there is an Apple Watch extension you can use to update your spending without pulling out your phone.
To create a budget, you hit a big plus sign to add income and then a big subtract sign to put in an expense. According to BUDGT, there are two ways to make this app work for you.
If you earn just enough income to cover your bills each month, BUDGT recommends putting in both your income and expenses to very closely monitor cash flow.
If you have more leeway, BUDGT says another option is to enter the max amount you want to spend per month on something in the income field instead. This is useful if you want to give yourself an allowance in a specific area. For example, use this method to set an amount you want to spend on lunch or coffee during the week and then hold yourself accountable.
One thing you don’t have to worry about with the BUDGT app is data security. Connecting your financial accounts isn’t required or even an option.
Who is BUDGT best for?
This app is for you if you tend to overspend on little things here and there throughout the day. Small purchases add up and may cause your money to vanish each month. Use BUDGT to curtail your miscellaneous spending.
On the other hand, BUDGT won’t give you a full picture of your financial standing. If you’re looking for an app with analytics that include your net worth, this isn’t the one for you.
What does BUDGT cost?
BUDGT costs $1.99. Whether or not it’s worth the cost is debatable. BUDGT is no doubt useful, but there are similar apps that don’t cost anything. We’ll go into more detail later in this post.
What are the pros and cons of using BUDGT?
If you’re deciding whether to purchase the BUDGT app, here are some of its pros and cons:
- Easy to use.
- Even easier to use for Apple Watch owners.
- Helps you make quick spending decisions to stay within budget.
- Data security. The best way to protect your information is keeping it to yourself. If you’re fearful of your information getting into the wrong hands, you’ll dig this app.
- Your expenses are organized into categories.
- You can review your spending habits for the current and past months in pie charts.
- The app costs $1.99 for a pretty basic service.
- It does require manual data entry of your expenses. Miss some expenses and you’ll be working with an incorrect budget.
- BUDGT doesn’t give you a full picture of your wealth including account balances, investments, etc.
- Only available on iOS.
How does BUDGT Stack up Against the Competition?
Level Money is a system similar to BUDGT except it’s free and you can connect your savings, checking and credit card accounts to the dashboard for more accurate reporting. Level Money shows you how much you can spend daily and weekly to stick to your budget.
There’s also an insights section to review past spending. The purpose of Level Money isn’t to be a full-service wealth management app, it’s to keep you on track from day-to-day. Level Money is available for iPhone and Android.
Mvelopes is a spinoff of the envelope budgeting system. The envelope system is where you put cash into envelopes for each of your expenses, so every one of your dollars is given a purpose.
Mvelopes helps you actively monitor your spending the same way as the envelope method except on your device. The free version of the app allows you to create up to 25 spending envelopes. Mvelopes is available on iPhone and Android.
Mint.com takes spend tracking and budgeting a step further than any of the other apps we’ve discussed so far. You can connect all financial accounts to Mint.com including loans and investments to get an overall view of your finances.
With Mint.com you can also set savings goals and track spending through your transactions. In addition, you can get detailed reports with graphs to easily view where you stand. Mint.com includes credit monitoring as well. This app is free and available on iPhone and Android.
Should You Use BUDGT?
BUDGT’s mission is great, however, Mvelopes and Level Money are free and serve the same purpose.
Understanding your daily spending is important, but so is understanding how this spending impacts your overall wealth. Ideally, you would couple BUDGT with another system like Mint.com or even a simple Excel spreadsheet that has all of your accounts in one place.