Most likely before you were a parent, you thought you lived a busy life. However, as most parents discover, add children to the mix and your lifestyle goes from busy to overwhelmingly busy. Between homework, sports, family gatherings and other extracurricular activities, your life as a parent has many layers.
Attempting to keep up on a daily basis can feel exhausting and endless. With everything else you have to do finding time to sit down and review the family budget each week can be virtually impossible. Part of the difficulty in having a family is maintaining a fluid budget. Spending can get out of control, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, there are budgeting apps designed to help you budget smarter and better as a parent.
Your financial health is a top priority, as it can affect all aspects of your life. Whether your financial goals include saving money or paying off bills, budgeting apps can help get you and your family back on track to success. This article explores several helpful budgeting apps for you to use regularly to maintain your budget as a parent living on the go.
Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps overall. Mint is a free app available to download that houses all your finances in one spot. Having your finances available in one spot makes it easy to stay on top of each aspect of your financial health. Mint shows your balances, bills and credit score in one view, making it easy to create a family budget. The more accounts you link with Mint, the more Mint can help you do to stay afloat. Mint allows you to understand where your money is going and where you can cut back. You can even check your financial health while you are standing in a long grocery checkout line.
Mint is free and easy to set up and is connected with almost every financial institution in the United States. This removes any worry about your institution not being available to connect. Upon signing up, Mint creates a report for your review within minutes with ideas on how to improve your financial health. Mint updates automatically and organizes your information in a user-friendly manner. The budgeting technology available with Mint is unmatched.
Daily Budget is a simple, easy way to track your spending. Daily Budget is a good app for parents who are looking for a quick view of their finances day to day and would prefer not to see a large overview. This app works by allotting a specific amount of money per day allowed for spending. This amount is based on all your expenses. You are required to enter all your expenses, including your daily expenses. Think of Daily Budget as a way to track each and every expense, similar to a spending journal. Ever ask yourself where all the money went? This is the app for you. Daily Budget is a free app available to download, however you can upgrade to a version of Daily Budget which encrypts and backs up your information for a low fee per month.
FamZoo, despite the name, is anything but a zoo. With the slogan “preparing kids for the financial jungle,” FamZoo was designed with families in mind, including kids, teens and parents. This app is available to download and works as a real-life budgeting tool with an educational twist, setting FamZoo apart from other budgeting apps. Unfortunately, FamZoo only offers one month free. However, if you decide you would like to continue using FamZoo, you can pay a very low fee per month for the app.
As a parent, you can set up family budgeting accounts, including an account for kids to track allowance money. Your family budgeting accounts allow each family member to understand how your household is run and how important financial health is to success. This offers an educational opportunity for your children to learn about financial health. FamZoo is worth the less than five dollars per month fee, especially if you have older children and teenagers.
GoodBudget is a budget tracker for the modern age. GoodBudget is a great budgeting app for parents who are looking to save for bigger purchases. GoodBudget operates on the envelope budget system, which is recommended by many experts in the financial world. The envelope budget system works like this – first, make a list of all of your monthly, weekly and daily expenses. Examples of these expenses include groceries, gas, shopping and restaurants. The envelope budget system requires you to take a certain portion of your paycheck out in cash and put it in a designated envelope for a specific expense. Under no circumstances are you allowed to remove the cash from the envelope.
The envelope budget system has stood the test of time and ensures you are saving money efficiently. GoodBudget allows families to sync and share all family member budgets to encourage financial transparency. The free version of GoodBudget allows for 10 customized envelopes, transaction history spanning one year and availability on two devices. You can upgrade for additional features for a low fee.
Spendee is an app similar to Mint, allowing for syncing completely with all of your accounts, so you can track how much you spend on household costs. You also have the feature to download your transactions. With Spendee, you have the functionality to create “wallets.” You can create wallets for multiple purposes like your family specific budget, your savings, your personal budget or your vacation. Spendee gives you insight into your spending habits to identify pain point areas in your budgeting. Spendee is a great app for parents who travel frequently, as it has the ability to change into multiple different currencies for accurate budgeting.
Spendee has the ability to sync with your Apple Watch and other non-smartphone devices. Customizing your Spendee account is half the fun. You can add pictures and locations to each expense for optimal tracking. Spendee is free, but premium upgrades are available for less than the cost of a latte per month.
Spending Tracker is a free app with the simplest interface of the apps outlined in this article. For some families, the simpler the app, the better. You are required to manually add your transactions. The category and budget overviews are easy to understand with customization available. The user-friendly interface is what makes Spending Tracker one of the leading budgeting apps for families. The Spending Tracker app has a one-time upgrade fee to the “pro” version, which has the functionality to sync your accounts. It is important to note that the free version of Spending Tracker has advertisements running across the bottom of the app.
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By Jennifer Symonds –