Today I’m answering an extremely popular question, do budgeting apps work? After a quick search in the app store, I discovered there were hundreds of different budgeting apps available to download. Most have in app purchases. In addition to all the apps that the app store offers most banks and credit unions will provide their own budgeting app. With all these budgeting apps available, you may be wondering do budgeting apps work?
Why do Most Budgeting Apps Fail?
I would say the biggest reason most budgeting apps fail is because they have all become so automated you stopped looking at it. Then over time it becomes autopilot and you stop checking it all together. These budgeting apps are literally integrated with your credit card and your bank accounts so it takes out all the budgeting for you and provides you with graphs of what you are spending money on.
I found that after a way, my budgeting app became similar to my credit card statement. I didn’t want to check it anymore. I was scared of what it would show. If you are like me and have struggled in the past with keeping a budget or money management then I highly recommend avoiding automated budgeting apps.
Like many people I was eager to download these new budgeting apps and help me budget my finances. I do strongly believe there are some pitfalls when it comes to budgeting apps. In the next section you will discover what are some budgeting app alternatives.
What are Some Budgeting App Alternatives?
If you are like me, then you are a pen and paper type person. I don’t use pen and paper per-say anymore, I’ve switched to excel spreadsheets. This is where I track my money and my budgeting. I strongly believe that if you are budgeting the numbers yourself and it’s not automated you know how much is going out and how much is going in and where your money is going.
The reason why manual budgeting is so powerful is because you create an emotional connection with the money. Every week, every day, you will sit down and fill out your monthly / weekly budget and you will know where your money is going. With manual budgeting, you’ll know things like how much you’re really spending at the grocery store, or how much those amazon purchases really cost you every month.
You are taking control of your spending and spending habits. For me, I love the manual process because if I don’t like where i’m spending my money I can pivot easily and spend my money on something that I feel good about. This is why I love the manual budgeting process so much.
In fact, manual budgeting has helped me save over $100,000!! (Link to article)
This is the manual budgeting process I use and I highly recommend it for everyone.
Who are Budgeting Apps Great For?
On the flip side, I think budgeting apps are great for people who are already great at budgeting. These apps take the manual process out of things and you don’t have to worry about knowing where your money is going. I highly recommend budgeting apps for someone who is great at budgeting and money management.
Recap Do Budgeting Apps Work?
In short, do budgeting apps really work? It depends on where you are with your money management and your budgeting skills. If budgeting isn’t your strongest skill, then I highly recommend you use a manual budget. That way you build the emotional connect with where your money is going and how you are spending it. I know for me, it has helped me save thousands of dollars over time.
For a limited time, I’m sharing with you my budgeting excel sheet that has helped me save $100,000 before the age of 30!