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Discover the best budgeting apps for Canadians

By Rubina Ahmed-Haq on April 18, 2019 No Comments
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If you want to learn about the best budgeting apps available, now is a perfect time. Canada is moving towards an increasingly cashless society. Eighty-five percent of Canadians don’t pay with cash regularly. While there are many benefits to a cashless society – safety, convenience and reward points, restraint of spending isn’t one of them.

Whether you’re running a household or a business, budgeting needs to be a part of your daily routine. Luckily, there are plenty of apps to help make the process easier and maybe more fun for head-of-households and entrepreneurs alike. 

The best budgeting apps for Canadians

Technology, in many ways, has changed our lives for the better. Most notably a tiny handheld computer that we take everywhere. With a quick download, you have access to some of the best budgeting apps to help get you a better handle on your finances. 

Mint

When you think of personal budgeting apps, Mint is probably the first one that comes to mind. It’s become the go-to choice for Android and iPhone users. The app is free, but don’t let that fool you. It has a lot to offer in terms of tracking your spending. Mint enables you to create your budget.

It shows how much you’re spending and how much you have left in your spending categories. You can also see all your credit card accounts, bank accounts, and investment accounts in one convenient place.

Jumsoft Money

While budgeting apps on smartphones come in handy, there’s only so much they can do. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to use budgeting tools from the comfort of your laptop or desktop computer. Jumsoft money is unique in the sense that it comes bundled with a desktop program you can use with the app.

Another way that Jumsoft Money stands out from the competition is its cash flow tracking. The app has a powerful recurring expenditures tool that lets you track regular payments that you make each month. This saves you time since you don’t have to keep making the same payment over and over again.

MoneyBook

Are you keen to use budgeting apps, but you want to keep your finances safe and secure? MoneyBook might just be the app for you. While it doesn’t boast the same visual appeal the other apps may offer, the app makes up for it with its security.

The cloud backup means even if your phone is lost, damaged, or stolen, you’ll still have access to budget tracking. There’s also a nifty password protection feature that stops others from seeing sensitive parts of your budget.

Mylo

Do you find it hard to save and invest money? Then you might want to try Mylo. Mylo is a powerful app that makes money management and investing more accessible. You can fund your Mylo account by connecting it with your chequing accounts, credit cards, or debit cards.

When you purchase with Mylo, your purchases round up to the nearest dollar and go into an investment fund. When you make these small contributions, you’ll barely notice them at all. However, these small contributions can quickly add up. If you make a lot of small purchases throughout the year, it can mean investing a substantial amount by year’s end.

With the money you save, you can invest it in financial accounts in your TFSA or RRSP. While Mylo may not help you stay on budget, it can help start you on the road to investing success.

Debt Manager

Are you carrying any high-interest debt, such as credit cards, payday loans, or unsecured lines of credit? If so, paying it off should be your top priority. The reason is simple – it costs you a lot in interest. But paying off your debt is often easier said than done. If you’re struggling with debt management, you might want to try an app called Debt Manager.

Debt Manager is a powerful app that helps you get out of debt faster. The app comes with a simplistic interface that offers you clarity on your finance. It enables you to organize, track, and pay your debt using the cheapest way possible.

If you’re confused and not sure where to start, Debt Manager has a nifty tool called “What If?” Using “What If,” you can enter bills yourself and see what the outcome will be on your finances. Best of all, the app helps you stay motivated by showing you how much money you’re saving by paying down your debts sooner.

Spending Tracker

If you’d prefer not to link an app to financial accounts at your financial institution, then Spending Tracker might be the app for you. With Spending Tracker, you don’t need to link the app to your savings account, credit cards, or registered accounts. Despite this, the app still lets you track your spending, and more importantly, stick to your budget.

How it works is that you enter your income and expenses into the app. For example, let say you buy a cup of coffee. If that’s the case, then you’d enter it into the app. When you get paid from your work, you enter it in the app. And so on.

While this app may not offer as many features are other apps, it gives you a simple way to manage your money.

WALLY

Wally is a free personal finance app. But don’t let the price tag fool you. It’s a fantastic app for anyone who wants to track their spending and income and see where their money is going.

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Wally doesn’t connect to your bank accounts, similar to Mint. While it requires some data entry, you don’t have to worry about security like some of the other apps.

Wally is an ideal app for anyone who has already been doing their own bookkeeping. Wally promises to give you a “360 view on your money.” With Wally, you’ll know what money is coming in and going out. Any amounts you’ve budgeted and any money you’ve saved.

While the app may not be as user friendly as other apps, it is free, so you might as well give it a go to see if it works for you.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is an app and company based in the U.S. that offers wealth management services. The app is free, although there’s a premium version with more features.

In a nutshell, Personal Capital is a robo-advisor with personalized support from financial advisors at a fee.

The Personal Capital app has proved popular in the U.S. Unfortunately, the app isn’t available quite yet in Canada. If you’re looking for something similar, you might consider checking out Wealthica. It’s almost like the Canadian version of Personal Capital.

Clarity Money

Clarity Money is a powerful financial management app powered by Artificial Intelligence. This free app uses machine learning to review your finances. Based on this, the app suggests helping you make smarter decisions with your money. Using the data, this helps give you a clear view of your finances and take better control of your finances.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Are you tired of living paycheque to paycheque? Stop the vicious cycle with You Need a Budget. You do that by following the website’s four simple rules: give every dollar a job, embrace your real expenses, roll with the punches, and age your money. Try out You Need a Budget for free for 34 days. After that, you’ll pay a subscription fee.

The top budgeting tools for entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It often means putting in long hours in the beginning to get your business up and running and making it a success. Often you’ll manage lots of things from employees to your business’ books. One way to make sure you’re managing your business’ books properly is by using budgeting tools. Here are some top budgeting tools for entrepreneurs to use.

Budgeto

This online tool is ideal for small and medium-sized Canadian businesses. Even startups can use it. With Budgeto, get access to the online budgeting and financial forecasting tools that you need. Using the tool, you can make a three-year financial forecast and share it with a Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) rep. The tool is available in both English and French.

Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks is one of the most popular business budgeting tools for a good reason. It more than lives up to its motto: “ALL YOU NEED. ALL IN ONE PLACE: More than just accounting software.” With QuickBooks, you can fully customize the software to help track the income and expenses for your business.

Connect to your bank accounts, automate the sorting of transactions, and categorize tax categories. QuickBooks also offers payroll help in case you need it.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is another tool that small business owners should know quite well. FreshBooks promises to make running your business smoother, faster, and more secure. Although it may cost you money, you’ll more than make up for the cost in time saved.

You’ll spend a lot less time on accounting and more time growing your business. With FreshBooks, you can automate regular tasks like invoicing, tracking your time, and following up with clients for unpaid invoices.

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Rubina Ahmed-Haq


Rubina Ahmed-Haq is a Journalist and Personal Finance Expert. She is the go-to money expert in Canada for several media outlets. She regularly appears on CBC Radio, CBC News Network, CTV Your Morning and Global Toronto. She writes for Homes Publishing group, ratesupermarket.ca, debt.ca and has her own website www.alwayssavemoney.ca. Rubina began her career as a broadcast journalist in 1999. Since then she has covered everything from local news, foreign affairs, politics, sports and of course finance! As a business reporter she has worked for CP24 from the Toronto Stock Exchange and reported for BNN. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star and various other magazines. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University and is an alumna of the Humber College post graduate journalism program and holds the CSC designation. Her goal is to help Canadians find easy ways to manage their own finances. Follow her on Twitter @alwayssavemoney.

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