Best budgeting apps

Hi all,

Just wondering what are the best budgeting apps people have used? I know you can link other accounts to Monzo with Open Banking but do people use Monzo in that way or are people using other apps for this?
I have been looking at Money Dashboard, Plum, Emma and Snoop but was wondering has anyone found a really great one that just makes managing all your accounts easy? Or is there one out there that i can link my coinbase to so can see my crypto under total wealth?

Thanks!

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I’ve tried most of them. None are as good for me as maintaining my own spreadsheet. There’s some knowledge and effort required with that, though, so it wouldn’t be suitable for everyone.

If you are seeking an effortless budgeting solution, there will always be trade offs.

ya thats kinda what i am finding that there isn’t one stand out thats just much better and easier to use. The whole open banking 90 day expiry doesn’t help with the apps, bit of a headache

I use a spreadsheet too and my general feeling is that effective effortless budgeting is a non starter.

My budget is only really as effective as much as it influences my understanding of my finance and influences my behaviour. Time spent collating my budget is time for me to think ‘oh I’ve bought too much of that’, ‘hey where did that pot go’ etc - that’s why I manually categorise all my transactions at the end of the month.

Sure I could do it automatically but I’d probably spend the same hour or so then looking at the results, and if I didn’t, then it’d be sort of pointless because it doesn’t really matter if there’s a great automatic spreadsheet or something sitting there that calculates my spending unless I’m actively engaged with that!

Still, for people who prefer not to do it, You Need a Budget is still the king in my eyes. By far the best layout and data analysis to help people manage their budget and I’ve read it’s helped a lot of people out of debt. There is a paywall, but it’s probably worth it.

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Ya i did the free trial of YNAB but could not bring myself to pay for it.

So with the spreadsheets you download your transactions in csv or something and put them into excel? And you would do this for all your accounts whether its main banks, credit card, neo bank etc? That seems like alot of effort

I use the Google Sheets integration with Monzo, which is my spending card, and manually input the transactions from other accounts. It took ages to set up (and I learned a lot), but the maintenance amounts to a few minutes a day using linked accounts in Monzo.

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I paste the CSVs into a spreadsheet I have, label the transactions with a drop down one by one and that fills the rest of the spreadsheet.

It takes me 1-2 hours a month and I think that is a reasonable and healthy amount of time to think about my spending and saving.

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I prefer Emma, though I probably don’t use it “as intended”.

Even if a spreadsheet is still best, it’s convenient to be able to download all my transactions via Emma with all accounts in one go, going back much further than directly from some of my accounts…

Emma connects to coinbase too.

It’s horses for courses though as to what works for you.

Because of the product not being suited to your needs, or because you had to pay for it?

I’ve tried most of them and my preference is Emma. Mainly use it for within-month spending tracking - making sure I’m not spending beyond my income in any given month.

I have a spreadsheet too but I use it for wealth tracking rather than spending tracking or budgeting. I just log the balance in each of my accounts at the start of every month.

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The product was ok but i didn’t feel it was good enough to pay for it. I suppose i might consider it again now, paying for it makes sense to me now it didn’t at the time (it was about a year ago i tried it). I read that some of the other apps that you don’t need to pay for make money by selling your data instead which is not cool (they don’t tell you they will sell your data).

Anyone aiming to sell your data will have to have that very clearly written in their privacy policies which you’ll have to explicitly agree to when signing up (and they’ll be on the website, and probably In the FAQs). So you can always check.

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Ya thats how i eventually found out but there is nothing clear about it when signing up. They should be upfront about it i think.
They are all at it I believe, banks, card companies etc just selling your data and making a fortune.

Not sure if Monzo do, bit off topic but can we tag an admin somehow and ask them?

As with all companies, you need to check the privacy policy before signing up. Monzo’s is here https://monzo.com/legal/privacy-notice#who-we-share-your-data-with-🤝

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I’m almost certain this is wrong, but if you are genuinely sure it is right it would be something you could report to the ICO.

Most likely you clicked through an ‘I agree for my data to be sold’ page without reading it

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There was a thread here about an app called Nova money. I uninstalled it as it wasn’t what I was looking for but if you’re going to compare Money Dashboard, Emma etc. it’s definitely worth looking at (or at least including it in comparisons).

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Not necessarily. A lot of companies set themselves up to collect your data, with the sole exit strategy of selling the entire company, assets (data) included. It’s the data which makes them worth buying.

Unless they have explicit permission to use that personal data for purposes other than it was being used originally, and if it’s data of a European or U.K. citizen, the data is worthless. They simply can’t sell it or use it.

If it’s anonymised data, that’s different but also why would anyone care about anonymised data being sold.

I just work it all out in Excel when I get paid and then set up all my bills pots and weekly money pots in the Monzo app. It doesn’t usually vary much so normally it’s just a tweak to one of the bills in Excel and then the corresponding tweak to the bills pot.

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I just assumed everyone used one of these budgeting apps to monitor all there accounts together. Surprised how many people do this manually on excel.
The data selling is something i never really took notice of until I was looking into Money Dashboard and read about how they sell your data, it surprised me but as i say i had not paid much attention to it before.