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Budgeting apps you can use to help manage your money

Here are some budgeting tools to help you see how much you're spending.

Whether you’re living month to month, in debt, or saving towards a goal, everyone needs a budget.

Luckily we’re living in the space age now! There are loads of cutting-edge budgeting apps that will help you manage your spending. Some apps just look pretty, while others will tell you off for buying too many lattes, remind you when a bill is due, or take money and quietly stash it in a savings pot without you noticing.

Check out our reviews of these budgeting apps

Why should I use a budgeting app?

You don’t have to. You could whip up a financial modelling spreadsheet instead to track your income and expenses each month using an array of formulae…! You could even update your spreadsheet every day and keep hold of receipts and track your expenses.

Or if you’re a bit lazier, you could download a budgeting app today and it could take care of all of that for you.

The real benefit of these apps over manual budgeting and traditional banks is simplicity and ease of use.

The other benefit is that the apps are mostly free!

While some charge a fee, many challenger banking apps don’t (such as Revolut, Monzo, Starling, Monese). For no money, you can visualize your spending on-the-go and in real time.

Learn more about challenger banks here

If they’re free, how do banking apps make money?

A lot of banking apps are drawing in customers with free services, and the companies plan to diversify later with more traditional banking products (such as savings accounts, mortgages, loans, overdraft protection). These products provide the apps with potential revenue in the future.

Some apps are partnering with other fintech startups, to cross-sell each others’ services.

Learn more about digital banking in Canada

Compare apps that reward you for your spending

Name Product Reward Fees Participating Brands Min. to Cash Out
Ampli
1-10% cash back, or a set $ amount
$0
50+
$15
Link your debit and credit cards to the Ampli app and earn cash back at 50+ big retailers across Canada. Enter promo code AMPLI5 to receive a $5.00 cash back bonus on signup.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What about regular savings accounts?

If you’re looking to earn interest on your savings, then these apps might not be for you.

While a few do offer interest most don’t.

The way these apps help you save is by acting as pocket accountants, automatically categorizing transactions so you can budget better. If you think you’re spending too much on eating out, then take a look at the cold hard numbers. Some apps even provide graphs and charts to ram home the message.

In terms of helping you save up, budgeting apps use algorithms to work out how much you can afford to squirrel away. If you choose, they’ll also automatically transfer the money to a savings pot.

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