How we rate budgeting apps

This is how we come up with the star ratings and "best for" picks that you see for budgeting apps.

Budgeting apps provide a great way to oversee your everyday finances, allowing you to categorise your spending and identify areas where you could make savings. Many of these apps have developed detailed budgeting tools as well as other features, such as the ability to upload and store receipts, or weed out any wasteful ongoing subscriptions.

Here, we explain how we generate the Finder or “we say” star ratings you may see on our budgeting apps content, and the “best for” picks that we sometimes highlight.

Budgeting apps star ratings

We score the budgeting apps that we show on our site for the following features, awarding star ratings of between one and five for each one:

  • App rating. This is calculated by averaging the app’s rating in the App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Fees. We take into account any monthly fees associated with having or using the app – as well as if it’s free, of course.
  • Range of accounts. If you want to manage your finances effectively it’s important to be able to see as many of your accounts as possible in one place. So we evaluate what types of accounts you’re able to connect to and see in your budgeting app. That includes current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, as well as things like investments, pensions, loans and mortgages.
  • Budgeting features. Given this is the raison d’etre of these apps, this is an important one. We consider what budgeting features are on offer, such as the ability to categorise your spending, generate a spending report or forecast, use a tool to plan your monthly or weekly budget, have a pot to put savings aside in, or easily see what money you have left over after all of your upcoming bills are paid.
  • Extra app features. Some budgeting apps offer some valuable additional features, whether that be the ability to customise your spending categories or the opportunity to switch energy providers to save money on your bills. Some even come with a payment card of their own or access to a cashback programme, so we take all of this into account.

To generate our overall star rating, an average is taken of the above five scores, and this is then rounded to the nearest half star.

How do we choose our “best for” budgeting apps?

From among the products featured on the site, we highlight those which our analysis shows are the best fit for specific categories, and then we display these picks across some of our personal finance management content. Our “best for” picks might not be best for all circumstances, so it’s important to consider what your needs are before you choose your budgeting app.

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