The road to overspending is paved with good intentions – you set yourself a monthly budget, and dutifully hold back on that shopping spree or pricy cocktail.
Yet somehow, at the end of the month, you find that you’ve overshot your budget yet again. Sounds familiar?
Getting a good grasp on our moolah calls for tracking our spending carefully throughout each month – but few of us have the time to do that. That’s where budgeting apps come in.
These nifty finance trackers make it easy to break down your spending into categories, alert you when you’re overstepping your budgets, predict your future expenses, and even sync up with your bank accounts in some cases.
To help you get savvy with your spending, we’ve picked out the best free budgeting apps available in Singapore.
Wallet by BudgetBakers
With sleek bar graphs and pie charts, Wallet helps you get a clear, colour-coded picture of your total cash flow.
Launched by Prague-based fintech startup BudgetBakers, this easy-to-use app enables you to customize a range of budgets for expense categories such as food, shopping, and investments.
Not only does do you get notified when you’ve overshot your budget, you can get a budget outlook for the next seven days based on your potential expenses.
The Wallet Premium upgrade (from $3.59 per month) packs more handy features, including syncing with your bank accounts to automatically record your transactions.
Download Wallet by BudgetBakers on Google Play Store and Apple Store, or try the web version.
For those of us with multiple bank accounts, tallying up our expenses can be a pain.
Enter Planner Bee, a made-in-Singapore app by licensed financial advisor Cherie Wang.
Her powerful app supports syncing with most major banks in Singapore – DBS, OCBC, UOB, Citibank – along with selected insurance and investment providers.
This means seamless updates on all your transactions, which are auto-categorized for you into dining, transport, and so on.
Set up monthly budgets for each category and check your balances at a glance. If you’re concerned about security, they use 2048-bit RSA encryption to keep your details safe.
Download Planner Bee on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
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If your mind quails at stuffy charts and stats, Monny is here to add a dash of whimsy.
Founded by Taiwan-based app development company Greamer, Monny’s playful theme park-style design puts a friendly face on financial planning.
This popular app packs a solid range of basic tracking features – think personalized spending categories, monthly reports, and daily reminders to input your expenses.
What truly makes it stand out is its gamified money challenges. Test your savings savvy with mini-challenges issued by its cuddly mascot, Monny the Bunny, and you’ll receive in-app rewards.
Download Monny on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Zenmoney feels like having a personal advisor in your pocket.
Besides tracking and analyzing your spending, this Russian finance app crunches your past months’ stats to advise on how much you’ll need for fixed expenses, as well as predict how much you’re likely to spend on variables like food and hobbies.
Not only can it sync with over a thousand banks worldwide, it can also retrieve transaction info from your texts and automatically create entries – talk about fuss-free.
All data is transmitted securely with 256-bit encryption, and you can opt to add your partner or family on a shared expense feed.
Download Zenmoney on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Frills-free but feature-packed, Spendee makes it simple to stay on track from day to day.
Equipped with a clean, minimalist interface, the app’s analytics help you estimate just how much you can spend daily to stay within your chosen budget.
Another perk is its handy alert system, which notifies you when you’ve spent 75 per cent and 90 per cent of your budget as well as when your bill payments are due.
For US$1.99 (S$2.70) per month, you can upgrade to Spendee Plus, which allows you to create shared wallets with friends and fam. The top-tier Spendee Premium plan (US$2.99 only) enables you to sync your bank accounts.
Download Spendee on Google Play Store and Apple Store, or try the web version.
The brainchild of San Francisco-based firm Dayspring Technologies, Goodbudget is based on the time-honored envelope system.
You start out by portioning your monthly income into various expense "envelopes" – food, rent, electricity, savings, and so forth.
Each envelope turns warning-sign red if you exceed your budget, and you can easily track your spending history for up to a year.
The free version allows you to customize up to twenty envelopes and connect two devices to your account. The Goodbudget Plus (US$7 per month) offers unlimited envelopes and connection with up to five devices.
Download Goodbudget on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
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Household Account Book
Household Account Book is the most kawaii finance app we’ve seen yet.
Developed by Japanese company United, the app is designed around two lovable cartoon mascots created by renowned illustrator Kanahei: the rabbit Usagi and his bird friend Piske.
Its tracking features are fairly basic – you track expenses across categories like transport and cosmetics, get a breakdown of your monthly spending, and receive alerts about your balance each month.
What’s unique is the comic book feature that incentivizes you to log in your expenses – enter your expenses faithfully to unlock cutesy mini stories about Piske.
Download Household Account Book on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
This article was first published in City Nomads.