Using a budgeting app for you and your family can show you where your money is going and how you can save more for a home or a vacation. You’ll also be ready for an emergency by knowing how much money you have to cover unexpected expenses. So we put together this list of the best budgeting apps for couples.
- Overview of the 4 Best Budget Apps for Couples
- The 4 Best Budgeting Apps for Couples
- Why Use a Budgeting App?
- Final Thoughts
Overview of the 4 Best Budget Apps for Couples
|Brand||Mobile App + Website||Split Transactions||Savings Goal Feature||Customizable|
|Firstly||Yes||Simplistic||Need to open up Firstly bank account||Very|
The 4 Best Budgeting Apps for Couples
The best budgeting apps can help you and your partner work as a team to reach your financial goals, improve communication, determine compatibility, pay off debt, and set you up for future success. Here’s a short list of our favorites.
Monarch Money is arguably one of the most robust budgeting and financial planning apps available for couples. Its long list of features include synching of all accounts (including retirement and investment accounts), setting financial goals, splitting transactions, creating transaction rules, and the ability to invite a partner to your Monarch Money account.
When you invite a partner, you each get your own login and a joint understanding of your finances.
- Beautiful user interface
- Excellent mobile app
- Highly customizable
- Long list of features
- Create and track goals
- No free plan, but no additional cost to add a partner and 7-day free trial
Firstly (formerly HoneyFI)
Firstly is a free family budgeting software for both web and mobile use. You’ll need to connect your bank account to the app, and there’s no option to input transactions manually.
You can also track bills and your debt and investments if you connect those accounts.
Firstly shines with its savings goals feature and the ability to set a rule to automatically send money from your checking to your Firstly FDIC-insured savings account.
- Easy to use web and mobile interface
- Highly customizable
- Ability to keep transactions private
- Ability to request money from partner
- Track savings goals
- Does not track money owed between partners
- You have to connect your accounts, and there’s no option to enter transactions manually
Best For: Families looking for more robust savings goal features and the ability to track their spending, debt, and investments via web or mobile interface.
Honeydue is a free mobile-only couple’s budgeting and bill-tracking app. You can initiate a payment between you and your partner when a transaction appears. This allows you to resolve the pay difference or have the app track who owes money and pay each other back.
While easy to use, Honeydue is not customizable. You have to use the categories native to the app, and you can’t create your own. There’s also no savings goals feature. But you do have the ability to sync your accounts or enter transactions manually.
- Simple-to-use and colorful interface
- Ability to chat within the app to discuss transactions
- Track money owed between partners
- Ability to keep transactions private from partner
- Option to open a joint credit card
- No custom categories
- No web interface
- No savings goal feature
Best For: Couples looking for a simple mobile app to track their individual and joint spending, debt, and investments.
Zeta is a free couple’s budget app that gives you and your partner separate logins. You’ll each need to connect your accounts or manually enter transactions.
Zeta is easy to use and allows you to split transactions and track money owed to each other. Zeta also offers bill reminders, a notes feature to communicate, and tagging options, so your partner gets notified when you want them to see your note.
However, the goal tracking feature is manual, and Zeta has the lowest user reviews of the three apps on both Apple and Google Play.
- Ability to split transactions with your partner
- Track money owed to each other
- Web and mobile platforms
- Custom categories
- Ability to keep transactions private
- Option to open a joint bank and credit card
- Goal tracking is manual
- No subcategories
Best For: Couples who often split expenses and want to track their individual and joint spending and savings goals, debt, and investments.
Alternative Apps (Not Specifically for Couples)
I must confess, knowing this and knowing that Firstly may be the best software for my family, I still use Mint. It’s been around a long time, and Mint beats all of these apps with its ability to analyze expenses. Mint’s biggest downfall is that it’s for one person – there’s no two log-in option, and therefore all your accounts are treated as one person.
Another runner-up is Splitwise. If you have no intention of budgeting or tracking expenses between you and your partner but prefer to split bills and don’t want to have 10 Venmo requests a week, Splitwise is a great option. You can continually add transactions to Splitwise, specify who owes who money, and then reconcile as you see fit later. This is an option if you’re not ready to combine finances or see each other’s budgets.
Why Use a Budgeting App?
Personally, I have been using budget software, and more specifically, Mint, for well over a decade. It’s been a life-saver to have software that auto-populates transactions from all my financial institutions into one place. It is a simple way for me to track income and expenses.
When my husband and I first started to merge our finances, I searched for different software that could accommodate couples, as Mint is meant for one person. Back then, there were few out there. Though I could add his accounts to my Mint account, there was no way for us to have two logins and for some of my information to be private.
Ten years later, there is a slew of options for all stages of families and relationships. Whether you’ve been married for decades and have all finances merged, or just getting together and want to figure out ways to save for a trip and properly split your meals, there’s an app for you.
Here are a few more reasons to use a budgeting app:
Track Spending in Real-Time
It’s cumbersome to log into all your financial institutions to verify and check purchases. Budgeting apps allow you to check your spending (and earning) in real time so you can continue to keep track of spending as it’s happening – not a month later when you get your credit card bill.
Don’t Miss Small Purchases
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at a purchase and had no idea what it was for. Continual checking off transactions and the ability to recategorize and add notes or comments make it easier to remember purchases.
Encourages You to Pay Off Debt and Save
To get past your debt, you have to address it head-on. Budgeting software allows you to see it easily, and when you begin to see your debt fall as you pay it down, you’ll be encouraged to keep going.
This concept also works for savings. When you connect your savings account to your budgeting app and regularly contribute to it, you’ll watch your savings grow and be motivated to continue putting away for the future.
Asking me to pick my favorite budget software is like asking me my favorite board game to play with friends – it depends on the friends. I’m not going to choose Settlers of Catan with friends I just met – that’s for a committed relationship that can stand the test of many robberies. But I digress.
If you’re not concerned about “who owes who” money and tracking this ongoing balance between you, try Firstly. It’s best at tracking and managing personal and family financial goals and is highly customizable.
For those in relationships where your focus is splitting transactions fairly and reconciling who owes who, I’d go with Zeta. Both Firstly and Zeta use Plaid to securely connect bank information and have decent ways of tracking budgets, savings, and spending.