There are many great budget-tracking apps for the iPhone, offering plenty of variety. While the best choice for you will depend on your personal needs, our favourite is Jumsoft Money for its helpful feature set, great spending breakdowns, and easy input methods.
- Manage multiple types of accounts
- Create a simple or complex budget
- Schedule repeat transactions (e.g. salary or paying the rent) so you don't have to re-enter every time they occur
- Work with multiple currencies
- Versatile enough to handle budgets for a business or individual
- Offers great, easy-to-understand budget overviews
- Beautiful graphs show your spending breakdown for a given time period
- Syncs with the Mac desktop app of the same name
- Simple interface with a nice design
Money was designed to work with its Mac desktop app counterpart, but is great as a standalone iPhone app as well. It has an amazing budgeting feature that lets you really break down you budget exactly how you want it and get a quickly, graphical overview of your spending over a given time period.
One of my favourite features in Money is recurring transactions. Chances are you that when you get paid you pay rent and bills and pay for regular services like your ISP or Dropbox. Rather than entering these transactions every time they occur, you can just tell Money to enter them for you on a repeat date each month. This saves a lot of time. While Money can be a little overwhelming at first, once you get used to it you'll find you can do things like favourite categories to make input quicker.
Money used to be free, but now costs $1.99. For what you get, that's pretty reasonable but free was definitely a more attractive price tag.
Nonetheless, Money's primary disadvantage comes from its mild learning curve. Once you understand how to use it, which only takes a minute or two, you'll be able to do everything you need to do quickly. That said, it can be a little confusing at first because there's nothing guiding you along as you learn how it works. For example, it's not clear that you add transactions by first tapping on an account. This makes sense once you realise it, but you wouldn't necessarily know this intuitively. There are a few instances where you might struggle to figure out what to do, but with a little exploration you'll get there.
Pennies ($2.99) is a very simple and nicely-designed app to track your spending. All you do is set your budget and add expenses in various categories. Pennies offers a fuel gauge-style overview of how much money you have left for the month and provides a breakdown of your categorical spending as well. It's great at what it does, but it hasn't been updated since March, 2009. While the app works fine, some of the graphics haven't been updated for devices with the retina display. They actually look pretty good nonetheless, but you are buying into an old app and that means you shouldn't expect to see updates — even if there are bugs.
Left to Spend ($0.99) is an even simpler option, in which you specify your monthly budget and tell it when you've spent some money. It removes any spending from the total and just shows you stark white text on a black background to let you know how much you have — you guessed it — left to spend. That's all it does. If you're a minimalist who wants to track your budget, this is the app for you.
SplashMoney ($5.49), MoneyBook ($2.99), and iReconcile ($2.99) are good options if you're looking for a robust feature set. They all provide plenty of ways to track your money, offer up nice graphs to show you what's going on, and methods of exporting your data. They're all solid choices.
Lifehacker's App Directory is a growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools.