Updated February 22, 2024 7:43 PM PT

Best Budgeting Apps in Canada

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A good budgeting app lets you track your spending and save money effortlessly. Discover 10 excellent options in Canada to stay on top of your finances.

What are the Best Budgeting Apps in Canada?
The top 10 budgeting apps in Canada include:
  1. You Need a Budget (YNAB): Best overall
  2. PocketGuard: Best for real-time expense tracking
  3. Mint: Best free app
  4. Wallet: Best multipurpose budget app
  5. Rocket Money (formerly TrueBill): Best for bill management
  6. Spendee: Best for crypto wallet tracking
  7. Zeta: Best for couples
  8. Goodbudget: Best envelope-budgeting app
  9. Spending Tracker: Best for offline tracking
  10. Moka (formerly Mylo): Best for passive saving

Not sure where your money went? Does it come and go so easily?

It's puzzling to keep track of your income and expenses, especially if you don't know how to start. You might overspend or, worse, bury yourself in debt.

Thankfully, budgeting apps can help with that. They can even help you spot saving opportunities when you thought there were none.

If you live in Canada, we've got the right list for you. Read on to take your pick.

10 Best Budgeting Apps in Canada

Budgeting apps provide an efficient way to budget and track your expenses. You can even connect them to your Canadian bank accounts to make things automatic.

Here are your options to get started.

You Need a Budget (YNAB): Best Overall

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a budgeting app that can help you get out of debt, save money, and build wealth in the long run.

You can give every dollar you make a specific job. Say you earn $1,000. You can assign $600 to rent, $200 to groceries, etc.

This means you're not only tracking and categorizing past spending. Before you even pull that money out, you already know where it's going to go.

The app also displays the progress of your spending and saving goals, so you can keep yourself motivated and accountable.

YNAB Pros & Cons:

  • Reduce frivolous spending
  • Easy-to-understand reports and analytics
  • Lots of resources to assist and educate users
  • Steep learning curve
  • Higher monthly subscription

It can take some time to get the hang of using the app. But the extensive resources on their website or their live Q&A sessions may help. You can also contact their support team for your concerns or questions.

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[1]

Cost
Monthly plan$14.99/mo (with free 34-day trial)
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment tracking✓ (requires manual input)
Reviews
Apple rating4.8
Google rating4.8

PocketGuard: for Expense Tracking

PocketGuard securely connects to your bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts. This way, you get to import and categorize your transactions automatically.

It provides an up-to-date snapshot of your finances, too. So you get a clear view of your income, expenses, and available funds.

Plus, In My Pocket real-time tracking feature provides insights into your spending categories. You'll see how much of your money goes to groceries, bills, etc.

PocketGuard works with Billshark, a tool you can use to help lower your bills, helping you achieve your savings goals. But it will charge you 40% of your saved amount if you succeed.[2]

PocketGuard Pros & Cons:

  • Easy expense tracking
  • Bill negotiation
  • Affordable lifetime subscription
  • Limited investment tracking
  • Autosave feature available for U.S. residents only ($2 monthly fee for free accounts)

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[3]

Cost
Basic$0/mo
Monthly$7.99/mo
Annual$34.99/mo
Lifetime$79.99/mo
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking✓ (unlimited with paid plan)
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.7
Google rating3.8

Mint: Best Free App

Another popular budgeting app is Mint, from Intuit. Intuit has long been developing secure financial software, so it's no surprise that the app has comprehensive but free features.

Aside from tracking your expenses, you can track investments, plan debt payoff, and see your net worth. Mint even lets you check your credit score through TransUnion's VantageScore.

And, like its competitors, you can create a personalized budget based on your spending history and income. You can even link to most bank accounts and credit cards for more accurate data.

Mint Pros & Cons:

  • Free to use
  • Free credit score checking
  • Comprehensive budgeting features
  • In-app adds
  • May be unable to link to smaller banks and credit unions

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[4]

Cost
Basic$0/mo
Premium$4.99/mo
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment tracking
Reviews
Apple rating4.8
Google rating4.2

Wallet: Multipurpose Budget App

Wallet, primarily a personal finance app on mobile, doubles as a budget app you can view on your browser. You can sync most bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts with it. That way, you can monitor expenses in real-time.

You can set financial goals to motivate yourself, too. You can save for a house down payment, for example.

And if these aren't enough, the paid version offers more advanced features. You can track your investments, upload receipts, and use multiple currencies if you need to.

Wallet Pros & Cons:

  • Loaded with features and has a web interface
  • Accepts pictures of receipts which you can archive
  • Multi-currency support
  • Unable to transact payments
  • Features can be overwhelming for beginners

Can you sync your budgeting apps across multiple devices?
Yes, many budgeting apps allow you to seamlessly sync your data across multiple devices. This means you can manage your budget from your smartphone, tablet, and computer. You'll get real-time access to your financial information at home or on the go.

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[5]

Cost
Free plan$0
Premium 1$5.99
Premium 2$21.99
Lifetime Premium$41.99
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment tracking
Reviews
Apple rating4.6
Google rating4.8

Rocket Money: for Bill Management

Rocket Money, formerly TrueBill, is another budgeting app in the finance management space. It can track your income and expenses, just like its competitors.

But what makes it unique is that it can find recurring subscriptions and cancel them for you. Sometimes, it's those forgotten subscriptions that increase your expenses, after all.

Also, with the app, you can negotiate your bill and look for opportunities to save money. Just keep in mind that it charges 30% to 60% of your saved amount.

Tired of those overdrafts and late fees? This app can guide you through the refund process for them, too. You won't pay a dime more than what's necessary.

Rocket Money Pros & Cons:

  • Negotiates bills for you
  • Assists with refunds
  • Cancels subscriptions
  • Provides real-time alerts for upcoming charges
  • Charges fee for successful bill negotiations
  • May require sensitive financial information

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[6]

Cost
Free option$0/mo
Premium$3 to $12/mo ($3 & $5 billed annually)
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.3
Google rating4.4

Spendee: for Crypto Wallet Tracking

Spendee is a simpler budgeting app compared to others. But unlike the others, Spendee offers crypto wallet integration.

You can connect your Ethereum crypto blockchain wallet with it. That way, you get an overview of your Ethereum holdings together with your other financial accounts.

Also, Spendee lets you customize budgets, create spending categories, and set financial goals. The charts and graphs will help you visualize your data and make informed decisions. You can even sync your budgets with other users, like family members.

Remember that Spendee will only serve as a tracking and analysis tool for your crypto. As such, you may not have access to detailed performance metrics and historical price data.

Spendee Pros & Cons:

  • Customized budgets
  • Set financial goals
  • Crypto wallet integration
  • Syncs with other users
  • Bill payment is unavailable
  • Some Canadian banks cannot be linked automatically

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[7]

Cost
Free plan$0/year
Spendee Plus$14.99/year
Spendee Premium$22.99/year
Features
Synced financial accountsSpendee Premium only
Customized budgets✓ (unlimited with paid plans)
Goal tracking
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.6
Google rating4.6

Zeta: for Couples

Zeta is a budgeting app for couples who want to manage their finances together. It categorizes expenses, so you can see where your money goes. This, in turn, can help you identify areas you can save in.

The app has a chat feature, too. You can send messages and reminders to your partner regarding budget and expenses. You'll no longer lose important money conversations from third-party messaging apps.

Because Zeta is a mobile app for your smartphone, you may encounter issues using it with your tablet. The app may crash or not display properly from time to time.

Zeta Pros & Cons:

  • Free to use
  • Chat facility for users
  • Track shared and individual expenses
  • Not optimized for tablets
  • Cannot track investments
  • In-app ads

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[8]

Cost
Free!
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.6
Google rating4.3

Are budgeting apps free?
Some budgeting apps are free to use. Highly rated tools such as Mint and Spending Tracker are available at no cost. Other apps offer free trials, at the very least. But choosing a paid version usually comes with enhanced features and benefits.

Goodbudget: Envelope-budgeting App

Goodbudget digitally replicates "envelope budgeting." It visually represents your available funds for different categories, such as groceries and utilities.

That said, you can allocate a specific amount for each "envelope." You can also sync your budget with other users, like your spouse or family members, to keep track of your spending together.

And if you wish to include debt accounts, you can monitor your payoff progress using its Debt Payments feature. You can record all payments toward the debt. It will display your remaining debt balance and estimated payoff date.

Envelope budgeting is a simple and time-tested concept that helps you allocate money for different expenses. Each expense will have their own envelope. Traditionally, you'll literally place cash on physical envelopes every time you budget.

Goodbudget Pros & Cons:

  • Affordable subscription & no-time limit free version
  • Sync budget with other users
  • Track debt payoff progress
  • Manual logging of transactions
  • Free version may be too limiting for most individuals

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[9]

Cost
Free plan$0/mo
Plus plan$8/mo
Features
Synced financial accountsx (manual input only)
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.7
Google rating4.6

Spending Tracker: for Offline Tracking

Spending Tracker may be a good fit if you don't feel comfortable linking your bank accounts to a budgeting app. You can just manually enter your income and expenses and categorize them.

The app is also easy to navigate. It has straightforward features for tracking financial activities.

Additionally, you'll get detailed reports on your spending patterns. They're presented in charts and graphs to help you understand your expenses better.

Manual entry may be a more secure option, although it can be tedious for some. It's best to ensure you can manage the app in the long run.

Spending Tracker Pros & Cons:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Customizable categories
  • Ideal for those who don't like account linking
  • No bill monitoring
  • Manual entry of transactions can be tedious

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:

Cost
Free!
Features
Synced financial accountsx (manual input only)
Customized budgets
Goal tracking
Investment trackingx
Reviews
Apple rating4.8
Google rating4.7

Moka: for Passive Saving

Moka, formerly Mylo, rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. Then, it automatically invests the spare change into a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds.

These investments are tailored to your risk tolerance and investment goals. It's a great way to put your loose change to work instead of having them sit down on your account and lose value.

You can withdraw your earnings by requesting through the app. They will then be deposited directly to your funding account at no extra cost.

If you subscribe to Moka 360, you'll get additional features like a debt repayment tool, higher cashback on select purchases, and access to a financial coach.

Moka Pros & Cons:

  • Automatic saving through rounding up expenses
  • No minimum amount required to invest
  • Free withdrawals
  • Limited budgeting features
  • You cannot choose specific ETFs to invest in

Pricing, Features, and Reviews:[10]

Cost
Moka plan$4.99/mo
Moka 360$15/mo
Features
Synced financial accounts
Customized budgetsx
Goal tracking
Investment tracking
Reviews
Apple rating4.4
Google rating4.0

Now that the list is out of the way, here are some important points to remember about budgeting apps.

What Is A Budgeting App?

A budgeting app is an app that allows you to track your income, savings, debt payoff, and investments effortlessly. You can typically use one on your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Many budgeting apps can also connect to your financial accounts. This makes tracking automatic, easy, accurate, and sustainable.

And because they typically provide up-to-date insights, you can make informed decisions any time you manage your money.

Did you know?
In 1983, a software called Managing Your Money was one of the first personal finance programs. It allowed users to create budgets, track expenses, and manage their finances digitally on personal computers.

How Do Budgeting Apps Work?

Budgeting apps can manually or automatically track your spending. If you're able to create budgets or goals, the apps can also track your progress for you.

That said, you can track your finances automatically if you link your bank accounts. Others provide extra features like reminders for upcoming bills or suggest clever money-saving strategies.

Think of budgeting apps as helpful personal assistants for your money. They can be your reliable companions keeping tabs on your spending. They'll also help keep you accountable for your financial goals.

Budgeting apps vs traditional budgeting methods
Budgeting apps have the same purpose as traditional budgeting methods, like manual spreadsheets. The main difference lies in their ease of use.

While traditional budgeting methods can still be effective for some people, budgeting apps offer enhanced convenience, automation, and real-time tracking. This makes budgeting apps a popular choice for better financial management.

Budgeting apps vs financial advisors
Budgeting apps and financial advisors can work together. You may turn to budget apps for day-to-day expense tracking. A financial advisor, on the other hand, can help you with long-term financial goals and planning.

Is there a good budgeting app?
Yes, there are several good budgeting apps you can use, such as YNAB, Goodbudget, and PocketGuard. Many of these apps offer expense tracking, budgeting tools, goal setting, and detailed financial reports.

If you're still on the fence about whether you should go for a budgeting app, you can take a look at its benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Budgeting Apps?

Many of these budgeting apps are affordable. And yet, they can save you a ton of money in the long run.

Here are some of the benefits you can count on:

  • Enhanced financial awareness
    Budgeting apps show you details about how much money you have coming in, how much you spend, and your overall financial well-being. This helps you understand your money situation better and manage it well.

  • Convenience with automation
    Budgeting apps can save you time and effort, especially if they link to your bank accounts. You may also get reminders for bill payments, which can help you avoid late fees.

  • Flexibility through customized budgets
    You can adjust your budget based on your unique financial situation and goals. Customized budgets ensure your spending aligns with your lifestyle. You can also update these budgets as needed.

  • Real-time insights and analytics
    With real-time insights, you can depend on accurate and current data for financial decision-making.

    For example, if you notice that you are close to exceeding your budget in a category, you can adjust your spending behavior before it becomes problematic.

  • Reduced errors
    Because of automation, you can minimize errors and stay on top of your finances. It's also more sustainable, considering you don't need to manually update the app every time you spend money.

Which budgeting app feature do you find most beneficial?

Are budgeting apps worth it?
Budgeting apps offer fantastic ways to manage your money effectively. However, they can be most beneficial if you are comfortable with technology and frequently use debit or credit cards for your purchases. If you rely more on cash, you might find manually entering each expense tiresome and time-consuming.

Say these benefits have convinced you. How do you choose from the list of apps?

How Do You Choose A Budgeting App?

With so many options, having criteria can help you take your pick. Here are some things you can consider.

  • Ease of use
    Look for an app with an intuitive interface, simplified data entry, and quick setup. A confusing interface can demotivate you to track your expenses and save.

  • Features
    You may not need all the bells and whistles an app may have. Choose one with features you'll actually use regularly.

    Questions to ask yourself:
    1. Do you want to customize budgets and categories?
    2. Do you need comprehensive reporting and analytics?
    3. Are you comfortable with linking your bank accounts?

  • Cost
    Several budget apps are free to use. Bear in mind that many such apps may have limited features. But there are typically paid versions that offer more.

    These paid versions usually cost $8 to $14 per month. You can typically save with yearly subscriptions.

  • Security
    Remember, a budgeting app may link your bank accounts and credit cards. Choose one with strong security measures to safeguard your personal and financial information.

    Two-factor authentication will add an extra layer of security. You can also use biometrics, aside from setting a strong password. You may even consider choosing an app with data backup and recovery options.

  • Customer support
    Since budgeting apps can have many features, you may need assistance in using them. Prompt and helpful customer support can save you time and help you avoid frustration.

What do you think is the most important factor in selecting a budgeting app?

Are budgeting apps safe and secure to use?
Budgeting apps can be safe and secure to use if they have proper measures in place to protect your personal and financial information. For example, Mint uses Verisign scanning, which helps identify potential vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. This way, Mint can better protect its users' information.

Our Methodology

To find the best budgeting apps in Canada, we looked at over 20 options. We considered their budgeting features and what they uniquely bring to the table.

They should also be suitable for either a beginner or financially literate user. That said, we included apps with free and paid versions (for more advanced features).

Also, all of these apps are compatible with Android and iOS. They have positive ratings on Google Play and App Store, too. So you know they're the best of the best through "word-of-mouth."

What the Experts Say

CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions. Here's what they said:

Bottom Line

Budgeting apps can be a game-changer when managing money in Canada. You can track expenses, set financial goals, and review financial insights with them.

That said, these apps can definitely help you get on top of your finances. Some apps even offer extra features like bill negotiation and crypto wallets.

The best part? You don't even need to pay, given that free plans are available. So you're essentially getting a free tool that helps you build wealth.

References

  1. ^ YNAB. Pricing, Retrieved 8/6/2023
  2. ^ PocketGuard. Lower your bills, Retrieved 9/04/23
  3. ^ PocketGuard. Pricing, Retrieved 8/6/2023
  4. ^ Mint. What is Mint Premium?, Retrieved 8/6/2023
  5. ^ Wallet. App Store, Retrieved 07/10/2023
  6. ^ RocketMoney. Help Center, Retrieved 07/12/2023
  7. ^ Spendee. Pricing, Retrieved 8/6/2023
  8. ^ Zeta. Zeta Account Fees, Retrieved 8/6/2023
  9. ^ Goodbudget. Pricing, Retrieved 07/12/2023
  10. ^ Moka Pricing, Retrieved 8/6/2023

Write to Penelope Besana at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.


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