Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • jsyscotia
    • By jsyscotia 8th Jan 17, 1:04 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    jsyscotia
    Best budgeting apps
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 17, 1:04 AM
    Best budgeting apps 8th Jan 17 at 1:04 AM
    Hi
    Can anyone give a recommendation on the best app to track your spending / budget ? Ideally one that gets the info directly from my bank account

    Thanks
Page 1
    • colsten
    • By colsten 8th Jan 17, 2:01 PM
    • 8,760 Posts
    • 7,586 Thanks
    colsten
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 17, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 17, 2:01 PM
    YNAB
    AceMoney
    MS Money
    BankTree

    all of the above have been / are being discussed on this forum and you can search for the threads.

    MS Money and AceMoney allow you to import OFX and other files from banks and credit card firms. They both support investments, too. YNAB seems to be the most popular with people who are just starting out and those who don't have investments. MS Money, and it's clone AceMoney, are considered the best by a long way by many forumites. BankTree is a UK-developed product (most others are US developed) and has a live import option which costs a monthly fee.

    YNAB and BankTree are probably the most expensive. AceMoney costs $39.99 and MS Money is free as it is not longer supported by MS.
    • amanita
    • By amanita 8th Jan 17, 2:29 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    amanita
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 17, 2:29 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 17, 2:29 PM
    YNAB doesn't get info directly from the bank, but you can import files.

    I use the mobile app to add transactions (it uses GPS to remember which shop you recorded while standing there) and remembers the budget last used with that shop too.

    To be honest, you have to categorise the transactions anyway, so I don't miss direct import. I just have Money Dashboard open for reconciling.

    It's saved us a fortune, if only because we can finally properly track our budget, and be more easily disciplined about overspending (has to come out of another budget then.
    • mrmajika
    • By mrmajika 8th Jan 17, 3:58 PM
    • 875 Posts
    • 525 Thanks
    mrmajika
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 17, 3:58 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 17, 3:58 PM
    Money Dashboard fits with your requirements.
    https://www.moneydashboard.com/

    I've been using it for about 6 months and enjoy its interface and automated transaction retrieval and tagging.

    I've not used any others so can't compare with alternatives.
    Last edited by mrmajika; 08-01-2017 at 3:59 PM. Reason: Grammar.
    Whilst my posts do not constitute financial advice, I am always, without fail, 100% right!
    • bobobski
    • By bobobski 8th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    • 685 Posts
    • 1,576 Thanks
    bobobski
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 17, 4:43 PM
    YNAB doesn't get info directly from the bank
    Originally posted by cmjrees
    Yes it does. However, part of the point of budgeting is that your bank account does not show you how much money you have spent, as most transactions do not appear instantly, so I do not use this feature and I do not recommend using it in general.
    #8: Save 12k in 2018: £0 / £14,000 (0%) | #18: Save 12k in 2017: £12,078.82 / £12,000 (100.65%) | #86: Save £12k in 2016: £8,476.09 / £10,000 (84.76%)
    House deposit by 31/12/2020: £22,048.11 / £60,000 (36.74%) | Emergency fund by 31/12/2020: £1,773.13 / £5,000 (35.46%)
    • amanita
    • By amanita 8th Jan 17, 5:11 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    amanita
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 17, 5:11 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 17, 5:11 PM
    Yes it does. However, part of the point of budgeting is that your bank account does not show you how much money you have spent, as most transactions do not appear instantly, so I do not use this feature and I do not recommend using it in general.
    Originally posted by bobobski
    No, in this country it does not. You can however import statement exports, which is not at all the same thing.

    I agree that it's better unused anyway.
    • jonesMUFCforever
    • By jonesMUFCforever 8th Jan 17, 5:20 PM
    • 24,367 Posts
    • 11,653 Thanks
    jonesMUFCforever
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 17, 5:20 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 17, 5:20 PM
    What's wrong with a piece of paper and a pencil?
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always receive lots
    • colsten
    • By colsten 8th Jan 17, 8:13 PM
    • 8,760 Posts
    • 7,586 Thanks
    colsten
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 17, 8:13 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 17, 8:13 PM
    What's wrong with a piece of paper and a pencil?
    Originally posted by jonesMUFCforever
    Wouldn't do the job for me as I have a lot more than one account to monitor. It's also a bit 1990
    • amanita
    • By amanita 8th Jan 17, 9:07 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    amanita
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 17, 9:07 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 17, 9:07 PM
    I used a spreadsheet for years, but the great thing about these software is that you can dynamically handle tens of tiny "pots" of money, roll over surplus and make far more savings with better awareness.

    Oh, and my wife actually uses the app, rather than asking me what she has to put on the spreadsheet! Our expenditure has dropped by literally hundreds per month. I'm sure all of these solutions will achieve that, not just YNAB.
    • colsten
    • By colsten 8th Jan 17, 11:32 PM
    • 8,760 Posts
    • 7,586 Thanks
    colsten
    I'm sure all of these solutions will achieve that, not just YNAB.
    Originally posted by cmjrees
    I would agree, very much so - though YNAB have cleverly got a Unique Selling Point in that they are holding 'free' webinars to help people to get going. It's of course costing people in the monthly usage charge but some do swear by those webinars. Horses for courses, as with everything in life.
    • Emanef
    • By Emanef 9th Jan 17, 3:38 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Emanef
    It's frustrating that UK banks seem to be reluctant to allow agregators (such as Money Dashboard) to access accounts. I've been looking at options and there is very little. Apps where you have to import a file are pretty convolute, ie log in to every account you have to download statements, import them and check they are correctly imported, which must be done fairly regularly as most banks only allow two or three months of statement download, especially when you have a lot of accounts.

    Things like OnTree and Money Dashboard seem so much more "2017", but I worry about giving my logins to third parties. They say they can't do anything with it and their software only has read access, but the logins you're giving them are your same full access which does give the power to move, withdraw, etc. Banks seem way to slow to be creating a secure level that does give read only access that would make them much more secure and safe.

    Probably because more people would use them and realise when they should be moving money out of accounts....
    • amanita
    • By amanita 9th Jan 17, 9:43 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    amanita
    It's frustrating that UK banks seem to be reluctant to allow agregators (such as Money Dashboard) to access accounts. I've been looking at options and there is very little. Apps where you have to import a file are pretty convolute, ie log in to every account you have to download statements, import them and check they are correctly imported, which must be done fairly regularly as most banks only allow two or three months of statement download, especially when you have a lot of accounts.

    Things like OnTree and Money Dashboard seem so much more "2017", but I worry about giving my logins to third parties. They say they can't do anything with it and their software only has read access, but the logins you're giving them are your same full access which does give the power to move, withdraw, etc. Banks seem way to slow to be creating a secure level that does give read only access that would make them much more secure and safe.

    Probably because more people would use them and realise when they should be moving money out of accounts....
    Originally posted by Emanef
    It appears that with one breath you bemoan the lack aggregators then say you're reluctant to give out your login

    I don't think there's any other way to do it.

    You could be satisfied that every bank requires two factor authentication to actually move money somewhere nefarious, so really there's not a lot you can do with someone's online banking details these days.

    These things are very difficult to write, and have a limited audience. They also break regularly- QuickBooks didn't work for a very long time with my Co-op account, but worked perfectly with my Smile account (go figure).
    • Emanef
    • By Emanef 9th Jan 17, 10:18 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Emanef
    It shouldn't be difficult at all, it just needs a separate layer of security access, but it needs banks to co-operate by allowing the access.

    My login gives full access to my account, which allows moving money, etc. Banks could easily create APIs that would give a separate, truly read only access logon separate from my full logons.

    I want to be able to use these services, and would pay for it, but not by giving my full access logins.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Jan 17, 1:21 PM
    • 31,168 Posts
    • 18,681 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Budget is the plan

    tracking is just checking the plan was right.

    MSMoney is still the best at doing budgets and planning and analysing

    IN practice it is far better to automate the regular entries(DD and SO)entries and manually adjust for the minor changes(date/amount)

    For the spending manually entering the data and categories is all part of the ongoing analysis of where the money goes, you can't really automate that as a Debit to say tesco could be a multitude of categories.

    There is no need to have just in time entries if you have a decent budget in place you get to instinctively know what you will be spending in advance.

    even when fully automated with access to all accounts CC banks mortgage etc you still have to categorize the entries and analyse.

    once the budget is accurate and on top of things an hour or two a month should have everything up to date and analyzed.
    • amanita
    • By amanita 11th Jan 17, 7:23 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    amanita
    It shouldn't be difficult at all, it just needs a separate layer of security access, but it needs banks to co-operate by allowing the access.

    My login gives full access to my account, which allows moving money, etc. Banks could easily create APIs that would give a separate, truly read only access logon separate from my full logons.

    I want to be able to use these services, and would pay for it, but not by giving my full access logins.
    Originally posted by Emanef
    By creating such an API, banks lose exclusivity. For example, the reason they want me to move my current account to them is because they can then advertise their products to me, for example if I have their credit card I can see it in the same screen as my current account. Same with personal loans, and even mortgages (though many banks don't show these in IB.)

    Virgin misses the trick here, having several different logins for each account; savings, ISA, current account and credit card.

    The idea of easily aggregating scares the banks, because you no longer have that inertia on switching products. I find using Money Dashboard I get around this, but it's still 12h or so behind.

    Maybe when the banks can agree on language (informal overdraft/emergency borrowing/unplanned overdraft!), we may see more of this. Or pigs will fly.
    • Sabrina BN
    • By Sabrina BN 8th Jan 18, 3:09 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sabrina BN
    I was too very sceptical to use the service, however, I have a friend who works in one of these startups he assured me that they do store my login details but pass to the bank to log in, set like you would be accessing your online banking through a different site. I' m not sure if you guys now about Open Banking but this new law should encourage us to use other services not only the banks.. apparently, it was EU idea to promote fairness in the banking sector as banks have been tricking people into debt!
    • Sabrina BN
    • By Sabrina BN 8th Jan 18, 3:13 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sabrina BN
    Have you tried Money Dashboard? They have got a web version and the mobile app
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,136Posts Today

8,325Users online

Martin's Twitter