6 expense tracker apps to help you manage your finances efficiently

2021 goal: financial independence.

Here’s a hard and fast truth: none of us were born with money management skills — it’s something that you have to learn in life, just like doing your taxes. Unless it’s been ingrained in you from a young age to be careful with your money, you most likely don’t quite know how to budget your finances.

Luckily though, it’s not a difficult thing to do. With a few key steps, soon you’ll be able to create a habit out of it. Always pay off your bills first, set aside a portion of your income to be placed into emergency savings – 20% is the ideal amount – and budget out your monthly necessities including petrol, food, groceries, and so on.

One way you can control your budget is by downloading one of expense tracker apps. There are many out there made for different goals in mind — you have the extremely basic apps that track your daily expenditures and apps that help you set up a daily budget so you don’t go over it.

The core use of these expense tracker apps is to lay out your monthly expenditures and really let you see where your money goes every month. You’ll then be able to see just how much that daily coffee takeout in the morning is costing you. It’s going to be shocking, but at least you’ll be able to plan your monthly expenses more carefully.

Ready to begin managing your money better? Download one (or a few) of the best expense tracker apps below.

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If you want an app that works simply to track your expenses, Wally is the app for you. It’s great for those who are looking to control their spending as everything is laid out in a handy pie chart to really give you clarity on where exactly your money is going. You have the option of syncing your bank account to the app so any online transactions will automatically be reflected in your expense tracker.

Have a tendency to lose your receipts and warranties? Worry not. Quickly scan and store it in this app. With Wally, you can also plan ahead and schedule bills and grocery shopping lists to really plan out your expenses.

Is it free? Yes, but you can also upgrade to a premium account for extra features.

Available on: App Store.

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Mobills is easy and intuitive to use with a simplistic and streamlined layout design. For iOS users, you’ll be happy to know that there is both Light and Dark Mode available. Easily add in your expenses according to categories as well as your income, and you’ll be able to see if you’re going towards the red during the month (hopefully not). You can also set a budget (or several) so you won’t overspend on a particular item — for example, food, clothes, gaming, and so on. There is also the option of syncing your credit cards to keep track of your expenditures there and ensure that you’re not going over your credit card’s limit.

Is it free? Yes, but the free version only has a limited amount of features. You will have to upgrade to a premium account to unlock all the features.

Available on: App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone.

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Yet another easy and fuss-free expense tracking app you can try out is Spendee. Its bright colours and straightforward graphs help you see where your money is going each month, and you can even set budgets and set a “cash wallet”, so you can track how much money you have in your physical wallet as well as your bank account.

While the features for a free account is pretty basic, a premium plan allows you to sync your bank account to the app (for Malaysians, the only banks that are supported are HSBC, Maybank, and Paypal), unlimited number of cash wallets, and an unlimited number of budgets.

Is it free? Yes, but the free version only has a limited amount of features. You will have to upgrade to a premium account to unlock all the features.

Available on: App Store and Google Play.

Are you desperately spiralling out of control with your expenditures? Do you find yourself buying something you don’t need just because it’s on a discount, but struggling to pay off that credit card? Then you’ll need the YNAB – You Need A Budget – app. While it started out as a web-based application, it’s also available on iOS and Android so you can bring your budget with you on the go. Instead of telling you where your money went, YNAB will tell you beforehand how to spend your money, before it’s already gone, with the magic of budgeting. Set a budget for every category possible where your money goes. You can also set goals — for example, if you want to set aside a down payment for that dream home, make it a budgeting goal and you can see how close you are to achieving that with every Ringgit placed into that goal.

Is it free? No. There is a Monthly Plan for US$11.99 (RM48.35) a month or a Yearly Plan for US$84 (RM338.73) a year. You have a 34-day free trial to test the waters before paying for a plan.

Available on: App Store and Google Play.

Whoever said budgeting had to be a strict and streamlined affair? In accountability, it is, but it doesn’t mean that your app can’t look as cute as this one from Household Account Book. Combining a storyline with cute Japanese graphics make noting down your expenses a fun affair. Don’t expect high-tech features to come with this app, though. It’s one of the most basic expense tracker apps out there for you to manually log your expenditures while showing you a pie chart breakdown of where your money goes.

Is it free? Yes.

Available on: App Store and Google Play.

What makes Goodbudget stand out from other expense tracker apps we’ve listed here is that you will have the ability to share budgets with other users. This is great for couples or families who share expenses and incomes. After all, we agree that it can be pretty tedious to split the utility bills and groceries down in half — why not just pool together a budget for those and work your way from there with a shared account?

Is it free? Most features are free for the Basic version and you can get by on it, but the Plus version offers you unlimited categories to list, as well as unlimited accounts and five devices you can sync to (as opposed to two on the Basic version). Honestly, you can get by on the Basic version.

Available on: App Store and Google Play.

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