Managing finances as a couple can be difficult, but budgeting apps tailored for two can make the process much smoother. Tracking shared expenses, saving towards common goals, and maintaining open communication about money is essential for any healthy relationship.
The right app provides the tools to budget as a team, sync all accounts in one place, receive alerts on joint spending, discuss purchases, split bills, and achieve financial transparency. With so many apps to choose from, we looked at expert reviews and user ratings to pick the 5 top budgeting apps for couples in 2023.
Mint – The Free Money Manager App
Mint is a versatile, free money management app great for budgeting as a couple. It syncs with bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments to provide a comprehensive view of your finances in one intuitive dashboard.
Mint makes budgeting effortless by automatically categorizing transactions so you and your partner can clearly see where your money is going. Create customized budgets for individual or shared expenses and receive alerts when you’re close to hitting spending limits. The app allows you to add multiple users, so you and your significant other can both securely access any linked accounts.
Use Mint’s bill tracking features to stay on top of shared utility bills, rent, WiFi, subscriptions, and more. Splitting expenses is easy with the ability to select transactions and divide by custom percentages.
Mint provides an overview of cash flow, tracks net worth, sets savings goals, and offers personalized tips for reducing fees and saving money. So you and your partner can gain useful insights into your joint financial situation.
YNAB – Budget and Plan Ahead with Ease
YNAB (You Need A Budget) takes a unique approach to couples budgeting with its envelope-based system. It functions like having digital envelopes allocated for every expense category each month.
Link accounts and categorize transactions to have funds automatically move into envelopes. This lets you and your partner visually see how much is budgeted and remaining for needs like groceries, date nights, vacations, etc. If an envelope runs dry, you know to reduce spending or move funds from another category.
A key benefit of YNAB for couples is the ability to budget ahead and plan for both fixed and variable expenses. Set savings goals for big joint purchases and determine how much to set aside each month. Use the app’s reports to evaluate spending habits and make informed decisions together about where your money should be allocated.
Shared access allows you to collaborate on budgets, adjust categories as needed, and gain visibility into how you’re both spending. YNAB’s flexible approach helps couples manage day-to-day finances while also planning wisely for the future.
Honeyfi – Joint Financial Planning Made Simple
Honeyfi streamlines money management for couples through shared budgets, balance tracking, and easy bill splitting. You and your partner can securely link accounts to provide a full picture of combined finances.
One of Honeyfi’s standout features is its “Me vs Us” approach to budgeting. Easily track individual expenses while managing joint spending and savings goals in shared budgets. Biometric login ensures privacy, while still allowing you to view your partner’s account balances and monthly contributions to the relationship.
The app makes splitting routine bills and shared costs effortless. You can divide expenses evenly or by percentage, take turns covering date nights, and keep tabs on who owes what. Honeyfi will notify you when your partner has paid a joint bill so you can add their share to the balance tracker.
With Honeyfi, couples can set multiple shared savings goals for vacations, housing down payments, big purchases, and more. See progress and monthly contributions at a glance while still maintaining personal accounts and budgets.
Goodbudget – Envelope-Style Budgeting for Couples
Goodbudget provides digital envelopes for couples who want to budget together in a simple, effective way. This app allows you to categorize income across joint and personal envelopes allocated for various expenses. Funds can easily be moved between envelopes as needed each month.
You and your significant other can monitor envelope balances and transactions in the app and receive notifications when accounts are running low. Goodbudget’s colorful visual interface makes it easy to discuss balances and made joint decisions on saving versus spending.
In addition to envelopes for monthly bills, you can create envelopes for irregular expenses like car repairs, home improvements, vacations, and more. Goodbudget helps couples save for bigger goals while still managing day-to-day household costs.
For regular variable expenses like groceries and dining out, Goodbudget offers an envelope called the “Holding Cell”. This provides flex spending that can be replenished as needed. The app also includes tools for splitting bills evenly and organizing receipts.
With a little upfront planning, Goodbudget’s digital envelopes provide an intuitive way for couples to budget successfully. The app emphasizes transparency and accountability in tracking shared spending.
Zeta – Manage Shared Cards and Finances
Zeta makes budgeting and managing money seamless for today’s modern couples. It provides you and your partner with a jointly owned Zeta card connected to an FDIC-insured account. The card replaces the need for multiple shared credit cards and allows total visibility into joint spending.
From the app, you can set flexible budgets on the joint account across categories like groceries, travel, dining, and more. Real-time balance updates help you stick to your shared spending plans. Zeta offers automatic bill pay of routine shared expenses like rent and utilities.
The app’s seamless split feature lets you divide any purchase made on the card between you and your partner. Zeta uses AI to learn how you prefer splitting transactions over time. You’ll never have to chase each other for shared costs again.
Zeta provides helpful analytics on past spending and allows you to set goals for upcoming big-ticket purchases. You and your partner can message each other within the app to discuss budgets and purchases in real-time.
With shared access and spending transparency, Zeta simplifies couples’ budgeting. Consolidate finances in one place while still maintaining the flexibility to split expenses.
Set Up Digital Joint Bank Accounts Easily
Many banks now make it easy for couples to create fully shared bank accounts online in just minutes. Joint accounts allow for fluid money management and can streamline the payment of bills and shared expenses.
Look for banks that offer:
- Fast digital account opening without visiting a branch
- Custom debit cards for each partner
- Access for both users via website and mobile app
- Alerts and transaction notifications
- Easy transfer of funds between individual and joint accounts
- No monthly maintenance fees
- Competitive interest rates
Discuss with your partner the amount you each feel comfortable automatically contributing to the joint account monthly to cover rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and other costs.
Automate transfers from individual accounts so this shared budget amount is deposited each pay period. Use the joint account exclusively for these routine joint expenses.
Maintaining a separate joint account and cards provides clearer insight into shared costs versus individual spending. With a little coordination upfront, it can make budgeting for daily couple expenses painless.
Sync Your Financial Accounts in One Place
While having a joint account helps consolidate some shared finances, each partner will likely still have individual accounts. Syncing all accounts in one place provides the full picture needed for successful couples budgeting.
Look for an app like Mint, mentioned above, that securely connects to all your financial accounts. Link individual checking, savings, credit cards, retirement accounts, and more alongside the joint account.
Seeing the big picture helps identify areas where you and your partner may be overspending individually. Discuss any problematic spending patterns openly using the data surfaced in the app.
A unified view also ensures all upcoming bills and expenses are planned for in the joint budget. Syncing accounts provides transparency and helps prevent any surprises that could derail your shared financial plans.
In addition to transaction-level detail, a unified dashboard gives insights into net worth and cash flow over time. This can motivate you and your partner to stick to your monthly household budget and long-term savings goals.
Track Shared Expenses and Split Bills
Tracking shared expenses and splitting bills between partners is made simple with the right budgeting app. Look for an app with easy options to:
- Add recurring household bills like rent, electric, streaming services, etc.
- Split by percentage or dollar amount
- Rotate or alternate expenses each month
- Track who paid last time
- Request money from partner with running balances
- Settle up bills instantly via cash transfer or card payment
Both parties should have visibility into the details of expenses owed, paid, and by whom. Automating Equal contributions to the joint account each pay period makes splitting and settling up periodic bills a breeze.
For tracking irregular joint expenses like dinners out, home repairs, pet costs, and more, use an app that allows you to capture receipts and tag or note how the amount should be divided.
Smoothly splitting expenses ensures fairness, accountability, and transparency for couples managing money together. The right app makes this painless by removing manual tracking and calculations.
Automate Savings Goals for Vacations or Big Purchases
Reaching big savings goals requires discipline, which apps can help provide through automation. When budgeting as a couple, decide on vacation, emergency fund, down payment, or other savings priorities for upcoming years.
Then set up automatic recurring transfers from the joint account and individual accounts to go towards the agreed upon goals. Even small amounts like $25 or $50 per pay period or month can add up over time if consistent.
Look for budgeting apps that allow you to name savings goals, set target amounts, and check progress from the main dashboard. Automating transfers helps remove the temptation to skip or rationalize not saving one month.
Celebrate milestones together as you watch your automated contributions grow into a sizeable nest egg. Track how close you are to being able to afford that dream vacation or down payment next year.
Make managing money more meaningful by aligning spending with the financial priorities you and your partner share. Automation keeps the savings momentum going steadily.
Receive Alerts for Shared Credit Card Charges
Credit cards can be an easy temptation for excess spending, which is why alerts and visibility are key for couples budgeting. If you rely on a shared credit card for some recurring expenses, make sure both individuals receive notifications for all transactions.
Most card issuers allow you to set up alerts based on certain dollar thresholds, transaction types, or merchant categories. This ensures no charges go unnoticed by either party.
With real-time alerts, you and your significant other can discuss new transactions and determine how the amount should be allocated in your budget. For example, restaurant charges, travel expenses, household items, etc.
Another option is designating one joint credit card for agreed upon shared expenses like groceries, gas, dining out, subscriptions, etc. Set alerts for charges from any other merchants to immediately flag unauthorized usage.
By treating joint credit cards like digital envelopes, you remove temptation and prevent misunderstandings about spending. The right notifications keep both parties informed and accountable.
Discuss Purchases and Money Decisions in the App
Every couple has unique preferences and habits around financial discussions. To avoid tensions, look for a budgeting app that provides a communication channel to loop your partner in on purchases and negotiate shared costs.
Features like in-app messaging or chat allow you to get approval from your significant other before making large purchases with joint funds. You can clarify how to allocate certain transactions that may fall in a grey area between individual and shared spending.
Chat also provides a natural space for periodic check-ins on your overall budget and spending patterns. Partners can discuss adjustments or additional savings goals in real-time rather than waiting for clunky offline conversations.
Money talks are simplified when you have all the data and transaction details visible in the app. Rather than debating from memory, couples can reference shared expenses and make informed joint decisions.
Apps that centralize conversations and financial data remove roadblocks and guesswork from the budgeting process. Partners stay aligned each month as spending needs and goals evolve.
Get Insights on Spending Habits Over Time
Budgeting apps don’t just track what you spend, but how you spend as well. Reviewing insights over the last month, quarter, or year provides couples visibility into spending patterns and habits.
Analyze categories where you tend to overspend like dining out, groceries, or travel. Look at peaks and dips in monthly expenditures. As a couple, discuss what insights stand out and how your budget should adapt moving forward.
See if you tend to splurge at certain retailers or times of the month. Identify recurring costs you could reduce or negotiate. Discuss expenses that used to be joint but now make sense individually.
The right app provides customizable reporting and filters to dig into the data in meaningful ways. Spot trends you were unaware of as a couple and make positive changes together.
Developing self-awareness around spending gives couples the power to make lasting budgeting improvements over time. Don’t just look at what you’re spending, but how and where that money is going.
Stay on the Same Page with All Financial Goals
It’s hard to budget successfully if you and your partner have competing financial priorities. Make sure to clearly communicate both joint and individual money goals for the year and long-term.
Whether you hope to build an emergency fund, invest more, save up for a renovation, pay off debt, or travel more, discuss these priorities early and often.
Look for budgeting apps that allow you to track multiple savings goals and check progress from a dashboard. Visually seeing your goals reinforces their importance and the steps needed to achieve them.
Schedule recurring times like monthly or quarterly to review goals and spending patterns together. Adjust your shared budgets and transfers accordingly to align with evolving financial goals.
Keep the conversation continuous – goal setting shouldn’t happen just once a year. The right technology allows couples to stay focused and motivated.
Tools for Complete Transparency in the Relationship
Financial infidelity and secrecy can ruin marriages and relationships. But budgeting apps can help build trust and transparency around money in a relationship.
Choose an app that provides shared, read-only access to all financial accounts and transaction details. When everything is visible, there are no secrets or surprises.
Explore tools that provide both high-level budgets and cash flow trends as well as granular expenses. Visibility builds comfort discussing any costly habits and aligning on changes.
Set up real-time notifications and use in-app messaging so purchases and financial decisions are jointly made. No more guessing “how much did they spend this month?”
Transparency around finances doesn’t mean giving up privacy entirely. Look for apps with personal allowances or spending limits within the joint budget.
With the right technology, couples gain control, understanding, and peace of mind around their money. Financial transparency in a relationship leads to improved communication, trust, and happiness.
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