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It’s no secret that money can be a source of tension in relationships. Getting on the same financial page is an essential part of any partnership, but you might be wondering how couples are supposed to get started? It’s a lot to figure out, but budgeting apps for couples can help.
These budgeting apps can help you save money, pay off debt, and build wealth together. They work whether you combine every penny or keep some accounts separate. If you’re ready to get a better handle on your financial journey and improve your relationship, there’s an app for that. Several in fact!
Here are the actual best budget apps for couples in 2021 (yes, we’ve tested them all):
- Qube Money: Best overall
- HoneyDue: Best for separate accounts
- YNAB: Best for couples paying off debt
- Mint: Best free budgeting app for couples
- EveryDollar: Best app for following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps
- Qube Money is our favorite app because it combines the power of cash envelopes with a shared budget. No more wondering how much is left in the budget, it’s always up-to-date.
- Some of these apps for couples inspire users to set financial goals, such as paying down debt (YNAB), and help you monitor your progress (Mint)
- Every couple’s money situation is unique–the best budget apps for couples work with your finances, whether you keep joint accounts, separate accounts, or some of each
Get ready to learn more and then try a few of these apps to find the best fit for you.
Qube Money – Best Overall
Though relatively new on the fintech scene, Qube Money is quickly developing a reputation as the best money manager app. Qube is a digital cash envelope system that gives every dollar a purpose and helps prevent overspending.
Additionally, it’s already integrated with your banking needs. Each Qube Money account comes with a personalized debit card that connects to your cash envelopes, called Qubes. That streamlined approach is part of why Qube Money became a fast-favorite! As Qube continues to grow, expect more features and options as well.
Why Qube Money is Great for Couples
The Joint Account feature in Qube Money allows couples to decide what to share with each other. You can set up your account together and then designate primary and secondary members. Both of you then have access to the digital cash envelope Qubes and personalized companion debit cards.
As you spend and save throughout the month, you can set up real-time notifications that keep you updated with your current balance and any account activity. Qube Money’s goal is to promote transparency for better communication and to get you on the same money page as your partner. It’s easily one of our favorite couples budgeting apps for this reason!
HoneyDue – Best for Couples with Separate Accounts
Not every couple commingles all of their finances. That’s OK! In fact, what’s most important is that you maintain financial transparency in your relationship and stay focused on your joint goals. There’s an app designed to help you do exactly that. HoneyDue gets our vote as the best budget app for couples with separate accounts.
When you get started with HoneyDue, you can actually each determine what accounts and information you want to share with your partner. Since financial planning is about more than just budgeting your income, HoneyDue also allows you to link your loans and investments, in addition to credit cards and bank accounts. Their goal is to allow couples to see a full financial picture all in one place.
Why HoneyDue is Great for Couples
The HoneyDue app really shines for couples because it allows you and your partner to see all of your accounts in one place. No more guessing who has an account where or trying to recall passwords. Instead, you can link all of your financial accounts, even if you keep your finances separate. Then, the app allows you and your partner to choose different views. You can see your individual accounts, joint accounts, and overall financial snapshot. The versatility of this couples budgeting app really makes it shine.
YNAB – Best for Couples Paying Off Debt
Budgeting apps can help you quickly see where your money is going. YNAB is particularly helpful in terms of keeping an eye on the flow of your finances, empowering you to pay off debt faster.
Using the app, you and your partner learn to live on last month’s income. Even if you aren’t quite there when you start with the app, it will help you get there. Learning how to get ahead financially is a sticking point for so many couples, especially when you are shoveling out from underneath student loans or a mortgage.
YNAB is designed to give you total control over your budget so you and your partner can set it up to fit your lifestyle exactly. As a zero-based budgeting system, every dollar gets a job. Whether that’s covering expenses or helping you save or pay down debt. No more guessing where your money goes each month! Plus, the app features automatic transaction importing. That means no more guessing at expenses that you forgot to manually input either.
Why YNAB is Great for Couples
One of the reasons why YNAB is great for couples is that it offers a wealth of financial support that’s fun, positive, and empowering. That means that you and your spouse can learn and grow together.
The app also features built-in budget accountability to help you stay focused on your progress. Perhaps the best aspect of this accountability is that YNAB mirrors real life. If you and your partner are overspending in a category, YNAB flags it. The app then encourages you to make modifications, allowing you to pull from other categories and adjust as life happens.
Mint – Best Free Budgeting App for Couples
Mint is hands-down our favorite free budgeting app for couples. Whether you’re a fintech fanatic or this is your first toe dip into financial software, Mint is incredibly simple to set up. You and your partner can link to other financial accounts quickly and securely. The mobile app features a slick interface that sends alerts to help you stay on top of everything.
And we do mean everything. You can use Mint to create a budget, keep an eye on bills, track your spending, and set financial goals. Did we mention it is totally free? If this seems too good to be true, rest assured it’s not. Mint is ad-supported which means you and your partner can enjoy all these tools and features in exchange for a bit of advertising.
Check out our full Mint review for more details.
Why Mint is Great for Couples
Some couples struggle with budgeting. (Full disclosure: Lots of singletons do too!) Too often, we get so focused on the numbers, we forget what they represent. Mint helps with that! The app features pre-built money goals and also offers you the option to customize them.
If budgeting starts to feel restrictive to you and your partner, focus on your goals instead. Afterall, that’s all money truly is–a tool to help you meet your goals. To help with the process, Mint allows users to set a goal and then helps you break that goal into manageable month-to-month chunks. You and your spouse will be crossing financial milestones before you know it!
EveryDollar – Best App for Couples who follow Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
EveryDollar is a zero-based budgeting app that will feel very familiar to Dave Ramsey fans and followers. Its interface is clean and simple–the app focuses on budgeting income and expenses. While you might not get as full of a financial picture as other fintech tools, this app is perfect for couples who really want to be dialed into their budgets. Plus, you can actually get started with a complete budget in as little as 10 minutes.
If you and your partner decide to upgrade to EveryDollar Plus, you gain access to other apps from Ramsey Solutions with the Ramsey + membership. This membership gives you access to Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps app and Financial Peace University online, which is equal parts learning platform and online community. The membership also upgrades your EveryDollar account to include automatic transaction imports.
Check out our full EveryDollar review for more details.
Why EveryDollar is Great for Couples
Dave Ramsey introduces many people to budgeting. If you, your partner, or both of you are familiar with any of his teachings, EveryDollar is the perfect app for you. You’ll recognize his Baby Steps and budgeting percentages. Starting with what is already familiar to you can be a real timesaver. It can also make budgeting feel more intuitive and productive.
How We Chose The Best Budget Apps
We compared (and tested) over a dozen of the top budgeting apps on the market today. Honestly, many of them just weren’t intuitive, were overly complicated, and became frustrating to use.
We picked only the top apps based on ease of use, value, features, support, security, and price. Some of the apps are free, some have paid features. We wanted to feature a wide range of options because everyone has different goals. These are our favorites, and we will keep this post updated if new ones come out and blow us away, or if any of these on the list perform poorly, we will remove them.
How to Budget as a Couple
Now that you’ve had a chance to review the best couples budgeting apps, it’s time to dig into how to budget as a couple. Not only is understanding budgeting in a relationship important so you can review your progress using apps. It is also important because knowing how budgeting works empowers both of you to make more confident money decisions and keeps you involved in your financial journey together.
Here’s how to budget as a couple.
Write It All Down (Income and Expenses)
When we say write it all down, we mean write it all down. No amount is too small, and no purchase is too inconsequential. To truly get a handle on your money, it’s essential that you know when money comes in and when money leaves your accounts.
As you write down your projected income and expenses, you might be tempted to add or eliminate things. Don’t do that quite yet. You’re trying to get a full picture of your current money situation.
Once you set up your budget and start working with it as a couple, then you can start making tweaks. What you can do, however, is make a note if any of your income or expenses are one-time occurrences. The overall goal is to help you see as accurate a snapshot of your finances as possible.
Track Your Spending
To help really clarify your money situation, it is important to track your spending. Again, refrain from judging. Think of this as the data collection part of a financial experiment. If manually tracking your expenses is too cumbersome, you can certainly use one of the couples budgeting apps that has a tracking feature.
What is most effective, though, is to probably do a combination of the two. If you are using an app or relying on credit card and debit card statements to track your spending for you, you want to make time to review the transactions. Also, make a note anytime you pay with cash!
Hold Each Other Accountable (with a good attitude!)
You’re a team, so that means that you want to hold each other accountable. Of course, it also helps if you do that with a positive attitude. You want to support your partner, not control them. Remember that if a budget feels too restrictive, that’s when people are most likely to abandon them.
The whole goal of budgeting together as a couple is to make room for what matters to you. Hopefully, those are joint financial goals. But it’s also important to allow each other to have little splurges and indulgences here and there!
If it seems like your partner is having a hard time sticking to the budget, it’s time to have a conversation about those budget categories. It could be impulse spending that your partner isn’t even aware of. Or it could be that your budget needs to be adjusted to better meet both your needs.
Have a Weekly Budget Meeting
Once you’ve chosen one of the best budget apps for couples, it’s time to use it…and review it! Start to get in the habit of weekly budget meetings. This meeting doesn’t have to be time consuming. It can be a quick check in where you review your budgeting app together. If you notice that you’re overspending in a category, these weekly check-ins can really help rein things in. You might also realize you simply need to adjust your budget.
Once you get in the swing of budgeting together, you might be able to scale back from weekly to monthly meetings. However, many couples find that quick check-ins every week are an important way to make sure money is moving the way you want it to and to celebrate your wins together!
Getting Your Spouse On Board With a Budget
If your spouse is reluctant to talk about finances, you will want to help them understand the benefits of budgeting. Not everyone loves to geek out over spreadsheets and talk numbers. That’s perfectly fine! If you find your spouse struggling to get excited or even interested in budgeting and your money meetings, shift the focus.
Talk about your dreams and goals. After all, that’s the point of money. You aren’t saving simply to save. You’re saving in order to be able to use money to do the things you want now and later in life. By shifting the focus to that, it is often easier for spouses to get on the same page and to get excited about budgeting.
If you need some inspiring ideas, check out our top tips on how to get your spouse on board with a budget.