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Last updated: 23 November 2016

Keeping track of your income and expenses can be complicated, and while writing it down on paper may help, good budgeting software can save you a lot of time and effort. We review nine popular budgeting apps to find which does the best job.

Our buying guide can introduce you to the basic features and concepts behind these programs, while our article on what we found explains how we tested, whether you can budget using a mobile only, plus other expert insights.

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Our test covers Windows and Mac desktop computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, and web-based software.

Our expert testers give every program and app a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are the easiest to set up
  • are the most useful when you want to maintain a long-term budget
  • can synchronise data between devices (e.g. desktop and mobile)
  • can synchronise data between your bank account and the software/app.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find which computers have all the specs you need, such as the budgeting model in use, synchronisation security, the ability to generation financial reports, and those that help you create savings goals. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which programs come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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Price paid as of September 2016. Prices listed in Australian dollars unless otherwise specified. Prices listed reflect the most expensive option available for an annual subscription or one-time fee. Services without annual subscription show approximate annual cost, based on calculation of monthly subscription. Wally+ (beta) requires individual purchase per platform. Windows - $21. OS X - $31. Android - $6.50. iOS - $8. YNAB - US dollars.

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Tablet-optimised version

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If there's a version that has been optimised for viewing and use on tablets.

Displays income and expense trends

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Gathers data from a specific time period, such as week, month or year, and shows your income/spending patterns.

Set savings goals/budgeting targets

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Use the software to set and track your savings goals.


Automatically recognise recurring transactions

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If the program can identify regular transactions and automatically enter them into your budget.

Manually add recurring transactions

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If the program lets you manually create recurring transactions (such as income) to save time.

Categorise transactions

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Place transactions into categories, or tag them as a specific type of transaction to make them easier to find, and organise into reports.

Spending graphs/charts

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Compile budget data into graphs and charts for easy reference.

Attach images to transactions

Generate budget reports

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Gather budget information from a specific period, such as a week, month or year, and present it in report form.

Included in this review

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  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Ease of use - set-up
  • Ease of use - ongoing use
  • Tablet-optimised version
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Version tested
  • Budgeting method
  • Web portal
  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Server host/location
  • Data import supported file types
  • Sync to banks
  • Account aggregation service
  • Automatically recognise recurring transactions
  • Manually add recurring transactions
  • Set and view scheduled transactions
  • Categorise transactions
  • Generate budget reports
  • Displays income and expense trends
  • Generate budget forecasts
  • Spending graphs/charts
  • Set savings goals/budgeting targets
  • Attach images to transactions
  • Flag transactions for tax
  • Export budget
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