Whether retirement is around the corner or you've been retired for more than 10 years, setting and sticking to a budget is crucial. Creating and tracking a budget can be daunting. While spreadsheets may have been the preferred tool in the past, apps and websites are the way of the future. There are dozens of apps out there to assist you in maintaining your finances. While older adults' technology and smartphone usage has grown rapidly over the last 10 years,1 the budgeting apps available provide excellent choices for many seniors.
One of the biggest benefits of these apps is the ability to track income and spending patterns. Income streams can become more complicated as we get older. They often include multiple sources, like Social Security, pension, rental properties, and annuities. Budgeting apps can track what comes in each month and how you spend it.
Interested in trying a budgeting app out for yourself? Here are our five favorite budgeting apps for seniors.
Intuit Mint is one of the most popular budgeting apps out there. It can be used on a desktop computer or through an app on your tablet or smartphone. Mint is also one of the few budget apps that are completely free of charge.
Mint can be linked to multiple financial institutions so that you can track your spending. Seniors with a partner may connect all credit and debit cards so that all spending can be tracked in one place. Mint tracks your spending habits and income, and over time, it can help you recognize patterns, such as how much you spend each month.
Did You Know: As many as 80 percent of households with older adults struggle financially.2 Many seniors’ biggest fear is not having enough saved for retirement. Creating and maintaining a budget can help ease financial worries.
2. YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB is another popular budgeting app; it's been around since 2015. It markets itself as different because of its “method.” People love it because it's not only an app for tracking spending. It also focuses on teaching users how to make better spending decisions so that financial goals can be reached.
Pro Tip: If you want to learn more about all financial considerations that older adults should make, check out our guide to finance for seniors.
This app has a fee of $14.99 per month or $99 annually. It offers a 34-day trial to try the product before committing.
The interface of this app is very user-friendly and appealing. The product is geared toward retirees, making it an excellent choice for older adults.
Founded by financial expert Dave Ramsey, EveryDollar is an app based on his approach to budgeting. Ramsey believes in telling “every dollar” where to go at the beginning of the month. All income should be allocated – whether for spending or saving. This is known as “zero-based budgeting.”
Pro Tip: Older adults should consider all ways in which they can keep costs down during retirement. While budgeting is very important, taking advantage of the many types of senior discounts is another savvy way to get the most bang for your buck.
Users love EveryDollar's simplicity and ability to customize to your needs. You can personalize, rename, and organize categories. It offers two weeks free; after the trial, it costs $12.99 per month or $79.99 annually.
PocketGuard is a great app for anyone living on a tight budget. It has a feature known as “IN MY POCKET.” This component shows you how much spending money you have after taking into account all bills and goals.
The strategy behind PocketGuard boils down to using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. This is especially helpful for retirees looking to travel. Saving for a trip to Europe? You can create custom categories that help you save a small amount each month. Other categories might include your overall savings or individual bills such as your utilities.
Pro Tip: Looking for more budgeting tips? Check out our guide to building a budget.
PocketGuard has a free version with limited use. The paid version's pricing is still competitive at $34.99 annually.
Older adults that have found the envelope system to be helpful might prefer Goodbudget. A traditional envelope system involves putting cash into different labeled envelopes. You then spend what is inside the category noted. In Goodbudget, you essentially have digital “envelopes” that allow you to categorize your spending into different groups, like groceries, shopping, and eating out. Every time you spend, it comes out of that envelope.
The free version allows for up to 10 regular envelopes. You will need to upgrade to plus for unlimited envelopes, which is $8 per month or $70 annually.
Honorable Mention: AARP Money Map Budget Builder
For those who have no interest in using a tablet or mobile device, AARP has an entire Money Map that can help you with your budgeting. The “Budget Builder” can be used on a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet browser, and it is free of charge. You don't even need to be an AARP member to take advantage of it!
Staying on budget is always challenging, but it is more critical than ever once we reach retirement. Budgeting apps can help take the guesswork out of your spending and encourage you to stay on track with your lifestyle and goals.
Interested in learning more about preparing for retirement? Check out our retirement planning hub.