Whether you’re saving for a house deposit or struggling to make ends meet, doing up and sticking to a budget is one of the simplest ways to get more money in your pocket. The more old-school might prefer to do up their own Excel spreadsheet, or even whip out a pen and paper, but there are a bunch of personal finance apps out there that can simplify the process for you.

Best Budgeting Apps in Australia

  • Best free budgeting app: Frollo

  • Best for managing debt: WeMoney

  • Best for group budgeting: Beem

  • Best for bill reminders: Get Reminded

  • Best for cashback deals: Shopback

In no particular order, here are some of the most popular budgeting and savings apps available to Australians.

Raiz

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.7 stars

Google Play rating: 4.6 stars

Cost: Raiz is free to download, but there are fees when you start investing.

Raiz is a micro-investing app that allows users to invest in a portfolios of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) through spare change ’roundups’, recurring investments, rewards and lump sum deposits. 

Although it’s primarily an investment app, it also has features that are helpful for saving. Not only can you utilise the micro-investing or recurring deposit features as a tool to save via investments, but it also has a free ‘My Finance’ feature within the app that provides personalised insights into your spending. This feature can categorise your spending into things like food or utilities and breaks it down on a monthly basis. 

The investment platform of Raiz charges fees but it costs nothing to use the savings feature on offer by Raiz. 

Key features of Raiz: 

  • Roundup technology, allowing you to either save or invest every time you spend through your linked transaction account/s. 

  • Lump-sum and recurring investment options, easily allowing you to invest more money at the touch of a button. 

  • Your money can be invested in one of eight diversified ETF (exchange-traded fund) portfolios. 

  • Cashback options are available after spending money with linked brands.

  • Personalised insights into your spending, broken into categories.

  • Savings tips sent via push notification, based on machine learning that can also predict your future spending.

  • A chatbot is available for you to ask questions like “how much did I save last month?”

  • Bank-level security to protect your information and money.

Frollo

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.0 stars

Google Play rating: 3.3 stars

Cost: Free

Frollo is an Australian fintech best known for providing open banking services. Frollo offers free and secure synchronisation with your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, superannuation and investments into an interface where you can monitor your spending. Frollo also lets you take daily, weekly, and monthly challenges to try and save money. Customers can turn on tips and notifications - reminding you of upcoming bills, for example.

The budgeting app also has a Financial Passport feature powered by open banking, to give users an overview of their income, expenditure, assets and liabilities for the last twelve months. This can help you to get a better understanding of your financial position and borrowing power. You can also share your Financial Passport via PDF. This could be useful in some situations, such as meeting with a mortgage broker or financial advisor to make it easier for them to assess your situation.

Key features of Frollo: 

  • Sync from Australian bank accounts – including superannuation and investments.

  • Automatic categorisation for transactions.

  • Set savings goals and challenges.

  • Push notifications and personal insights.

  • A dashboard for tracking your net worth.

  • Bank-level security and encryption.

  • Track tax-deductible expenses.

Get Reminded 

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.5 stars

Google Play rating: 5 stars

Cost: Free

GetReminded claims it can help households save thousands per year by reminding them when household contracts and bills are set to expire such as utility bills, car insurance and registration, and subscriptions. As GetReminded co-founder David Wareing has previously told Savings.com.au, it can also show you cheaper policy options. 

"They’re [the suggestions] obligation-free, but they're really just there to help consumers to commence the shopping-around process and not leave everything to the last minute," he said. 

Alerts are sent to your phone and email with the relevant advertiser’s offers so you can start shopping around straight from the app.

Key features of GetReminded 

  • Set reminders in multiple categories across all household costs (insurance, health, personal expenses etc.).

  • Annual cost summaries for household contracts.

  • Simple, easy-to-use interface.

  • Multiple automated reminders ahead of time and when you need them.

  • Can recommend cheaper policies. 

Beem

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.9 stars

Google Play rating: 3.8 stars

Cost: Free

Beem (owned by Eftpos) is a free-to-download mobile payment app that helps solve those awkward "hey-you-owe-me-this-much" moments.

Through the app, users can pay and receive money securely within a matter of seconds - as long as they’re both registered Beem users. It’ll even nudge people with friendly reminders if they’re yet to pay another user back.

The app also comes with a tracking and splitting feature for shared bills or group expenses, perfect for couples, families, or housemates. You can even browse online or in-store shopping deals and accumulate rewards and cashback with every purchase (check the terms and conditions).

Key features of Beem:

  • Split, transfer and get paid instantly – with no added fees.

  • Track and split expenses between mates without any chasing required.

  • BPAY is built-in so you know where your money is going and when it’s going to land.

  • Information is encrypted so people can’t access it.

ShopBack

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.7 stars

Google Play rating: 4.0 stars

Cost: Free

If you like to do shopping online, ShopBack can help you save money in the form of cashback deals from over 4,000 stores. Consumers can earn up to 30% cashback on their everyday online shopping - the cashback funds will be instantly added to your ShopBack account, and you can easily transfer them to your nominated bank or PayPal account.

Alternatively, you can use the funds towards a purchase within the app, whether it’s gift cards, movie tickets, or dining vouchers.

Using the mobile or web app gives you access to the latest coupon codes and deals from popular brands like Woolworths, eBay, The Iconic, Uber Eats, Myer, Booking.com and more.

Key features of ShopBack:

  • Up to 30% cashback on online purchases.

  • Partnerships with more than 4,000 stores.

  • Free cashbacks to your bank account.

  • Push notifications for offers relevant to you.

Cashrewards

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 3.8 stars

Google Play rating: 3.5 stars

Cost: Free

Rivalling ShopBack is Cashrewards, helping Aussies save at over 2,000 stores nationwide. In similar fashion, shoppers can receive cashback when they shop online or in-store with popular brands such as Myer, The Iconic, Uber Eats, Apple, Amazon, and more.

Once your cashback is approved by a retailer, Cashrewards will pay it straight into your Cashrewards account, which can then be transferred to your PayPal or bank account. 

Key features of Cashrewards:

  • Cashback on online or in-store purchases.

  • Partnerships with more than 2,000 stores.

  • Free cashback in your bank account.

  • Push notifications for offers relevant to you.

  • ANZ debit or credit cards unlock Max rewards.

WiseList

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.4 stars

Google Play rating: 3.4 stars

Cost: Free

With grocery bills rising no thanks to shrinkflation, WiseList allows users to make a grocery list and then compare the prices of the items on their list against all the major grocery stores (currently only Woolworths and Coles are available on the app) to find the lowest price in their area.

Alerts can be set up for specific items to notify you when they go on special - a handy feature indeed. You can also export your shopping list into Coles and Woolworths online for quick and easy click and collect/delivery.

Key features of WiseList:

  • Create grocery lists by manually searching items or by viewing Coles or Woolworths catalogue specials.

  • Add items to temporary or weekly needs list.

  • Add and scan your rewards cards (Flybuys or Woolworths rewards card).

  • Share your lists with friends and family through Facebook, Wechat, email, or send them the link.

WeMoney

Availability: iOS and Google Play.

App store rating: 4.3 stars

Google Play rating: 4.0 stars

Cost: Free basic plan, with the paid WeMoney Pro costing $9.99 per month (first 7 days free).

WeMoney has been dubbed as a “financial wellness” platform that allows users to gain a full 360 degree picture of their overall financial health by connecting all of a person's financial accounts into one convenient place, including:

  • Savings and transaction accounts

  • Credit cards and buy now, pay later 

  • Home loans and personal loans

  • Share trading accounts 

  • Superannuation funds

As well as tracking a person's net worth, WeMoney also allows users to: 

  • Track their credit score

  • Create budgets within the app 

  • Receive upcoming bill reminders 

  • Connect with other users in the community to receive tips 

Through the app, you can automatically categorise your transactions, track your bills and subscriptions, and set monthly budgets and money goals. WeMoney claims the average member improves their credit score by 63 points just 9 months after signing up to their service.

WeMoney doesn't sell your data to third-parties, and comes with Fingerprint, FaceID, and PIN logins. 

Goodbudget 

Availability: iOS and Google Play

App store rating: 4.6 stars

Google Play rating: 4.3 stars

Cost: Free basic plan, with a paid plan costing US$8 per month or US$70 per year.

An American app that's also available down under, Goodbudget labels itself as a 'budget tracker for the modern age'. However, it still uses the old-fashioned 'envelope' method of saving, where you set yourself limits for certain categories, like groceries, coffee, shopping etc.

To help make budgeting a bit sexier, Goodbudget presents all of your spending in cool-looking pie charts, and of course, it links to your bank accounts. 

Unlike some other budgeting apps, Goodbudget requires you to manually input each transaction - there is no way to sync your bank account to the app for automatic updates.

The free version allows one account, two devices, and up to 10 'envelopes'. Meanwhile, the paid version allows unlimited envelopes and accounts, and up to five devices.

Key features of Goodbudget:

  • Simple way to get started with budgeting

  • Export data to Microsoft Excel.

  • View your spending by category - a proven method.

  • Reports, such as an income vs spending report.

  • Spending analysis for each envelope, including pie-charts.

  • Schedule transactions and automatic envelope fills.

Buddy

Availability: iOS.

App store rating: 4.7 stars

Cost: Free to download, however users must pay a subscription to unlock full functionality. Buddy Premium costs $4.99 per month or $34.99 per year.

Buddy is a Swedish budgeting app that helps you set up a budget and keep track of your expenses. Individuals can invite their friends, family, and partners into their budgets to keep on top of expenses and get a clear picture on who spends what.

Users can also import all their transactions from their bank accounts to see how their budget is doing.

Key features of Buddy:

  • Sync from Australian bank accounts.

  • Split function allows you to see who paid what and how to settle up the bill.

  • Simple, yet detailed overview of your spending, income, and savings.

  • Users can create their own categories and choose the colour themes of the app.

  • Can set up multiple accounts as well as any debt to see total net worth.

Bank savings apps

Depending on which bank you’re with, you may not even need any of these apps. More banks are opting to roll with the times, bringing out their own budgeting and saving apps to better integrate their product portfolios. All of the big four banks now have some sort of budgeting feature available on their respective apps.

Budgeting tools

Service

CommBank

Money Plan

Keeps track of spending and saving, allows you to set goals

Westpac

Cash flow/Top categories

Keeps track of expenses by category, tracks trends in cash flow

NAB

NAB Spending

Keeps track of expenses by category

ANZ

ANZ Plus

Keeps track of expenses, offers guidance from financial wellbeing coaches.

A common feature being rolled out by financial institutions now is the ’roundup’ feature, which can round up every debit card transaction to the nearest dollar and direct these ’roundups’ to your savings account. Passive saving like this can be a great way to make progress towards your goals every day, usually without even realising it.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about budgeting

What is a budgeting app?

A budgeting app is software designed to simplify the process of tracking income, expenses, savings, debt, financial goals and better manage monthly cashflow. The main purpose of a budgeting app is to help users get better control over their finances, make informed spending decisions, and work towards achieving their saving goals.

Budgeting apps often synchronise with your bank accounts to provide an overview in real-time when finances change.

How to choose a budgeting app

With plenty of options out there, it can be hard to work out which budgeting app is the right one for you. While it will be different for everyone based on priorities, these are some of the most important things to consider.

  • User-friendly interface - Look for a budgeting app with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. You want an app you find easy to navigate and understand, allowing you to input and access your financial data effortlessly.

  • Compatibility - A budgeting app only available on Google Play isn’t much use if you have an iPhone.

  • Security and privacy - Since budgeting apps deal with sensitive financial information, security is crucial. Choose an app that implements robust security measures, like data encryption, password protection, and two-factor authentication, to safeguard your financial data.

  • Expense tracking options - Check whether the app allows manual input of transactions or has the ability to connect to your bank accounts for automatic expense tracking. Automatic tracking can save time and provide a more accurate picture of your finances.

  • Goal-setting and tracking - If you have specific financial goals, look for an app that supports goal-setting features. The app should allow you to define goals, track progress, and offer insights to help you stay on track.

  • Reporting and insights - A good budgeting app should present your financial data in charts or graphs, making it easier to analyse your spending patterns and identify areas you can improve.

  • Notifications - Check if the app can send you alerts or notifications to keep you informed about your financial progress, upcoming bills, or when you exceed budget limits.

  • Cost/fees - Some budgeting apps are free, while others may have subscription plans or one-time purchase fees. Evaluate the cost and features to determine if it aligns with your budget. Additionally, check if the app offers a free trial to test its functionality before committing.

But remember, before you select the one for you, be sure to consider what your needs and goals are first. Are you looking to save for a specific goal, track your daily expenses, or pay off debts? This way, you can refine your search to tailor your needs.

What are other ways to budget?

Budgeting apps can be great for helping you organise your budget, but how you organise it normally remains at your discretion. For some people, budgeting means ruthlessly cutting every bit of unnecessary, living as ascetic a lifestyle as possible in pursuit of long term goals. Others might hold on to luxuries like a cocktail every now and then, or a Netflix subscription. There really isn’t a right answer, and you’ll probably need to do a bit of soul searching to figure out what your priorities are.

If you’re struggling with this, in The Barefoot Investor, author Scott Pape suggests the ‘bucket’ strategy, with the following percentage splits:

  • 60% to your ‘Blow Bucket’ – which is for everyday expenses like your rent, home loan repayments, utilities, and food.

  • 10% to your ‘Splurge Bucket’ – which is for things that make you feel good, like socialising or buying new clothes.

  • 10% to your ‘Smile Bucket’ – which is used for savings for fun, longer-term goals like a holiday.

  • 20% to your ‘Fire Extinguisher Bucket’ – which is also for your long-term savings goals, but the less fun ones (house deposit, debt, paying off your mortgage quicker). 

Or, in the ‘50/30/20’ method, you spend 50% of your income on your needs and necessities, 20% on savings or debt payments, and 30% on wants like entertainment, eating out, shopping, and travel. 

Read More: How to budget: the ultimate guide to budgeting & saving

Article originally published January 2021 by William Jolly. Updated 8 March 2024


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