25 Best Budget Apps in Canada 2022: Take Control of Your Money

Want a simple way to spend less money? As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”.

At least 20% of Canadians use a digital tool (mostly a mobile app) for budgeting.

You don’t have to resort to a pen and paper or a complicated spreadsheet for setting a budget anymore. 

A budget app can help you manage your personal finances and get you on track to meet your financial goals.

If you’re looking for the best budget apps in Canada, this article is for you.

At A Glance: Top 3 Budgeting Apps

Best Free Budgeting App
Mint
Mint
  • Links Directly To Your Bank & Credit Cards To Track Spending. 
  • Categorise Spending & Create Custom Categories. 
  • Receive Financial Summaries & Text Alerts.
  • Cost: Free
Best Paid Budgeting App
PocketGuard
PocketGuard
  • Set Spending & Saving Goals.
  • Personalized Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals. 
  • Helps You Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions.
  • Cost: $3.99/month for PocketGuard Premium, Free Version Also Available
Best Couponing App
Checkout 51
Checkout 51
  • Earn Cashback By Shopping.
  • Earn Grocery Store Rewards.
  • Earn Cashback With Local Gas Stations.
  • Cost: Free

Pros and Cons of Using Budgeting Apps

No tool in the world is perfect, and budgeting apps are no exception. Despite the fact that they provide a valuable service, budgeting apps have their cons as well.

Pros
  • Easy to set up and use, even if you hate doing math.
  • Help people organize their messy finances.
  • You can track your expenses in real time, which prevents you from making useless/impulse purchases.
  • It can help you improve your cash flow and prevent you from accumulating more debt.
  • Let you see the bigger financial picture, provoking good financial habits.
Cons
  • Requires you to share your personal and financial data.
  • You will have to bear with ads in free apps.
  • It can only provide insights and tips, and can’t correct behaviour.
  • If you don’t change your habits despite warnings and help from budgeting apps, it doesn’t really help your situation at all.

Best Free Budget Apps In Canada

Not all budget apps are the same. While the goal of all budget apps is to help you create a personal budget, there are several ways an app might go about it.

Some track your spending, while others focus more on earning you cashback or helping you find discounts and deals to lighten the load from your budget.

Some budget apps can also include a saving and investing plan, i.e., controlling the bigger picture of your personal finances. Some are free, and some are paid as well.

Below, I’ll show you some of the best free budgeting apps available to Canadians.

1. Mint – Best Free Overall

Mint.com Logo]
  • How it works: Create an in-depth budget, send payment alerts, connect all your accounts.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Mint is an app by Intuit, the software company that is responsible for Turbotax and QuickBooks, meaning it has a powerful background. It has stellar ratings: 4.5 on Google Play Store and 4.7 on the App Store. It’s arguably one of the best budgeting apps in the world.

It’s a powerful, in-depth budgeting app that allows you to connect all your bank accounts and credit cards, so it can simultaneously track your net worth and spending.

It used to have a bill-paying feature, but now it just sends you alerts when a payment is due, along with the fact that whether or not you can pay it with the money you currently have.

You can also keep track of your credit score and receive tips on how you can improve it. For budgeting, it has many pre-made categories, but you can create your own as well. It’s comprehensive and very user-friendly.

2. Moka

  • How it works: Rounds up your purchases, helps you save and invest.
  • Cost: App is Free | $3 Flat investment fee
  • Sign up here: Link

If we are talking about apps that round up your purchases and help you save money, Moka takes it a step ahead of KOHO. You don’t just save your money, you invest and grow it. It’s automated saving and automated investing.

You can invest your money in registered accounts (TFSA or RRSP) for tax-free and tax-deferred growth.

Your money is typically invested by a dedicated portfolio manager, usually in ETFs. The company also leans towards responsible investing, which means your money grows in companies that are contributing to their communities and the world. It also offers cashback perks.

Now, Mylo might not seem like a typical budgeting app, but in a way, it can contribute more towards your financial well-being than many in-depth budgeting apps.

Once you see an actual, quantifiable impact of investment that basically comprises of your loose change, and you see how it grows over time, it can motivate you to invest and grow your wealth on a larger scale. That will inevitably require you to save more and keep your budget in shape.

3. Wallet

Wallet
  • How it works: Helps you manage your cash, control group budgets.
  • Cost: Free Budgeting app | Some paid features
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

The Wallet is an app created and managed by budgetbakers.com, and it’s another easy-to-use app with a comprehensive interface.

The website contains all the features of a comprehensive budgeting app, like connecting to your bank accounts (a premium feature that needs to be paid for), building budgets, and seeing spending reports to discern your spending habits.

The app is very well-liked and rated, as it allows you a lot of control over managing your money. The company claims to take data privacy very seriously, and doesn’t leak your information to anyone.

You can sync your accounts, plan your payments, set your budget and other financial goals, and also manage your long-term debts with Wallet.

4. Spending Tracker

Spending Tracker
  • How it works: Track your spending for set intervals (weeks, months, etc.), creates a budget, multiple accounts
  • Cost: Free | Pro version costs US $2.99
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Spending tracker is a very easy-to-use app that ironically, is liked more for the depth and variety of its budgeting features, and more for a simple interface.

The simultaneously best and worst feature of this app is that it doesn’t need to be connected to your bank accounts and your credit cards.

It’s amazing for those who don’t like having third-party apps have access to this information. But it’s bad for reconciling all the numbers, which makes budgeting relatively harder.

It’s a simple enough app. You have to input your income and spending data, and it helps you track your budget and spending. You can also export the data in CSV format.

It offers various categories for proper tracking of your expenses and backs up your data to Dropbox.

5. Splitwise

Split wise Logo
  • How it works: Split expenses in groups, track balance for each member, track cash changing hands between group members.
  • Cost: Free | US $0.99 per month or US $11 per year for Android Users | onetime $1.99 for Apple Users
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Splitwise is loved dearly by people who have communal expenses, i.e., family members living together, college roommates, etc. The app allows you to create groups that have combined expenses, then keep track of who is paying how much, and who owes how much money to whom.

You can create equal and unequal splits, simplify debts, easily manage recurring expenses, and record spending totals. It’s a very powerful group budgeting app.

The pro-features start with an ad-free app, receipt scanning, itemized billing, expense search, and save default splits. If you believe in the quote, “there are two ways to lose a friend, one is to borrow, other is to lend,” then you can appreciate the service this app provides.

6. Wealthica

wealthica logo
  • How it works: Transaction alerts, cash drag, holding, default reports
  • Cost: Free | $5.99 for exporting your investments to a Google spreadsheet
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Wealthica is also considered a Personal Capital replacement for Canada. At its core, it’s not necessarily a budgeting app, but rather an investment and finance tracking app. But we can stretch the definition of budgeting here to include your personal wealth growth and its tracking.

And the best part is that it’s completely free. The app allows you to track all the fees you are paying towards your investment management (which is an important part of your budget if you are an avid investor).

You can track your family’s net worth as well, and keep tabs on events that might be impacting your overall household wealth. 

7. Paymi

Paymi
  • How it works: Cashback, track spending
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Paymi is a free cashback app. While other budgeting apps actually discourage you from spending more, Paymi incentivizes your spending and lets you earn cashback that you can redeem.

It’s not a budgeting tool by itself, but if you are focusing on your budget, then making money off of your usual, necessary purchases is a smart idea to keep your Wallet and funds in order.

8. Wally: Smart Personal Finance

wally logo
  • How it works: Connects to all of your bank accounts, tracks and categorizes spending
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Only available on iOS

Wally is a free-to-use personal budgeting and finance app. It shares similar features with Mint, and connects directly to your personal bank account. If you have multiple bank accounts, you can link them all to Wally as well. This will give you a broader look at your total finances and monthly spending.

Once your accounts are successfully linked, Wally will start breaking down all of your purchases and putting them into categories (fuel, groceries, utilities, etc.). You can also create custom categories to help you further simplify your budget.

Wally also allows you to store images of receipts and invoices, so that you can attach them directly to the purchase. If you don’t have a receipt, you can simply add a note to each purchase, so you know what it was.

These features are incredibly useful when you’re doing your taxes. The more that your expenses are categorized, the easier it’ll be to find tax credits and deductions that you qualify for.

The only downside is that it’s currently only available on iOS.

Free budgeting apps are a great way to keep track of your expenses and see where your money is going. However, paid budgeting apps typically offer a few premium features that you won’t get out of a free app.

Here are some of the best-paid budgeting apps available to Canadians.

9. KOHO – More Than A Budgeting App

KOHO Logo
  • How it works: Budget, spend and save. Cashbacks, and automated savings goals. Doubles as a prepaid Visa card.
  • Cost: KOHO and KOHO Joint are Free | KOHO Premium: $9 per month ($84 per year)
  • Sign up here: Link

KOHO is more than just a budgeting app. It’s a free chequing account that doesn’t just help you budget; it also helps you automate your savings and lets you earn cashback (0.5% on all purchases, more with premium). It makes budgeting easier by limiting your spending potential.

 You can preload your spending money on a KOHO card, and then you keep track of your budget and spending. You will also get insights into your spending habits and access to financial coaching that can help you develop better financial habits.

One of the best automated-saving features that KOHO offers is spare change saving. With that roundup feature on, say you bought something online that cost you $15.75 total.

The app will stash away the $0.25 in savings and round the total up to $16. It might seem puny, but it can really add up. There are no additional fees, and you can earn even more cashback by shopping with select merchants.

10. You Need A Budget (YNAB)

YNAB logo
  • How it works: Characteristic budgeting method, comprehensive expense breakdown (six categories), goal tracking, Reports
  • Cost: Free for 34 days | US $11.99 per month, US $84 per year
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

You Need a Budget is another budgeting app that helps you keep track of your spending and your budget, albeit in a different manner. Unlike apps that track your spending, YNAB focuses on a plan-first and stick-to-it approach.

Their four rules of budgeting are: Give every dollar a job (cash envelope system), identify and embrace your true expense, roll with the punches, and age your money.

Despite its assertive name, YNAB has a laid-back interface. The app helps you balance your income and expenses (before they are incurred, ideally).

Its expense breakdown is, I believe, the key to its effectiveness because when users can differentiate between immediate and true expenses, they can allocate funds more effectively.

It also offers a plethora of support material, including hundreds of online workshops.

11. Spendee

Spendee
  • How it works: Easy budgeting, Shared wallets, Accommodate multiple currencies (including crypto), Cash Flow tracking for better understanding of spending habits
  • Cost: Free | Spendee Plus: US $14.99/ year | Spendee Premium: US$22.99/Year
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Spendee is another paid app, though it’s significantly cheaper than YNAB. Its free version is fairly limited since it doesn’t allow you to sync up bank accounts with the app, let’s you manage just one cash wallet, and create and track one budget.

App’s true potential can be unlocked by buying its premium version, which allows you to create and share multiple wallets and budgets, ideal for families or roommates, etc.

Apart from the sharing feature, the best part about Spendee is its accounting for multiple currencies. This makes it perfect for digital nomads and freelancers. The ability to create multiple budgets and keep multiple wallets may help you take the cash envelope system to another level.

12. PocketGuard

PocketGuard
  • How it works: Track spending, budgeting, syncing all accounts.
  • Cost: Free | US $3.99/month or US $34.99/year
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Despite the name, it can’t guard your pockets against your intrusive and sometimes dangerously generous hands. What it can do is keep track of how much money you have left to spend after you pay off all your financial obligations.

A simple pie chart lets you track the biggest chunks of your spending, so you can find out ways to mitigate those payments (like refinancing your mortgage or switching to a cheaper car for lower monthly auto loan payment).

You can connect all of your banks, credit card and savings accounts with the app, to help you see the big picture of your assets and liabilities. It specifically leans towards paying your bills on time and offers you tips to help you reduce your bills and renegotiate rates.

13. Good Budget

Good Budget
  • How it works: Envelope budgeting method, debt tracking, couple budgeting, life-goal tracking.
  • Cost: Free | Plus: US $7 per month or US $60 for a year
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

A good budget is a powerful budgeting app with a relatively weak free version. With the free app, you get ten regular envelopes and ten more envelopes.

This means you can divide your income into about 20 different envelopes, each allocated for a different expense you have to meet or something else you want to spend money on (like hoteling, saving for a vacation, etc.). It also only keeps records for up to a year.

The plus version is significantly more powerful. It offers you an unlimited number of envelopes to allocate your funds to. Good Budget also focuses on couples that need to sync up their income, expenses, and shared spending.

You can also use that app to start working on paying off your debt and saving for huge expenses (Marriage).

14. Smart Receipts

Smart Receipts
  • How it works: Tracks expenses for both individuals and businesses, generates professional reports.
  • Cost: Free | US $9.99 per year
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Smart Receipts is not a budgeting app per se, but rather a budgeting tool. It allows you to upload all your receipts (whether business or personal), and track your expenses efficiently and effectively.

The company has a partnership with Taggun, so when you scan your receipts for saving, all the data is compiled and saved. This makes sorting it very easy.

This app leans more towards report generation. So if you are working and travelling, you can keep track of all your work expenses for your employer.

15. IXpenseIt

IXpenseIt
  • How it works: Accounts and budget management, transaction and receipt tracking, customizable reporting.
  • Cost: US $4.99 (In-app purchases and subscriptions cost extra)
  • Link to app: iOS

iExpenselt is a decent expense tracking and budgeting app that’s not available on android. It helps you keep up-to-date on your expense tracking by leveraging receipt scanning.

It can be used by six family members simultaneously and facilitate bank transfers. You can get your bill notifications and all the relevant reports that you get with other budgeting apps.

It also lets you compare your daily expenses to your average daily expenses, to help you identify when you are spending more. This is highly useful for weekend spending.

Also, by tracking your income and cash flow, you know how much money is coming in and going out of your pocket, and whether you are in the position of saving or going into a cash deficit.

16. PocketSmith

PocketSmith
  • How it works: Budget calendar, cash flow forecasts, transactions
  • Cost: Free | Premium: US $9.95/month | Super: US $19.95/month
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

PocketSmith is a typical budgeting app, with an additional forecasting feature. Its budget calendar is very similar to other budgeting apps. The cash flow forecasting feature gives you easy-to-understand visual feedback.

Based on expenses, it can help you predict how much you’ll spend and how much you’ll have left in the next 30 days.

The app can connect to the bank feed in Canada, but only in the paid versions.

Best Couponing Apps In Canada

One of the most important parts of budgeting is figuring out how to save money on everyday expenses. Coupons are a great way to save and will help put extra cash in your wallet every month that you can save, spend, or invest.

Here are some of the best coupon apps for Canadians.

17. Checkout 51

  • How it works: Cashback, couponing, receipt scanning
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Checkout 51 is a cashback app from across the border. The good thing about Checkout 51 is the range of brands it works with.

By offering a wider variety of brands and items that you can earn cashback on, this app can help you lighten the load on your budget. If you don’t want to put the cashback amount back into your spending budget, you can invest it.

18. Caddle

  • How it works: Cashback, paid surveys
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Caddle is another Canadian-only app that lets you earn cashback and breathe some life back into your budget. It goes a step further and allows you to earn money from paid surveys as well.

When you are using a cashback app in conjunction with an actual budgeting app, you are likely to be a more careful spender because you can only buy certain things from certain vendors to maximize your cashback.

19. Flipp

Flipp
  • How it works: Compiles weekly coupons available in your region
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Growing up, my mom used to keep a large binder full of coupons that she’d use every time she was at the grocery store.

She saved a lot of money with these coupons, but would have to spend hours cutting them out of papers and magazines.

She would have loved Flipp.

Flipp is a modern couponing app that automatically compiles all of the local coupons available in your region. This allows you to see all of the coupons listed in the weekly circulars in the app, so you don’t have to deal with clutter and messy stacks of newspaper.

My favourite Flipp feature is that it allows you to create a shopping list in the app. Then, the app’s algorithm will find coupons that correspond to the items on your list, saving you time and finding you great deals.

Flipp also shows you weekly deals and sales that are trending or related to your interests.

20. ReeBee

ReeBee
  • How it works: Finds local coupons that you can use in your area.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

ReeBee is very similar to Flipp, but has a different user interface that some may find a bit cleaner and more concise.

ReeBee locates flyers and circulars in your area, and allows you to browse through the coupon section and download any coupons you want on the app.

When you’re checking out, all you have to do is open your ReeBee app and scan the associated coupon to save.

The best feature of ReeBee (in my opinion) is its sophisticated search feature. The app not only allows you to download and view entire flyers but it also allows you to search for specific coupons that you may need.

When I’m at the grocery store, I use ReeBee all the time. If I want to buy a bottle of wine, a nice steak, or one of my favourite frozen meals, I simply type the item into ReeBee and see if there are any available coupons at the store I’m shopping in.

21. Swagbucks

  • How it works: Complete activities in the app to unlock coupons, gift cards, and deals that you can use at your favourite retailers.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS or sign up here for a $5 bonus

Swagbucks is a great platform for making money online and finding deals from top retailers. The app encourages users to play games, answer surveys, and participate in brand polls.

As you complete activities in the app, you’ll earn points. Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards, valuable coupons, and cashback deals with major companies.

From my experience, Swagbucks doesn’t offer as many grocery coupons as Flipp or Checkout 51. But Swagbucks is affiliated with top retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy, and others.

Swagbucks also gives users the opportunity to redeem their points for Paypal credit. This is a nice feature that allows you to earn money while completing surveys.

Don’t expect to earn massive amounts. However, you can easily earn a few bucks here and there, which all adds up at the end of the month.

22. Save.ca

Save.ca
  • How it works: Allows you to download coupons and use them at retailers.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Save.ca works by showing you digital copies of coupons and flyers in your area. They offer an expanding collection of flyers and often have a lot of Procter & Gamble (P&G) flyers, which makes it a great app for finding household product deals.

Personally, I prefer the user interface and layout of other couponing apps like Flipp and ReeBee, as they’re a little simpler.

However, the thing I really appreciate about Save.ca is that they offer a lot of coupons for no-brand products, such as a litre of milk, water jugs, and other everyday necessities.

As you scan and use coupons in-store, you’ll accumulate savings in your Save.ca account. Once you’ve earned at least $5 cashback, you can redeem your savings and transfer them to your Paypal account.

23. FlashFood

FlashFood
  • How it works: Helps you find flash deals offered by local retailers.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

FlashFood is an excellent app if you want to save big on grocery items. Unlike other couponing apps that show you local flyers and coupons, FlashFood shows you exclusive deals that can save you up to 50% on select items.

Whenever grocery stores have a surplus of products with an upcoming expiration date, they offer flash deals on the FlashFood app.

For instance, a local grocery store might have a lot of steak that’s expiring in three days. They’ll price it lower to get rid of it before it expires.

The only downside, of course, is that many of the products you’ll get with FlashFood won’t last you very long and are likely to expire within days after you buy them.

However, if you have a cookout or large dinner planned the next day, FlashFood can help you feed everybody for cheap.

24. Honey: Coupons & Cashback

Honey
  • How it works: Download the app or use the browser extension to find on-the-spot deals and coupons.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

If you like online shopping, then you’ll love Honey. The app automatically helps you find deals on your favourite products. When shopping through the app, you’ll be able to see exclusive deals offered by the 40,000+ retailers that Honey keeps track of.

Some of the major brands you’ll be able to save on with Honey include Nike, Amazon, Adidas, Ulta, and a whole lot more.

The mobile app is linked to Paypal. As you shop and earn rebates with Honey coupons, you’ll receive “Gold Points” on your Honey account. You can also earn points by making purchases through the app, even if there aren’t any available rebates.

Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for a cash value, which will be transferred to your Paypal account. From there, you can either transfer the funds to your bank account or use the credit towards future Paypal purchases.

25. Rakuten

Rakuten
  • How it works: Gives you cashback for shopping with affiliated brands.
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Rakuten is affiliated with over 3,500 major brands and retailers. Once you download the app, you’ll be able to browse cashback deals that are available exclusively to Rakuten users.

Rakuten earns a commission whenever you make a purchase through their app. However, instead of keeping the full commission for themselves, they split it with their users to incentivize them to shop through the Rakuten app.

On average, you can expect to earn between 3% and 7% cashback with affiliate online retailers. Cashback rewards can be transferred to your Paypal account, so you can spend the amount or transfer the funds to your bank.

If you’re not a Paypal user, you can request a mailed cheque with your cashback savings.

Rakuten is best for those who want to save on clothing, shoes, electronics, and other non-grocery items.

Budget App Comparison Table – Top 6

App NameAwardCostLink to App
MintBest Free comprehensive Budgeting appFreeAndroid | iOS
KohoBest Budget App with a Reloadable Visa CardFreeLink
You Need A BudgetBest Paid comprehensive budgeting appFree for 34 days | US $11.99 per month, US $84 per yearAndroid | iOS
iXpenseItBest iOS-only budgeting appUS $4.99 (In-app purchases and subscriptions cost extra)iOS
SplitwiseBest group budgeting and expense tracking appsFree | US $0.99 per month or US $11 per year for Android Users | onetime $1.99 for Apple UsersAndroid | iOS

Conclusion

Budgeting apps can be an amazing way to visualize your expenses, track your spending, and improve your financial behaviour.

Since most of these apps prioritize paying off your financial obligations, using them can ensure that you don’t incur any more debt and that you aren’t making your credit score even worse.

But remember that no app can force you to act upon its insights; that is the brave step that you’ll have to take on your own. The right app will certainly help, but you have to bring the change to your spending habits yourself.

If you want to learn other ways to save, check out these frugal living tips in Canada.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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