16 Best Budget Apps in Canada (2023): Budgeting Made Easy

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.


Best Free Budgeting App

  • 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

  • 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
Checkout 51

Best Couponing App

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Requires you to share your personal and financial data.
  • You will have to bear with ads in free budgeting 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 Budget Apps In Canada (Free)

Not all budgeting 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 budgeting apps that are free in Canada.

1. Mint – Best Free Budget App

Mint.com Logo]
  • How it works: Create an in-depth budget, send payment alerts, connect your savings account, chequing, credit cards for tracking
  • Cost: Free
  • Link to app: Android | iOS

Mint is an app by Intuit, the fintech 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.

Lastly, you can keep track of your family members spending habits by adding their information or joint accounts to your Mint dashboard.

2. Moka

If we are talking about budgeting 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 with an investment account.

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


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, track spending habits, create financial goals, and also manage your long-term debts with Wallet.

4. Spending Tracker

Spending Tracker

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 budgeting 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

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

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 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

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 budgeting apps with paid subscriptions available to Canadians.

9. KOHO – More Than A Budgeting App


KOHO offers a lot more than most simple budgeting apps. 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. You can even separate your spending and your savings account.

This budgeting 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

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

The 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


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 a lower monthly auto loan payment).

You can connect all of your banks, credit cards 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 App

Good Budget
  • How it works: Save money with the 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

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


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 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 Budgeting Apps Comparison Table – Top 6

App Name Award Cost Link to App
Mint Best Free comprehensive Budgeting app Free Android | iOS
Koho Best Budget App with a Reloadable Visa Card Free Link
You Need A Budget Best Paid comprehensive budgeting app Free for 34 days | US $11.99 per month, US $84 per year Android | iOS
iXpenseIt Best iOS-only budgeting app US $4.99 (In-app purchases and subscriptions cost extra) iOS
Splitwise Best group budgeting and expense tracking apps Free | US $0.99 per month or US $11 per year for Android Users | onetime $1.99 for Apple Users Android | iOS

How ChatGPT Can Help You Budget

With the advancement of artificial intelligence, tools like ChatGPT and other AI-powered programs are competing for their place as some of the best budgeting apps.

They can make budgeting easier and create custom-tailored solutions to meet an individual’s unique financial goals and situation.

Recently RBC became the first major Canadian bank to incorporate AI into its online banking services.

Although AI tools aren’t a replacement for a financial advisor (at least yet), these tools can provide valuable insights and tips and give you a foundation to start building on. They can be especially powerful when paired with other budgeting apps.

Here are some ways that you can take advantage of AI tools to help with your budgeting.


Just like any budgeting exercise, listing your financial goals is a great place to start.

This could range from short-term objectives, like saving for a vacation, to long-term ones, like planning for retirement.

With free tools like ChatGPT, you can have a dynamic conversation and outline your goals, asking for some tips on how to make them happen.

The AI system can then provide a structured overview of those aspirations, helping you to organize them, create a timeline, and even set small objectives to help you reach your goal sooner.

Income And expenses

With a simple conversational approach, users can input their monthly or yearly income, as well as recurring expenses.

By engaging with AI, individuals can:

  • Get immediate feedback on possible areas of overspending
  • Get tips on how to improve their income
  • Read examples that can help them understand complex financial terms

This can help users make more informed decisions about reallocating funds, cutting down unnecessary expenses, or even considering new avenues for income.

Continuous Engagement

One of the advantages of using an AI tool like ChatGPT is its accessibility.

Conventionally, you might reassess your budget monthly or yearly, when you sit down to go over your spending, income, and general finances. Or, perhaps, you might schedule an appointment with an accountant.

One of the advantages of chatbots like ChatGPt is that your conversation is saved.

This means that you can keep the same conversation thread open for weeks or months at a time, updating it with your progress. As you give the AI more information, it will begin to adjust its recommendations to fit your changing financial situation on a day-by-day basis.

Are AI Tools Secure?

When you sign up for AI tools like ChatGPT, you’ll often be asked to check off a disclaimer stating that your conversations may be recorded to help improve the AI technology.

Because of this, I would caution against offering any sensitive data to AI tools, such as:

  • Bank accounts
  • Login credentials (usernames and passwords)
  • Key identifying details used for security questions (birthday, middle name, your pet’s name, etc.)

AI databases still aren’t 100% secure and likely won’t be for a long time. Just recently, OpenAI fell victim to a major data breach.

Additionally, if the social account you use to log into an AI tool is hacked, the conversations that you have with the AI could be accessed from the account. From here, hackers could potentially access bank accounts using sensitive data you’ve provided in your conversations.

That being said, AI tools are still valuable for general information, such as goal setting, saving tips, budgeting, and other financial knowledge. AI can also be a great learning resource as it can break complex ideas down into easily-digestible chunks of information.

However, I want to caution that AI technology is far from perfect, and mistakes are still common, so view it as one more tool that you can use to assist you in your financial journey.

Financial Literacy And Technology

Improving your financial literacy is one of the best ways to learn how to budget, get out of debt, start saving more money, and set yourself up for future success.

Unfortunately, the education most Canadians get in public schools doesn’t lean heavily into this, and many graduate from secondary (and even post-secondary) schools with little understanding of how to budget, save for retirement, start a small business, or build their credit.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of free courses and books that can help you become more financially literate!

If you’re not where you want to be financially, I highly recommend choosing a book from this list.

YouTube is another great resource where you can find free educational content from financial professionals in Canada.

While a free budget app can still be beneficial without the extra knowledge, understanding the underlying principles behind budgeting, saving, and investing will help you take advantage of them.

Conclusion – Best Budgeting Apps

Budgeting apps can be an amazing way to visualize your expenses, track your spending, and improve your financial behaviour. However, it’s important to understand that even the best budgeting apps have their flaws and can’t fully replace advice from a financial advisor.

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.

Source link

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *