Author Topic: Best Apps for tracking expenses  (Read 993 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Best Apps for tracking expenses
« on: September 08, 2017, 12:13:05 AM »
Any recommendations on the best expense tracking apps? Ease of use is more important to me than bells and whistles. Thanks.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Best Apps for tracking expenses
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 10:29:39 AM »
In alphabetical order, GnuCash, Mint, Quicken, speadsheets, and YNAB are some of the more commonly recommended ones. 

People tend to favor what they use.  Sometimes that is due to rigorous comparison of alternatives, sometimes due to familiarity alone.

FWIW, we've used Quicken for 20+ years.  It could be much better, but for us it has been good enough.


  • Stubble
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Re: Best Apps for tracking expenses
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 04:39:05 PM »
I second MDM as a long term Quicken user. The Windows version is very full feaured, and is their flagship product. The MAC version is finally gaining most of the functionality of the Windows version.

I purchase the update every 2-3 years, and I often purchase the previous year version from eBay at a substantial discount.

Quicken used to be the flagship brand & company name for the developers of, but the Quicken application was spun off into a separate company last year.

Quicken probably has the widest support of any financial software for downloading and syncing account data.

Overall, the Quicken "system" is rather clunky and dated. Generally, it is tied to one computer. (There is a probably work around to allow access from multiple computers for home use.) There is a phone app for tracking expenses and taking photos of receipts which will be uploaded to your computer when you sync.

I have 17+ years of transaction data in Quicken, and I sometime find myself "going down the rabbit hole" to find out how my spending has changed over time. For example, i was paying about $130/m for land line phone, basic cell phone, and DSL internet in 2000, and I pay $65 today (no landline).
Retired early, retired often since 1998...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Best Apps for tracking expenses
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 06:34:25 PM »
YNAB changed my life.  They offer a free month trial.  My referral link is: if you want to give it a shot for 30 days.  Let us know if you find something you like better!  I love trying new ones out!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Best Apps for tracking expenses
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 06:43:05 PM »
Obviously YNAB gets lots of cred around here, along with spreadsheets because, of course, people here are DIY'ers.

Note: I use and LOVE YNAB Classic/Desktop. This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't even consider the current YNAB. The web interface is incredibly clunky compared to the ability of your computer to provide the processing power of the old desktop version. That could be forgiven, but the new subscription-based model is the back-breaker for me. I paid $60 for YNAB4 in 2012, not a cent since. It now costs $60 per year, which would have cost me $300 by now. Ain't no one got money fo dat. No doubt it's a much better profit model for YNAB, but much less benefit per dollar for me. Again, that's just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt and compare with other inputs.

ExNavy In STL

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Worries Connecting Bank Accounts
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 07:45:48 AM »
I'm looking into expense tracking. As I've looked around, downloaded a few apps, etc., I am troubled by how many of them want to link up bank and investments accounts.

Have any of you had security issues with putting your account name and passwords into 3rd party products like this?

Am I right to fear this so much to not buy into it, or am I over thinking this?

Is there a basic model that is low cost and let's you manually or upload the files from your bank downloads without giving up secure information?

For the first few months I just want to track my expenses and assign categories and subcategories  (entertainment/eating out or Utilities/Cell Phone, etc.) and then if needed I'll apply budget limits.

I don't really need to incorporate net worth-assets or track my investments with it. I'll be using it more like a food-tracker for calorie and macro/micro-nutrient intake. The main feature is category assignment, otherwise I would just use an Excel spreadsheet as a ledger.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Best Apps for tracking expenses
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 08:56:03 AM »
I use buxfer, it's probably not the best, and it's $4 a month. However, it works best for me.