10 Best Ways to Track Expenses for Budgeting

Keeping track of your expenses is one of the first steps for effective budgeting.

There are several methods of budgeting money, including spreadsheets, printables, and apps. After polling the internet, “What do you use for personal expense tracking and budgeting?” Here are the top-voted responses.

1.  Moneydance

“Moneydance. It also handles investments—a once-off purchase of about $50. You can access via PC and phone…data stored in the cloud storage of your choice. Stock prices link bank transactions via the import of downloaded files,” one replied.

2.  Regularly Check Your Bank Balance

Someone asked, “Do people here manually write down/note everything they spend in an app, download their bank statements periodically, and work from there?”


“I have a skim of my bank statements once a week or so, have a rough guess,” one answered. Another added, “Budgeting, scheduled transfers each payday, a spreadsheet, and Power BI report for overview.”

3.  Literature and Podcasts, Etc.

“I listened to an equity mates podcast where they interviewed a lady, but she talked about how budgets don’t work and had empirical evidence.”


“Then propose a better way of taking care of your finances. She wrote a book called “More Money For Shoes”; I don’t believe that’s the book she talked about, the budget alternative, but it should get you on the right track,” another suggested.

4.  Personal Accounting Software

“In today’s world where automation means everything, Reckon Personal Plus is great. It organizes your records and generates reports for you. In addition, it makes it easy to share your finances with those important to you,” another shared.


5.  Mymoneym8.com

I built Mymoneym8.com, and you can use it for free. It’s encrypted and secure, and I will only charge for it once I’m happy it does everything,” another explained.


“Record your direct debits and income and have those transactions get done automatically. A fellow Redditor started using it a few weeks ago, so the whole sign-up process works smoothly.”

6.  The You Need a Budget App (YNAB)

“You Need A Budget 4 – the old version of You Need a Budget that isn’t subscription based. It works well; been using it since 2014,” replied one. “Same,” another agreed. “My worry is one day, it won’t work on the latest Windows version anymore.”

7.  Google Sheets

“Google Sheets shared with my wife. We both tend to it closely; I’m not sure what else I would want from a budgeting system. We don’t track things down to a receipt level. It’s more a case of having known fixed outgoings and an acceptable threshold for variable outgoings. Those two things are easy to manage,” a Redditor shared.

8.  The PocketSmith App

“I’ve tried most of them, and it’s the only one close to everything we need. Also, it supports open banking, which is a big plus,” one answered.


“Plus one for Pocketsmith. I tried quite a few after Moneybrilliant shut down. It takes a bit of effort to set up the budget and categories etc., and I needed clarification initially. But, overall, it’s the best currently available. Can be a bit expensive, though.”

9.  Good Ole Fashion Pen and Paper

“Just pen and paper for us. Because we write down our budget and expenses, we are much more mindful of when we spend money on something- which generally means we wind up spending less on wants.”


“For example, we use a Collins hardcover eight-money-column book. It cost me $35 when I got it – I have been using it since January 2020 and still have a good three years of life in it until I need to get a new one,” another expressed.

10.  The Frollo App

“Try using the Frollo app. I’ve been on it for a few months and love it. It is free,” said one. Finally, another added, “Frollo is great. I’m super lazy, so it’s perfect for me.”


“I also churn credit cards, so it’s easy to link them up then I have all the info in one spot. A point to remember is that when you close a card account and it unlinks from Frollo, all that data disappears.”


We hope you enjoyed this list of the best ways to track expenses for budgeting.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.