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I got married recently. Among many other exciting new things, this means that my wife and I are in the process of combining our finances. After talking about it, we've decided that we'd like to use an app to create a budget and track our spending, and that we'd both use it to track purchases.

I've downloaded a handful of apps and looked into a lot more, and I can't seem to find one that meets the features I'm looking for. There are also an overwhelming number of options out there, and it's hard to find one that meets our needs.

These features are listed in order of importance.

Required features

Any app without these features is not an acceptable answer.

1: Must automatically import transactions The application needs to be able to automatically import transactions from our bank, and allow us to categorize and approve them as they come in. This saves a dramatic amount of time (vs manually entering transactions) and is likely the only way we'll stick with this long-term.

2: Must be available on Android and iOS. My wife has an iPhone, I have an Android. For our needs, it has to be available on our phones - we're going to have a much harder time keeping up with tracking if we can't put it in as soon as we make the purchase.

3: Must be able to share or link accounts. My wife and I must both be able to share an account, or have separate accounts that are linked. The whole point is so that we can see what money the other is spending and hold ourselves accountable to a budget.

4: Must be able to create custom spending categories. Some apps that I've looked at have pre-built categories, and they don't let you create your own. This won't work for how we budget - for example, we have a problem with eating out so we want to budget and track "Groceries", "Eating out", and "Snacks" (getting candy at the gas station) differently. Groceries are a responsible purchase, Snacks and Eating Out are not. We want to be able to build and customize our own spending categories to tailor the budget to our needs.

5: Reporting on spending by category and date. We need to be able to answer the question, "how much money did we spend on eating out last month?" so that we can hold ourselves accountable to our budget. Likewise, we need at least basic reporting on our overall financial trends month-to-month. More detailed reporting is better and a strong plus, but not absolutely required

6: Split categories. Let's say I go to the store and buy $50 worth of food and $50 worth of clothing. When it pulls in the $100 transaction, I need to be able to split it between "clothing" and "groceries". Otherwise, my budget will be off significantly.

7: Subcategories. I need to be able to have a "food" category with subcategories for "Groceries", "Eating Out", and "Snacks", or a "Car" category with subcategories "Gas", "Maintenance", "Insurance", etc. This will allow us to fully customize our budget and tracking for our needs.

8: Free of intrusive ads I can't stand regularly using an application (like Mint, which meets the other requirements) that has unavoidable, intrusive advertising. I'm totally happy to pay for a subscription - the amount of money we'll save by tracking our budget with discipline far outweighs the cost.

Desired features

Not absolutely required, but things we're really looking for.

9: Built-in budget tracking. It would be nice if the software had a built-in way to create budgets for a time period and see if we're on track toward keeping it or not. For example, it would be nice to be able to set a $50 "Eating Out" budget for the month, and then easily see that we have spent $23 of that by day 2.

10: Recurring charges. We have several subscriptions - it would be very helpful if we could put in a charge with an amount and a date it recurs on. I've seen some apps that let you use this to plan ahead, and that would be very helpful.

11: Comments and tags on transactions. It's nice to be able to have comments and tags on transactions to help us remember exactly when, why, and where we spent that money.

12: Desktop/web app. It's usually faster to track a large number of transactions on a computer than it is on a phone. If they have an interface/app that I can access from a computer, that's a plus.

13: Data export. I'm a data analyst by trade, and so it would be nice if I could export the data into a CSV (or other format) and do my own analysis on it.

Other info

Willing to pay. We are willing to pay a decent one-time or monthly fee for this app (probably not more than $15/month), especially if it meets most or all of the features above. Free is obviously preferred, but this app would pay for itself many times over if it helps us budget more effectively.

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Honeydue

Honeydue is a neat budgeting app that couples can use to co-share the family’s money- management responsibility. It allows you to connect all your accounts – Bank, Credit Card, Loans – to the app. You can tag each of these accounts as either individual or joint – so you and your partner/spouse know at a glance where you stand with “ownership”. Categorize your transactions and even create custom classes for your expenses.

You can annotate transactions with notes that both you and your partner can view. This is a great feature that not only serves as a reminder for future recollection but also fosters relationship-building by communicating about your money.

Honeydue is available free for iOS and Android devices.

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Zeta

Zeta is another free tool that helps you and your partner share the responsibility for money management. Built for couples, Zeta also allows you to determine whether you wish to manage a personal (non-shared) or household (joint) budget. It then manages and tracks both separately.

You can link multiple accounts to the app, and designate whether you wish to share the account or keep it as an individual account. The app then securely (using bank-grade security) syncs transactions from your financial institution and those accounts several times a day. It also syncs transactions from joint-designated accounts with your partner, while those designated as individual accounts stay hidden.

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The free app is available for desktops and mobile devices supporting iOS and Android. The website also has a wealth of money coaching resources and games that couples can access for free.

HomeBudget

The best way to save money is to manage it carefully. With HomeBudget, you’ll not only be able to manage your individual budget and track personal expenses, but you can do so for your household too. If you’re looking for a highly flexible and versatile money management app for budgeting and expense monitoring, and you would also like to share that responsibility with your significant other-half, then HomeBudget fits the bill perfectly.

You can categorize Expenses (cash flowing out) and Bills (future expenses) under personalized headings, and monitor and track them separately. Using the Family Sync feature is a neat way to have your spouse/partner share the responsibility for also tracking and entering transactions against the household budget.

One neat feature, which not many family budgeting apps have, is the ability to handle Recurring Expenses with automatic payment. The app automatically prorates such expenses (e.g. a 6-month prepaid Home Insurance expense) into multiple months to allow for more meaningful actual-vs-budgeted comparisons. It can also handle Recurring Bills (distinct from expenses) with reminder prompts.

HomeBudget is also great at tracking cash (ATM) withdrawals and cash expenses not incurred through a related bank/credit card account. For couples saving for a long-term goal, like a child’s college fund, the app allows you to use “paired transactions” – an “income” linked to a corresponding “expense” rather than just recording it as a recurring transfer.

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If you and your partner love visual representations of your money, you’ll love how HomeBudget shows you different views of where your money is coming from/going. You can also attach images of receipts and invoices to your database for subsequent viewing/auditing purposes. And the app even provides built-in support for backing up and restoring your data from one device to another (iPhone to desktop) using WiFi connectivity.

The one feature that really makes HomeBudget stand out from its peers is the comprehensive documentation it provides its users. On their website, you’ll find loads of helpful PDF documents – from User Guides and FAQs to guides for specific operating systems and devices. You’ll even find well-illustrated documents for using the apps’ wide-ranging features, like Family Sync and Data Import.

The app is available for Windows, iPhone/iPad, Android, Mac OS, and Kindle environments. HomeBudget is not free, but the relatively low cost for mobile devices ($4.99-$5.99 one-time) and desktop versions ($14.99-$19.99 per month) are worth it for this feature-packed app.

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As per your requirements, I feel MoneyLover would be good choice. it is available on android and ios as well. I also have similar requirements, and I am very much satisfied with this one.

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