Whether it’s due to shift work, gig work or an exciting side hustle, many of us today are earning a different amount of money each month. With these irregular incomes managing our finances can be a bit more complicated than usual. But it doesn't have to be difficult - if we just use our phones. This is why we have gathered the best budget apps for irregular income you can find in the app store.
These apps will make it much easier for you to keep track of your income, spending and reach your budgeting goals. Let's dive in!
Let’s start with three applications that help you to budget an irregular income. These applications do not require you to set up any new current accounts and instead, work with the accounts that you already have.
Emma aims to make budgeting a friendly, enjoyable and accessible process. To achieve this simplicity, Emma presents your budgets and spending in a social media style ‘feed’. Your daily spending is automatically tracked and sorted into categories.
However, where Emma truly gets clever is its flexibility. Emma allows you to set limits on spending for every possible category, be it transport, groceries or entertainment. It suggests when these limits should be increased or decreased based on an analysis of your income and spending over time. This feature works great if income dips up and down, or comes in at various intervals. Don’t receive income on a set monthly basis? No worries. Emma allows you to set budgets based around your payday, as opposed to on a month to month basis like many rival apps do, making it perfect for an irregular income.
Over half a million people can’t be wrong! Yolt clearly comes out on top as a handy budgeting tool. While Emma makes budgeting easily digestible, Yolt gives you deep insights and smart charts to know at a glance how you earn and spend.
Yolt let’s you connect all of your accounts, analyzes your data and gives you deep insights. It automatically categorizes your expenses, and shows where you spend most. You can also add different tags like #holiday to connect those expenses which might not have ended up in the same category. You can set, control and track your budgets, and get alerts when you are reaching your pre-set limits. It also helps you manage your upcoming bills and find you cheaper deals.
Money Dashboard can be considered one of the pioneers of digital money management. Launched in 2010, they have managed to stay on top of their game throughout the years and provide a great tool to keep track of your money.
There are a couple of remarkable features which make Money Dashboard stand out. First, it is not just a mobile app - they also have a web-based platform. So, if you would rather see your numbers on a bigger screen, here’s your chance. Secondly, they let you connect all types of investment and savings accounts, as well as add manual accounts. This way you can get a swift overview of all your money and assets. It also lets you create custom budgeting categories - which is not available in Yolt, and only available in the paid Emma Pro app. While it has none of the fancy features as the previous two apps, and the black and white dashboards can come off as a bit boring, Money Dashboard is a simple, smart and effective tool to budget your money.
You don't always have to reach for a different app for budgeting an irregular income. Banks such as Monzo and Starling Bank offer advanced budgeting features right inside your bank account. In addition to budgeting, online banks usually give you a suite of other useful features that often make them a much more attractive option compared to traditional high street banks.
The daddy of the sleek online banks can be easily recognised by their unique coral coloured cards. And for good reason too. Monzo offers high quality, category-based budgeting, separate spending pots and smart alerts. Monzo allows you to set spending limits on every category of your spending and keeps you within budget.
In addition to budgeting, Monzo can also give you an advance on your paycheck before you get actually paid. Monzo will send your salary straight into your account the day before it is set to come in, tiding you over if payday ends up a little late.
Another popular choice out of the online banks, Starling has been around since 2017. Starling presents all your daily spending and income in a circular pie chart. Due to this easy visual breakdown, you can understand your spending and income at a glance.
They list all of your recurring and upcoming payments, so you can easily see what you need to pay next. What’s more, they offer different saving spaces, where you can allocate some money and use a connected card to spend directly from there. So, for example you could create a card only for online shopping where you put £150 a month and avoid overspending.
In short, any of these budgeting apps represent an easy and smart solution to grasp how your money moves. However, one size often does not fit all - so don't get discouraged if the first app you download isn't the one for you. Have clear expectations, learn what information is truly useful for you and try multiple apps to find your perfect match.
Care to know more about budgeting an irregular income? Check out our blog post and master your money!
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