In the UK at least, it’s that time of year when we crack open the box of receipts and hit those spreadsheets as we start getting together our tax returns for the previous year. It can be a stressful and panic-inducing time, so at times like these it’s vital to have your financial affairs in order.
One way in which you can do this is by using an expense tracking app. The Android platform has plenty of these, each with their own unique features, and we’ve gathered the best of them for you here.
1. Budget Watch
Budget Watch may not be a terribly well known app, but rest assured that it’s a good one as it’s being worked on by a committed community of open-source developers. It’s respectful of your privacy, with no ads or need for internet access, and has an excellent interface for managing all your expenses.
The app keeps things simple, letting you take photos of receipts and add them to your expenses list, export your entire list in various formats, and break down your expenditures into various categories like dining, insurance and travel.
You can also create a separate list of pots and budgets you have for various outgoings, making sure that you never go overboard!
After all these years, Mint (formerly Mint Bills) continues to lead the way in terms of making your finances manageable via your smartphone. You can set it to remind you of bill payments, then make the actual payments through the app. It can sync with your credit score, too, giving you constant tabs on that precious, mysterious figure.
On top of all that, it does everything you’d expect, from organizing and showing your regular spending habits to figures, bars and colorful charts, all of which makes your expense management a little less intimidating.
Coming in free and paid flavors, Expensify is another long-standing app that helps you with day-to-day expense management. In the free version you can scan up to ten receipts a month (unlimited in the paid version), and it’s nice and easy to import your financial info from bank accounts, credit cards and so on. You can even track expenses by distances covered (using GPS) and by setting your hourly rate.
Some people may be a little unsettled by the fact that Expensify is a cloud-based app, but they reassure us that all data is tightly secured behind HTTPS and TLS encryption. Who are we to argue?
4. Financial Calculators
Not exactly an expense tracker in itself but a vital accompaniment to one. Financial Calculators is a collection of around 50 calculators that you can set up to work out various complex payments like pensions, loans, mortgages, credit card pay-offs and (that boondoggle of going on vacation) tips.
Other calculators include auto loans and stock market information, and it has a definite US-centric slant with things like social security estimators, college savings calculators and more. In short, you should use this alongside your main expense tracker.
Possibly the most elegant app on this list, Monefy is very pleasing on the eyes and a joy to use. On its main screen it depicts all your main expenses through a ringed, color-coded chart showing what percentage of your spending goes for what. You can then tap whichever section you want to take a closer look at to get more info on your spending in that particular area.
It’s a cinch to import receipts and records into the app, and you can jump straight to specific areas of your expenses through homescreen widgets.
Simple in name but robust in nature, Wallet is a financial tool that does it all without fuss. It syncs with your bank transactions if you so wish and has cloud sync, too, which means you can access it from multiple devices. One of its most understated but clever features is a widget that lets you enter expenses right from your Andorid home screen.
And you can also share your accounts with family members, partners and so on, making it great if you want to track shared expenses.
These are our picks for the best expense trackers. All of the above continue to receive regular updates and improvements where many other formerly great apps have long since fallen by the wayside. Do you use one of these or perhaps a different one? Let us know in the comments.
This article was published in June 2013 and was updated in January 2020.