Did you know that a 2019 Gallup poll showed that the average American planned to spend $942 on holiday gifts alone this year? From deciding on all these gifts to planning for your holiday travel, entertainment and meals, it's easy to get stressed out and feel overwhelmed figuring out where all your money is going. Luckily, there are many apps to keep track of money that can take the pain out of tracking gifts, recording transactions and monitoring your holiday budget. Read on to learn about seven apps and find the best money tracking app for you.
1. Mint for iOS and Android
The popular Mint money tracking app takes the stress out of tracking your holiday expenses across multiple credit cards and bank accounts. It can help you see how much you spend in each category at all times so that you can easily differentiate your holiday shopping expenses from your rent, utilities and other regular bills. The app gets your transaction data in real time and updates your account balances in a single screen. You can even make budgets, create savings plans and check your credit score. Find Mint on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
2. Wally for iOS and Android
The Wally app makes it easy to create your holiday budget and track your spending in detail. Like Mint, you can link the app to all your accounts to get real-time balance and transaction details. The app breaks down your spending by day and category and uses charts that show you how your expenses are allocated. You can even scan your holiday shopping receipts into the app to track cash purchases. Wally is free with some premium upgrades available for advanced features, bank account linking and ad-removal. Find Wally on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
3. Fudget for iOS and Android
Fudget is a good alternative for managing your money during the holidays if you prefer a simpler money tracking app. Rather than linking all your accounts, you manually add your holiday expenses and income information as you go. You can create a holiday budget and categorize your expenses to easily track spending without having to worry about irrelevant data showing up from other sources. While this free app works well for short-term budgeting, you can find it useful even after the holidays. Get Fudget on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
Read More: How to Budget Your Money Wisely
4. Mvelopes for iOS and Android
The Mvelopes app offers a modern take on the envelope budgeting system where you organize your money by category into envelopes to easily see what's left at the end of the month. You link your accounts and create digital envelopes for your planned expenses, including any money needed for holiday flights, gifts and meals. The app will show you a notice and empty envelope once you've used up your budgeted funds for a category. You can try Mvelopes for 30 days free and then choose a subscription plan. Find Mvelopes on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
5. Santa's Bag for iOS
If you're an iPhone user looking for an app that focuses only on the holidays, Santa's Bag can help you both track your gift lists and holiday expenses. When setting up the free app, you create a gift budget and enter the different gifts you need to buy for each recipient along with their expected costs. You can even search the app for gift ideas. As you do your holiday shopping, the app lets you mark gifts so you know what still needs ordered or wrapped. You also see real-time info about how much you've spent and what's left in your holiday budget. Find Santa's Bag on the iOS App Store.
6. Christmas Gift List for Android
The Christmas Gift List app offers an alternative to Santa's Bag for Android users. It can help you reduce your holiday shopping stress as it easily lets you budget for gifts for each recipient and track your purchases and gift wrapping. Like Santa's Bag, you'll find a screen that shows you how much you've spent on holiday gifts, how much remains in your budget and how many gifts you've still got to purchase. You'll even find a progress bar for each person on your gift list to visually see how close you are to the maximum budget per person. Find this free app on the Google Play Store.
7. GiftPlanner for iOS
While other holiday budgeting apps tend to focus on Christmas spending, GiftPlanner for iOS lets you create budgets and plan expenses for multiple holidays throughout the year. This makes it a good choice to plan for your Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve expenses. The app lets you add people and planned gift purchases for each holiday and even shows a countdown along with your budget and current spending. It also has a tool to add gift ideas to the app while you browse websites in Safari. Find GiftPlanner for free on the iOS App Store.
- Wally: Control Your Money Seamlessly
- Mint: It's All Coming Together
- Fudget: The Budget Planner You Can Actually Use
- Mvelopes: Finally Achieve Financial Peace of Mind
- Clay Pot Software: Santa’s Bag for iOS
- Google Play: Christmas Gift List
- Mvelopes: Select the Plan That’s Right for You
- Zeode Software: GiftPlanner
- Gallup: Americans Plan to Spend Generously This Christmas
- National Retail Federation. "Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend 4 Percent More This Year." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- Gallup. "Americans Plan to Spend Generously This Christmas." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- Deloitte. "Deloitte: Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Jump Between 4.5–5%." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- American Research Group Inc. "2019 Christmas Gift Spending Plans Down Slightly from 2018." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- National Retail Federation. "2018 Holiday Sales Grew 2.9 Percent amid Turmoil over Trade Policy and Delay in Data Collection." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- U.S. Census Bureau. "45112: Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores: U.S. Total — Not Seasonally Adjusted Sales - Monthly [Millions of Dollars], November and December 2018 Sales." Accessed March 26, 2020.
- U.S. Census Bureau. "44831: Jewelry Stores: U.S. Total — Not Seasonally Adjusted Sales - Monthly [Millions of Dollars], November and December 2018 Sales." Accessed March 26, 2020.
Ashley Donohoe has written about business and technology topics since 2010. Having a Master of Business Administration degree, bookkeeping certification and experience running a small business and doing tax returns, she is knowledgeable about the tax issues individuals and businesses face. Other places featuring her business writing include Zacks, JobHero, LoveToKnow, Bizfluent, Chron and Study.com.