February 18, 2012

Spendful – Free Budgeting Tools

Financial experts routinely recommend that their clients create budgets in order to see where their money is really going each month. Spendful is a fun, free app that can help people achieve that goal. The personal finance and budgeting application offers all the tools necessary to create comprehensive family budgets in just a few simple steps.

Enter your email address and select a password to begin using Spendful, then create a name for your new budget – like Family or Personal or Savings, for example – and select a currency. Type in your starting balance, which is however much is in your account right now, and choose how frequently you’d like to get email reminders from Spendful about your budget. The way that budgets work with Spendful is incredibly simple. Rather than pulling information from your accounts, Spendful users manually enter their income and expenses themselves. Each time a check comes in, you can head back to the site, click the + icon, and enter the amount you brought in. To make the process easier and reduce the time you spend entering your paychecks and bills into the system each month, you can create recurring items in your budget, as well. The more recurring items you put in, the easier it will be for Spendful to predict where your balances will be in the future.

Although Spendful is perfect for individuals and families who need a good way to track their income and expenses, it can also be used by small business owners, freelancers, and groups of people saving for a common goal, like a joint vacation. Users who upgrade to paid accounts can get additional features, like the ability to see their budget forecasts up to 50 years into the future, and create backups of all their budgets.

Practical Uses:

  • Create a budget that tracks all of your family’s income and expenses
  • Find out whether you’re on track to save enough to buy a car next year
  • Make separate budgets for your work finances and personal finances
  • Manage the money in a group account by creating a budget that everyone can view

Insider Tips:

  • People can create budgets without handing over their bank account information
  • Individual line items can be set up as recurring or one-time expenses
  • Budgets can be created in 11 different currencies
  • Sign up to get automated email reminders each week or month

What we liked:

  • Spendful is the perfect app for people who feel hesitant to give out their bank logins
  • Budget forecasts let people know whether they’re on track to meet their goals
  • Spendful automatically creates useful graphs that show how much money a person has over the course of the month
  • Users can download their budget data in CSV format

What we didn’t like:

  • People who already feel comfortable giving out their bank information probably won’t like having to manually enter their income and expenses into the app


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2011
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Founded by: Mitchell Bryson
  • Web site:


  • Free plan
  • Premium plan is $5/month or $40/year

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