How do you find the best budget app for couples when there are so many choices available?
Almost every major bank, and even small credit unions, are offering a budgeting function as a part of their online banking system. And of course, there are the most popular third-party budget apps like Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and Every Dollar.
But I discovered these apps have their limitations when it comes to budgeting as a couple. Until recently, when working with my coaching clients, I started them out with my Prosperity Plan worksheets, then transitioned to their budget app of choice once we solidified their spending plan.
Spreadsheets are great for collecting, organizing, and analyzing financial information, but they’re static. My clients need some kind of online spending tracker so they know in real time how they are doing compared with their plan.
However, there were still shortcomings with the budget apps my clients used, including:
- Couples having to share a single log-in ID for the app
- I could not see their financial information in the app to advise or assist them unless we were meeting for our coaching session
- It was a challenge for me to help my clients get set up on their budget app of choice because I had to also learn the platform
- There was no way for couples to have some separate spending money in those apps
But then the budget app for couples I didn’t know I always wanted found me! The marketing team at Zeta, a budget app specially designed for couples, contacted me asking me to test their app and give them feedback. Wow! Had they peeked inside my head to find out my complaints when designing this budget app?
Here’s Why Zeta is the Best Budget App for Couples:
It allows for any combination of managing your money as a couple separate, partially combined, or totally together. Quite a few of my coaching clients like keeping their discretionary spending money separate, and this app easily allows you to do it. During set up, you decide which accounts are separate and which are shared. For the separate accounts, you choose if your partner can see balances, transactions, both, or neither. This is a fabulous feature for engaged couples who are making the transition from separate to combined finances.
Zeta allows you to split shared expenses by a set percentage. I know of couples who split the household expenses based on their incomes. So, if the wife makes 60% of the income, and the husband makes 40%, Zeta will do the calculations automatically.
You can send notes to your spouse or partner regarding transactions. Let’s say you log into the app and see a cash withdrawal for $200. You can attach a note to that transaction like “Hey honey, what spending category does this go in?” Your partner will see it when he or she logs into the app and take care of it.
As a couple, you can both see in real time exactly how your spending stacks up according to your plan. This prevents you from wondering, “Hmm, do we have anything left in our dining out budget or not?” No need to wonder! Just log in and check.
Using Zeta facilitates productive money conversations. You receive emails reminding you to check in regularly with your honey and review your spending and savings goals.
Speaking of goals, Zeta’s money goal function is like having your financial vision board right in the app! I am a huge fan of vision boards and all my coaching clients create one for their money goals. Now they can enter a financial goal into Zeta and it calculates how much the couple needs to set aside monthly to achieve it.
Zeta stops the endless stream of back-and-forth Venmo transfers. For couples who keep money separate and split expenses, there’s a constant ping pong match of sending money to each other to “settle up.” Zeta allows you to track how much each person owes the other and you can settle up once a week or once a month.
My coaching clients can authorize me as their advisor to help them use this amazing tool to the fullest. My clients absolutely love that I’m able to set up their budget categories for them, give them a tutorial on how to use it, and have support and accountability from me via Zeta. It’s become an integral tool in my coaching practice.
It’s fun and easy to use! The first budget category that comes up during set up is #BadHabits, which always makes my clients laugh. But hey, your spending plan should have room for a little fun and mischief, right?
The final reason that Zeta is the best budget app for couples is that it’s FREE! That’s right, all this awesomeness for couples comes with a zero-dollar price tag.
If you’re single and feeling super sad that Zeta’s not for you… cheer up! Singles can totally use it, too! Then, once you’re ready to get serious, you invite your partner to start sharing finances with you via a Zeta invite. In fact, Zeta is a great tool to help you combine your finances as you get engaged, move in together, or get married.
And for those of you who are money coaches, check out Zeta for yourself, and see if you don’t agree that it’s the best budget app for couples! A coach account is an extremely affordable and valuable tool to keep tabs on your coaching clients’ progress and they move through your coaching process.