Goodbudget for Beginners – App Review5 min read

If you are looking for baby steps to start your money saving journey, then you may want to consider the Goodbudget app, which won a spot on the Best Budgeting Apps of February 2022.

According to Forbes’ list, Goodbudget earned the title of the best app for budgeting using envelopes.

Are you trying to pay off your debts? Do you want to save money for a big house deposit? Goodbudget lets you ‘budget with a why’ and virtually track your expenses using the beginner-friendly envelope approach.

What is the Envelope Budgeting Approach?

Also known as “The Kakeibo” method (which translates to ‘household account’ in Japanese), is a system of separating your savings and expenses into multiple envelopes. This way, you know exactly how much money is going where each month and lets you dodge any overspending or impulsive purchases.

But thanks to the pandemic, we are living in an era where people don’t want to touch what somebody else touched. Cashless payment has become the norm nowadays, making the old-school envelope system difficult to implement. That is why Goodbudget saved you the hassle of the multiple trips to the ATM and stashed all your money envelopes in a click of a phone button.

How to Use Goodbudget?

1. Create a ‘household’ by adding your monthly income to the account.

2. Assign envelopes, each with a budget and category such as rent, groceries, coffee, bills, etc…

Create a Household and Add Envelopes

3. Fill your envelopes with money according to the budget set.

4. Start adding your transactions by putting in the amount of money and the envelope it will be taken from.

Set Envelope Budgets & Add Transactions

That’s it! Just with a little commitment all your expenses are simply tracked for you.

Envelopes Overview

“Spend, save, and give toward what’s important in life

Pros and Cons of Goodbudget App

The Pros

One transaction to multiple envelopes

If you had a long day with many expenses, you could just add the total amount spent in one transaction and split it accordingly.

Quick add widget

When you have fixed bills that are recurring, adding it to your home screen widget will make the process take just a few seconds.

Allows multiple logins

A great feature for couples and families who want to achieve their budgeting goals together. You can either access your account through the web browser or the app itself.

Straightforward app

Unlike many of its competitors, Goodbudget is pretty easy to use so you can get started right away with your budgeting

GIF – Quick Add Widget

The Cons

No currencies

Of course this is not an issue when you’re staying in one country. However, keeping up with your spending when travelling can be difficult as you need to calculate your expenses according to one currency.

Basic layout

The app features are somehow clunky and may not be very appealing to use. It was created in 2009, and I have a feeling that it hasn’t been updated ever since…

Time consuming

I do understand the concept behind adding your expenses manually to be more aware of what you are spending. But not being able to sync in your bank or credit card can be a struggle and requires constant diligence.

Sole purpose app

Goodbudget isn’t for everyone. The envelope approach can be beneficial to many people, but if you are looking for more features and personalized budgeting systems, the app is not for you.

Free vs Plus Plan 

Goodbudget is a free app but limits you to 1 account, 10 envelopes and 2 devices to sync. It also just saves 1 year worth of transaction history.

Meanwhile the Goodbudget plus subscription, which is $7/month or $60/year, offers you:

  • Unlimited accounts and envelopes
  • Access from 5 different devices
  • 7 years of transaction history
  • Customer support priority
Goodbudget Plus

You may prefer the free version if you have a simple budget with just a few saving goals. But people with a complex financial picture will find the paid plan worth their while.

Final Thoughts on the Goodbudget App

In conclusion, for those who are new to the budgeting world, Goodbudget is a great first step to start focusing on your spending and plan ahead.

While most of our lives are automated, GoodBudget forces you to stop and think about how and where you spend your money. Using the virtual envelope approach, you can easily assess your patterns and prioritize your expenses.

The app also offers a library of podcasts, courses and articles to help you save for financial events. Whether you want to save for school, start a family, or get rid of your debts, Goodbudget tackles major key milestones which helps you achieve your budgeting goal.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for apps to sync in your bank account and customize a financial plan, you may want to consider other apps that are automated and not so ‘high-maintenance’. (Check out our review on the Spendee app)