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Monarch Money vs PocketGuard: A Comprehensive Personal Finance App Comparison

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Monarch Money vs PocketGuard

Managing personal finances can feel like a daunting task, but thankfully, apps like Monarch Money and PocketGuard have risen to make this process significantly more manageable. In this comprehensive comparison of two leading personal finance apps, we'll delve into each app's features, pros and cons, and who each app may be best suited for.

If you want a more in-depth analysis of each tool you can read our Monarch Money Review and PocketGuard Review.

Other Budgeting Apps to Check Out: Best of List Here

The Lowdown on Monarch Money

Monarch Money, a contender for the title of one of the best personal finance apps, simplifies financial management through a powerful yet user-friendly interface. This personal finance software allows you to track your income, expenses, and even your investments.

Monarch Money Review: Pros and Cons


  • Expense Tracking: Monarch Money automatically categorizes your expenses, making it easy to see where your money goes each month.

  • Investment Tracking: Monarch goes beyond typical money management apps by also providing investment tracking, a feature that many competitors lack.

  • Envelope Budgeting: Users who prefer the envelope method for budgeting will appreciate this built-in feature.


  • Cost: While Monarch Money offers a comprehensive set of tools, it comes at a higher price point than many other budgeting apps.

  • No Zero-Based Budgeting: If you're a fan of zero-based budgeting, you may be disappointed that Monarch Money does not offer this functionality.

The Verdict on Monarch Money

Monarch Money stands as an all-encompassing personal finance tool. While the price point may be a deterrent for some, users who require a broad suite of features, including envelope budgeting and investment tracking, will find value in this platform. It may be particularly beneficial for users who prefer a mobile personal finance solution, as it offers a robust mobile app.

The Lowdown on PocketGuard

PocketGuard, a strong contender in the realm of online personal finance, shines in its simplicity. It's designed to make it easy for users to keep track of their spending and maintain a budget.

PocketGuard Review: Pros and Cons


  • Simplicity: If you want a tool that offers a straightforward approach to budgeting and expense tracking, PocketGuard is an excellent option.

  • Affordability: PocketGuard is less expensive than many competing apps, including Monarch Money.

  • Zero-Based Budgeting: Unlike Monarch Money, PocketGuard does offer zero-based budgeting, which many users appreciate.


  • Lack of Investment Tracking: Unlike Monarch Money, PocketGuard does not offer investment tracking, which could be a deal-breaker for some users.

  • Limited Customization: While its simplicity is a selling point for many users, others might find it restrictive, as there are fewer customization options than in other financial planning apps.

The Verdict on PocketGuard

PocketGuard is an excellent solution for those seeking simplicity in managing their personal finances. With its affordable pricing and zero-based budgeting feature, it can be an ideal option for beginners or students who are new to personal finance. While its customization options are limited compared to other apps, its easy-to-use interface makes it an ideal solution for app-based personal finance.

Detailed Comparison: Monarch Money vs. PocketGuard

Ease of Use

When it comes to Monarch Money, users appreciate its intuitive interface that makes navigating through different financial components a breeze.

On the other hand, PocketGuard shines with its minimalistic design that focuses on offering a simple, straightforward financial management experience.

Budgeting and Tracking Expenses

Monarch Money implements the envelope budgeting system, which is beneficial for users who prefer allocating specific amounts for different spending categories. It also stands out with its automated categorization of expenses.

PocketGuard, while lacking the envelope budgeting system, offers a zero-based budgeting approach. The app simplifies tracking expenses by showing you how much you have for spending after accounting for bills, goals, and savings.

Investment Tracking and Bill Management

This is where Monarch Money truly shines as it offers comprehensive investment tracking—a feature that PocketGuard lacks.

Both apps handle bill management competently, providing reminders and helping you keep track of upcoming payments.

Customization Options

Monarch Money offers a higher level of customization compared to PocketGuard, allowing users to tailor categories and budgets to their needs. PocketGuard, on the other hand, sticks to a more standardized approach, offering less flexibility but a simpler user experience.

Pricing and Customer Service

Both apps come with a cost. Monarch Money is more expensive but offers a broader suite of features. PocketGuard is more affordable, and ideal for individuals looking for a simple, no-frills budgeting solution.

Users of both apps have reported satisfactory customer service experiences, with prompt and helpful responses to queries and concerns.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Monarch Money


  • Broad suite of features

  • Excellent for envelope budgeting and investment tracking

  • High level of customization


  • More expensive than many other apps

  • No zero-based budgeting



  • Simple and easy to use

  • Affordable

  • Provides zero-based budgeting


  • Lacks investment tracking

  • Limited customization options

User Reviews and Reputation

Monarch Money has been praised by users for its comprehensive financial management features, notably its investment tracking capability. However, some users have noted that the lack of zero-based budgeting is a drawback.

PocketGuard, on the other hand, is often lauded for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. Some users, especially those with investments, have expressed wishes for more advanced features such as investment tracking.

Final Verdict: Monarch Money vs. PocketGuard

Our comprehensive comparison of Monarch Money and PocketGuard reveals that both tools have their strengths. While Monarch Money is a better fit for individuals who desire a comprehensive solution, including investment tracking and prefer the envelope budgeting system, PocketGuard shines with its affordability and simplicity, ideal for beginners or students starting their personal finance journey.

Ultimately, the choice between Monarch Money and PocketGuard will largely depend on the user's specific needs and financial management style. Whether you're managing finances for your business, or a family, or just trying to save up for a trip, the most important thing is to choose a tool that feels intuitive and meets your specific financial goals.

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