These 2 FREE Apps Turn Boring Budgeting into Addictive Fun!

cleo vs charlie image

We all know how time-consuming and tedious budgeting can be. It basically looks like this: writing extensive lists, keeping logs, separating categories, pouring over graphs and charts, comparing your expenses month to month, and on and on…

But what if it wasn’t?

What if someone else took care of all that boring work for you?

What if you were notified automatically when you are coming close to your spend limit?

What if someone was actively looking for ways to save money on your behalf?

What if they talked and chatted with you, and it was actually…FUN?

And what if it was…FREE?

Welcome to today’s newest budgeting technology. 

Say hello to your new budget best friends – Cleo and Charlie.

It’s time to manage your money with personality!

Both of these services are extremely effective at helping you stay on top of your finances. They make for the perfect accountability partner if you don’t already have one.

We’ll take a closer look at each of these services, and do a comparison. Let’s start with Cleo because, ladies first, right?

Who or What is Cleo?

Cleo is a free service that uses artificial intelligence to help you manage your money by tracking spending habits, trends, categories and automating your budget. You can access it through Facebook messenger, text message, Amazon Alexa and Google assistant.

Send Cleo a message or a question and you’ll immediately get an answer and advice, in a friendly tone, and often with humor. There’s even a “roast” feature which Cleo will send you sarcastic messages and meme’s when you ask her. This is a welcome touch, since combing through personal finances tends to be a bit of a dry subject.

Cleo has a user base of nearly 3 million people, with an average user rating score of 4.8 out of 5! That many people can’t be wrong.

What can Cleo do for me?

      • Keep track of your budget on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
      • Check your direct debits and deposits.
      • Check all your latest transactions, or by category.
      • View your account balance.
      • View your spending habits.
      • Give you real-time data and financial advice.
      • Make you smile and laugh.
      • Learn more about personal finance through quizzes and fun games.
      • Access rewards program and more benefits with premium account.

Who is Cleo for?

Cleo co-founder and CEO Barnaby Hussey-Yeo states: “We’re focused on making managing your money really really simple, not roundups or micro-savings. It’s for people that would rather not spend a couple of hours every week in a spreadsheet trying to manage their cash. We try to deliver actionable ways to save in 140 characters or less, in real-time using live data.” 

If you want to save money, but don’t have the time to put into proper budgeting, or just find it too boring to categorize transactions or try to make sense of graphs and charts, then Cleo is for you.

Cleo is perfect for anyone that enjoys some humor and charisma.

Is Cleo safe to use?


Cleo uses bank-level 256-bit encryption to connect to servers and the service, never stores your banking login details, and never accesses your banking login details.

Cleo is a read-only service. No one can ever move money in or out of your account, or falsify transactions or data.

Examples of Cleo in action:

Now we’ll take a look at the cutest little guy in the world of budgeting – Charlie!

Who or What is Charlie?

Let me just get this out of the way first…my favorite animal/bird of all-time is the penguin. So, an easy to use money management service, wrapped up as a cute, cuddly penguin? Yes please!

Charlie is a 100% free financial assistant that is always adapting to help you analyze and track your money, and meet the goals you set up. You can access it by text message on your phone, or through Facebook messenger.

Charlie monitors your income and expenses 24/7, and will alert you when you’re close to your spending limit, notify you when bills are due to prevent late fees or over drafts, find better deals on your subscriptions, or things you need or buy often, and find other ways to save you money.

Ask any finance question to Charlie and he’ll give you an answer. Some examples are: How much did I spend this month dining out? When is my car payment due? How can I save $1,000 for Christmas? 

Charlie is helping his users pay down $50 million in credit card debt, and the average user saves an extra $80 per week!

What can Charlie do for me?

      • Instant access, no download required.
      • 24/7 account monitoring and alerts.
      • Help you save for specific goals.
      • Identify unnecessary expenses so you can cut them out.
      • Find deals on goods and services you already use.
      • Has tons of money-saving features, tools and calculators.
      • Gives tips on additional resources, like where you can view your credit score for free.

Who is Charlie for?

Charlie is only available for customers in the United States, so those of you who are international are out of luck.

If you want a service to do the number crunching for you, and just want financial answers without having to figure it out yourself, then Charlie can be just what you’re looking for! 

Add on the additional benefits of always finding ways to save you money, friendly personality, and did I mention how cute and cuddly he is? Even if you’re already using another budgeting app or tool, there’s a lot to be gained with Charlie too.

Is Charlie safe to use?


Examples of Charlie in action:

Cleo vs Charlie - Which is best for me?

Both Cleo and Charlie offer similar features, with a slightly different approach.

Do you live outside the United States? Cleo is your only choice.

Do you prefer Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant over standard text messaging or Facebook messenger? Go with Cleo.

Are you looking for premium features beyond the free service offered? Only Cleo offers an additional paid subscription plan.

Do you like a friendly and motivating personality? Charlie is always looking out for your best interest.

Do you like adorable penguins? Yeah…penguins…ummm…yep!

There’s no wrong choice here really. Both are great at what they do, and if you use either one, you’ll be sure to save money and have a better grasp and understanding of your finances. 

If you’re not sure which suits your tastes better yet, why not try both? They are both free, and you can’t really ask for more than that!

Click on the images below to sign up for free.

Like this article or want to add your input? Join this conversation!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link