Whether you're just starting out or established in your career, most of us struggle with personal finances. Good personal finance software can help you manage your money, but there are a lot of options out there. Which money management software should you choose?
this article we examine over 15 of the best personal finance software options
out there--many of which are free or low cost. Some tools can also be used for home
or business accounting needs. Finally, we'll discuss using spreadsheets for
your money management needs.
a Budget Is Important
you're like most of us, you're struggling to get your personal finances under
control. According to statistics from US Federal Reserve, almost half
of adults in the U.S. couldn't afford to make an emergency payment of
only four hundred dollars. From
the same study, nearly 25% of adults struggle to meet their monthly
expenses. The financial picture isn't
much better for those living in other parts of the world. In Great Britain, for
example, the average household debt has topped 3000 pounds according to the Office for National Statistics. That study also found that almost one in five British residents report that their debt is a heavy burden.
control of your personal finances is a serious matter. The consequences of too
much debt can be serious: a spoiled credit rating, repossessed vehicles and/or
foreclosures on your home, and even personal bankruptcy. But keeping track of
your spending is hard. It's just too easy to spend a little money here and a
little money there. But before you know it all those little expenditures have added
up to too much money.
where a budget comes in. A good
budget can help you track how you spend your money and help you plan to use
it better. A good budgeting or personal finance tool can even help you to
devise a savings plan and get ahead of your expenses. Other financial software
tools can help you save or even invest your money. So, let's take a look at
some of the best personal finance software available so that you can find the
one that's right for your needs.
15 Top Personal Finance & Budgeting Software
If you're planning to get your personal finances in order in 2018, here are 15 tools to help you do it:
This popular tool is listed as the best personal budget software by many reviewers. Develop a budget that's based on your goals, but flexible enough to meet unexpected expenses. YNAB syncs to your bank account to give you real-time financial information. Plus, you can automatically generate charts and graphs to track your progress. This is strictly a budgeting tool though, so you won't find investing or tax tools.
popular personal finance software makes it easy to track and pay your bills.
You'll be able to set up automatic bill payments from within the software. Mint
makes creating your budget easy and even offers budget and money management
suggestions. There's a mobile app, and you can even find out your credit score
free of charge. A downside to mint is that, since it's free, you'll see lots of
offers a family of money management software tools ranging from the Starter
version to the Home & Business version. It works well on a PC or a Mac, and
there's now a mobile app too. In addition to creating a budget, use it to
analyze your financial situation or investments. With the Home & Business
version you can even manage a small business or track freelance income. While Quicken
is well-known as one of the best personal accounting software options, some may
find it has more options than they need.
personal budget software is based on the popular concept of creating "an
envelope" for each budget expense category. Except with Mvelopes your
budget envelopes are virtual. Use your income to "fund" the expense
categories. There are three levels of Mvelopes available, ranging from the
Mvelopes Basic level that just runs on your mobile device to Mvelopes Complete,
which includes a monthly meeting with a personal finance trainer. The free
level of Mvelopes limits the number of envelopes you can have--a restriction
that's lifted for the premium users.
You don't have to be rich to start investing your money with this helpful personal finance software tool. With the Acorn app, each time you make a purchase the difference between your purchase cost and the nearest dollar is invested. For example, if you spent $1.50 USD, $2.00 USD would be deducted from your bank account. The extra fifty cents would be invested. You're literally investing your spare change. This is known as micro investing. The more you spend, the more you could save. And it's free for college students with a current .edu email address.
If you're looking for the best budgeting software, you'll want to consider EveryDollar. Although it's a fairly new budgeting tool, it's already been getting good reviews. It has preset budget items to streamline the budgeting process for you. There's a free version and a paid version of this software. With the paid version, you can automatically import bank account or credit card transactions. With the free version, you'll see ads in your interface. Since this is a new money management software, they are still adding features. So, this tool may offer more functionality in the future.
LearnVest you get access to a financial planner who can help design a custom financial
plan for you. Once your plan is designed, you can email questions or take
advantage of their tools, articles, classes, and other resources. There's a
one-time setup fee (which can be financed) and a monthly subscription cost.
While this tool costs more than many personal finance software tools,
it's less than many financial planners would charge. Keep in mind that it's a
financial planning tool rather than a budget tool, though.
money management software automatically is designed to let you see your
financial picture quickly and easily. Connect the PocketGuard app to your
accounts so it can track your bills and create a budget for you. Once you're
connected, it suggests ways to help you lower costs and improve your financial
picture. Best of all, you'll always know how much cash you have that not needed
for bills and other essentials.
this personal finance software for more than just budgeting. Moneydance can
also handle online banking, bill payment, and more. You can even use it to
track your investments. Plus, you can use the graphing tool to create pie charts,
graphs, and other visual representations of your financial picture. One handy
feature is the ability to set up recurring payments and reminders.
this personal budget software, you can devise a budget that makes sense to you.
With Wallet, set a budget with spending limits and payment categories. It
tracks your expenses manually or automatically. You can also set up recurring
bills, reminders, and even shopping lists. It also gives you the ability to share
your finances with another person, which could be useful for families or small
handling bills is your financial stressor, you'll want to check out Prism. The
free budgeting app gives you a way to manage all your bills at once. It notifies
you when you receive a bill and lets you choose whether you want to pay the
bill now or later. Since the app works with directly with the billing
companies, you don't have to wait for a payment to post.
you struggle to save money? If so, Digit may be the money management software
you need. The tool calculates how much you can save each day. Then, it
automatically moves that amount from your Digit savings account. You're kept up-to-date
via text messages. When you want to withdraw money from your savings, send a
text message and Digit will transfer the money back to your checking account.
This cloud-based personal budget software includes a lot of important budget features such as the ability to split transactions, automatic syncing, and financial reports. You can import data from Quicken or Mint software to CountAbout, making it easy to switch from other financial software packages. Plus, you can compare your budget to your actual spending. However, you can't pay bills or track your investments.
cloud-based personal finance software uses a calendar to help you manage your
income and expenses. It automatically figures out your cash balance for a
defined period. You can also choose to share your information with a family
member or partner. If you run a small business, you can upgrade to the Business
plan which offers unlimited calendars and allows you to have unlimited team
you're looking for inexpensive money management software for your business or
home, GnuCash can help. It's free accounting software developed by volunteers
(although contributions to the project are encouraged). Because it's a project
rather than a commercial product, this tool has a community around it.
Resources include Wiki, documentation, and a mailing list to communicate with
developers and other users.
a Spreadsheet as Personal Accounting Software
you understand how to use spreadsheets, you may find that popular spreadsheet tools meet your home accounting software needs.
Here are two popular spreadsheets you may want to use for budgeting or other money management needs. I've also included some tutorial links to help you get up to speed on each spreadsheet.
is one of the most popular spreadsheet tools available. Enter your data in the
spreadsheet cells and add formulas to calculate your balances. Excel
also allows you to generate many different types of graphs and charts for a
visual picture of your finances. Plus, Excel files can be exported to .pdf or
other popular formats. And, it works seamlessly with other Microsoft Office
won't sync to your bank accounts, however. So, you'll need to enter and update your
16. Google Sheets
Excel, you enter data and formulas into Google Sheets to get it perform
financial calculations. Also like Excel, you can make
professional charts and graphs. Don't expect it to connect to your bank
accounts or automatically pay your bills, though.
You can gain control of your personal finances by using the right personal finance software. Don't let your finances suffer for another day. Choose the best personal accounting software that's right for you and use the resources and tips in this article to start managing your money wisely.