Best Programs for Personal Finance

Are you looking for the best programs for personal finance? In today’s financial environment, it is more important than ever to make smart decisions with your money. The insurance industry Is facing significant pressure from rising costs, technological advances and competition. Being a successful insurance agent required learning many of these best programs for personal finance.

If you are looking for the best programs for personal finance or the programs best suited for your Mac, you may have come across a few reviews and suggestions. A number of people who have only recently started using personal finance software to manage their assets certainly believe that they can rely on it to provide them with complete information and enable them to manage their finances more effectively and efficiently. But how efficient are such products really?

Sometimes our expenses become so high, that it becomes necessary to watch every dime we spend. This can be especially true if one is living alone and has no family members to help them in case of an emergency. The best personal finance programs for mac are able to help with this. They help you keep track of your money, which may make all the difference in the end.

The best personal finance software lets you manage and keep track of your finances quickly and easily, from receipts and payments to income and outgoings. It simplifies the process of personal financial management by largely bypassing traditional receipts and spreadsheets. At the same time, the best personal finance software lets you collate your records, have them all in one place and backed up too, often using cloud storage for added flexibility.

What Is Personal Finance Software?

Personal finance software is any application that helps with all aspects of your personal finances. You can choose different software for different goals. Some software is ideal for budgeting, others are good for investing, and others are right for debt tracking and savings goals. It’s designed to make managing and tracking your finances easier and more efficient and helps you set up systems that work for you.

Basic financial planning software simply provides an easy portal for managing your finances, but some of the more advanced packages can help with reducing debt, managing budgets, or even provide finance advice as an additional service.

We’ll therefore look at the best personal finance software out there and show you the standout features of each one, so that you can get a better idea of which would be best for you.

If you’re looking to keep your business books with a bit more detail, check out our guides to the best accounting software for small business and best tax software.

Here then are the best personal finance software platforms currently available and, underneath those, the best free personal finance software.

What to consider with the best personal finance software

If you’re in need of some organisational clout, especially if you’re running a small business, picking a personal finance software package can help a great deal. Depending on your needs you’ll find that the best personal finance packages allow you to keep on top of things like receipt logging and managing expenses, all from within one program.

The other bonus is that most of the personal finance software packages allow you to share your data with your preferred tax and accounting software. That means you’ll be much better placed when it comes to tax filing time. There are personal finance packages tailored to both online and offline needs, with many having apps that let you track spending day today. Cloud-based personal finance packages let you keep all of your data in a safe place too, so all bases are covered.

Personal finance features to look for

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Desktop or mobile?

Have a think about where and how you’ll use your personal finance package. Most of us tend to spend money on the go, so having a software package that allows you to log and track outgoings means a mobile and app-based solution makes a lot of sense. Most packages offer both desktop and mobile solutions however.

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Reporting capability

While personal finance package are great at helping you manage money and track spending, they’re also vital for producing reports. This data can subsequently be used for tasks such as filing your taxes or for sharing with an accounts person who does the job for you.

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Easy integration

You’ll want to check that any personal finance software you’re considering will ideally work in tandem with other packages. This is crucial when it comes to logging items like expenses. Check your package can be used to move figures from one place to another for much more efficient tax filing purposes.

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Help and support

As is the case with any software package, it’s always good to check there will be help at hand should you need it. Some personal finance packages come with free support, while others have it as part of a paid-for plan. How much help you will need depends on your confidence with the software.


The best personal finance software is Quicken

The best personal finance software is Quicken

Get 10% off the normal price for Quicken, the best personal finance software when it comes to keeping your money in order. Manage budgeting, bills, and investments from a single desktop or mobile app.

Quicken

Quicken

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Having been around for several decades, Quicken is one of the most established personal finance software on the market. You can use the software to manage various aspects of your financial life from budget creation to debt tracking, savings goals, and even investment coaching. The software features Excel exporting, which allows you to manipulate and perform additional calculations on your data. One of the more advanced features includes bill paying, which allows you to set up payments for your bills right from the software. You can even use it to track the value of your assets to have an accurate calculation of your total net worth. The app is robust enough to manage both your personal and business expenses and even handles property management functions like rental payments from tenants. Quicken offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The software starts at $35.99 per year and is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Best for Budgeting Mint

Mint

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Mint is one of the most popular budgeting and expense tracking tools. You can have the software pull in your bank and credit card information to analyze your spending and pinpoint areas where you can cut back to improve your finances. For more accountability, Mint allows you to set up alerts for things like due dates and low balances to keep you on track. These features help you avoid expensive fees on late payments and overdrafts from your bank account. If you’ve set up budget categories, Mint will give you real-time information about the amount you can spend on things like food and gas. Mint is free to download and use on iOS and Android devices, as well as desktops.

Best for Habit Building YNAB

YNAB

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You Need a Budget, or YNAB, is a personal finance software that’s aimed to help you improve your financial literacy as you manage your monthly budget. As you create your budget and manage your daily finances, the software provides you with tutorials that will help you tackle some of the tougher financial topics. If you’ve been struggling with bad financial habits, YNAB can help you break those through a few basic financial management rules.

The software automatically links to your bank account, integrating your spending information for analysis and budget tracking. You can keep tabs on how you’re tracking toward your monthly budget and take action if you’re overspending. It doesn’t include any investment tracking capabilities. YNAB offers a 34-day free trial that allows you to use the software while you decide whether it’s right for your personal finance goals. The full software is $14.99 monthly or $98.99 annually.

Best for Zero-Based Budgeting Mvelopes

Mvelopes

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The traditional envelope budgeting system helps you stick to a budget by using envelopes to manage your money. Once you’ve broken down your budget, you put that amount of cash into different envelopes. So, if you budget $100 for gas for the week, you place that amount in a “gas” envelope. Once you’ve spent that $100, that’s it. Mvelopes takes this same approach to budgeting, except that it’s done digitally on your phone and computer rather than with physical cash.

Choose the financial goals that are most important to you, then add your bank accounts and set your income. Mvelopes will help you create a budget and set up your “envelopes.” The software tracks your spending and shows you what you’ve spent from each envelope to keep you on budget throughout the month.

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The basic version starts at $5.97 per month, and you can try Mvelopes for 30 days for, free when you enroll in the premier plan at $9.97 per month.

Best for Taxes TurboTax

TurboTax

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You may not necessarily need TurboTax to manage your finances throughout the entire year, but when it’s tax time, the software can come in handy. While it’s one of the pricier tax preparation tools, it’s also consumer-friendly, walking you through your tax preparation to help you accurately file your tax return. Entering your tax information is fairly simple—you can import your W-2 information from your employer or take a picture of it and the software will transfer the information into the form.

If you’ve used TurboTax in previous years, the software will remember your personal information and ask whether there have been any major changes. The most basic version lets you file your federal and state return for free if all you use is form 1040 with no attached schedules.

On the higher end, TurboTax Live connects you with a tax expert to give you personalized advice and answer questions about your tax return. Paid versions of TurboTax include a feature to help you uncover deductions you may not have known were available to you. While you can use TurboTax on the web, you can also download the software to your device for added security.

Best for Investing FutureAdvisor

FutureAdvisor

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If you’re a DIY investor looking for low-cost access to a financial advisor, FutureAdvisor is a great option. The investment software provides personalized recommendations to help you diversify your portfolio, which you can follow or not follow as you see fit. You’re eligible to sign up for the software if you have at least $5,000 in investable assets. FutureAdvisor manages the assets you transfer into the account for a flat annual fee of 0.5% of the managed assets, billed quarterly at 0.125%. When you transfer your assets into the account, FutureAdvisor works to consolidate them into accounts with its partners, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade.

Best for Investment Advice Personal Capital

Personal Capital

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Personal Capital allows you to manage all your financial accounts in a single platform. You can include your bank accounts, mortgage, and other credit accounts, plus your investment accounts, to have your complete financial picture right in front of you. If you have multiple accounts—as most of us do these days—using Personal Capital can save you from having to switch between multiple screens to understand where you stand.

If you have a portfolio of more than $100,000, you can get personalized financial advice based on your goals. While you’re charged a fee for this service, financial advisors are obligated to provide you with advice that works in your best interest.1

Use the software to tell whether you’re on track with your retirement and other investment goals. Even if you’re not quite ready to take advantage of the financial advisor, you can use Personal Capital to track your finances and investments in one place. There is no monthly fee, and the annual management fee is tiered based on the investment amount.

Best for Spreadsheet Management Tiller Money

Tiller Money

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Tiller Money lets you see all your money in one place by automatically updating your checking, credit card, loan, investment, and other account data into a customizable Google Sheet or Excel template. Tiller Money lets you choose from templates that organize your data for you or you can customize your spreadsheet to suit your needs. It’ll also send you daily emails with a summary of your recent transactions and balances. The service costs $79 per year or $6.58 per month, but you can take advantage of the 30-day free trial to decide whether it’s right for you.

How Does Personal Finance Software Work?

Personal finance software typically works by collecting your personal data, linking the software to your financial institution, investment accounts, and credit cards, and then helping you set up your financial goals. Once it has access to your accounts, it can monitor your credit, track your spending and savings habits, help you create a budget, offer tips and investment advice, and send out bill pay and savings goal reminders.

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How Much Does Personal Finance Software Cost?

Personal finance software varies in features, functions, and costs. Some software offers basic features with free and paid versions. Other software helps you meet more complex financial goals and charges monthly fees. Personal finance software typically costs between $5.97 and $12 per month, or you can pay annually for a discounted rate. Other software charges an annual $35 fee, and software that focuses on investing charges a flat rate of 0.5% of managed assets.

Is Personal Finance Software Worth the Cost?

Personal finance software is worth the cost if it helps you meet your personal financial goals. It may help you stick to a budget and save money or manage and track your investments and gain money. If you use it and it’s helping, then it’s typically worth the relatively low cost. 

How We Chose the Best Personal Finance Software

We researched and reviewed many personal finance applications and chose our top eight personal finance software options based on price, variety of features, the types of financial goals they help you meet, company reputation, and more.

How to choose the best personal finance software

Everyone has different needs when it comes to managing personal finances. That means the range and choice of best personal finance software packages is expansive, which is great for us, the consumers. 

The best starting point if you’re on the lookout for the best personal finance software package is therefore to decide just how complicated you think your money matters are. If you run a tight ship and are quite good with your finances, then a basic package will more than suffice.

Consider factors including how much you spend eating out each month and what sort of credit card terms you’re working too such as managing monthly payments. You might want to factor in how much you need to save towards a pension. The best personal finance software can help with these, and more.

However, if you’re not organised, you’ll want to look at more complex personal finance packages that can do a lot more of the money management legwork. More sophisticated packages can help you become better at budgeting, keep track of incomings and outgoings and build up an archive of your financial affairs. 

This can also be beneficial come tax filing time too, with many personal finance software packages integrating with some of the best tax software on the market.

How we test

Remember, it’s still possible to use a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel if you prefer. However, the great thing about personal finance software is it has been created specifically for money management needs.

What we look for in the best personal finance software packages is primarily the ease of use factor, combined with the range of features and functions. We also test how well the software runs, particularly in the app or mobile environment. Lots of us are time-poor and being able to manage finances on the go is a popular option.

Naturally, we’re also looking for just how well the software can handle tasks, especially for folks who have more complex personal financial affairs. Keeping your data safe and secure is a given too, especially if it’s a package that can integrate with the best accounting software or tax filing packages.

Conclusion

If you are a student or just want to manage your financial life, then it is very important to maintain a spreadsheet. You can keep track of your expenses and compare them with income to spot the best programs for personal finance.

When you want to make a chart for money, it is tempting to use Excel. It’s free. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. Don’t get me wrong – for most spreadsheets, Excel is more than adequate. Or you may need some Windows program if you have your data stored in MS Excel format and don’t need cross-platform support. In other words – there are better tools. And some of these tools match Excel in features while having the added advantage of being cross-platform or capable of sharing sheets with multiple users at once.

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