Inexpensive Budgeting Software

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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(opens in new tab) for added flexibility.

Budgeting is a serious business. It can be a little intimidating to face the task of managing your finances and making sure that you’re always on top of your spending.

But it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll cover the best software to help you stay on top of your budget, whether you’re just starting out with no budget at all or if you’ve been using an old system that just isn’t working anymore.

We will cover topics such as Best budget software, Personal Finance Budgeting Software, and Budgeting software free.

Inexpensive Budgeting Software

1. Best Overall: Acorns

Do you recall how you used to deposit all of your loose change into a piggy bank when you were younger? With a digital twist in its budget app, Acorns modernizes this approach. Acorns is a savings and investing tool in addition to being a budgeting app. The app assists you in diversifying your personal finances by enabling you to invest your money before you ever realize it has vanished.

It accomplishes this by establishing a connection with your checking account, rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar, and depositing change into an investing account that is maintained by a robot. For instance, if you spend $1.75 on something, Acorns will invest the extra quarter for you. Acorns is a superb budget tool for thoughtless saving.

2. Best Budget App for Investments: Personal Capital

Do you need additional assistance with your budget and investing? If so, Personal Capital might be your ideal choice for a budgeting tool. The main goal of the budgeting software is to deliver comprehensive investment management to high-profile clients from the palm of your hand, employing a combination of human and robot financial advisors. If you’re a busy professional with little time each day to manage your own finances and investments, Personal Capital may be a good choice.

Personal Capital demands a $100,000 minimum balance. The cost of financial advice services is 0.89% of all managed assets. However, Personal Capital is a fantastic option for investors looking for hands-free asset management and knowledgeable tax-loss harvesting in a budget software.

3. Best Holistic Budgeting App: Monarch Money

You can use this app to manage your money more easily than ever when you go to Monarch Money. Budgeting is just one aspect of Monarch Money, though. You can begin using what Monarch refers to as “the current approach to manage your money” with the advantages stated below:

  • Reviewing your finances
  • Securely add partners, banks and investment portfolios as needed
  • Get personalized advice from an expert
  • Track all your money in one place
  • Customize your dashboard
  • Learn how to save more money
  • Watch your spending
  • Create financial goals
  • Always keep your information safe

With only one app, you can create a budget, invest, save, and take all the necessary financial actions. Additionally, you can collaborate with your roommates if necessary, share the account with your spouse, or make it a family affair.

4. Best Free Trial: Tiller Money

Looking for the top free or inexpensive personal financial applications based on pricing, platform, client support, and software? List Tiller as a candidate.

Connect your bank, credit card, and other accounts so you can track the status of your finances. Simple 3-step process:

  • Step 1: Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Tiller Money.
  • Step 2: Link and securely authenticate accounts in the Tiller Money Console.
  • Step 3: Open Google Sheets or Excel to customize your import options.

You may track your net worth, savings objectives, debt, and more with the help of free community-supported templates, adjustable monthly and annual budgets, and reports. Automatic categorization, daily account summaries, and weekly webinars are also available. Security and privacy are also top priorities for Tiller Money.

5. Best for Automatic Investing: Stash

There are three tiers of plans offered by Stash. For just $1 a month, Stash Beginner is a great option for novice investors and budgeters. You’ll obtain

  • Access to investing in fractional shares
  • A personal investment account
  • Access to your Stash banking account with no hidden fees
  • Savings and budget tools
  • Advice and education
  • Paid up to 2 days early in your Stash banking account

You can upgrade to the Stash Growth plan, which is ideal for long-term investing and saving, for an extra $2 a month. It includes all the features listed above in addition to access to a Roth or IRA account, which may provide tax advantages and individualized retirement advice. For families and experienced investors, Stash+, the company’s last plan, may be preferable. It costs just $9 monthly. Along with everything offered by the Stash Beginner and Stash Growth programs, you’ll now get monthly market insights reports and custodial (UGMA/UTMA) accounts for up to two children.

6. Best Budgeting and Banking Combo App: Empower

Want to increase your savings this year? Empower provides the most complete set of personal finance capabilities in a simple, contemporary design, making it a budgeting and banking* powerhouse.

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Having difficulties staying within your means? Empower allows you to set weekly or monthly spend caps and create budget categories for your lifestyle. The fact that the app notifies you in real time of your budget tracking progress so you are aware of when to limit your spending is pure genius. Empower categorizes each spending and provides a monthly report that provides accurate information on where all of your money is spent.

Want your money to grow more quickly? Enjoy a checking account that earns interest and will grow your money much faster than it would with the five largest banks in the United States. It also comes with unrestricted withdrawals and none of the normal banking guff. Deposits with Empower are up to $250,000 FDIC insured.

Want to increase your annual savings? Decide on a weekly savings goal. Every day, Empower analyzes your income, keeps track of your spending, and automatically decides when to save the precise amount you require. What’s best? There is nothing you need to do.

7. Best Budget App for Paying Off Debt: You Need A Budget (YNAB)

You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a fantastic option if you want more control over your spending, need help adjusting to changes in your personal finances, or need help paying off debt. Your credit cards and bank accounts are connected to YNAB, which then imports all transactions into its database. The YNAB budgeting tool pushes you to give each dollar that enters your account a “task,” shows you where you can make savings contributions, and provides a dynamic interface that allows budgets to be easily adjusted when circumstances change financially. You can quit living paycheck to paycheck thanks to YNAB.

The “budget inspector,” which allows users more direct control over their own money, particularly plans for forthcoming costs, is YNAB’s most distinctive feature. If you have enough savings for a non-standard purchase, you can quickly get a summary of your cash flow and anticipated spending using the inspection tool, as well as where you can make savings to make it happen.

8. Best for Learning About Spending Habits: Digit

Apps on your phone work constantly to discover more about your habits in order to deliver personalized results, whether you’re talking with iMessage or scrolling through your Instagram explore page. Why hasn’t this automation been applied to your wallet yet? This is all Digit does. Digit tracks your spending patterns and is $2.99 per month after the first 30 days are free. In order to automatically transfer money into your savings, Digit takes into account your impending bills (including credit card payments), your anticipated purchases (based on your purchasing history), and the absolute minimum you require in your checking account. You won’t need to take any action to save money if you use a solid budget app.

Digit analyzes your spending patterns to determine a safe yet significant amount that it can automatically set aside for savings on your behalf. Your personal finances can be automated with Digit.

Best Budgeting Software

budgeting software

Managing your money successfully includes keeping a close eye on your expenses. One way to do that is to take advantage of free software and services. Free personal finance software can be surprisingly robust, helping you track spending, create and manage budgets, and run reports.

Mint

The creators of Quickbooks and TurboTax, Intuit, offer a free online budgeting tool called Mint. This software gathers all of your financial information and provides you with a summary of your spending, bills, budget, and credit score. You may set objectives and reminders, make your own budget, and sync your data between the web and apps. Encryption and multi-factor authentication improve security. To keep track of your money and portfolio, utilize Mint.

Access Mint via the web or phone apps for iOS and Android.

GnuCash

GnuCash is desktop software; its features include tracking bank accounts, stocks, income, and expenses. GnuCash is based on double-entry accounting for balanced books and you can run a number of reports to see your financial data. GnuCash also offers small-business accounting tools that let you manage customers and vendors, handle invoicing and bill payment, and even payroll.

GnuCash is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, BSD, and Solaris. There is a companion app for Android that will let you track expenses on the go and later import them into the desktop software.

AceMoney Lite

AceMoney Lite bills itself as the best Quicken alternative. You can manage your budgets, track your finances in multiple currencies, keep an eye on your investments and analyze your spending habits. You can also do online banking. As this is the lite version, you’re limited to two accounts; the full version supports unlimited accounts.

AceMoney Lite is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital offers free financial software for tracking investments and planning for retirement, in addition to its tools for cash flow, spending, budgeting and net worth. Personal Capital’s focus is on investments, showing you the performance of your portfolio over time and helping you make decisions for the future, so its budgeting components aren’t as robust as other software.

If you’re not an investor or prefer fine-tuning your budget to getting the broad view, Personal Capital may not be the best fit. However, if you want to save for college or retirement, its free tools will show you whether you’re on track.

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Personal Capital can be accessed via the web or apps for Android and iOS.

Buddi

Buddi is an open-source budget software that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and has been translated into multiple languages. Buddi can encrypt financial data with a password, and it’s designed to be easy to use even if you have no financial background.

Features include budgeting, tracking accounts, and personal finance reports, but you will have to enter transactions manually. Free plugins add more features, and the online user manual is easy to read and use.

Buddi is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Free Budget Spreadsheets

If you don’t need fully featured personal financial software and you’re just concerned about keeping a budget, there are some great free budget spreadsheet templates you can use with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc or Google Sheets. Just download and open them in your spreadsheet software to get a handle on your cash flow.

Personal Finance Budgeting Software

1. Quicken

Quicken is a long-established tool for managing personal accounts, and while its reputation was built on a desktop version, it’s now available to run as an app on your mobile devices.

Quicken offers a good range of financial reporting tools. These are set around a few different areas, namely budgeting, bills, accounts, and even investments. For budgeting, it offers you a chance to input your purchases and income so you can compare them both together to get a better idea of how much you are spending compared to how much you are earning.

In terms of bills, you can also see which utilities and similar you are constantly paying out to, and see both the amounts to be paid and how much money you have left over. For accounting purposes you can even bring your banking and credit card bills together in one place so that you have a very clear idea indeed of how much you’re paying out. This is especially handy as people easily underestimate how much regular small purchases can add to costs.

For investments it also offers the ability to track these, whether as part of your savings, investment portfolio, or 401k pension plan. This means you have a clear idea of how much your savings and investments are worth, though it’s fair to say you shouldn’t panic about short-term fluctuations in the stock market.

Altogether, Quicken brings together your budgeting, banking, and investment reporting into a single dashboard, which you can view from your desktop or even via your cell phone from the mobile app. 

2. YNAB

Just in case you need to be told explicitly what to do, along comes YNAB – short for You Need A Budget. Because, hey, if you don’t want to spend every single penny you have and more, you absolutely do need one. And perhaps you have more money than you thought?

YNAB’s primary mission, as you might expect, is to help you curb overspending and avoid living from paycheck to paycheck. Stick to the program, temper your spending appropriately, and eventually YNAB will see you spending last month’s money rather than that which you’ve just earned.

It’s quick to install, supports the majority of transaction information downloadable from banks, and appropriately configures itself for personal or small business use by changing its monetary categories depending on your needs.

If you get off track, YNAB – which is reasonably forgiving and understanding for a bit of software – will tell you what you need to do to get back to where you need to be. You’ll have to make sacrifices, but if it’s guidance you need, this sets itself apart from the likes of Quicken.

3. Banktree

BankTree is more than happy to support worldwide currencies, and in fact does a solid job if you’re working simultaneously with more than one, offering balances in multiple currencies rather than rounding them off into a single total. It’s also good for keeping track of everything, allowing you to scan receipts with its mobile app and import them later on.

It’s not the prettiest software around, and it’s slightly more awkward to use than many of its more refined cousins, although BankTree does produce very neat reports which you can break down by time, or by payee. It may be worth experimenting with the free trial before you choose to invest in this one.

The desktop software comes with one year of updates and support, though you are restricted to one PC and there is a charge for any additional PC you want to run the software on. There’s also a browser-based version available.

Whichever version you opt for, there’s a 30 day free trial available, so you can try before you buy to get an idea if BankTree will work for you.

4. Money Dashboard

The Money Dashboard iOS/Android app doesn’t try to reinvent the banking world or offer anything truly ground-breaking, but it is perhaps one of the most useful money management tools out there. Hook up every one of your UK bank and credit card accounts and you’ll be able to see each of your balances in a single place with a single login. That in itself is enough for us to recommend it.

But there’s more – Money Dashboard will track your spending, offering you an overall pie chart depicting your spending on loans, consumables, transport and the like. There’s an at-a-glance overall balance, showing exactly how much money you have available across all of your accounts, and you can compare this to the previous month’s figure to show how well you’ve been managing your funds. That’s a great motivator.

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5. Moneydance

Made primarily for Mac users (but also out on Windows and Linux), Moneydance is a desktop money management package with a very neat single-window interface. Load it up and you’ll get an instant view of your finances, upcoming bills, recent expenses and more. Click an item in the left hand sidebar and the main content changes to reflect it.

Its reporting features are quite strong if not spectacular to look at, and one of Moneydance’s most useful sections is its account register. If you’re old-school and once managed a cheque book, this operates on a very similar principle. There’s also an iOS app for logging transactions on the go, which later syncs with the software on your desktop.

Unfortunately for UK users, Moneydance doesn’t support the connection protocols used by UK banks, so you’ll need to download your transaction history manually to keep on top of it and revert to your bank’s own app to move money around. US users, however, are well covered.

Budgeting software free

budgeting software
Westend61 / Getty Images

Managing your money successfully includes keeping a close eye on your expenses. One way to do that is to take advantage of free software and services. Free personal finance software can be surprisingly robust, helping you track spending, create and manage budgets, and run reports.

Mint

Mint is a free online budget planner from Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quickbooks. This app brings all of your financial data together, showing you an overview of your budget, spending, bills, and credit score. You can create your own budget, set goals and reminders, and sync your data between web and apps. Security is enhanced by encryption and multi-factor authentication. You can also use Mint to track your investments and portfolio.

Access Mint via the web or phone apps for iOS and Android.

GnuCash

GnuCash is desktop software; its features include tracking bank accounts, stocks, income, and expenses. GnuCash is based on double-entry accounting for balanced books and you can run a number of reports to see your financial data. GnuCash also offers small-business accounting tools that let you manage customers and vendors, handle invoicing and bill payment, and even payroll.

GnuCash is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, BSD, and Solaris. There is a companion app for Android that will let you track expenses on the go and later import them into the desktop software.

AceMoney Lite

AceMoney Lite bills itself as the best Quicken alternative. You can manage your budgets, track your finances in multiple currencies, keep an eye on your investments and analyze your spending habits. You can also do online banking. As this is the lite version, you’re limited to two accounts; the full version supports unlimited accounts.

AceMoney Lite is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital offers free financial software for tracking investments and planning for retirement, in addition to its tools for cash flow, spending, budgeting and net worth. Personal Capital’s focus is on investments, showing you the performance of your portfolio over time and helping you make decisions for the future, so its budgeting components aren’t as robust as other software.

If you’re not an investor or prefer fine-tuning your budget to getting the broad view, Personal Capital may not be the best fit. However, if you want to save for college or retirement, its free tools will show you whether you’re on track.

Personal Capital can be accessed via the web or apps for Android and iOS.

Buddi

Buddi is an open-source budget software that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and has been translated into multiple languages. Buddi can encrypt financial data with a password, and it’s designed to be easy to use even if you have no financial background.

Features include budgeting, tracking accounts, and personal finance reports, but you will have to enter transactions manually. Free plugins add more features, and the online user manual is easy to read and use.

Buddi is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Free Budget Spreadsheets

If you don’t need fully featured personal financial software and you’re just concerned about keeping a budget, there are some great free budget spreadsheet templates you can use with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc or Google Sheets. Just download and open them in your spreadsheet software to get a handle on your cash flow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to track personal finances?

Apps and budgeting software make it easy to categorize your spending so you can see when and where your money is going—at a glance. Knowing these patterns is the first step toward changing your behavior to start saving more.

Is personal finance software safe?

Go with trusted brands, and you can expect the same types of firewalls and encryption that you’d expect from a banking website. It’s often the human who does something risky rather than a flaw in the software.

Conclusion

Basing your budget on important financial items can help you save money on your everyday expenses and secure financial security in the long run. By making a list of your important financial items and tracking their status every month, you can keep trac

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