Manage Personal Finances Software

Managing your personal finances can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how to use the right tools. Learn how to use apps to manage personal finances and discover free software that can help you budget effectively.

Managing personal finances software is a challenge to many people. Most people use paper and pencil or spreadsheets to keep track of their finances. But, we live in a day where there are plenty of free software to manage personal finances. If you’re looking for apps to manage your personal finances and ways to save money, then look no further than this article. Managing personal finances can be a tough challenge. No matter how organized you think you are, there are always expenses that creep in, bills that unexpectedly show up in the mailbox, and plans that come up out of nowhere. Try some of these apps to help manage all of those things.

If you are looking for apps to help manage your personal finances, read this article on the best free software to manage personal finances. It’s packed with info on what good personal finance software is and how it can help you become more financially independent.

Personal Finances Software – Personal finances software refers to software systems that help users to record, organize, and manage personal data that relates to their financial activities. This software allows users to pay bills, track spending and investments, manage their net worth, etc. Some of the popular personal finance software products are Quicken, Microsoft Money and QuickBooks.

What is the Best Personal Finance Software?

To narrow down the best software for your needs, you have to ask yourself what you most need – personal finance is a broad term. Possible uses include budgeting, saving, investing, taxes, and bill management.

1. Mint

The best personal finance software overallToday’s Best DealsView at Mint

Reasons to buy

+Full featured but simple to use+Free with ads+Subscription monitoring+Mintsights feature offers guidance

Reasons to avoid

-Some ads that promote poor financial habits-You can edit subcategories but not top-level ones

Price: Free with ads

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop in your personal finance software and want a full-featured tool that still keeps things simple, Mint is the choice for you. Mint is a web-based tool (with mobile apps, of course) that will help you track spending, design a budget, manage debt, set goals and combine all your accounts (including the weird ones like balloon mortgages) in a single place. Many users love its simple, clean UI — the 2021 design refresh is getting raved — and at-a-glance financial dashboard, with net worth right there at the top.

While Mint and Quicken have long been the top contenders for full-featured financial management for everyday finances, Mint wins as the best personal finance software by being both free and slightly simpler than Quicken. Life is complicated enough already, and you can start your new era of fiscal responsibility right now by saving yourself the $42 annual price tag for Quicken Deluxe.

Mint makes setting up a budget a simple and straightforward process: Once you’ve set up your accounts, Mint takes a crack at categorizing your expenses for you. New in 2021, you can bulk-edit to make category adjustments.

Other powerful additions for 2021 include subscription monitoring, which helps you keep track of the subscriptions that seem to proliferate with every free trial. Mint will even tell you if those subscriptions change the price. And personalized Mintsights offer guidance and suggestions to tweak the habits and behaviors that Mint “sees” in your financial activities, in order to help you pay down debt and save more. Mintsights are personalized for each user.

One feature our testers particularly appreciated was Mint’s free credit score tracking and education. This feature gives you the “why” behind the numbers, breaking down on-time payments, credit usage, and the average age of your credit and showing how your behaviors in these areas aid – or hurt – your overall rating.

Best personal finance software: Quicken
(Image credit: Quicken)

2. Quicken Deluxe

Best personal finance software for maximum customizationToday’s Best DealsView at Best BuyView at Lenovo USAView at Walmart

Reasons to buy

+Full customization of spending categories+More powerful retirement planning, investing features than Mint+Local data storage brings peace of mind

Reasons to avoid

-Mac version still lags behind PC, missing multiple currency support and some credit reporting-Free support has limited hours

Price: $41.99/year, with 30-day free trial

For the oldest player on the field, Quicken’s still got it. The feature set is as robust as any personal finance software out there. And you get more exporting and customization options than Mint, which makes Quicken one of the best personal finance software options. 

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Longtime Quicken users are familiar with the software’s top-notch budgeting, planning, and spending-analysis tools that have long complemented their robust account-management features. Quicken lets you transfer money between accounts at different institutions, provides specialized investment reports, and helps you create a tailored plan to pay down your debt. Supported account types include investment, retirement, and loan accounts,  as well as asset tracking for insurance purposes. For lovers of detail, thoroughness, and tailoring their financial management, Quicken is a great fit.

Since 2019, Quicken users have had the added benefit of a browser interface that lets them interact with their finances on the go. Today, you can view balances and transactions, identify spending trends, and check the performance of your investments from anywhere you can get to a browser.

Still, we can’t help but suspect that its owners at H.I.G. Capital know how tied people get to their historical data. While there’s no arguing with Quicken’s feature set,  the switch to a subscription model brings Deluxe to $42 a year. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for personal finance software that, for most users, isn’t much different than the free competition.

In a nutshell: People who have spent years mastering Quicken (and entering their data) have good reason to stick with it. Change is hard! But if you’re just starting out, take a look at Mint or Personal Capital for a lower-cost way to keep track of your ducats.

Best personal finance software: Personal Capital
(Image credit: Personal Captial)

3. Personal Capital

Best tool for understanding and growing your wealth if you don’t worry about budgeting or billpayToday’s Best DealsView at Personal Captial

Reasons to buy

+Robust investment & retirement toolset blows competitors out of the water+Great educational offerings to truly understand your wealth

Reasons to avoid

-While it’s possible to add non-retirement savings goals, the guidance offered is thin

Price: Free app, with fees for wealth-management services should you choose to use them.

To be blunt: Personal Capital is what you graduate to, from Mint. Both personal finance managers are free, easy and friendly to learn and use, and will show you a comprehensive view of your finances.

Personal Capital, though, has foregone budgeting and bill-payment tools to focus on next-level concerns. Features like its 401(k) analyzer, what-if Retirement Planner, and projected portfolio values are exactly what you need if you have the good fortune to arrive at the phase in which “How am I going to save some money” has become “What am I going to do with it all?” It’s next-level personal finance software, best for people who have gotten to that next level.

Best personal finance software: Acorns
(Image credit: Acorns)

4. Acorns

Best way to save without noticing or get your kids started with a savings habits today’s Best DealsView at Acorns

Reasons to buy

+Great way to earn extra money+Several portfolios to get started investing+Family plan helps parents and kids save (and learn) together

Reasons to avoid

-Minimum charge of $1 per month

“Round-up” apps have become common in recent years. The concept is simple: Link your credit or debit card to the app, and whenever you make a purchase, the app rounds up to the nearest dollar and directs those extra pennies to an account. So you keep tossing money into savings without really noticing it’s happened. Acorn puts your money into a diversified portfolio of ETFs, so you’re dabbling in the market, too. You can also set automatic savings transfers to your Acorns account – you’re not limited to the round-up pennies.

As Acorn has grown, so has its ecosystem, and now it really is competitive in the realm of best personal finance software. Grow is its educational arm – a robust set of articles and videos, available with or without an account. Acorns Later let you save into a Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRA, and you can add a full-featured checking account ($3/month). And with their Earn program, every time an Acorns user shops at select retailers (the list is currently at about 200 partner brands, including Airbnb, Home Depot, and Sephora), you get extra money back. 

While Acorns doesn’t technically have a completely free trial, we let it sneak into this roundup; for just $1, you can try it out for a month. They also have plans that offer checking, investment, and retirement accounts ($3/month) and a family version that lets you add your kids and provides materials to help teach them about money ($5/month).

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Best personal finance software: Yotta
(Image credit: Yotta)

5. Yotta

Best way to make a game of saving more moneyToday’s Best DealsView at Yotta

Reasons to buy

+Gamification is fun +The yield is better than most major banks

Reasons to avoid

-You can find higher savings yields with online banks-Now full-featured personal finance software-Amateurish interface

When financial pressures increase, it’s easy to turn to measures like the lottery. You could win so big. But you probably won’t, and the money you spent trying is just…gone. Yotta has come along to turn that model on its head. 

Fundamentally, Yotta is a free app that lets you save in an FDIC-insured account…and then gamble with it. But not really a gamble. The creators of Yotta found a way to keep the thrill while replacing the risk with an incentive to save and upping the odds of winning.

Yotta provides a savings account with a middling yield (.2%, which is still better than many brick-and-mortar banks — Wells Fargo’s standard account earns a measly .01%). But the potential to win real money increases along with your savings balance: every $25 in your account gets you an automatic (and free) ticket to that week’s “lottery.” Every night, Yotta gives away money — the smallest prize is 10 cents and the largest? $10,000,000 for matching all 7 numbers in the Sunday night drawing.

Think about it: in one year,  $1,000 in a standard Wells Fargo savings account would net 21 cents in interest. That same balance would earn $10.50 in today’s highest-yield online savings account or $4.20 at Yotta before prizes. But at Yotta, even winning a measly $7 over the course of the year would vault you past them all. (One of our testers averaged 40 cents per week with the $1000 test; the other, .25. Now, there’s no guarantee on the annualized amount, but the trend looks good for beating even high-yield checking by a mile.)

Plus — fun. And our testers found themselves more engaged in their savings and motivated to save more.

Note: Yotta odds are best for users who keep under $25k in their savings accounts. To keep the same fat cats from gobbling up the winnings every week, accounts with over $25k in them “pay” $150 per ticket, while the lower tier gets a ticket for every $25. 

Best personal finance software: Honeydue
(Image credit: Honeydue)

6. Honeydue

Best for managing finances with a partnerToday’s Best DealsView at Honeydue

Reasons to buy

+Annotations on transactions facilitate easy conversations+Good for couples with completely combined finances as well as those who keep some things separate

Reasons to avoid

-The budgeting functionality could be more robust

Financial concerns are one of the biggest sources of stress in couples.  Honeydue, personal finance software built for two, has set out to make it easier. 

Honeydue offers the typical features of personal finance software, but also provides the ability to mark an account as joint or just the responsibility of one person in the relationship. Additional couple-centric features include marking a transaction for splitting, or notifying you both when a bill gets paid – particularly helpful for couples who divvy up the bills.  You can add a note or question to a transaction, and your partner will be notified that it’s there.

Shared finances are rife with critical conversations: What are our goals? How do we feel about the amount of debt we are carrying? Do one or both of us need to be earning more? No amount of software can have that conversation for you. But “Hey, did that bill get paid?” or “I think you owe me $17 for that thing…” – when you let the software handle those logistics, you can free yourselves up for the human conversations that matter most.

Best personal finance software: YNAB
(Image credit: YNAB)

7. YNAB

Best way to undergo a wholesale budgeting conversionToday’s Best DealsYNAB$6.99/mthVisit Siteat YNAB

Reasons to buy

+Works within an ecosystem designed to help you succeed+Supports Alexa and the Apple Watch+Customer service includes a community of helpful users

Reasons to avoid

-At 11.99/month, it’s relatively expensive-Interface has a spreadsheet vibe

Give every dollar a job! That’s the friendly mandate of You Need a Budget ($11.99 per month), a tool that’s as much a philosophy as it is an app. YNAB is the best personal finance software if you want to truly understand your money and its management.

The YNAB software (desktop software for the big view, as well as solid mobile experiences) comes within an entire ecosystem that offers all the support, education, and encouragement to help you go the distance with a budget after the glow of that New Year’s resolution has worn off. The YNAB universe includes a blog, videos, a podcast, a book and more.

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 Whether a dollar’s job is to be spent or to be saved, YNAB helps you think through your whole financial picture to ensure all your money is doing the right job for you. Definitely take advantage of the 34-day free trial; that’s a month to get the hang of it plus a few days to think it over.) 

Best personal finance software: Goal Tracker & Habit List
(Image credit: Intrasoft)

8. Goal Tracker & Habit List

Best simple way to integrate good money habits into your big picture today’s Best DealsView at Google Play

Reasons to buy

+Minimal startup hassles+Puts your focus on your behaviors rather than the specifics

Reasons to avoid

-Ugly interface

This free, simple mobile app isn’t specifically personal finance software, which makes it a dark horse but potentially perfect for people who want to focus on overall healthy habits. If you consider money as just one piece of living your best life, check out this handy little app and integrate financial habits into other practices you’d like to develop.

You can use the app on its own (if you want the habits but don’t want to sweat the numbers) or in conjunction with any of the traditional trackers above (if you still want to keep tabs on where your money goes, or track toward specific goals). 

But we liked this one best for its combination of simplicity and flexibility. Did you do your thing today? A green check or red X shows you instantly where you stand. Boom, done. But where Goal Tracker & Habit List really stands apart for money-management purposes is that it lets you set a goal by day, week, month, or whatever, as well as set durations for the habits.

Nobody needs to be checking their credit-card statement daily. But if you’re trying to change your spending habits, once a week for three months might be a good idea. You get to set when and whether the app reminds you for each specific goal.

Goal Tracker & Habit List is mobile-only, which is, in our minds, is the best medium for such a tool. 

Types of personal finance software and apps

There’s a wide assortment of options. We’ll focus on the personal finance software that covers most needs.

Budgeting: Budget software and apps help you track and categorize your spending. In most cases, you sync your financial accounts — checking, savings, credit cards, loans and investments — and the tools automatically categorize your spending. You can typically add spending limits by category to set up your budget. Read more about the best budget apps, which have some of the same features. Before you build a budgetNerdWallet breaks down your spending and shows you ways to save.

Savings: Want to build up your emergency fund or save for a new car? Software and apps make it simple to reserve money each month. Some services automatically transfer money into your savings account or a special account to help you save without thinking about it. Explore NerdWallet’s picks for the best money-saving apps.

Investment: Investing puts your money to work toward long-term goals such as retirement, but it can be overwhelming for beginners and pros alike. Investment software and apps help you build a portfolio and make trades with confidence. Check out the best investment apps.

Taxes: Tax software makes it easy to prepare and file your taxes. Most services simplify complicated tax codes by asking you straightforward questions and guiding you through deductions. Review NerdWallet’s best tax software picks.

Conclusion

Managing your personal finances can be difficult. Free software to manage personal finances is a way of tracking and viewing your money. This app can help you organize and keep track of your income, expenses, and everything in between to help you stay on top of your expenses. By staying organized, you can make the most out of your hard-earned money while enjoying life.

Managing your personal finances is one of the toughest tasks you can face. Many of us dread having to manage our accounts because it seems so overwhelming and complicated. But let me tell you, there are much better things you could be doing with your time than spending hours calculating your monthly budget.

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