If you’re just getting started in budgeting, then there’s a good chance that you don’t have any idea how to get the most out of your money. After all, what kind of budget is the average person supposed to have? In this article, we’re going to show you how to create an offline budget using a few popular budgeting software programs. We won’t be talking about complex numbers and formulas here—we just want to give you the tools you need so that you can start living on a shoestring budget like a boss!
This guide will also cover related topics including Free Personal Budget Software, Best Personal Finance Software, and Mint Budget App.
Offline Budgeting Software
The software program Quicken is available in a number of variations. Versions for Mac and PC, as well as online and offline options, are accessible. Some Quicken editions are made to assist you manage your small business finances, while others are made to help you manage your household budget. You can keep track of many bank accounts using Quicken, make your own spending categories, and establish spending caps for each. The software shows progress bars as transactions are entered so you can evaluate how closely you’re adhering to the budget.
A popular program called Microsoft Money Plus was removed from the market in the middle of 2009. Older versions of the personal and small business MS Money files can still be utilized thanks to a “sunset” version that can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. MS Money is essentially a money management tool with features including goal-setting, tracking, and budgeting tools. This software, like Quicken, aids in identifying the areas where you have spent the most money in the past.
You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget, sometimes known as YNAB, is a piece of software that attempts to replicate the traditional envelope budgeting method. YNAB tries to show you how much money you have left over to spend rather than how much you spent on things after the money is gone. Similar to envelope budgeting, YNAB asks you to assign a certain sum of money to the categories you specify. The software refreshes your spending categories as you enter transactions for your bank accounts. You can quickly determine how much money is still available in each category of spending while reviewing the budget.
Spreadsheet templates can be used with well-liked office spreadsheet programs like Open Office Calc and Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheet templates are well-liked offline budgeting solutions because to their adaptability and personalization. You can set up the spreadsheet to function like an envelope budgeting system or a spending tracker system by configuring it with your own home budget categories using a template.
Manager is the most complete free offline accounting program available. When you download it to your PC, all of your work is done offline, and once you have an internet connection, your data is instantly updated. When your internet is down or you are offline, you don’t worry about losing your data. It runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Files developed in one operating system can be moved to another operating system thanks to its cross-platform functionality. It is always free.
Money Manager Ex
An open source cash flow forecasting and budgeting program is called Money Manager Ex. It is simple to use and includes capabilities that are comparable to those found in high-end software. You don’t require an internet connection because it operates offline, and the program may be operated entirely off a USB drive. Small traders are the greatest candidates for this software.
One of the best free offline accounting programs available is this one for small businesses. VT Cashbook is desktop software that you must install on your PC in order for it to function; it does not need an internet connection. There are both free and paid versions of it. The free versions have tools for documenting cash transactions on a daily basis and for creating account statements like profit and loss and balance sheets.
Small businesses can use the free, open-source desktop accounting program GnuCash. GnuCash can operate when offline and is downloaded and installed on devices, unlike cloud-based services. Since it provides access to the program’s source code, developers can quickly add new features and functionality. As a result, the program is always free and flexible to use.
This small business accounting software is free. Both a free and a paid version are available. The free edition has automated receipt entry tools, permits the development of bids, estimates, and invoices, and supports the addition of up to 10 distinct businesses to a single account. Although there are fees associated with PayPal and Stripe transactions, you can link your PayPal and Stripe accounts for free to SlickPie in order to accept payments from clients who do so.
The most crucial accounting tools, including invoicing, billing, bank account connectivity, cost management, and reports, are all included in this excellent free accounting program for small businesses. PayPal and Square both enable online payment to ZipBooks accounts. Keep in mind that there are transaction fees for Square and PayPal.
With the help of Wave, small businesses can create invoices, keep track of inventory, monitor payments, and more. Wave is a cloud-based financial platform. Connecting your bank account to Wave so that transactions are automatically uploaded is just one of the features that make Wave perfect for small business accounting needs. It includes a Financial Snapshot with an income and expense graph. You can download or print financial statements with it. Wave Accounting is compatible with computers and mobile devices. You can learn how to use the program via the company’s portal, Wave University.
Free personal Budget 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.
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.
Desktop software called GnuCash has capabilities for keeping track of bank accounts, stocks, earnings, and expenses. You can run a variety of reports in GnuCash to view your financial information, which is based on double-entry accounting for balanced books. Additionally, GnuCash provides small-business accounting capabilities that enable you to manage clients and suppliers, invoice and pay bills, and even manage 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.
The top Quicken substitute, according to AceMoney Lite, is Quicken. You can control your spending, track your money in different currencies, monitor your investments, and examine your spending patterns. You can also conduct banking online. You can only have two accounts because this is the light edition; the full version supports infinite accounts.
AceMoney Lite is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Along with its features for measuring cash flow, expenses, expenditures, budgeting, and net worth, Personal Capital also provides free financial software for managing investments and retirement planning. Personal Capital’s budgeting features aren’t as sophisticated as other software because it focuses on investing, showing you how your portfolio has performed over time and guiding you as you make decisions for the future.
Personal Capital might not be the best choice for you if you are not an investor or if you like to focus on your budget rather than seeing the big picture. However, its free tools will let you know if you’re on track if you want to save money for retirement or college.
Personal Capital can be accessed via the web or apps for Android and iOS.
On Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, Buddi is an open-source budgeting program that has been multilingualized. Even if you have no prior financial experience, Buddi is designed to be simple to use and can encrypt financial data with a password.
Budgeting, account tracking, and personal finance reporting are features, but you’ll need to manually record transactions. The online user manual is simple to read and use, and free plugins provide more functions.
Buddi is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Free Budget Spreadsheets
You may use some amazing free budget spreadsheet templates with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets if you only need to keep a budget and don’t need personal financial software with a lot of features. To manage your cash flow, simply download and open them in your spreadsheet program.
Best Personal Finance Software
Quicken is a long-established tool for managing personal accounts, and while its reputation was founded on a desktop version, it is also available as an app for your mobile devices.
Quicken has a comprehensive set of financial reporting features. These are organized around a few different topics, including budgeting, bills, accounts, and even investing. For budgeting, it allows you to enter your purchases and income so you can compare them to have a better picture of how much you spend versus how much you earn.
In terms of bills, you can see which utilities and such services you are constantly paying, as well as the amounts owed and how much money you have left over. For accounting purposes, you can even combine your banking and credit card payments in one location so you know exactly how much you’re paying out. This is especially useful because consumers frequently underestimate how much simple purchases might add to prices.
It also allows you to track your investments, whether they are part of your savings, investment portfolio, or 401k pension plan. This implies that you have a good notion of how much your savings and assets are worth, while it’s fair to say that
In total, Quicken combines your banking, investment reporting, and budgeting into a single dashboard that you can access from a PC or even a mobile device via the mobile app.
You Need A Budget, often known as YNAB, is here just in case you require precise instructions. Because, hey, you really do need one if you don’t want to spend every every penny you have and more. Perhaps you have more money than you anticipated as well.
As you may anticipate, YNAB’s main goal is to assist you in reducing your expenditure and avoiding living paycheck to paycheck. Maintain the plan and moderate your spending, and soon YNAB will realize that you are using last month’s funds rather than those you just received.
It is simple to install, supports the bulk of transaction data that can be downloaded from banks, and automatically adjusts for use by either individuals or small businesses by altering its monetary categories in accordance with your requirements.
If you stray from your course, YNAB, which is surprisingly understanding and forgiving for a piece of software, will inform you what to do to get back on track. You’ll have to make some compromises, but if direction is what you need, this stands out from competitors like Quicken.
When working simultaneously with various currencies, BankTree performs a good job of supporting them by providing balances in multiple currencies rather than rounding them off to a single total. The ability to scan receipts with its mobile app and input them later makes it useful for keeping track of anything else.
Although BankTree doesn’t have the most attractive interface and is a little bit trickier to use than some of its more sophisticated brethren, it does provide some quite neat reports that can be broken down by time or payee. Before deciding to buy this one, it would be worthwhile to try the free trial.
Although you are limited to using the desktop program on one PC, it comes with a year of updates and support. There is a fee for using the software on any subsequent PCs. Additionally, a browser-based version is accessible.
Regardless of the version you choose, BankTree offers a 30-day free trial so you can see if it’s right for you before making a purchase.
4. Money Dashboard
The iOS/Android app for Money Dashboard isn’t trying to revolutionize banking or offer anything truly ground-breaking, but it is perhaps one of the best money management tools available. Connect all of your UK bank and credit card accounts, and you’ll be able to log in once to access all of your balances in one location. That is reason enough for us to suggest it.
Money Dashboard will track your expenditure and provide you with a comprehensive pie chart showing your spending on loans, consumables, transportation, and other expenses. You can quickly see your total balance and see how much cash is available in each of your accounts. You can also compare this amount to the one from the previous month.
Moneydance is a desktop money management program with a very slick single-window layout that was designed especially for Mac users (but it is also available for Windows and Linux). You may instantly check your accounts, impending invoices, current expenses, and more when you load it up. When you click on an item in the left sidebar, the main content updates to reflect your selection.
One of Moneydance’s most helpful features is its account register, and its reporting capabilities are solid though not very eye-catching. This works on a very similar concept if you’re old-school and used to maintain a checkbook. Additionally, there is an iOS app for recording transactions while on the go, which afterwards syncs with the desktop software.
UK users must manually download their transaction history to stay on top of it and switch to their bank’s own app to transfer money because Moneydance is unable to support the connection protocols used by UK banks. However, US users are well-covered.
Mint Budget App
Mint is a budgeting program that includes a variety of functions to aid with spending planning and tracking, bill negotiation, and even credit monitoring. Although Mint’s owner, Intuit, mainly relies on advertising to make its service free, it does provide an ad-free paid tier as well as a premium tier that offers additional features—both of which are reasonably priced.
Here’s everything you need to know about Mint and whether it would be a good fit for you if you’re considering using a budgeting app to help manage your finances.
How the Mint Budgeting App Works
Although there are other budgeting apps with free features, Mint may have the most extensive selection. You may link all of your financial accounts to receive a complete financial picture, plan and track your income and expenses using resizable categories, and gain knowledge about potential ways to enhance your money management.
Along with a VantageScore credit score, Mint also provides a credit monitoring service. Though the VantageScore might provide you a good picture of your credit health overall, bear in mind that 90% of the biggest lenders utilize the FICO Score, which is generated in a different way. To put it another way, your credit score may not necessarily reflect the same situation that lenders perceive when you ask for a loan.
Mint comes with several helpful tools you can leverage to make the budgeting process go more smoothly and also to make better decisions about your money. Here’s what you can expect:
- Direct import: When you connect your financial accounts, Mint will automatically import transactions as they post, so you don’t have to check each individual account every time you update your budget.
- Automatic categorizing: When transactions get imported, Mint will automatically categorize them for you based on transaction data. You can make changes if you need to, but the automatic feature can save you a little time whenever you review your spending.
- Goals: If you have a savings goal, you can set it up in your Mint account and track your progress toward it. Ideas include a vacation fund, holiday spending, a down payment fund and other short- and mid-term savings objectives.
- Alerts: Mint will notify you when the cost of your recurring subscriptions increases, your bills are due, there’s unusual spending, your account balances are low and more.
- Investment tracker: Mint can help you keep track of your investment portfolio and even spot unnecessary fees your investment advisor, 401(k) provider or broker may be charging you.
- Resources: Mint offers a wealth of resources, including calculators to help you with retirement, paying off debt, investing and more, as well as articles that can educate you on just about any personal finance decision you need to make.
- Paid features: While most of Mint’s features are free, it does offer a premium version, which comes with a modest monthly fee. With that, you’ll get help with canceling subscriptions you no longer need, spending projections to help you avoid overspending and money spotlights to help you understand your spending habits as they compare to other Mint users.
The majority of Mint’s features are available for free. However, the budgeting software has numerous adverts, which might be bothersome. You must pay $0.99 a month if you don’t want to see advertisements. The monthly fee for Mint’s premium version, which can make your budget even more effective, is $4.99, which is still less than what many other budgeting apps charge.
Owner of both QuickBooks accounting software and TurboTax tax preparation software, Intuit, which also owns Mint, is well-versed in data protection.
The business employs a number of security precautions, such as multifactor authentication, security scanning with VeriSign, biometric authentication, security notices, and others.
You can remotely wipe your data from the app if you misplace your device. Your information will also be removed if you opt to close your account.
- Very easy to set up and use
- Once your accounts are connected, the approach can be very hands-off, meaning you can come back anytime and catch up
- Connects with an exceptionally large number of financial institutions, making almost all U.S. and Canadian accounts connectable
- Free to use
- Can only set a budget for the current month
- Because Mint can be used in a more hands-off way, it may not prove effective for some users in saving money, paying down debt, etc.
- Web interface design is less attractive and user-friendly
- Web and mobile interface includes ads and offers
Offline budgeting is a great way to manage your finances without having to carry around a lot of money. By using offline budgeting software, you can create accurate budgets and make better decisions about what to spend and how much to save. Additionally, by automating your budgeting, you can make it easier and more efficient for you to track your spending and make necessary adjustments. In order to make the best use ofOffline Budgeting Software, however, you will need to choose the right software and improve your budgeting skills.