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Deciding which personal finance software to use can be a difficult and confusing task. Just as your personal finance needs vary, so too do the individual features offered by each company.
When managing your money and family budgets, it is essential to have the right tool to help you understand where personal spending is occurring and how you can adjust your budget to live a better life.
We’ve researched the most popular solutions and selected our best personal finance software winner. We also share the pros and cons of the other players in the market so that you can make the best choice for you.
- Our Picks
- Winner: Personal Capital
- Runner-Up: Mint
- Third Place: Mvelopes
- Personal Finance Software Comparison Table
- Reviews of Other Products
- How To Decide What is Best For You
- Personal Loan Options
Did you know that 57% of households don’t have a budget? Planning and following a budget is the first step in personal finance. These solutions can help you control your spending and build a savings.
As we carefully review and try out each of these services, we begin to form opinions as to which we find the most useful as well as those that pack the most punch per dollar.
Here are our recommendations for the best way to manage your money via personal finance software. We hope that this information helps you make the right choice for you.
Personal Capital provides a view of all your budgeting and investment finances. There are two elements to Personal Capital: personal financial aggregating and advisory services to manage your finances.
The free service, the personal financial aggregator, is great, but what Personal Capital really excels at is tracking every aspect of your investments. Get a holistic view of your finances with our #1 pick, Personal Capital.
Personal Capital Pricing
- Free personal financial aggregator
- Advisory service fee to manage your money, which is based on a percentage of assets managed through Personal Capital:
- First $1 million: 0.89%
- First $3 million: 0.79%
- Next $2 million: 0.69%
- Next $5 million: 0.59%
- Over $10 million: 0.49%
From the maker of TurboTax and Quicken, Intuit acquired Mint.com in 2009. Mint.com has tons of features including creating a budget and paying bills. The software can connect to nearly every financial institution in the U.S. that is connected to the internet.
Mint automatically updates and organizes your information into categories so you can see where your money is being spent. They send you alerts as well in case there are any unusual charges on your account. You can also get custom tips on how to cut costs and increase your savings.
Want to know what it’d be like to use Mint? Check out this short 1 minute video for an overview of Mint.
Mvelopes is an online envelope budgeting tool. (Envelope budgeting is exactly what it sounds like – traditionally, you would divide cash into envelopes based on the expense or cost associated with each respective bill for the month to be sure everything is covered.
It also does not allow you to spend beyond your means.) Mvelopes takes 2nd place this year because of its comprehensive feature set. It is a great service for budgeting, tracking expenses and having access to all your financial information in one place. There is a free version, limited to four accounts, and a paid subscription version.
- Mvelopes: Free
- Mvelopes Premier: $95/year
- Money4Life Coaching: Must contact Mvelopes
Please visit our personal finance service comparison table (or click on the image on the left) for feature details of the software solutions that we review in this article so that you can easily compare apples to apples to make the right choice for you. We will continue to add to this table as we find more personal finance solutions, and update the current offerings listed as they add new features and services.
The race to the top of the personal financial software mountain is not only competitive, it’s very tight. All the software we review below has its own unique list of pros and cons, to help you decide for yourself which option best suits your individual needs.
AceMoney is a paid personal finance solution that prides itself on an easy to use interface with a fully featured backend.
Users can manage many different accounts, track spending, record expenses and bank online. It does not have an option to export data to tax programs, however.
- Full Version – $39.99 (free lifetime upgrades)
Banktivity (formerly iBank) is a, Apple-only personal finance software with an intuitive user interface. Banktivity works with your iPad and iPhone as well, so you can access your information on the go, but you must pay for Banktivity on these devices.
A large portion of Banktivity users switched from Quicken, but many admit to regretting the decision in the end.
- Banktivity 5 requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher – Out of stock
- Banktivity for iPhone – $9.99 (works with iPod touch as well)
- Banktivity for iPad – $19.99
Buxfer is FREE personal finance management software that offers easy online money management. Buxfer’s IOU function allows users to track bills and expenses among friends and families.
Transactions you make are automatically downloaded to your account and you receive real-time alerts if you overspend. You can also plan ahead for big expenses like a wedding, vacation, car or home.
CommonCents was discontinued in December, 2015.
GnuCash is an open source personal finance service that is completely FREE. Designed to be easy to use, GnuCash has many powerful features. It performs like a checkbook register to enter and track different accounts.
Going to GnuCash’s website might feel like you’re entering a time machine. The website is extremely outdated and a bit difficult to navigate. Come on GnuCash! It’s the 21st century!
Moneydance has built up a loyal following of users. One of the things that makes Moneydance shine is it’s cross-browser compatibility and the easy-to-view overall snapshot of your finances.
- Full Version – $49.99
MoneyStrands is FREE money management software that makes it easy to get financially organized online by tracking spending, providing a real-time overview of finances, incorporating a great budgeting tool and recommending savings tips.
MoneyWell is a Mac-only personal finance solution. Money Well’s strong suit is that it was designed as a budgeting system to help the user eliminate debt and grow wealth.
- Full Version – $49.99
- MoneyWell for Ipad – Free
- MoneyWell Express (for iPhone) – Free
Industry giant Quicken is our number three pick for best personal finance software. Quicken has long been utilized as one of the leading brands for all aspects of financial management.
The software has gone through dozens of iterations and improvements over the years. Today it is a full-fledged, robust personal finance package, especially for those who use other Intuit software to manage additional aspects of their finances as it will integrate seamlessly.
- Quicken Starter Edition – Check on Amazon
- See exactly where your money goes
- Quicken for Mac – Out of stock
- Designed specifically for Mac users
- Quicken Deluxe – Out of stock
- See where you are spending, get on budget, reduce debt
- Quicken Premier – $108.12
- See the details you to need to grow your investments
- Quicken Home and Business – Out of stock
- See across your personal and business finances clearly
- Quicken Rental Property Manager – $119.99
- See and manage the details of your rental property finances
You Need a Budget is designed to give you total control of your money by making you account for all cash inflows and outflows. Just using YNAB will make you a more responsible financial manager.
It has a unique way of giving every dollar a “job,” saving for a rainy day, learning to roll with the punches, and quitting the unpredictable paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.
- 34 Day Full-Featured Demo – Free
- YNAB 4 – $60
- Upgrading from YNAB 3 – $40
Deciding Which Personal Finance Solution is Right for You
- The first step is to prioritize which features are most important to you and which features you can live without.
- Then, if one of the services meets your needs and is free, then go for it! If not, then price will come into consideration.
- Finally, when you have narrowed down your selection to a few companies, it is important to look at reviews of other users in addition to finding answers to any questions you may have.
Research is key to finding a personal finance solution that works best for you because once you commit to a product, it can be very time consuming as well as difficult to transfer account information from one personal finance solution to another. Make the right decision now and you will be amazed by how much you will learn and grow in your ability to manage and control your personal budget and wealth.
Looking for more ways to stay on top of your finances? Check out these peer to peer lending websites for some affordable loan solutions, find the best credit card, and learn how you can apply for a mortgage online.
Have you used one of these personal finance solutions?