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Best Personal Finance Software (Manage Your Money Better)

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1st
Personal Capital logo
2nd
Mint logo
3rd
Mvelopes logo

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.

Article Overview

Our Picks for Personal Finance Management Software

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 Review

#1

Visit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Email, phone and FAQs support
  • Integrates all of your investments so you can see them in one central location
  • Great for tracking your retirement information and planning it out
  • Access through your browser or app
  • No software to install
  • Automatically updates your accounts when you sign in
  • Easy to add accounts
  • Great reporting features
  • Cannot create your own categories
  • Not the best budgeting tool
  • Spending feature is only available on the mobile app, not through the web browser
  • Predetermined asset allocation models

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%

Read our full review of Personal Capital

Mint.com Review

#2

Visit Website
Download iOS App

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.

 

Pros

Cons

  • Completely free
  • No software to install
  • Access accounts through any web browser or through a mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows or Amazon)
  • Real-time transactions and balances
  • Automatically updates and categorizes transactions
  • Graphs and charts help identify trends
  • Bill reminders and text alerts
  • Live chat and FAQs
  • Limited export file formats
  • Income and expense assignments aren’t always correct when automatically assigned
  • Lacks future spending features

Mint.com Pricing

  • Free

Want to know what it’d be like to use Mint? Check out this short 1 minute video for an overview of Mint.

Mvelopes Review

#3

Visit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Free version
  • Simple to use and short learning curve
  • Debt Elimination Plan is helpful for users wanting to pay off loans or other debts (only available on paid versions)
  • Envelope budgeting
  • iPhone and Android apps
  • Email and forum support (live chat and phone support for paid versions)
  • No support for multiple currencies
  • Must be interested in proactive planning

Mvelopes Pricing

  • Mvelopes: Free
  • Mvelopes Premier: $95/year
  • Money4Life Coaching: Must contact Mvelopes

Personal Finance Software Comparison Table

Best Personal Finance Software Comparison Table screenshotDue to the considerable size of our personal finance service comparison table, we are putting it on a separate page so you can reference it more easily.

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 Rest of the Pack

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 | BanktivityBuxfer | CommonCents | GnuCash | Moneydance | MoneyStrands | MoneyWell | QuickenYou Need A Budget

AceMoney Review

AceMoney logoVisit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • A clean, user-friendly interface
  • FREE lifetime upgrades once full version has been purchased
  • Multi-currency financial support
  • Automatic update of balances across various platforms
  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Transfer of data can be tedious
  • Can only be used on one machine

AceMoney Pricing

  • Full Version – $39.99 (free lifetime upgrades)

Banktivity Review (formerly iBank)

Banktivity logoView on Amazon
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Connects to most major banks in the U.S.
  • Schedule and send payments
  • Track transactions
  • 90 day risk free guarantee
  • 30 day free trial
  • Import data from Quicken
  • Nearly 1/2 of Banktivity’s Amazon reviews are rated 1 star
  • Difficult to use
  • Mac only

Banktivity Pricing

  • 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 Review

Buxfer logoVisit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Socially-oriented finance management service with ability to divide up bills among roommates, friends or family
  • Extensive mobile management options
  • The service is FREE and you can sign in using an existing Google, Yahoo or Facebook account
  • No automatic categorization of accounts
  • Account tracking limited to banking and credit card accounts only
  • Data export must be done in CSV format only

Buxfer Pricing

  • Free

CommonCents Review

CommonCents was discontinued in December, 2015.

GnuCash Review

GnuCash logoVisit Website

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!

Pros

Cons

  • Complete customer support
  • Regular software updates
  • Data entry is easy
  • Wizard will help new users with walk through examples
  • FREE
  • Software can take a while to navigate and learn
  • Boring interface that lacks interactivity
  • The conversion time involved in exporting data can be exasperating

GnuCash Pricing

  • Free

Moneydance Review

MoneyDance logoView on Amazon
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • FREE app available for managing your finances on your mobile
  • Fast and accurate service makes managing your money easy, efficient and reliable
  • Home Page features a comprehensive snapshot of your finances
  • Flexible repeat event scheduling
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux
  • Allows duplicate check numbers in the register so duplication can be an issue

Moneydance Pricing

MoneyStrands Review

Moneystrands logoVisit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatic email alerts if you approach or exceed your budget goals
  • Support for forty-four different global currencies.
  • FREE computer service and FREE companion iPhone and Android app
  • Create personalized categories for your personal budget
  • No longer imports and categorizes banking activity automatically

MoneyStrands Pricing

  • Free

MoneyWell Review

MoneyWell logoVisit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Direct Connect banking for single-click downloads
  • Envelope budgeting to spend only the money you have
  • iPhone and iPad app that syncs with your Mac using Dropbox
  • Easy to use and clean interface
  • Investment capabilities are not as extensive as they are in other finance management software services
  • Only available for Mac computers (if you have a PC, do NOT buy this product)

MoneyWell Pricing

  • Full Version – $49.99
  • MoneyWell for Ipad – Free
  • MoneyWell Express (for iPhone) – Free

Quicken Review

Quicken

View on Amazon
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatically categorizes expenses
  • Allows users to set budget goals and track progress
  • Automatic bill reminders
  • Export data directly to TurboTax for fast and easy tax preparation
  • Free customer support
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Mobile app for Android and Apple
  • Snap and store feature for keeping track of receipts
  • Puts bank and credit card accounts in one place
  • Importing older Quicken files can be cumbersome
  • Large number of negative reviews on Amazon

Quicken Pricing

  • Quicken Starter Edition – $58.62
    • 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 – $109.99
    • 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 – Out of stock
    • See and manage the details of your rental property finances

You Need a Budget Review

You Need a Budget logoVisit Website
Download iOS App

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.

Pros

Cons

  • Cloud Sync keeps all of your devices synced up in real time
  • Supports multiple forms of currency
  • Program is installed on your hard drive so you control the security
  • Note function helps you prepare for a family member’s birthday or a vacation you want to take in a few months
  • Budgeting tool will minimize getting blindsided by excessive or unplanned spending
  • No automatic bank transactions because YNAB wants you to take charge of finances by recording transactions manually
  • Budgeting at its Best is a revolutionary budget interface that shows you how to understand past spending habits, identify trends, adjust for the present and plan for the future
  • No automatic assignment of categories or upload of data
  • Lots of manual work is required, but this software is designed for you to take charge and not use in a passive way

YNAB Pricing

  • 34 Day Full-Featured Demo – Free
  • YNAB 4 – $60
  • Upgrading from YNAB 3 – $40

Read our full review of YNAB 4

Deciding Which Personal Finance Solution is Right for You

After looking through the pros and cons as well as the basic features of some of the more popular personal finance solutions, you should have an idea of just what it is that you are looking for.

  1. The first step is to prioritize which features are most important to you and which features you can live without.
  2. Then, if one of the services meets your needs and is free, then go for it! If not, then price will come into consideration.
  3. 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.

Cash at Your Fingertips

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?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

Leave a Reply

69 Comments on "Best Personal Finance Software (Manage Your Money Better)"

newest oldest most voted
Raja
I am trying to move away from Windows/Quicken to Mac/anything-that-works. Tried 2 of them Moneydance and Banktivity. They both leave much to be desired. Moneydance as someone noted duplicates transactions, so annoying. I was trying to run QW & Banktivity in parallel and sometimes Banktivity just won’t import QFX file (just sits in the import wizard). And some that allow downloads (like Schwab), Banktivity only looks to have a paid service (unlike QW).

Still looking for a robust/working Quicken replacement on the Mac

John
You didn’t mention Clear Checkbook, which has a nice balance of features.
Alex Schenker
Thanks John! We’ll check out Clear Checkbook and queue it for our upcoming reviews of this category.
John
SlickPie is the best online accounting service, provider. It is free software and has a worldwide approach. It provides all core accounting features like PayPal and Stripe integrations, online billing, invoicing creations, financial reports, recurring invoices, live support and more. I like an automatic data entry tool called MagicBot that is supposed to read my receipts and bills automatically and put into the SlickPie Software, it’s cut my time on accounting.
George
Please consider reviewing Moneyspire also. It is very good personal finance software and a great Quicken alternative.
John Bakiko
You may consider using EasyERP. Besides being great ERP/CRM system it has also decent accounting possibilities. I’m using it for my own business and I’m pretty much satisfied. Great bonus is, that it is open-source which means it`s free. Hope it will be in the next iteration of this list.
Samuel
Has anyone tried MoneyBrio? UI looks a bit outdated (as Ace Money does actually) but I don’t really care if it does the job.
Chuck W.
Mint is unable to update major brokerage house accounts for Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. They say they are working on it but it’s been a while.
analia
I’ve been using Geltbox for the past year. Me and my husband have two bank accounts and some credit cards in different websites and I succeeded to add them all to my Geltbox’s overview. It also has the ability to learn how to download automatically the data from my websites. Recommended!
ShHden
You might as well remove Moneywell from your list. It was once the best of the bunch in my opinion, but it has now been abandoned. No updates, no support in many months. Very sad.
Dave Mann
Stay away from Menvelopes! The free version is not free. They canceled our information three times finally told us that we had to pay them to get our data back. Very dishonest business practice. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
kecebongsoft
I’ve been using Everypocket for quite a while and it works great, it’s a lot similar to YNAB but much simpler, it doesn’t get in the way when entering transaction or syncing my balance. Worth a try.
john_galt99
MS Money still the best. Does a great job at forecasting and has a clean interface.
Horatiu Randasu
I’ve tried in the past CashControl and it did miracles for me. I’m kind of surprised that it wasn’t mentioned in the article.
Gareth
I’ve been using MS Money for as long as I can remember. But despite it no longer being supported and I think my version is over 10 years old. I keep trying the latest finance softwares but I just don’t feel any of them are a patch on MS Money (sunset edition).
Bela Somssich
Now Gaier Software has a little program which will update your stock prices. I’m still using Money – pity it was discontinued.
Paul O'Connor
I was a heavy MS Money user for a long time and still feel a pang about it being discontinued (so unnecessary) but have found MoneyDance to be a very good alternative. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but it does the job with a very clean interface.
Scubaray InAlaska
It’s really too bad MS pulled the plug on Money. Given the direction Quicken is going, Money might be picking up a lot of business right now.
Belinda Ghosheh
MintBills is such a terrible company! Shame on Intuit for acquiring such a horrible business!
Ed Middlebrooks
Um why? I love Mint Bills. Hate Mint, but love Mint Bills.
Tippycanoe
You can’t track cash in Mint. YNAB is best. But not for the lazy person.
Peter
No iBank review eh?
Guest
While researching topics for my finance blog, I stumbled across an article that discussed the dangers of using mobile finance apps. This is something that everyone should be aware of. While an app may offer a great service, you have to question how your information is used. Even if it’s used securely, there’s always the chance of losing your phone and having that information compromised.

Personally, I have a problem with handing over my account numbers to any company. I don’t care how much easier it makes it to control my finances; it just seems like a really bad idea. While, I was impressed with the amount of security that Mint.com offers, but I still wouldn’t use a service like that.

With that said, I’m still more than interested in using software that can offer a valuable service for my finances without needing account information. This resource gives me an idea of several pieces of software that I would like to try in hopes of controlling my spending and maybe getting out of debt. I look forward to trying a few of these options to see if I can make changes in my spending habits and maybe get out of debt and start an emergency savings account.

Guest
I recently signed up for some personal finance software. I was pretty impressed with Mint.com so I decided to give it a shot. It was pretty easy to set up and I really only have had one problem with it. Well, two actually but one of them had nothing to do with Mint.com itself. I reset my Paypal password and apparently you have to let them know that and change things up over there. That was not a big deal.

The issue I have is that it keeps mislabeling my finances. I am quite sure there is an easy way to change this, but I have not had time to figure it out. It keeps sending me my updates and telling me I have met my limit for spending money at the bars. The only problem is that I could not even tell you the last time I went to a bar. The only thing I can figure is that it is including the cigarette money I spend at the liquor store as bar money. It kind of cracks me up when I see that, but if I were not single, that could look really bad if my partner saw something like that.So, just a heads up on that little tidbit.

Guest
This personal finance software list has been so helpful to me. I think anyone who has more than one financial account should take advantage of personal finance software. I happen to be one of those people who locks numbers in her head without really trying to. I remember phone numbers and addresses if I just happen to be there when they are spoken. Hearing the numbers seems to lock them in my brain.

I do the same thing with my finances. If I say the numbers out loud to myself, I can remember what is in my account. The problem is that I do remember, so although I can remember what is in my account today, I also remember what was in there last week. I have about 5 different accounts, so this can be a really detailed and confusing process for me. I finally took advantage of personal finance software to make my life a bit easier. Now I do not go through the memory process at all. Instead I just review my personal finance software and I know exactly where I stand without having a head full of useless numbers.

Guest
Call me crazy, but I love anything finance-related. Whether it’s an app to help me get out of debt or a website that helps me track expenses, I just can’t get enough. I was happy to stumble across this article and see that there are so many great software titles to choose from. I can definitely see myself trying out each title to see which would work best for me and my financial situation.

I wish this article had better explored the software options for helping people get out of debt. Right now, I am struggling to find a company that offers the best solution for my needs. However, I did find several titles that will help me in my everyday financial needs. One that caught my eye was Mvelopes. Since I use debit cards for everything, this was an excellent fit for my needs.

As someone that is passionate about finance, I must admit that I like coming up with my own solutions. I can actually see how I could recreate some of these titles by using simple methods, which means that I could completely customize everything to my own needs. Of course, that doesn’t mean that solution is right for everyone. I’m sure many people will find exactly what they need in this list.

Guest
I never thought that there would be a day when I didn’t use a standard check register to keep up with purchases and deposits. However, I’ve been using an Excel spreadsheet to track my checkbook for years. The truth is it doesn’t matter what type of digital maintenance you use for your accounts, it will always be more convenient than using paper.

I have been looking into personal finance software for quite some time. I have used a couple different websites and found that they were too time consuming to setup. I know that a number of more expensive companies can be easier to use and require little setup, but they can also be more pricy. I think that’s a trade off many people need to make when choosing this type of software (or any type of software). You will always get more features when you spend more money.

As someone who is trying to get back on track, and get out of debt, I know that I need to invest in personal finance software. I know that it would help me stay on track when it came to spending and paying down my debt ahead of schedule. I plan to spend more time looking at the options listed here to find something that meets my needs.

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