Best Personal Finance Software: Personal Capital vs Mint vs Quicken vs You Need A Budget vs MoneyDance & More

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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.

Article Overview

Jeff Butler is our financial guru, holding an undergraduate degree in Finance from Malone University. He has a diverse background in small business ownership, accounting and property management. With his expertise in personal finance, Jeff consults on and reviews our investing and financial content, including this article.

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


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.



  • 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 Review


Visit Website
Download iOS App

From the maker of TurboTax and Quicken, Intuit acquired in 2009. 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.

I’ve used Mint for many years. I’ve yet to find a more straightforward solution to track all of my accounts in one place. I use it to get a quick look at my checking, savings, credit cards, brokerages and retirement accounts. If I used the same bank for all of these accounts, I suppose I wouldn’t need Mint, but these accounts spread across multiple institutions. At the end of the month, it is helpful to get a snapshot of how I spent my money. – Jeff B.



  • 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 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


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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.



  • 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 Basic: $6/month
  • Mvelopes Plus: $19/year
  • Mvelopes Complete: $59/year

Comparison Table

 1st Place: Personal Capital2nd Place: Mint.com3rd Place: MvelopesAceMoneyBanktivityBuxferGnuCashMoneydanceMoneyStrandsMoneywellQuickenYou Need A Budget (YNAB)
Lowest PriceFreeFreeFree$39.99 Check Amazon for availability FreeFree Check Amazon for availability Free$49.99 Check Amazon for availability $60
Import Account InformationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Data Backup/RestoreCloud Based BackupsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Archive DataCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Online BankingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Directly Connects to Banking InstitutionsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Bill PayCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkOptionalCheckmark
Expense BudgetingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Spending Tracking with CategorizationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Split Bills or ExpensesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Standardize Payee NamesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit Card ManagementCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Mortgage ManagementCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Investment Account ManagementCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Portfolio ManagerCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Import Investment Account DataCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
401K ManagerCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Exchange Rates InformationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Personal Investing ReportsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Cash Flow ReportsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Net Worth and Balance ReportsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Tax ReportsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Export of Data to Tax ProgramsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkVia TXF ExportExport Via TXF FilesCheckmarkCheckmark
Export Data to PDFCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Export Data to CSVCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkVia HTML ConversionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Export Data to QIFCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkVia Conversion ProgramCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Export Data to ExcelCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkVia HTML ConversionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Windows 7CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Windows VistaCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Windows XPCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
1st Place: Personal Capital2nd Place: Mint.com3rd Place: MvelopesAceMoneyBanktivityBuxferGnuCashMoneydanceMoneyStrandsMoneywellQuickenYou Need A Budget (YNAB)

Best Personal Finance Software: 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 best home finance 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 (YNAB)

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.



  • 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

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.



  • 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 –  Check Amazon for availability
  • 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.



  • 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!



  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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

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.



  • 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


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.



  • 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

You Need a Budget (YNAB) Review

You Need a Budget logoVisit Website

You Need a Budget (YNAB) 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.



  • 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

Personal Finance Terminologies

When looking over the information contained in our personal finance comparison table, it can be a little difficult to understand some of the terms that are mentioned.

Without comprehending what services are being offered it makes it difficult to find the service that is right for you. For this reason we have compiled a terminology list.

In the terminology list below we have covered what some of the more confusing terms mean so that you can use them as a key when referencing our personal finance solution comparison table.

  • Import Account Information: Allows import of personal account information directly into the software. Such personal account information includes credit card and balances and interest rates, debit card details as well as account information from other personal finance management software.
  • Data Backup / Restore: Allows users to keep a copy of personal data backed up to an external location (or cloud in some cases) in case the data, software or computer should become corrupted. This is an essential component to protect your information from loss.
  • Archive Data: Allows users to compile and store data from previous months so that personal finance records do not become too cluttered in the main program interface.
  • Online Banking: Allows users to perform online banking actions through the service itself.
  • Directly Connects to Banking: Allows users to have their banking information pulled directly into the service without data having to be manually entered.
  • Bill Pay: Allows users to pay their bills directly through their chosen personal finance software or service.
  • Expense Budgeting: Allows users to set a budget for where the money that they bring in should be going versus where it is currently going. This feature is designed to help users become more conscious of their spending and plan for their future.
  • Spending Tracking with Categories: Allows users to track exactly where their spending is taking place, for example what percentage of their income they are spending eating out at restaurants each month or on groceries. This feature is important in being able to create and manage a budget.
  • Split Bills or Expenses: On occasion users will have to split expenses with roommates or split the bill at a restaurant, this feature refers to this system capability.
  • Standardize Payee Names: Creates standards for payee names (those who are receiving or sending money to an account) to make it easier to understand with whom your money is being paid to.
  • Portfolio Manager: If users have an investment portfolio, this allows them to manage their portfolio directly through the personal finance software.
  • Import Investment Account Data: Allows user to plug in a data file or log in information and have data from an investment account transferred directly into the personal finance software.
  • Exchange Rates Information: For those who travel frequently or shop internationally, this allows the software to provide up to date exchange rate information.
  • Personal Investing Reports: Compiles a report of personal investing activity over a specified period of time.
  • Cash Flow Reports: Compiles a report that reflects the liquidity (or cash available) of an individual based upon changes in balance sheets.
  • Net Worth and Balance Reports: Compiles reports that reflect the users net worth and total balance based on all financial information they have made available to the program.

Deciding Which Personal Finance Solution Is Right For You

After looking through the pros and cons of our personal finance software reviews 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?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

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Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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