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Ready to get a better understanding of your finances? Personal finance software can be a great tool for building better money habits and sticking to a budget in the long term.
Here are five excellent options you might consider if you’re searching for personal finance software.
Best for beginners learning to manage money: Mint
Why it stands out: If you’re a beginner looking to manage your finances primarily through an app or website, Mint is a great choice. Mint is easy to use and has many money management features to help get control of your finances.
You’ll start by linking bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, loans, or mortgages to Mint. The platform will split your expenses into categories and provide insights into your spending. You’ll be able to set up a budget and set spending limits for specific categories. Mint also lets you create individual savings goals and has a bill negotiation feature through its partnership with Billshark.
What to look out for: If you agree to use the bill negotiation feature, you’ll be charged 40% of what Billshark saves you for the service period. Also, be aware that there’s a one-time $9 fee if you select a payment plan instead of paying upfront.
Sign up for Mint
Best for a detailed budget: Quicken Deluxe
Cost: $4.99 per month (40% off, or $2.99 per month, if you get a one-year plan by January 8, 2023)
Why it stands out: Quicken Deluxe is a desktop software program. It’s available for download for Mac and Windows computers.
With the program, you’ll be able to connect and keep track of bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, and credit cards. You’ll also be able to create a 12-month budget. Usually personal finance software programs only have monthly budget plans.
Quicken Deluxe also has a”what-if” tool that lets you see potential scenarios when you make certain investments or loan decisions.
What to look out for: Quicken Deluxe primarily focuses on basic finances and investments. If you have a business or prefer more robust features, like priority customer support, you may fare better with Quicken Premier or Quicken Home & Business.
Regular pricing for Quicken plans varies from $3.49 per month to $9.99 per month. Right now, most plans (excluding Quicken Starter) have a 40% discount for the first year if you sign up by January 8, 2023. This offer is only available for new memberships.
Sign up for Quicken Deluxe
Best for tracking investment accounts: Personal Capital
Why it stands out: Personal Capital is another software tool that’s available through a mobile app or website. You might find Personal Capital appealing if you want to use a well-rounded platform that also helps monitor investment accounts.
With the Investment Checkup feature, you can check your current portfolio allocation alongside an ideal target allocation to minimize risk and reduce volatility. Personal Capital also has a fee analyzer tool that reviews hidden fees for mutual funds, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.
What to look out for: Some tools are exclusively for Personal Capital advisory clients. For example, clients will have access to a financial roadmap tool that can help them stick with major financial goals.
Sign up for Personal Capital
Best for taxes: TaxAct
Cost: $0 to $64.95 for federal tax returns depending on the plan; $39.95 to $44.95 for state returns depending on the plan
Why it stands out: TaxAct is featured in our best tax software guide. TaxAct has four DIY online options: Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans. You’ll pay one price for a federal tax return, and if you have to file a state tax return you’ll pay an additional fee.
TaxAct stands out from other tax software companies because it offers free expert support regardless of which DIY plan you have. If you have questions while filing your tax returns, all you’ll need to do is submit questions, and an expert will reach out to you over the phone.
What to look out for: Other tax software companies do not charge a fee for state returns, and they have lower fees for filing federal tax returns (although, their features may not be as robust). You might consider reading through a few tax software reviews to help you decide which one is right for you.
Sign up for TaxAct
Best for a hands-on approach: Google Sheets
Why it stands out: Perhaps you don’t want to link all of your bank accounts or credit cards, and you don’t mind taking a more active approach to money management. Then, you might consider using Google Sheets for a straightforward way of analyzing your saving and spending.
Even those who aren’t as tech-savvy will find that Google Sheets has a simple, no-fuss setup process. All you need to do is set up a Google account and open the Google Spreadsheets tab. Then, you can select a general template for budgets or investment tracking and follow the steps listed on the spreadsheet.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to update your spreadsheet regularly to have an effective spreadsheet.
What to look out for: Creating and maintaining your budget fully depends on whether you’re willing to manually input all your data. Some may like having a closer, more hands-on approach to tallying expenses or tracking changes. But if you’re worried that it might become too overwhelming to make updates every month, consider one of our other options.
Sign up for Google accounts
Other personal finance software we considered that didn’t make the cut and why
- Tiller: Tiller might be worthwhile if you prefer tracking money in a spreadsheet, but don’t want to update it manually. It links your bank accounts and credit cards to Google Sheets or Microsoft sheets so your transaction and balance information automatically update. It wasn’t a top pick because Tiller only has a 30-day free trial, then costs $79 per year.
- You Need a Budget: You may use You Need a Budget through the web or on an app. While it could be a good choice if you struggle with your spending in specific categories, Mint and Quicken Deluxe have more robust features. It also has a 34-day free trial, then you’ll have to pay $14.99 per month or $99 annually.
- Monarch Money: Monarch Money is a personal finance app and online platform with a free plan. The free plan lets you set up a budget, create financial goals, and get a better understanding of transactions. If you would like to track investment accounts or use customizable budget categories, then you’ll have to consider the paid version, which costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 annually.
- GNU Cash: This is a free accounting software for personal and small business finances. You may download the program for Windows and Mac devices. With GNU Cash, you manage your finances through a traditional checkbook system. It could be worth considering if you have a business, but for those who don’t, it likely won’t be an easy-to-use interface.
- Simplifi by Quicken: Simplfi by Quicken is a cloud-based software program, which means you’ll need to have an internet connection to use its services. In comparison, other Quicken programs can be downloaded onto your computer. Simplifi by Quicken also isn’t as robust as Quicken’s desktop programs.
- Quicken Starter: Quicken Starter could be worthwhile if you want a basic overview of your finances. But if you want to be able to create a 12-month budget or keep track of investment accounts, Quicken Deluxe will be a more compelling option.
- Rocket Money: Rocket Money has an app and online platform. Its premium plan has concierge services to review bills, premium customer support, unlimited budgets, and customizable budget categories. While it’s comparable to Mint, Rocket Money charges a fee to utilize premium features, while Mint is free.
- Tax Slayer: Tax Slayer was featured as the best budget pick in our best tax software guide. However, to qualify for the Simply Free Plan, you must have taxable income under $100,000, and you won’t be able to claim dependents. TaxAct’s free plan allows you to claim dependents. It also offers expert help with all filing packages.
- H&R Block Tax Software: H&R Block is also featured in our best tax software guide. If you want to choose a more affordable option, you may prefer TaxAct, though.
- TurboTax Tax Software: TurboTax is featured in our best tax software guide and might be worth considering if you have a complex tax situation. However, TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans cost more than TaxAct options.
Methodology: How did we choose the best personal finance software?
Research is an important part of choosing a personal finance software program that fits your needs. First, we compiled a list of 13 personal finance software programs. Then, we compared each program by analyzing the following criteria: platform accessibility, pricing, money management features, and user experience. With tax software programs, we only considered the DIY online filing options; we did not consider full-service packages where an expert helps with taxes.
Frequently asked questions
The best personal finance software for you depends on your financial goals and habits. Someone new to money management will likely want different features than someone who is seasoned in making budgets or prefers filing their taxes.
To help you figure out which personal finance software program could be a good option for you, we highlighted the benefits and limitations of each product.
There are free personal finance tools that you may use online. For example, Personal Capital, Mint, GNU Cash, and Google Spreadsheets are free. Monarch Money and Rocket Money also have free options.