Best Money Management Software

People today are often managing money electronically while on the go.  Some of the best money management software enables people to review transactions downloaded from multiple financial institutions and manage them all with their electronic budget while using their smart phone, tablet or laptop from any location.

Certainly, some people still love managing money with pencil and paper.  I say continue to do what works best for your situation!  But for those interested in the value software can bring to personal money management, you may be interested in checking out some of the best software out there!

One Money Design Best Money Management Software 2014

You Need a Budget – YNAB is an excellent product that supports the good money management principle of planning your spending.  The software is based on 4 foundational rules:  1) Assign every dollar a job to take control of your money; 2) save for a rainy day; 3) roll with punches (replenish overspent categories with funds from other categories); 4) stop living paycheck to paycheck (defer earnings for next month to get ahead).  You can track your net worth, easily split spending transactions, import transactions from your bank accounts and schedule spending or bills that occur regularly.

Quicken – Quicken is certainly one of the more well-known software packages providing a strong legacy of home money management software features.  It continues to serve money managers well with four different products that build upon each other:  Deluxe (basic money management), Premier (Deluxe + investment management), Home and Business and Rental Property Manager.  Quicken functionality includes budgeting, bank and credit card management, automatic transaction categorization, bill planning and investment tracking and performance against the market.  This is a solid choice with a well rounded set of money management features installed directly to your computer.

Mvelopes Money Management SoftwareMvelopes Personal – I’ve used Mvelopes for several years and it has yet to disappoint me as excellent personal money management software.  Mvelopes provides the ability to create electronic envelopes that work like the classic envelope budgeting system.  You fund your envelopes each month with your income.  Transactions are downloaded from your banks and assigned to envelopes, decreasing the balance as you spend.  With Mvelopes, you can transfer money from envelope to envelope, set up a debt repayment plan, use online bill pay and access Mvelopes from your mobile phone.

PowerWalletPowerWallet - PowerWallet provides a combination of personal finance software, bill management, online offers and deals into one product.  This online service is completely free to users and only takes a few minutes to get set up and begin using it.  PowerWallet reads the accounts you link (no data stored on the PowerWallet servers) so you can manage spending, bills, credit cards and investments.  You can create plans per category and see how you’re doing overall on the dashboard page.  PowerWallet offers deals, called PowerSavers, based on your spending habits.  PowerSavers show up in your list and offer additional ways to save money.  You can also get daily deals and other offers using the Perks features.  Finally, PowerWallet has a point system that rewards users for adding accounts, creating a plan and more.  Points are just rolling out so it’s yet to be determined how you can use them.  Overall, if you’re looking for a free and easy to use product that combines budgeting, deals and bill management, PowerWallet is a solid choice.

Mint Money Management SoftwareMint – Mint is by far the most popular and well-known home money management software available today.  Mint brings all your financial information into one place which often includes savings, checking, investments, auto and mortgage.  You can set up a budget and track spending against financial goals.  Mint also helps you know how much money is left for each of your budget categories and it’s all accessible from your iPhone.  Mint also helps you save money by reviewing your spending and making recommendations.

PocketSmith PocketSmith Money Management SoftwarePocketSmith has a unique approach of helping you budget while utilizing a calendar.  The calendar forecasts your cash flow needs into the future.  You can schedule all your financial events such as income, bill pay, other expenses and make them recur throughout each month as often as needed.  A lot of people prefer something visual, such as a calendar, when managing financial activities.  PocketSmith’s unique approach is appealing to a lot of people.

MoneydanceMoneydance Money Management SoftwareMoneydance provides a simple and easy to use interface to manage your money.  This product keeps it simple and straight forward with functionality that includes budgeting, online banking integration to download transactions, nice graphing to look at your money from a visual perspective, reminders, portfolio tracking, and an iPhone application to manage your money from anywhere.  Interestingly, this product scales quite well internationally with users in 75 countries!  Finally, the home page provides a comprehensive overview of your finances which includes account balances and upcoming expenses.

PearBudgetPearBudget Money Management SoftwarePearBudget was born out of a budgeting and spending tracking spreadsheet created by husband and wife.  It hit the internet and was an instant download success that led to the development of the web-based version.  Choose your own categories for your budget, manage regular and irregular spending, is based on classic envelopes budgeting, easy to use interface and includes a step by step guide to help you get started in 10 minutes.

Yodlee Money CenterYodlee Money Management SoftwareBehind the scenes, Yodlee software is the engine for many financial institutions and account aggregation.  Mint used them before being sold to Intuit so you know it has a solid foundation.  It is an online budget tool that lets you view your expenses and income in one place.  You’ll get all the core money management features with this product including linking to your financial institutions, account balance tracking, net worth, budget creation, alerts, bill pay and a real estate center.  Yodlee does all the basics well and did I mention it is free?

AceMoneyAceMoney Money Management SoftwareAceMoney is a comprehensive personal finance manager that has features to help you manage personal finances at home or account for a small business.  It can download transactions from your financial institution, create and manage budgets, investment tracking and performance, can handle multiple currencies, bill tracking and plan your debt pay off and mortgage with debt calculators.  You can also budget by category, subcategory and set spending limits.

Perhaps you’ve used one or more of these products?  If so, which do you think is the best money management software?

About Jason Price

Jason Price is a family man saved by grace, passionate about faithful financial stewardship (1 Cor 4:2 NIV), soccer and the Pacific sun.

  • f k

    Do you know which of the above programs have one-button bank downloading?

    Thanks.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      f k, Honestly, I haven’t heard of one-button bank downloading. However, if you mean the software which automatically downloads your spending transactions from your bank, most of them have this capability. I just did a review of Mvelopes (which I use) that has this feature and it works very well. http://www.onemoneydesign.com/mvelopes-review/

      Let me know if you mean something different. By the way, I plan to write individual reviews of most of these.

  • Alex B.

    Budget! (Expense Tracker), on the iPhone, definitely the best!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jygewm21adQ&feature=player_embedded

  • John

    Great info Jason thanks!

  • BenW

    Have you reviewed 3D Budget? 3D Budget has all of the functionality of the other software, but at a fraction of the price.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason Price

      Ben, I haven’t, but will check that one out. I plan to update this post as I learn about new products.

  • jaime s.

    Great article Jason, thank you for your help. I am an expat working in France so I have accounts, credit cards and motgages in the US, Europe and South America (USD, Euros, etc). I’ve been using excel for quite some time to keep track of my expenses but it takes me very long time to update it. I am trying to find a money management softwate that allows me to download my financial activity from European, US and South American banks, credit cards, 401K, etc. Do you know if there is a software with this kind of capabilities. Thank you very much for your assistance.

    Best Regards,

    Jaime

  • JP

    I have used three of the options listed a lot and many more in demos. Personally, I like money dance the best. It’s not a great looking app, but it is pretty versatile. However, I am slowly being won over by Mint.com just because of connivence.

  • Heather

    I HATE Quicken! It keeps corrupting my info, stops downloading from the banks on a whim, and the support is abysmal! I use QuickBooks at my office and am not thoroughly impressed with that either. Thanks for the help on other choices.

  • Vince

    Separately, it would be helpful to find a list of banks that do not charge of fee for transaction downloads. I use Chase, and last a I checked they Charged $10/mo. for this feature. Multiply that across several accounts, and it is real money.

  • tee

    hi which of these have free software programs other than mint?

  • Brian in Austin

    I have been tracking my finances for over 12 years and I found the information you provided very useful. Thanks for putting it together. Im currently using iBank, but Im not a huge fan. But that is not really the source of my question… One thing I have noticed is that money management software plays into our OCDs… What I mean to ask is what level of money tracking is enough for the average household? I have data going back 12 years… Why? Im not sure. I meticulously track my spending across 50+ categories. Why? Not sure… I guess what Im saying is that many of us (me included) fall into this trap of recording everything to the nth degree but really all we need is budgeting, help with taxes, or spending alerts…

  • Lee

    Hi Jason,

    I’m poking around the net tonight and since your asking here for suggestions, I’ll add one to your list. It’s called MoneySlinger and should be available for public beta mid October 2011. This app uses a combination of running averages on a yearly cycle, the consolidation of expenses into only 3 groups, and 3 dedicated bank accounts. It was originally released in 2002 with good success under a different name, but I’ve personally been using the method for over 20 years. If you’re interested you can sign up for notification when it’s released if you like. I think most will find it totally untraditional…and quite productive. Thx

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  • http://cashadvancesus.com/ cash loans

    I personally like Quicken Deluxe 2012, as it has a nice option to organize your bank, credit card, investment accounts in one place. It also automatically categorizes expenses so you can see where you’re spending. In particular, it is very useful in creating a budget and tracking of your progress against it. In addition, it has a wonderful option of importing data from previous versions of Quicken. And I liked most is that the software was delivered with a step-by-step help for quick set-up. 

  • Nic

    Hi,
    I have spent the last 2 days searching for the right program to do what I want, after various downloads, trials, and entering a bunch of data only to find it still doesn’t do what I want, I am becoming quite frustrated!! What am I after, well, I like the concept behind YNAB, the display and tracking worked quite well and was mostly easy to use, however, the one thing it doesn’t do is (in my view) budget. What I am after is software that will allow me to enter my regular and irregular expense and then break those expected expenses down into what needs to be set aside each pay in order to cover those expenses. Every one of the financial programs I have tested want me to “budget” an amount into each category and predict what I will need. For example, I know my car insurance is due in mid June, so I want to be able to put that in as a future expense, have the program tell me how much each pay I need to set aside in order to pay my insurance when it is due, for the next time it is due, and then plan what I will need to set aside before it comes due again. I love the functionality of most of the “financial management” programs I have tried, but it seems I am after something that combines both budget planning/forecasting and financial management. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. 

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason

      Nic, YNAB is envelope budgeting software. You set up a budget each month and track your expenses to your budget to see how you’re doing. The only forecasting program I’m aware of is Pocketsmith. http://www.onemoneydesign.com/pocketsmith-review/ You can see if it meets your need. Not sure if it will tell you when you need to pay your bills. You might check out Manilla for bill management. http://www.onemoneydesign.com/manilla-review/

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com/ Jason Price

      Nic, YNAB is envelope budgeting software. You set up a budget each month and track your expenses to your budget to see how you’re doing. The only forecasting program I’m aware of is Pocketsmith. http://www.onemoneydesign.com/pocketsmith-review/ You can see if it meets your need. Not sure if it will tell you when you need to pay your bills. You might check out Manilla for bill management. http://www.onemoneydesign.com/manilla-review/

    • CDP

      Envelope budgeting takes care of most of it for you but is somewhat limited in all of them. A trick you can use is to set up a cash account for your less periodic bills with an automatic transfer on payday. I have done it that way for more than a decade.

  • Annie

    I started setting up MINT based on your review (thanks for these). I’m concerned that this software (and all my data?) is on the net and not on my computer. I don’t feel safe using web based software. It’s ok to download from my financial institution but where are they storing things like my budget and my transactions? Is it in some cyberspace server or is it somewhere on my desktop computer?

  • Joe

    Joe in MI
    Is there a program that accomodates stock options? I’ve been using Quicken from the begining and now have started to trade in stock options, but quicken does not deal with options.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    jtreiber@norwaymi.com

  • Vadim

    I use very simple and handy program Cash And The City.
    It allows tracking your current finances as well as planning the future spending and income.
    Also it has nice charting.
    And it’s free.

  • ExFarmer

    I have been involved in some type of personal accounting programs since the 1960′s. First sending information into another business that inputted my information into a double entry program and then gave me reports. Cost was about $200 annually. Then with our first personal computer, a stand alone program with no ability to import data, for about $500 which was used for about 10 years. Then more recently to MS Money which imported data, and never really needed up dating. It came with the next computer. When the brokerage firm would no longer recognize it, we switched to Quicken “unhappily” recognizing that we would be held hostage to a continual round of “up grading” with no appreciable enhancement of features “required”. So what I am looking for is something other than Quicken that I can import data only Quicken can import with just the use of a password. It needs to have the ability to export into spreadsheet format. Finally the upgrades need to be mostly free and voluntary to keep updated and not on a 2 or 3 year cycle and continue to work in spite of the newer better model.

    I am thinking ACEMONEY might meet these requirements better than most of the others. The other choice is to stay on Quickens revolving update program.

  • Annalisa

    This was extremely helpful! Thank you for the wonderful insight. I think I will begin to use Mint for our personal money management.

    • http://www.onemoneydesign.com/ Jason Price

      Glad you found it helpful! :)

  • bob

    I was using Microsoft money 2004, want to update but don’t like quicken any suggestions?

    • lef

      Need answer too.