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 against their electronic budget while using their smart phone or laptop from any location.
Certainly, some people still love managing money with pencil and paper. If this is you, 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 available.
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 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.
PowerWallet - 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 – 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 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.
Moneydance – Moneydance 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.
PearBudget – PearBudget 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 Center – Behind 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?
AceMoney – AceMoney 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?