Line graphs give you a quick view of your income versus your expenses. This program has tools to help you track your investments and monitor the progress of your portfolio. It syncs to your brokerage account and shows your balances and trades. In addition, it has reports that let you track your transactions and the performance of your investments. Moneydance is an easy-to-use program that lets you categorize your spending so you can see how much you spend and what you spend it on. You can also sync to your bank and P2P lending accounts to directly import your transactions.
With this method, you split your budget into envelopes marked with categories such as groceries, bills or entertainment. You then purchase items with money from the envelope category they fall under. Mvelopes lets you track your expenditures by assigning them to digital envelopes. When you exceed a spending limit, the envelope balance changes to red, and the program prompts you to address the situation by adding funds or letting it stay negative. This is a good way to visualize your spending and track where your money goes.
For this most recent update, we spent 60 hours using 20 programs before settling on the best We chose not to include free services like Mint or Personal Capital, though we may reconsider in future updates. We did look at both of these programs.
Mint is one of the most popular personal finance apps. It also offers a free credit score and has a wide range of alert options. To test these programs, we purchased or downloaded complete trials and used them to create budgets, connect to a bank account and monitor how well each program performs. We found that setting up your budgeting software can take some time, so be sure to give yourself an hour or possibly more. The best programs connect automatically to your bank, credit card or investment accounts directly.
A few require you to import through Dropbox or another intermediary. Once our transactions were imported, we let the program categorize them for us and began creating budgets. We noted the tools each program has to simplify the budgeting process, and whether you can copy the budget from month to month and set up recurring payments. To make sure we tested these programs for all manner of financial scenarios, we also looked at the tools for monitoring investments.
Many of the programs at least give you an overview of your portfolios and track their performance. The more extensive personal finance programs allow you to compare your portfolio to the rest of the market. If you have investments or need more complicated budgeting and accounting tools, a program you download may be your best choice. A budget can be as simple or complex as you need. You may want to simply track your total spending, or you may want to divide it into a range of categories. Some people like the envelope budgeting method, which allows you to set aside money each month for specific items or goals.
Mvelopes is a good program that utilizes this method. Many of the programs we tested integrate with your financial firm and can at least give you a top-level look at your portfolio. The best let you track your performance and compare your portfolio with the market. Most of the personal finance programs we reviewed cost money to download or sign up for, and a few have monthly subscriptions. Mint : This is a free budgeting app developed by Intuit, the same company responsible for Quicken.
Mint is free to download and use. Once you install it, you sync it to your bank and credit card accounts, and it pulls all that information into one main dashboard. Mint categorizes your transactions, so you can check your bank and credit card balances at a glance. Mint automatically creates a budget for you, though you can adjust it depending on your needs. One drawback of using a free app like Mint is you get ads and promotional offers. Clarity Money : This is a relatively new app, owned by Goldman Sachs.
It's very similar to Mint in that it syncs to your bank accounts, tracks spending and sends alerts when you have a bill due. However, it stands out by monitoring your subscriptions to services and websites, and it can cancel them for you. Clarity Money gives you a good picture of your finances, but if you need more in-depth budgeting tools, it may not be as useful.
PocketGuard : This is a basic app that tracks your spending. Jump To:. Best Personal Finance Software - Programs for Mac, Windows PCs We spent over 60 hours testing 20 personal finance apps and programs to find the best budgeting and money management tools. Best Overall Quicken Premier Quicken Premier connects quickly to your bank accounts and easily tracks your spending and your investments. Then, sync it to your bank account to automatically import your transactions and track your spending.
You can get a snapshot of your financial activity with widgets, or general full financial reports. The only difference between the two is that the basic membership does not support syncing with online bank accounts. That means if you opt for the basic membership, your transactions will not be automatically downloaded. Your options are to enter transactions manually or import QIF files from your bank if they make those available.
Moneydance is another viable alternative to Quicken. In fact, if you currently have Quicken data, you can import it into Moneydance. Those transactions can be imported automatically by syncing with your online banking, or you can enter them manually. If you choose the automated route, you can also manage bill payments through Moneydance. Moneydance lets you create spending categories and track your expenditures.
You can also use Moneydance to track your investments and monitor stock performance. They also offer a day money back guarantee when you purchase from their website. Banktivity is a personal money manager made for Mac users. And — like Moneydance — when you turn to Banktivity as a Quicken replacement, you can import your data for a seamless transition. They also offer some really cool reporting options. For example, you can generate reports based on category spending or spending at a given merchant. So, if you want to track how much you spend on eating out, you can easily generate a report showing all your spending in that category over a given time frame.
Banktivity offers a free day trial, no credit card required. You can then download the app on iPhone and iPad and sync across your devices. GoodBudget is a simple budgeting app that helps you plan and track your spending through a digital version of the envelope budgeting method.
The free version of GoodBudget gives you twenty envelopes and allows you to download transactions from one bank account. You can also sync across two devices — which is great for using it on desktop and mobile. You can also use one sync to share a budget with your partner. This gives you access to unlimited envelopes and bank account syncing. You can also use the app on five different devices. Dollarbird is another simple, no-frills budgeting app that makes for a good alternative to Quicken.
What this means is that Dollarbird focuses on tracking your income and spending by day, rather than by category. From there, you have the option of adding transactions income or spending for each day. Although you do categorize your transactions, the app displays your net spending per day rather than a running category total. At this time, Dollarbird does not support syncing with your online accounts.
This means all your transactions must be entered manually. The paid Pro version allows up to 20 calendars and can be accessed by three people. Again, the paid option might be more practical for couples. Next on our list of Quicken alternatives, we have Everydollar. Everydollar lets you budget your income into customizable spending categories, then enter your transactions and track your spending. Adding that would be a nice touch. This is a super simple budgeting app that should meet the needs of someone who wants to get started with planning a budget and tracking their spending.
If simple smartphone apps are more your thing, PocketGuard deserves your consideration. PocketGuard helps you budget your money, track your spending, and lower your bills. Better yet, it is available for both iOS and Android devices. To get started, simply connect your credit cards, bank accounts, investments, and loans to the app.
Your info will sync to the app and update automatically as transactions happen. Like some of the other programs, this app helps you see the balance of your connected accounts all in one place. It can also help you track and categorize your spending, set monthly income and spending goals, and provide tips on where you can save even more. The upgrade offers significantly more customization including custom categories, cash transactions, etc. With this app, you can easily sync all of your financial data into one place.
It also boasts a live syncing feature which allows you to sync data between devices in real-time. Using MoneyWiz for budgeting is also a breeze. The app allows you to create different budgeting categories which you can set up as a one time or recurring category. Balances can be rolled over from one period to the next, and the program will even monitor your accounts for transactions — automatically updating the relevant information as you go. In addition to the automatic syncing functions on the premium version of the app, MoneyWiz also allows you to enter your transactions manually.
It is also capable of creating multiple reports and graphs, including custom financial reports. Status is a free program that allows you to compare your financial situation with your peers. Simply connect your accounts and start comparing right away. Then, use those comparisons as motivation to improve your own financial situation! Of course, Status is about more than just comparing yourself to others.
With Status, you can track your net worth, create spending goals, and monitor your credit. The program also analyzes your saving and spending by category, offering suggestions to improve your situation along the way. Although Status is not nearly as robust as many of the other options, it is free to use. It is ad supported, so keep that in mind when considering their suggestions.
Wally is another personal finance app available for use on your smartphone. This app focuses entirely on budgeting and tracking your expenses. For those who are a little skittish about cloud-based apps, this may actually be seen as a plus. Even though it lacks automation, Wally does a good job of doing what it sets out to do — help people manage their monthly budgets. Wally was originally available just for iPhones, but they recently unveiled a new version for Android. According to their website, the app is and always will be free. GnuCash is a free open-source financial management software that runs on some Windows and Apple operating systems.
The app uses the double-entry accounting method to help you keep track of your finances. Business owners should already be familiar with this concept as it is the preferred method used for balancing books and keeping accurate financial records for companies. With that said, the app can help with your personal finances as well.
Through GnuCash, you can track your bank accounts, income, expenses, and investments. GnuCash is also capable of running a variety of financial reports for those who need them. However, it is free, so it may be worth a try. With Quicken no longer the only financial tracking game in town, there are plenty of options to choose from.
So why wait? Use one of the links above to download a free app or start a free trial to find out what program works for you. How many of these money management tools have you tried? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! Legalizing Marijuana: Is it Time? Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. Personal Capital and Mint are two of the best apps that anyone could have. From beginner to expert, they just work.
Thanks for sharing! With Mint you can change transaction dates when needed for budgeting alignment. For us who receive a 1st of the month paycheck, which usually posts early when the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday non-banking day , the inability to change the date completely messes up the ending month and next month budgets. Happens about 3 times a year. This makes Personal Finance PC worthless for budgeting.
The change transaction date feature has been requested for years and PC ignores it. Poor customer service in my opinion. No thanks to PC. Still, the tools are free and provide a great overall picture of your financial health. We love personal capital for the grand view. We also have used Mvelopes for almost a decade and as a budgeting and cas management tool I have not found better. Very similar to the Every Dollar tool and Ramsey philosophy.
Were you able to review this one? Curious your thoughts on how not compares to tbe others.
I think Mint took a big step back when they shut off their bill pay functionality. You can still see when your bills are due and the reminders are nice, but losing the extra step of automation kinda stinks. I like to see a projection of my available finances for the month, but so far Quicken seems to be the only one that can do that.
Everything else is based on a daily snapshot of your spending. Have you reviewed any that allow you to see past today in spending? Started with MS Money. Moved to some paid program that was similar. Found Money Manger EX. I can put in reoccurring transactions. And drop them into the checkbook as needed.
I have my paycheck set for less than I expect. And the bills for a little more than expected. When I get paid, or write the check, I put the correct amounts in. You cannot change transaction dates. I have a retirement pay military that posts on the 1st of every month. But if the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday they post it the last banking day before that. With PC when that happens I have a double pay in one month and no pay in the next and cannot change that.
Since this scenario happens about 3 times a year, PC is worthless for monthly budgeting. The tools are free, so there are going to be limits to what they can do. Comcast goes down once a month and online data becomes inaccesible just when you need it. I also tried Mint several years ago and will give it another shot. First and foremost is the ability to have attachments on my transactions.
Second is the ability to have transaction reminders that can be auto-entered into the register. This allows me to look ahead to see where my expected spending and expected income is taking me This is the closest I come to using a budget feature — but I hate the word budget. I do not use the transaction download feature for my checking account with Quicken because it ALWAYS caused me to have duplicate transactions when writing a paper check because of manually entering when written and then duplicated when cleared at the bank.
VERY inconvenient. At least PC will help you correct duplicates — but no attachments. Reading further, it looks like Moneydance would be the best alternative for you for Quicken. It also allows you to use it standalone on your computer PC or Mac and also allows auto-entry of transaction reminders. I hate the Auto entry now because they made 2 layers out of it. I mostly like it for the tax prep categorization and the Offline presence of my data which is backed up to SD card. My greatest fear is the last update for QB will be the one that totally disables the software.
You are not quite correct when you say Quicken data can be seamlessly imported into any other program. In order to move Quicken data over to any other program, the data has to be converted to a. My suggestion: double up on two programs: one Quicken and another alternative for three months, then abandon Quicken, keeping it for legacy purposes. As a Macintosh user, Intuit has not been a friend. There are much better alternatives.
Stewart, I agree that Intuit has always treated its Mac constituents as unwanted step-children. And D. Manual entries lead to annoying duplicates if you also download your transactions. But if you do choose to download, best not make any manual entries. That should be a cinch. All of your data is encrypted. Great article. I want to manually reconcile, I want split transactions, subcategories, and the ability to run end of the year reports.
Too bad this hodgepodge of suggestions all over the internet for replacing Quicken for Mac are so confusing when it comes to just the simple functions you cite. I wish someone would create a comparison chart. I want to start with a new app on Jan. And to whomever manages this internet page, please get off this fad of making your font almost the same invisible color as your background. Donna and Jonathan, same here! And yes, please give us a darker font!
Repeating my question above, does anyone know which of these developers offer the most HUMAN assistance? Knowledgeable people who might even be willing to screen share…? I am looking for apps like Foreceipt where you can photo receipts or screenshot email receipts and it ocr s major details and stores the photo. Lately have had some problems with Foreceipt.
When I first got it and it worked well it was outstanding. EveryDollar DOES link to online accounts and in my opinion is the best budgeting software out there since its updates. Please revisit this one…. I have used Quicken for years. I bought the newer version and it choked on one of my accounts on downloading. I called for support. A support contact number was not readily available on line but my bank had a contact number for support and I got through. They understood the problem and said it was an easy fix. Goodbye Quicken.
I am leaving them. I have tried Every Dollar. It does down load from all of my accounts and credit cards which is nice and works well It is an easy program to use but they do not offer downloading of reports. I have used report generating for years to help with taxes at the end of the year. So, I am still looking for a program. I basically got spoiled. I noted you did not mention this in any of the reviews. Somehow you missed that Every Dollar has the capability to Sync up to the Bank accounts and services. Do you have any update on this and the report generating capabilities of the others?
An informative article and the comments offer great questions too. I nolonger use BillPay because using banks bill paying functions. I do download transactions in order to reconcile as well as downloading investment performance data. Bob White asked about tax reports and a major reason that I used Quicken in the past was the ease of producing tax reports or even exporting data to tax preparation soft ware. I would consider looking at Tiller.
They can generate reports for itemized deductions, annual spending by category, and more. The query about cloud-based or non cloud-based has not been addressed. This is pretty critical for lots of folks. I bank at Capital One, and the sync is now delayed hours. That means no more near-real-time views into my spending.
I moved to Moneydance when quicken moved to a subscription model — love it, a few bugs but good support helped me fix them. BUT no Canadian version, yet.
Read reviews and choose the best personal finance software from top companies, including Quicken, Mint, YNAB, Tiller, Personal Capital, and more. We ranked a variety of personal finance programs from best to worst based on their utility and how well they sync with devices and accounts.
Is Personal Capital web based? Is it available as a desktop app, or just a mobile app. Some of the screenshots look to be from a desktop app, but they only picture phones on their website. I want a desktop stand-alone app. Does that put Personal Capital out of the running? From what I can see, it has all the basic functions of Quicken. I just want to categorize all my expenses for end of year reports for taxes and to be able to enter transactions like in Quicken.
The free calculators and other tools may be of interest to you, however. PC appears to only for America….. How is MoneyWiz cheaper than MoneyDance?
Now, all it takes us is a 15 minute monthly session to review all transactions and change a few categorizations. Of course, frequently cancelling credit cards to get new, different ones can affect your credit score. Pros Ad-free Desktop app Good for managing large portfolios. That is, you can download cleared transactions and other account data from your banks, bank card providers, brokerages, and other financial institutions, and see all of it neatly displayed in registers in the applications. The Ecobank Mobile app allows you to enjoy our banking
I have used Qucken ever since the demise of Microsoft Money. I have needs that seem to me very uncomplicated: I need a product that will download my bank transactions, will track and project my monthly expenditures, and generate a report showing cleared and anticipated banking transactions for the current month. Is there an alternative that will do what I need at lower cost? I really need quicken for my personal banking.
Please help! Long-time Quicken user even though I changed platforms to Mac in and put up with its woefully crude version for Apple users. I need to know which of these alternatives will generate for me an annual summary by category of both Income and Expenses for tax purposes….. I also download banking and investment transactions through Quicken. Can you help?
Hey Susan, You might want to look into Tiller.
It can generate reports, including itemized deductions, annual spending by category, etc. STOP the incessant altering and revamping. It does not work as well for the end users. It seems there are no alternatives which do everything Quicken could, if it worked well. Just started a 30day trial with Banktivity. So far although I have Capital One accounts I have been repeatedly unable to have the Banktivity account get online despite, correct credentials, etc.
With no results to show for it. I am having trouble finding a Quicken replacement. While many of these noted here are fine check register and money management, I do not see one that includes online bill payment integration. Online bill payment is a key Quicken feature, schedule a payment, see it immediately in the check register. I do not use it at all for budgeting, only for investments. I am looking for an alternative that will give me my cost basis and current value. Anything out their worth trying? Give MoneyDance a try. I am experimenting with MD now. I imported everything even though MD says there is no qif option in Q I did it and it worked amazingly well.
Lot of clean up and deleting of defunct accounts, but much better results than when I tried a couple of years ago. I may have run into a problem with investment transaction classification but think I can figure out a workaround. MD hiccuped on the return of capital and has not recorded change in basis correctly. I plan on keeping my old Q data for reference only once I actually make the switch. The only thing that had been holding me back was the import issue. MD seems to have everything I need; local files, no cloud, portfolio management, bank import, reasonable cost and no dicking around with silly passwords and accounts and such.
How were you so lucky? The option to export a qif file is right there in the Q export menu. I first exported my entire data file and imported into MD.
Then, as I cleaned up, I found I had to re-import so I picked the specific account I needed and exported the qif file and re-imported into MD. It is there! Have had no end of issues with Quicken and frankly detest the software. Complete waste of my time! Really annoying! Then, providing I have categorized thousands of transactions correctly throughout the year, I simply print out a report, and hand to it my CPA as the basis of my tax returns.
Given the choice between cloud and downloaded desktop apps, I trust cloud more. It PAINS me to still be using Quicken, hopefully tax year will be the last and I would love to find that online solution asap to start taxes with a clean slate. It started out mainly as a budgeting app, but it also runs reports on your annual spending by category and itemized deductions. The program automatically downloads your transactions and runs through Google Sheets, so it is cloud-based.
One of the knocks against Quicken is that it changed its model to a yearly subscription service. That certainly is one knock against it, but most pay-to-play services have moved toward that model. The one big negative I see with Tiller that stands out to me is the inability to reconcile transactions. Is there any software that you can manually load checking acct tranactions via CSV or similar file and still track other accts online? I have checking and savings at a small credit union that does not have capabilities of allowing online linking and downloading like what seems to be almost every other financial establishment offers.
I want mac based not cloud based software and need to be able to port my data from Quicken. My needs are simple reports, and a checkbook type interface for tax purposes. All my devices are Apple. What do you recommend? Quicken has never developed a way to effectively export its data to a standardized format so it can be used by another program. They promised it literally for decades and never came through. What I did and worked well for me is to consider everything on Quicken as legacy and begin anew with a new program like Moneydance.
Back in when I did this, I doubled entry for three months, putting data into both programs, then kissed Quicken good-bye and have Quicken on my computer just to look at that data if absolutely necessary. I tried it a year or so ago, and it was a disaster. This time after seeing an article stating Q had stopped supporting the qfx format, i gave it a try for the hell of it, planning on complaining to Q. Waste of time I know, but it does make me feel better for a little bit.
There is tons of stuff to clean up but there will be with any conversion. I am now convinced I will be able to leave Q, once and for all. Donald, I would be very careful and not throw away Q any time soon. But it all depends on what you were using it for. Most of those would be with investment accounts. See my other post. Thank you, quickdraw, for the caution. Five years ago, I made an archive file of Q to reduce the size of the data file and still have to pop it open so I assume the same thing will happen once I make the move.
Portfolio does have some complex transactions and I think some will be a problem with MD. I know how to make adjustments to keep portfolio in balance with statements and I retain cost documentation. I only have 12 stocks that would be affected by complexities, balance is mutual funds and preferred stocks. Less of a problem than Q dropping transactions and losing three months of reconciliations on banks and credit cards.
I just gave Tiller a day test run. However, it was my experience that one really needs a PhD in spreadsheets in order to do much of the analysis and report running.