Keeping track of our money is a challenge in the best of times, but even more so when prices are rising quickly because of inflation, product shortages, and changing job markets. You don’t have to be an accountant — or hire one — to get a handle on your personal and family spending, but good budgeting software can kelp you stay on track. We selected the best budgeting software with a variety of personal finance features and functions. Whether you need help keeping sufficient funds to pay your bills, want to coordinate spending with savings, or want to manage shared accounts with a partner and other family members, the budgeting software programs below can help.
- Bank integration: Yes
- Clients supported: iOS, Android, web browsers
- Cost: $3.99 per month billed annually
- Syncs with all of your financial and investment accounts
- Take control of your finances in under 5 minutes a week
Quicken has been the industry leader in the personal finance space for over 30 years and their latest product, Simplifi, is there to do what its name suggests — simplify your finances while still providing you with a suite of powerful tools that can help you meet your money goals and optimize your fiscal health.
Simplifi by Quicken is able to connect with your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments (even crypto), gathering them onto a simple all-in-one dashboard so that you can always keep on top of things. The Simplifi interface is slick and never looks intimidating or difficult to understand; instead, a series of colorful charts and bars help you instantly see where your money is going so you can control your spending and maximize your savings in just minutes. You can also easily customize the UI to make things even more intuitive for you, which is a great feature that is notably absent from most other budgeting software.
By being so easy to understand, Simplifi ensures you can better track your outflow and make the most of your income, all while staying on top of your bills and subscriptions to keep your expenses in check. Available as a convenient mobile app, you can use Simplifi to track and manage your fiscal health from just about anywhere. Unlike some other apps and services out there, its focus is on rewarding you for hitting your goals and motivating you to do better, rather than leaving you feeling like you’re being judged for not running your finances perfectly.
You can use Simplifi to create watchlists to track cash outflow based on categories, such as seeing how much you spend on food, transportation, and subscription services. You can even check when upcoming subscription payments are due and make sure you have the money in your account to cover them. Another unique feature of Simplifi is its ability to project cashflow and future balances so you don’t get any nasty surprises, and it sends you alerts if it thinks there are additional ways you can save money.
Plus, Simplifi integrates with your brokerage and retirement accounts in a few quick clicks, so you can keep tabs on your short-term spending, savings, and investment goals as well as your longer-term wealth-building targets (such as for a 401k, Roth IRA, etc.). It connects with credit cards and loans too, meaning no need to log repayments manually. Simplifi gives you a true bird’s-eye view of your financial situation, showing you at a glance exactly how much you’re spending and saving each month, in one place.
- Bank integration: Yes
- Clients supported: iOS and Android
- Cost: Free/$5 for premium service
- Free access to credit score with change alerts
- Personalized insights on your spending and budgeting
Intuit’s Mint is best known for being a totally free mobile app for helping you set up and maintain control of your personal spending, budgets, and account balances. However, it also has a Premium plan, appropriately named Mint Premium. For $5 per month, you get the full breadth of what Mint provides.
Whichever plan you go for, you’re able to set up your budget by selecting from an extensive list of budget categories, as well as set up custom categories too. Transactions from your banks and credit card companies sort to the appropriate categories automatically. If you’re new to budgeting, you can take advantage of Mint’s on-screen insights about your spending and budgets. Even financial battle-hardened consumers can use reminders now and then, especially if you want to check how your spending compares with national norms.
It’s also possible tot rack the value of your investments and real estate, while keeping up to date on the status of any loans. Checking your credit score directly from the app is also possible. However, if you use the free version, you have to deal with ads at all times. Far better is to unlock Premium which means you dodge all the financial adverts while also gaining other features.
Mint Premium offers up a subscription cancellation service so you can easily cancel any unneeded ones that pop up on your budgeting. As well as that, you also get spending projections so Mint can help you anticipate what’s to come with your spending, giving you the chance to plan ahead (and potentially cancel some subscriptions to make things work better). Money spotlights also help you understand your spending habits better, comparing your situation to other Mint users so you can learn how to improve things. Knowledge is power and the way Mint Premium lays things out ensures you’ll always know what’s going on throughout the month.
- Bank integration: Yes
- Clients supported: iOS and Android
- Cost: Free version for basic functions; Plus version $8 per month, $80 per year, $100 for life
- Displays uncommitted funds to help prevent overspending
- Pie charts help visualize expenses
- Export to Excel with Plus version
If you’re looking for budgeting software because you’ve gotten yourself in tough situations when you’ve lost track of how much money you could actually spend without coming up short for paying your bills, PocketGuard was built for you. The software’s free version is fine for basic budgets, and it includes an extremely helpful feature called In My Pocket (IMP). IMP lets you know immediately if you can make an unplanned purchase because it tracks and displays the amount of money from your credit and bank account that you don’t need to pay upcoming bills.
However, if you need more then PocketGuard Plus is the best solution. That’s because it offers the ability to sync all your financial products and services, from bank accounts to credit cards, loans, investments, and savings, giving you an instant view of what’s going on for you financially. As well as that, you can track your income, receive automated budgets based on your average earnings and spending, with bills and subscriptions tracked at all times.
It’s also possible to set up savings goals to motivate you to reach your plans more quickly. At all times, PocketGuard’s great set of pie charts and bars means it’s simple to figure out what’s happening at a glance. You’ll also gain access to tools to help you save money on your bills, as well as get alerts for any bank fees that may pop up.
If you need to set up more complex budgets with many categories and use PocketGuard for debit payoff plans, to split transactions between multiple budget categories, export your transaction data, and create auto-repeat bills and income events, you really need PocketGuard Plus.
- Bank integration: Yes, with paid version
- Clients supported: iOS and Android mobile devices
- Cost: Free 14-day trial, then $130 annual free
- Limited free version for budget and savings only
- Family use syncs to multiple devices
- Personalized financial planning courses and tools from guru Dave Ramsey
Providing a family-friendly way of doing things, EveryDollar’s name is well-chosen given everyone’s situation right now. It lets everyone with a device and permission access the family budget accounts. There’s a free version for family budgeting but the paid premium account is the best option for most people, with a 14-day free trial giving you a starting point.
That’s because EveryDollar Premium offers up access to personalized financial planning courses and a variety of tools to empower your journey to financial independence. If you try EveryDollar Premium and like it, the annual cost is $130.
As well as that, EveryDollar Premium means you can connect your bank account to your budget, so that transactions are automatically streamed so you can keep on top of every expense. EveryDollar learns how you track your expenses, making recommendations as you go along, thereby simplifying the process. From there, you can use EveryDollar Premium to check custom reports to see exactly how you’re spending your money, enabling you to make smarter choices over time.
It’s a great time saver but also an empowering tool thanks to how much knowledge it imparts. You’ll soon see how you can pay off debts faster, for instance. Alongside that, EveryDollar Premium includes Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course and his Baby Steps tracking wealth building program. Financial education is sorely lacking in most schools and many families, which makes EveryDollar Premium a wise investment, especially if all family members take advantage of the education and training included.
- Bank integration: Yes, with premium plan
- Clients supported: web-based, iOS and Android mobile devices
- Cost: $10 per year for standard plan or $40 per year for premium plan
- Calculates savings projections 40 years into the future
- Imports data from other budgeting apps
- Can create unlimited categories
CountAbout keeps things simple while offering all the key benefits you could need when organizing your finances. On its standard plan, you can enter your own transactions or import QIF files from your bank while the premium plan does that automatically. In either case, once the information is there, it’s simple to use CountAbout’s straightforward budget builder to see where your money is going. With the option to create an unlimited number of categories, there’s no shortage of options here so the app easily adapts to every situation.
Using that knowledge, CountAbout is capable of tracking what your projected savings over the next 40 years can be. After all, cutting back on one cup of coffee a week might not feel like much but you’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference it can make in long term projections.
A clear and easy to understand spending report tool soon makes you feel more in control of your expenditure with CountAbout. It’s simple to spot a subscription you no longer lose. Besides allowing you to create as many categories as you need, CountAbout also gives you the option to split a transaction between two different categories which can prove useful.
A 45 day free trial gets you started with CountAbout while the standard plan costs just $10 per year. The best option is the premium plan which is $40 a year and saves you the effort of manually importing transactions from your bank and other financial institutions.
- Bank integration: Yes
- Clients supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
- Cost: $50
- One-off payment
- Extensive finance summary
- Can track investment portfolios as well as daily spending
If you prefer to pay just once for software and you like a more traditional looking finance solution then Moneydance is a great bet. Available for pretty much every platform you can think of, it’s easy to use while promising all the features you could need. Capable of downloading all your account data automatically, you can soon see what’s going on with your finances.
Moneydance offers a hugely extensive summary of everything going on with your finances, right down to exchange rate information where relevant, and any overdue transactions too. It’s more involved than other solutions here but it’s ideal if you want to get right down to the finer details. A graphing tool also offers excellent visual reports if you’d prefer to see changes at a glance.
Elsewhere, an account register works as a form of paper checkbook register but with the advantage of doing all the calculations for you manually. It’s great for anyone who wants to feel more in control of their money. Other facilities include a budget manager that lets you create budgets of varying frequencies, plus you can use Moneydance to pay bills online too.
It may look a little dated compared to shinier and new apps, but in terms of power, Moneydance has everything you could need with the advantage of not having to budget for another subscription service.
- Bank integration: Yes
- Clients supported: Web-based, Android, iOS, Apple Watch, Alexa
- Cost: $15 per month or $99 per year
- Extensive app support
- Smart budgeting system
- Flexible planning that adjusts to any scenario
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is part budgeting app, part financial education tool. Appreciating that everyone does better when they know more, You Need a Budget (YNAB) focuses on multiple steps. It looks at your daily outgoings but it also considers larger and less frequent expenses that you may need to be prepared for. Rather than being a rigid solution, it rolls with the punches, adapting as needed. Users simply need to make a list of their expenses, along with any non-monthly costs and fun stuff too, before coming up with spending targets.
It’s a breeze to add your checking accounts along with credit cards and savings accounts. While You Need a Budget (YNAB) isn’t quite as focused on investments as some options, it still looks at your regular savings account while giving you some encouragement to add to it when possible. With automatic import and the option to add transactions for yourself, there’s plenty of flexibility here.
Along the way, You Need a Budget (YNAB) tracks any overspent categories from each month so you can see where you’re overspending and adjust accordingly for the future. Goal tracking feels satisfying so it gamifies saving, encouraging you to do more when you can. With extensive graphs and reports, it’s truly satisfying to feel more in control of what’s going on financially. It might lack bill paying facilities or a free version (other than a free trial) but You Need a Budget (YNAB) has all the essentials clearly laid out.
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