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Ready to better understand your finances? Personal finance software can be a great tool for developing better financial habits and sticking to a long-term budget.
Here are five great options you might consider if you’re looking for personal finance software.
Best for Beginners Learning to Manage Money: Mint
Cost: To free
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 plenty of money management features to help you take control of your finances.
You’ll start by linking bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, loans, or mortgages to Mint. The platform will divide your expenses into categories and provide information about your expenses. You will be able to set 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 pay attention to: If you agree to use the bill negotiation feature, you will be charged 40% of what Billshark saves you for the service period. Also be aware that there is a one-time fee of $9 if you select a payment plan instead of paying upfront.
Best for a Detailed Budget: Quicken Deluxe
Cost: $4.99 per month (40% off, or $2.99 per month, if you purchase a 1-year subscription by January 8, 2023)
Why it stands out: Quicken Deluxe is desktop software. It is available for download for both Mac and Windows computers.
With the program, you will be able to log in and track bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, and credit cards. You can also create a 12-month budget. Usually, personal finance software only has monthly budget plans.
Quicken Deluxe also has a “what-if” tool that lets you see potential scenarios when making certain investment or loan decisions.
What to pay attention to: Quicken Deluxe mainly focuses on basic finances and investments. If you have a business or prefer more robust features like priority customer support, you might be better off with Quicken Premier or Quicken Home & Business.
The regular price of Quicken plans ranges from $3.49 per month to $9.99 per month. Currently, most plans (except Quicken Starter) are 40% off for the first year if you sign up before January 8, 2023. This offer is only available to new subscriptions.
Sign up for Quicken Deluxe
Ideal for monitoring investment accounts: Personal Capital
Cost: To free
Why it stands out: Personal Capital is another software tool available through a mobile app or website. You might find Personal Capital appealing if you want to use a comprehensive platform that can also monitor investment accounts.
With the Investment Checkup feature, you can check your current portfolio allocation as well as an ideal target allocation to minimize risk and reduce volatility. Personal Capital also has a fee analysis tool that examines hidden fees for mutual funds, investment accounts and retirement accounts.
What to pay attention to: Some tools are exclusively reserved for Personal Capital’s advisory clients. For example, customers will have access to a financial roadmap tool that can help them meet their key financial goals.
Sign up for Personal Capital
Best for taxes: TaxAct
Cost: $0 to $64.95 for federal tax returns depending on plan; $39.95 to $44.95 for status returns depending on plan
Why it stands out: TaxAct is featured in our best tax software guide. TaxAct offers four DIY online options: Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans. You will pay one price for a federal tax return, and if you need to file a state tax return, you will pay an additional fee.
TaxAct stands out from other tax software vendors because it offers free expert support, no matter what DIY plan you have. If you have any questions while filing your tax returns, simply submit questions and an expert will contact you by phone.
What to pay attention to: Other tax software companies don’t charge fees for state returns, and they have lower fees for filing federal tax returns (though their functionality may not be as robust). You might consider reading some tax software reviews to help you decide which one is right for you.
Register for TaxAct
Ideal for a hands-on approach: Google Sheets
Cost: To free
Why it stands out: Maybe you don’t want to link all your bank accounts or credit cards, and you don’t mind taking a more active approach to money management. Then you can consider using Google Sheets to directly analyze your savings and expenses.
Even those who aren’t as tech-savvy will find that Google Sheets has a simple and hassle-free setup process. All you have to do is create 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 will need to update your spreadsheet regularly to have an effective spreadsheet.
What to pay attention to: Creating and managing your budget is entirely dependent on your willingness to manually enter all of your data. Some may like to have a closer, more hands-on approach to accounting for expenses or tracking changes. But if you’re worried that it’s getting too difficult to update every month, consider one of our other options.
Sign up for Google Accounts
Other Personal Finance Software We Considered Failed and Why
- Tiller: Tiller can be useful if you prefer to track 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 that your transaction and balance information is automatically updated. It wasn’t a top pick because Tiller only has a 30-day free trial and then costs $79 per year.
- You need a budget: You can use You need a budget on the web or in an app. While it might be a good choice if you’re having trouble with your spending in specific categories, Mint and Quicken Deluxe have more robust features. It also offers a 34-day free trial and then you have to pay $14.99 per month or $99 per year.
- Monarch Money: Monarch Money is a personal finance app and online platform with a free plan. The free plan lets you budget, create financial goals, and gain insight into transactions. If you want to track investment accounts or use customizable budget categories, you’ll need to consider the paid version, which costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
- GNU Cash: This is free accounting software for personal and small business finance. You can download the program for Windows and Mac devices. With GNU Cash, you manage your finances through a traditional checkbook system. It might be worth considering if you have a business, but for those who don’t, it probably won’t be an easy-to-use interface.
- Simplifi by Quicken: Simplifi by Quicken is cloud-based software, which means you will need an internet connection to use its services. In comparison, other Quicken programs can be downloaded to your computer. Quicken’s Simplifi is also not as robust as Quicken’s desktop programs.
- Quicken Starter: Quicken Starter could be useful if you want a basic overview of your finances. But if you want to be able to create a 12-month budget or track investment accounts, Quicken Deluxe will be a more compelling option.
- Rocket Money: Rocket Money has an app and an online platform. Its premium plan offers concierge services to review bills, premium customer support, unlimited budgets, and customizable budget categories. Although comparable to Mint, Rocket Money charges a fee to use premium features, while Mint is free.
- Tax Slayer: Tax Slayer was featured as the best budget choice in our best tax software guide. However, to qualify for the Simply Free plan, you must have taxable income of less than $100,000 and you will not be able to claim dependents. TaxAct’s free plan allows you to claim dependents. It also offers expert help for all ranking 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.
- TurboTax Tax Software: TurboTax is featured in our best tax software guide and can be helpful if you have a complex tax situation. However, the TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans cost more than the TaxAct options.
Methodology: How did we choose the best personal finance software?
Research is an important part of choosing personal finance software that meets your needs. First, we’ve compiled a list of 13 personal finance software. Next, we compared each program by analyzing the following criteria: platform accessibility, pricing, money management features, and user experience. With tax software, we only considered DIY online filing options; we didn’t consider the full-service packages where an expert helps with the 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 experienced in budgeting or who prefers to file their taxes.
To help you determine which personal finance software might be a good option for you, we’ve outlined the benefits and limitations of each product.
There are free personal finance tools you can use online. For example, Personal Capital, Mint, GNU Cash and Google Spreadsheets are free. Monarch Money and Rocket Money also offer free options.