Best Personal Finance ,Money Management softwares compared - Free and commercial softwares
Why to use a money management software?
The simple answer is to manage our finances. Money isn't everything but we will all agree that it does plays an important role in life. The majority of people find it difficult to budget or balance their cheque books and pay off their credit cards. We fret and worry about organizing our finances not while spending it but when the bill comes. These softwares help keep track of our income and outgoings (expenses). For instance you can create a catagory called 'Car' and a sub categories like
- Car - Fuel
- Car - Maintenance
- Car - Insurance
- Car - Taxes (registration, road user charges - what ever you call them)
and check how much you spent for each sub item every month. This is useful because we can then look at Car expences in general and see
how much it costs up to run, we can then drill down into those outgoings
and take a look at where our money is going. From here we can make
decisions on cutting back or increasing outgoings on certain areas.
For people with more complex financial situations too these financial softwares will be helpful. For example, if you have investments that you need to track as part of your overall financial management plan, these softwares can help you. It allows you to track the progress of each investment in your portfolio, including any actions taken in terms of buying or selling shares.
These softwares can document and calculate the taxes and can prepare reports using templates or create customized reports when necessary. Some of them even have the ability to prepare forecasts on expenses.
Thus personal finance management softwares help us to track our progress with the budget as the month progresses. At any given time,we can generate data on how much we have spent thus far and how much remains available for use in every line item of the budget. Thus it helps us to make sure that we do not go over on items such as food, meals out, or general entertainment.
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How to select the best personal finance software?
There are different money management/ personal finance management softwares available in the market. How can we select the best?
1. User friendly: Why do most people use Windows over Mac? It is easy to use and it is cheaper. Similar is the case for the money management softwares too. Some companies make great softwares, but what use if it is hard to understand? Personal finance software that offers intuitive navigation, user-friendly features and is easy to install is the best one to buy.
2. Manage every aspect of our finance: A good software should be able to manage every aspect of your finances, including your accounts, investments, future plans and taxes.It should include online banking features, such as electronic payments, account reconciliation,account transactions, the ability to write and print checks and the ability to exchange currencies.It should also offers a feature to get stock quotes and manage our mutual funds, stocks, bonds.
3. Provide current/latest information: A goodsoftware should also provide current information on tax laws and stock reviews to help you make informed decisions.
4. Provide financial planning feature: Money management software should help us plan our retirement, purchases, taxes, lifetime events, home purchases, debt relief and other financial goals and money management concerns and provides financial calculators to help us estimate costs, plan collage expenses, savings, taxes and so on.
5. Help us save tax: It should help us find missed deductions and estimate our tax with holdings and capital gains (profit from shares other investments)
6. Able to prepare reports: The software should also have the feature to prepare our financial reports.
In short, the best personal finance software should manage our finances conveniently and stress free, stop money leaks, make better investments and increase our personal net worth.
Free Money Management Softwares
First of all let me introduce to you some of the free personal finance softwares available to download. I select them based on the user reviews and suggestions from different people.
1. Mint.com - the main feature of Mint.com is that you don't have to download the software. You can create your anonymous Mint account, then add your bank, credit card, home loan and investment accounts. This set up takes only five minutes – and that’s all the data entry Mint ever asks of you. Mint immediately pulls in your balances, purchases, stocks, etc. to give you a complete picture of your finances. Mint connects securely to nearly all US banking financial institutions that have Internet banking capability, saving you hours of tedious data entry. It updates your account informations and you can use Mint from through out the world.
How to use Mint.com
Passage to AceMoney Lite
2. AceMoney Lite - It allows you to keep track of spending, investments, bills and more. More importantly, it supports different file formats so you can import your online bank statements to keep your figures up to date quickly and easily. It also has plenty of extra features such as bar graphs, 150 currencies, 20 languages, a loan calculator. It supports investment tracking and offers e-commerce features. AceMoney Lite is really try-before-you-buy software and is limited to only two account.
Welcome to Moneytrackin
3. Money trackin.com:
Many found this software easy to use. It works almost in the same way as Mint.com. It is also a free online webapp that allows you to track all your expenses and income easily and without effort, thus allowing you to have a clear view of your financial situation. It intends to be a simple yet powerful online budget management tool.
Some of its key features are
- Control as many accounts/projects as you want
- Log all your transactions (expenses/income) and tag them to organize them better
- Keep informed of your financial situation at a glance, viewing at any time where your money goes
- Share tips with other users and take advantage of the community knowledge to save money
- Sharing budgets and collaborative working of many people together on the same account (Could be used for small business too)
All the websites that I mentioned above will help you to manage your finances. However, many of us don't like to give our personal informations and data to these websites (bank account number, credit card number...). For people who are more concerned about privacy and security can try the commercial softwares mentioned below for money management. One of the main advantages of this software is that you can download it in your computer and you don't need to give your bank account details to anyone. More secure and safe.
Click here to buy Quicken comprehensive pack
Commercial Personal Finance Management Software
Quicken : It is one of the most popular money management softwares. Quicken has several products depending on what you need the software for.
- Organizes all your accounts in one place
- Shows where you’re spending and where to save
- Helps you stay on top of bills
- It has all the features of Quicken Delux
- Used to manage your investment
- Shows all your investments in one place
- Helps you choose the right investments
Quicken Home and Business:
- It has everything in Quicken Premier
- This product helps you organize your personal and business finances
- Organizes personal and business finances
- Shows business profit and loss
Quicken rental property Manager:
- Everything in Quicken Home & Business,
- Organizes personal and rental property finances
- Tracks income/expenses by property
Like to know more about Quicken? Check the tutorial below
How to use Quicken? Tutorial
Some of you may also know about Microsoft Money. However,it is important to note that Microsoft Money is being discontinued as of 2009. You can still use existing software, but there will be no more updates going forward.
There are other softwares also available in the market for Personal Finance management. I have listed a few below. If you know some other very good software, please share it with others in the comments box below.- thanks
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