Bill Management & Budget Planning Apps
☞ Free: Free – MoneyNotes is a simple way to keep track of bills and payments without much fanfare. But its sheer simplicity makes it easy to use, and the attractive interface makes it easy on the eyes.
☞ Free: Mint is a natural choice if you’re a Quicken or Microsoft Money user looking for a free online service. Mint is slick, easy to use, and provides detailed reports and plenty of advice. But it lacks some of the tools free bill-management services offer – as well as the ability to record your transactions the way you want to.
Our Favorite Personal Finance Apps
One of the most daunting goals for people is saving and managing money. It doesn’t matter whether you are saving for retirement or have recently graduated into the workforce, balancing your budget and making sure you are ready for any unexpected events is hard to do. Fortunately, you aren’t alone. Technology has advanced to the point where you can search for personal finance advice and help online.
Before we look at our favorite personal finance software for 2019, we want to highlight some of the different things you can do today to help you make your financial future more secure.
Do Your Research on Financial Opportunities throughout Life
One of the ways that life makes it easy to proceed is that it groups similar experiences together throughout life. For example, when you finish school, you have to look for a job. When you get a job, you have to pay taxes. When you pay taxes, you have to choose a retirement plan.
Choosing a retirement plan isn’t like choosing a career. There are many opportunities to save for retirement. The problem is that there are so many options that it can feel overwhelming. Plus, who has the time to spend a few hours reading and comparing retirement plans?
Best for Wealth Management: Personal Capital
Personal Capital’s free financial software helps you track your net worth, cash flow and more. It helps you plan for future financial goals, and although Personal Capital is primarily personal finance software, you can also use it to help manage your small business.
You can access your Personal Capital account through any device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc) and through your web browser. Personal Capital also tracks investment goals and retirement goals, and with the business tools, it helps you track current position and progress against a beginning value, both overall and based on product category. For small businesses with lots of inventory, Personal Capital’s portfolio watch helps you track assets, depreciation, and debt. You also get a built-in advisor base, so you can save on commissions and get tax optimization advice.
Best for Budgeting & Money Management: YNAB
YNAB is the gold standard budgeting software and has been saving people a lot of money since 2004. While most other budgeting software is focused on monetary management, YNAB focuses on helping users change their relationship with money.
The developers of YNAB designed their personal finance software to help individuals live within their means and escape from the debt cycle. Unlike other personal finance software that only accounts for money going in and out, YNAB factors in your long-term goals, which can often help you make better spending choices.
The best part about YNAB is the money accounts feature. Once you set your budget for each money account, you can easily track how much money is going into each account. You can use this information to check on your progress toward a financial goal or set a realistic spending plan.
In terms of categorization, YNAB is very different than most other personal finance software. Instead of forcing you to separate your income and expenses into rigid categories, YNAB categories can be divided to your liking. While some may find this flexible approach to categorization a bit frustrating, it may actually help you clarify your spending decisions and learn how to better manage your money.
Best Financial Planning at an Affordable Price: Facet Wealth
Maintaining your finances can be tedious. It not only requires discipline, but consistency too. Maintaining a ledger and accounting for your transactions is more than a job, it can be a full-time job!
If it is only you who is dealing with your finances, then using spreadsheets or even online tools will help you manage everything easily. But as soon as you are handling other people’s finances, it becomes a serious task.
Amidst the clutter of personal financial management apps, Facet Wealth stands out as one of the most feature-rich, affordable and innovative financial planning softwares. The fact that it is cloud-based makes it a one-stop platform for digital accounting that does not require you to pay for multiple products. All you need to do is install the application on your desktop as well as mobile and you can track your accounts from anywhere.
To get started, you can enter your transaction history by hand. But if you wish to make a long-term commitment to your financial planning, it is better to connect your bank, and credit cards to the platform. This ensures that all your data is stored accurately. As you enter data, the financial planning app not only comes to calculate your income, savings, investments and expenses but also the net worth and retirement plan!
Best for Helping Your Credit Score: Experian Boost
Experian Boost walks you through a variety of tasks around the topic of credit. You have to check your credit score, take photos of important documents (like your driver’s license) and scan receipts. After establishing that you are like a normal human being, the app then helps with the more financially-focused tasks.
For example, it’ll send you free credit-building tools like a free credit report and guide to credit scores. It also will help you better understand your credit score. That way, you can know if you’re in line for a credit increase or a loan. It even has an opportunity cost calculator to help you decide if you should be putting your money into a savings or investments account instead.
When you’re done going through it all, you also can print your credit recovery plan. Doing everything is a bit of a pain but it could really go a long way (literally) to clearing up your credit issues.
Most Comprehensive Personal Finance App: Quicken
Quicken is perhaps the best personal finance software for your organizing and growing needs.
Quicken comes in a wide variety of different forms. If you want step by step guidance with Quicken Starter Edition, a step up from that is Quicken Deluxe, and the top of the Quicken heap is Quicken Premier.
After deciding whether you want to go with a desktop, web, or mobile version and paying for it, you’ll be prompted to create a username and password to access your information.
After that, you’ll be asked to connect your online banking accounts into the program.
When you first start with Quicken, you’ll be asked some questions about yourself and your financial situation.
These basic questions will help you to start setting goals in Quicken.
For instance, Quicken will ask how much you want to save for an emergency fund.
You’ll also be asked how much you think you can spend without putting yourself into credit card debt.
After that, Quicken will compare every dollar you spend to your spending limits.
Great Overall App: Mint
When it comes to free personal finance software, Mint is my overall favorite. It has a simplified approach that is appealing to most users and actually provides enough features to make it an ideal alternative to a DIY app.
Why do we love Mint?
If you haven’t heard of Mint yet, you’re missing out on a lot of great budgeting software.
Mint started as a mobile app and is now one of the most popular personal finance software around. Software is available for mobile, tablet, and desktop so you can use it anywhere.
It’s completely free to use, but makes money by recommending financial products to its users.
Those products, however, are definitely regulated and unbiased. It’s pretty trustworthy and the reviews on it are so good.
If you’re looking for a great personal finance software with a lot of options, sites, and features, but you want it to be free, this is one of the best personal finance software programs you can use to track spending. You won’t have the same functionality and option as you have with software like Wesabe, but if you’re willing to get a lot of value without paying anything, this is a great option for you.
Overall, we like it because of what it offers without its cost. This is a great program to use if you’re broke.
Best for Serious Budgeting: CountAbout
Now that you have a detailed plan, your budgeting program should be able to keep it up to date. CountAbout is the most capable of this bunch. It can import your bank statements and credit card transactions, letting you categorize them and see where your money is going… as long as they’re in the right accounts and it can import your accounts from your finance software if you’re using something else like Quicken.
Budgeting Tools: CountAbout is a strongest for its easy-to-use interface and smart budgeting tools. The program walks you through creating categories, entering expenses, and setting rules for your money. For example, if you overspend on food, it can tell you to spend less next month to get closer to your plan. It tells your progress at a glance through Smart Updates. It also has a Smart Deposit feature that lets you know when you’ve exceeded your spending plan and a feature called Balance Bling to surround your financial goal with sunflowers.
Most Thorough Credit Management: The Credit Pros
Even if you have never bought a house or a car before, there is a great chance that you have a credit score. This is because most financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, and credit card companies, commonly look at an applicant’s credit score before approving them for loans or credit. Because of the increasing significance of a credit score in determining your financial future, it is fundamental you keep abreast of your credit history.
Employers can also access credit scores when deciding to approve someone for a job. Some landlords will then ask to see a copy of your credit before letting you rent. So it is essential you have a credit-management strategy in place if you are applying for a job with a company that requires a credit check, and if you plan on renting an apartment.
Government institutions and non-profit organizations also take a copy of your credit score when applying for a replacement passport or visa, and it could also be used for a background check by a security institution. In order words, this information can be used in a variety of situations by various organizations you interact with on a regular basis, and it is therefore important that you have a way to monitor it.
To take care of your credit, you will have good access to information from any source you purchased it from. This includes the following:
- Credit reports
- Credit score
Best Financial Predictor: PocketSmith
Perhaps the most obvious of any financial predictors is PocketSmith. PocketSmith is the most well-known and popular system for keeping track of your bank transactions and other finances.
There are more features than you can shake a stick at. PocketSmith is a great choice for people who prefer an an easy but powerful app-based system.
It can still be great for people who prefer a more traditional desktop style. It is not your old, hard-to-use Quicken. There is nothing to download and you get immediate and automatic updates with your bank information.
Some of their most notable features:
” Goal markers – Create a goal, budget, and manage your goal setting with easy to use budget sliders.
” Receipt scanning – Scan receipts with your phone's camera and have PocketSmith take care of categorizing and accounting for them.
” Receipt tracking – You can take advantage of powerful tools in PocketSmith to save even more time when traveling.
” Contact management – Turn your contacts in your phone into a good tool to keep track of the people and companies you do business with.
” Google-like search – You can find what you're looking for quickly, and you can always look in different ways.
The Bottom Line
I had almost given up all hope in finding good financial software until I came across Retired Flash. This is one of the top personal finance software available on the market and receives a resounding approval by numerous users.
It’s extremely user-friendly with a great intuitive interface. It’s fun to use as well, and you’ll find that winning flash rewards is actually a very satisfying experience.
It comes with plenty of features that will help you organize your income, expenses, loans, credit cards, insurance, financial goals, and not to mention your family financial accounts with ease.
Retired Flash is an easy to use retirement planning software that combines budgeting and net worth management. It’s specially designed to help you plan for your retirement, keep track of all your financial accounts, and manage your retirement portfolio.
Plan for Your Retirement
Retired Flash allows you to consider several goals and objectives to go after before retiring. It will help you set a financial plan and a realistic budget that will help you achieve those goals.