No matter who you are, what your annual household income is, or where you live, budgeting is a crucial skill. Budgeting can help you recognize where your money is going, curb excessive spending, build better saving habits, and move you more effectively towards your retirement or other long-term financial goals.
The right financial planning software can help make budgeting easier and can help you visualize your expenses more effectively. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best financial planning software currently available on the market along with more information on how to recognize the next great financial planning program.
The Best Financial Planning Software of This Year
Based on the criteria above, we’ve compiled a list of the top financial planning software you can use.
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is an account aggregation software that offers users a single solution to coordinate multiple bank accounts. You can move between bank accounts with a single click or swipe and the software also offers comprehensive retirement planning advice (including a calculator to determine how much you need to save annually to retire on time), a fee calculator to identify where you’re losing money on overdraw and late fees, and budgeting tools that allow you to organize expenses by date, type, and transaction amount.
Personal Capital offers both desktop and mobile app compatibility, which makes it simple to track cash flow and expenses no matter where you go. Personal Capital’s software is free, but you’ll need to pay an additional fee to access some of its wealth management tools.
Quicken’s financial planning software packages offer a comprehensive set of tools, from budget creation to debt tracking and even investment coaching and advising.
More advanced users will love Quicken’s Excel compatibility which allows them to perform calculations and quickly import data into Quicken’s system. The software’s corresponding app is also powerful, mirrors compatibility from the desktop platform and even allows users to send and pay bills on the road—unlike some other tools, which water down functionality on the mobile platform.
Quicken is one of the more expensive personal finance management options on the list; software packages start at $34.99. However, for hands-on personal planners and independent contractors who want to take a more proactive role in their financial health, Quicken’s suite of tools may be worth the investment.
Popular among millennials, the Mint app has attracted over 20 million users in just over a decade of operation thanks to its easy-to-use platform and hands-off approach to investing.
Mint allows you to input your banking and credit card information, and the software automatically analyzes your finances and pinpoints areas in which you can cut back to save money. The software also helps keep users accountable by allowing them to enable alerts and push notifications for things like low balances, incoming minimum bill payment dates and overdraft notices, which can help you avoid paying expensive late fees or accruing interest on credit cards.
Mint’s software is totally free and available on both desktop and mobile.
While the platform offers only simple budgeting and finance tools, its simple design makes it easy for even new budgeters to get started. Mint is best used by younger investors, personal finance newbies, and those who frequently find themselves racking up late fees or interest because they have trouble keeping track of all of their accounts.