With the amount of personal finance software and investing tools available today, it’s not easy to determine which are the best ones to manage your money and investments. So we’ve created this simple list as a shortcut for your budgeting needs.
With each service listed we’ve done an in-depth review.
And we not only share the best ones, but we explain why we view them as the top in their industry.
This is of course from our perspective, personal experiences, and time spent testing out each app.
Personal Capital is an excellent personal finance app that syncs your spending, saving and investing accounts. It's easy to use, plus it's free! Personal Capital has a powerful feature that completes a thorough checkup of your investment portfolio. However, its Wealth Management service, is more expensive than other robo advisors.
- Complete View of Your Finances
- Powerful Investment Checkup
- Support via Many Apps
- The You Index
- Easy to Use
- Custom Allocation of Unknown Assets
- Great Reporting
- All-Inclusive Wealth Management Fee
- Asset Allocation Is Not Customizable
- Budgeting Tool Needs Improvement
- Cannot Reconcile
- Expensive Wealth Management Service
- High Minimum for Wealth Management
- No Import Option From Quicken
Not to be outdone by Mint.com for long, Personal Capital‘s budgeting tool, also known as the Cash Flow Tracker, allows you to track income, spending, and saving done over time. It then breaks down your spending habits into categories, allowing you to view transactions by date, merchant, or vendor, so you can analyze each purchase.
In addition to the Cash Flow feature you can view your bills, credit card statements, and project your spending based on minimum payments and due dates. And the best part is that all of the features are available for free within Personal Capital’s already free software.
Why it’s the best: Personal Capital is our favorite investing app here at Investor Junkie. This new budgeting feature adds functionality to an already great investing app experience.
Quicken for Windows remains the gold standard for personal finance software. It has the most comprehensive features and functions on the market. And it offers strong budgeting, bill pay and investment monitoring features. However, it's not your best choice if you want mobile app access.
- Most Comprehensive
- Strong Portfolio Management
- Bill Pay
- Robust Budgeting
- Improved Mobile App
- Unknown Future
- Synchronization Issues for Some Users
- Poor Customer Service
- Required to Use Desktop Software
Like Personal Capital, Quicken is a favorite here at Investor Junkie. although in recent months the updates and limitations of the software have caused us to favor Personal Capital over Quicken. Nevertheless, it’s easy to use and links all of your financial accounts in one place to track spending, set up a budget, store and save receipts, and get alerts when your bills are due.
After linking your external accounts once, Quicken will update your finances automatically. While users have complained about budgeting capabilities in the past, the 2014 update has improved this with options to exclude transfers.
Why it’s the best: It’s the most comprehensive personal finance application available in the market (even if that’s by default).
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is one of the more popular budgeting apps on the market, and for good reason. It costs very little and has great synchronization features. Although YNAB doesn't track your investments, it excels at creating and managing your budget.
- YNAB Is All About Budgeting
- Goes Beyond the Mechanics of Budgeting
- Low Cost
- YNAB Continues to Evolve
- No Phone or Email Contact
- Not a One-Stop Shop for All Things Financial
- Lacks Two-Factor Authentication
For a more proactive budgeting software than Mint.com, you may want to check out YNAB. While YNAB does not handle the investing aspects of users’ finances, it helps people who are starting out on their financial journeys or trying to pay off debt set up a realistic budget in which they are actively involved.
YNAB has four basic rules for budgeting: (1) stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, (2) give every dollar a job, (3) save for a rainy day, and (4) roll with the punches. The program uses these rules to help its customers set up budgets and actually follow through with them.
Why it’s the best: It helps new budgeters set up and carry through with a complete, and more in-depth, budget plan.
If you're looking for financial planning, investing advice and budgeting, LearnVest may be a good option. However, unlike robo advisors, the service will not do the investing for you.
- Low Fee Structure
- Goal Setting
- Financial Planning Available
- Great Access to Advisor
- Free Knowledge Center
- No Auto Pay
- No Direct Management
- Expensive Budgeting
- No Access to Credit Report
- No Android App
It’s great to have a decent software to budget with — but wouldn’t it be great to get financial advice from experts along with it? With LearnVest, users will have access to its helpful advice center, featuring expert advice on all things finance.
LV used to focus on finance for women, but it is now gender neutral. You can set up a LearnVest budget and get a financial checkup for free. Beyond this, there are paid options that offer many different features, like consultations, goal assessments, and five-year plans.
Why it’s the best: It gives you access to expert financial advice and support.
It's more reliable than Mint, has a customizable summary display, and lets you share your financials with your accountant. However, although Yodlee MoneyCenter was a pioneer in online personal finance, this old-timer is beginning to show its age. Its design is clunky, plus you have to pay to download the mobile app.
- More Reliable Than Mint.com
- Account Sharing
- Customizable Summary Screen
- Clunky User Interface
- Weak Investing Section
- Fee for Mobile Apps
- Static Categorization
You may already be using Yodlee and not even know it! The company powers several financial websites to download financial data, including LearnVest and Personal Capital. Yodlee also offers its own financial software with its MoneyCenter service.
With MoneyCenter, you can link all of your accounts in one place to review transactions, analyze expenses, and create budgets. It also has a great account sharing feature so you can share all or part of your financial information with your accountant with little effort on your part.
Why it’s the best: It is the original online personal finance software and offers account sharing features.
Banktivity 6 is personal finance software that gets right what Quicken for Mac gets wrong, offering several features that only Quicken for Windows provides. However, you need to have the latest edition of iOS in order to use the software.
- Strong Macintosh Support
- Private Cloud Sync
- Report Exporting
- Requires Latest macOS
- Odd Portfolio Categorization
If you are a Mac user, you may want to consider Banktivity for your budgeting needs. Quicken is better suited to Windows users, but Banktivity is all about user friendliness for customers who prefer iThings.
Banktivity is easy to use and allows users to create budgets, monitor investments, and pay bills. For Mac customers, it is similar to Quicken in both form and features.
Why it’s the best: It is a great budgeting software alternative for Mac users.
Free personal finance app Mint can make budgeting, expense tracking and online bill paying easy. It can even track your credit score. However, when it comes to investing, there are many more sophisticated products, and users have complained about problems with the bank synchronization functions.
- Weekly Summaries via Email
- Alerts via Email or SMS
- Budgeting and Goal Setting
- Automatic Downloaded Transactions
- Credit Score Tracking
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Bill Notification and Payment
- Lack of Investing Features
- Synchronization Issues
- Lack of Report Generation
- No Reconciliation
- No Import Option From Quicken
Easily the most talked about free budgeting software, Mint.com is a great option for tracking spending and setting financial goals. You can easily set up a budget for each spending category, get email reminders when you approach or exceed that budget, and compare spending from one month to the next.
With goal setting capabilities, you can set debt payoff and savings goals along with monthly contributions or an end date. Each month, Mint.com will email its users to let them know how they are progressing on their goals.
Why it’s the best: It’s great for simplified budgeting and goal setting.