With the amount of personal finance apps 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
PowerWallet is an incredibly simple and safe budgeting software designed for ordinary people (especially families) who need to rebuild and secure their finances during both times of economic crisis and growth.
After linking all of your accounts in one place, PowerWallet will analyze your spending to help you create a workable budget. It will also make recommendations for both financial services and products and alert you to discounts on these services and products.
Why it’s the best: Its recommendations for products and discounts are tailored to meet your needs based on your interests and spending.