Free Personal Finance Software To Simplify Your Finances[yoast-breadcrumb]
Free Personal Finance Software To Simplify Your Finances
Managing your finances can be complicated. Between tracking income, expenses, investments, debt, and more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why using personal finance software can help simplify everything. The best part is there are many great free options available.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the top free personal finance tools. We’ll cover what features they offer and who they might work best for. With so many choices, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and budget (or lack thereof)!
What Is Personal Finance Software?
Personal finance software helps you manage all aspects of your financial life in one place. This includes features like:
- Budgeting – Track income and expenses, create spending plans and budgets.
- Banking – Link accounts to track balances and transactions.
- Investing – Monitor investment accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, and taxable accounts.
- Debt – Track student loans, mortgages, credit cards and other debts.
- Net Worth – See your overall financial picture including assets and liabilities.
- Reporting – Generate reports to analyze spending, net worth over time, etc.
The main benefit of using personal finance software is convenience. Everything is integrated in one dashboard so you can see your complete financial picture. It eliminates the need for spreadsheets or paper tracking.
Many personal finance apps also offer tools and insights to improve your finances. For example, helping optimize spending or pay down debt faster.
Top Free Personal Finance Software
Here are some of the best free personal finance tools and apps available:
Mint is one of the most popular free finance apps. It’s owned by Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks and Turbotax. Mint has a very user-friendly interface that makes it easy to stay on top of your finances.
With Mint you can:
- Link bank accounts, credit cards, investments and loans.
- Create budgets and track spending by category or merchant.
- Set bill reminders and view upcoming due dates in one place.
- Monitor your credit score and get alerts for suspicious activity.
- Use Mint’s credit score improvement and debt payoff tools.
One unique feature is Mint’s spending analysis. It can track recurring bills, find ways you can save, and give personalized tips based on your habits.
The mobile app and browser experience are equally good. Mint is best if you want an easy, full-service finance app with little effort. The downside is it lacks advanced features for investing and debt management.
2. Personal Capital
Personal Capital focuses more on investments versus budgeting. It provides free financial dashboards and portfolio monitoring.
You can use Personal Capital to:
- Link investment accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, brokerages.
- Track asset allocation across accounts and rebalance your portfolio.
- Analyze fees, performance, and other investment details.
- Monitor net worth over time including real estate and other assets.
- Take advantage of free financial planning tools and analysis.
Personal Capital offers more robust investment tracking than many other free apps. The dashboard gives you a quick snapshot of your accounts in one place.
The financial planning features are also helpful for retirement planning or other big picture analysis. Personal Capital is best for hands-off investing and net worth tracking. The budgeting features are fairly basic.
3. Tiller Money
Tiller Money takes a spreadsheet-centric approach to finance management. It connects your accounts to Google Sheets or Excel. This allows you to build customized budgets, trackers, reports and more.
With Tiller you can:
- Automate expense, income, account and other tracking.
- Create custom spreadsheets and templates for your needs.
- Use formulas and other spreadsheet features for deeper analysis.
- Sync your bank and credit card transactions.
- Collaborate with a partner or advisor on the same spreadsheet.
The DIY spreadsheet approach provides flexibility that other apps don’t. Since Tiller syncs transactions automatically, you get the automation without sacrificing control.
Tiller is great for those who like building their own financial tools. The learning curve is higher but it’s worth it for total customization.
YNAB, which stands for “You Need a Budget”, uses a unique budgeting method. It focuses on giving every dollar you earn a purpose through a “zero-based budget”.
Key features include:
- Building a zero-based budget that accounts for every dollar spent.
- Entering future scheduled transactions so nothing is missed.
- Flexible categories and budgeting methods. Roll with the punches as needed.
- Reports to analyze spending habits over time. Find ways to save money.
- Account syncing or manual entry.
- Robust mobile app.
YNAB’s budgeting approach is very hands-on. It takes some effort up front but pays off through better spending decisions and accountability. YNAB is great for those who need to get serious about budgeting and sticking to financial goals.
Goodbudget uses the “envelope budgeting” method. This involves dividing your income into virtual “envelopes” for spending categories. When an envelope is empty, you stop spending in that category.
With Goodbudget you can:
- Create envelopes for categories like dining, entertainment, groceries, etc.
- Budget variable income and savings goals along with fixed expenses.
- Sync transactions or enter manually. Lock envelopes once funded.
- Use split transactions to allocate purchases across multiple envelopes.
- Share envelopes with a partner or family member.
Goodbudget makes envelope budgeting easy through its simple interface. The app view provides a visual snapshot of envelope balances. Goodbudget also includes debt tracking and reporting. It’s a great choice for couples or families that want to budget together.
EveryDollar comes from Dave Ramsey, author of popular personal finance books and radio shows. The app focuses on budget creation and following a plan.
With EveryDollar you can:
- Build a zero-based budget across categories including irregular expenses.
- Adjust budgets easily as needed. Income and expenses don’t have to match every month.
- Enter transactions manually or link accounts.
- Use the budget planner and calculators.
- Get reminders to enter transactions.
EveryDollar is designed for Ramsey’s budgeting approach of giving jobs to your dollars. The free version provides the core features needed to create and follow a budget. It’s simple to use for budget beginners.
7. Money Manager Ex
Money Manager Ex provides robust tracking and reporting for free. It has more advanced features than many other free finance apps.
Some key features include:
- Budgeting with powerful filtering and reporting.
- Investments tracking including stocks, mutual funds, and asset allocation.
- Debt tracking and payoff planning.
- Schedule recurring transactions and split categories.
- Database encryption and other security features.
- Available on Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Money Manager Ex is open source software with an active developer community. That means it’s constantly being updated and improved. For those who like to dig into details and customize settings, it’s a great choice.
8. Firefly III
Similar to Money Manager Ex, Firefly III is an open source personal finance app with advanced features. It is web-based rather than mobile-centric.
Some highlights include:
- Income and expense tracking with tagging for reporting.
- Support for credit cards, loans, stocks, budgets and more.
- Transaction splitting and bulk editing tools.
- Customizable categories and currency support.
- Detailed search and filtering capabilities.
- Self-hostable on your own server if desired.
For those with complex finances to manage, Firefly III provides the flexibility and tools to handle it. The interface is more utilitarian versus user-friendly, but it’s a small tradeoff for everything you get.
Choosing the Best Personal Finance Software
With all the great options today, how do you choose the right free personal finance software? Here are a few key things to consider:
- Your needs – Do you want to track net worth, manage complex budgets, monitor investments? Make sure the software has features that are important to you.
- Simplicity vs. control – Some apps do everything automatically while others are more hands-on. Decide how much effort you’re willing to put in.
- Mobile experience – If you’re on the go a lot, choose an app with a great mobile experience.
- Learning curve – Some tools have steeper learning curves. Make sure you choose one you’re comfortable with.
- Security – Since these apps store sensitive info, security features like encryption are important.
- Customer support – Paid services often have better support. With free apps, you may need to rely on forums or FAQs.
- Syncing – Does the app automatically sync your financial accounts or do you enter manually? Consider which is a better fit for your habits.
The most important thing is finding a tool you’ll actually use consistently. Even the best app does no good if you can’t form the habit of tracking your finances regularly.
Get Started Simplifying Your Finances
If your finances feel chaotic and overwhelming, personal finance software can help provide structure. All of the apps above offer great free versions to get started. Take some time to explore the options and find one that fits your preferences.
The key is sticking with it long enough to make it a habit. Once you get in a rhythm, you’ll find your financial stress decreasing and your confidence increasing. Who couldn’t use more of that?
So don’t wait any longer – pick an app and start simplifying your finances today. Your future self will thank you! Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite personal finance app we didn’t mention. We’re always looking for new tools to try out.