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One of the most important things when it comes to personal finance is taking control of your money, instead of allowing it to control you.
You need to track your monthly income and expenses, and give every dollar a name and a job. All income should be assigned to an expense category, or to a saving category. Every penny. If you allow your excess income to remain unassigned, it will disappear, I guarantee it. (I know from personal experience.)
Budgeting Programs To Help Track Your Money
Tracking your family budget is becoming easier all the time as new software options appear on the market every day.
Here’s a giant list of some of the best budgeting options available. Some programs are free, some have free trials, and some do cost money. Both Mac and Windows programs are included.
Desktop And Online Money Applications
- Ace Money Lite: A freeware personal finance manager.
- Banktivity for Mac: A slick-looking financial manager with a ton of features.
- Buddi: A personal finance and budgeting program.
- Budget5000: Plan your personal budget, track spending
- Budget Express: Create and manage a budget.
- Budget Simple: A free, easy to use online budget
- Budgeting Spending Plan: A budgeting guideline that shows amounts you should spend in certain categories.
- BudgetPulse: Organize your cash flow, expenses, and bank accounts in one place.
- Budget Tracker: A feature-rich money management tool.
- Buxfer.com: Easy online money management.
- ClearCheckbook: Money management software.
- EveryDollar: Straight from Dave Ramsey and the folks at Ramsey Solutions, this zero-based budgeting software has free and premium versions. Read my full EveryDollar review.
- Goodbudget: A full-featured envelope budgeting site and set of apps. Has a free version and a premium version. Full review here.
- GnuCash: A personal and small-business financial-accounting software.
- Home Budget:
- iCash: A personal finance manager for Mac and Windows.
- Inzolo: A super simple budgeting application based on the time-tested envelope method.
- JGnash Personal Finance: A free personal finance manager with many of the same features as commercially-available software.
- JustBudget: A free online web application to manage your personal budget.
- Liquid Ledger: Mac OS personal finance manager.
- Mint.com: Easy to use and full-featured online money manager that allows you to check all your accounts in one place. Includes budgeting and saving tools.
- MiShell Budget Calendar: Take control of your finances with this easy to use, intuitive software that shows all transactions in an easy-to-understand calendar format.
- Moneydance Personal Finance Manager: Organize your finances, manage your budget, track your portfolio, or just automatically balance your checkbook. Moneydance can do it all.
- Moneyspire: People friendly finance management.
- Moneystrands: Free money manager that automatically pulls together data from your bank, credit card, and investment accounts to provide an accurate, up-to-date picture of your financial life.
- MoneyWell: Mac OS envelope budgeting.
- Mvelopes: An online personal finance and spending management system based on the envelope system.
- NeoBudget: An online budget system that uses the envelope method to help you track your spending habits and stick to a budget.
- Pear Budget: A simple budgeting and expense tracking service.
- Empower: One of my go-to apps for keeping track of my finances and especially my investments. Full review here.
- Piggy Budget: Track your spending without complicated accounting.
- PLCash: PLCash is a platform-independent personal financial program.
- Pocketsmith.com: The unique forward-focus of PocketSmith tells you what sticking to budget means for the future of your money. It is a crystal ball for your bank accounts. Very cool!
- Quicken: Great desktop application that does it all.
- Quicken Online: Free, full-featured, and easy money management – online. Also works and syncs with the Quicken Iphone App. (Update: now merged with Mint.com)
- Rich Or Poor: Track income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and much more
- Squirrel for Mac: A personal finance application for Mac OS X.
- Snowmint Creative Budget: Manage your money to get out and stay out of debt.
- Tiller Money: Tiller Money helps you to budget using Google spreadsheets that will automatically pull in your transaction data from your bank. Very cool. Ready my full Tiller Money review here.
- Yodlee MoneyCenter: Free online money manager to track spending, pay bills and more.
- You Need A Budget: One of the more popular personal finance programs in the personal finance blogosphere, YNAB is highly recommended. Read my full YNAB 3 Review and YNAB 4 Review here. YNAB also now has an online version. (We use YNAB for our budget now.)
Excel Budget Templates
- Budget Spread: Spreadsheet from gatherlittlebylittle.com
- Budget Spreadsheet: Spreadsheet from financefreelancelife.com
- Dave Ramsey Allocated Spending Spreadsheet
- Enemy of Debt Budget: Spreadsheet from EnemyOfDebt.com
- Financial Snapshot & Budget: Spreadsheet from BudgetsAreSexy.com
- Google Docs Budget Templates: A bunch of usable budget templates.
- Tiller Budget Templates: Premium templates from Tiller.
- Vertex42 Budgets And Calculators: Budgets and a variety of other excel calculators.
- Windows Excel Templates: A variety of excel budget spreadsheets are available here.
- Zero Based Budget
iOS & Android Money Apps
- Bank Of America App: If you have accounts with BoA as I do, this may come in handy. Includes bank and ATM locator that uses Iphone’s GPS.
- Banktivity Mobile: iPhone app that lets you keep track of your day-to-day spending and account balances on the go.
- Bloomberg Mobile: Mobile version of Bloomberg’s financial news, stock info, etc.
- BUDGT: iPhone app that helps you set up a budget based on your recurring income and expenses.
- Chase Finance: If you have an account with Chase, this is their online banking app.
- Daily Finance: Money news, stock quotes, stock market news, etc.
- Dollarbird: Keep a close eye on your cash flow for better financial planning.
- Goodbudget: online software was mentioned, but they also have apps available that are extremely helpful.
- Home Budget: Budget apps for iOS and Android.
- iBearMoney: An intuitive personal finance manager.
- Level Money: Level Money helps you plan ahead for essentials like rent and bills, and then lets you set a target savings goal.
- Mint.com iPhone App: Great app for always knowing where you are with your finances – gives you a complete picture of all your accounts. Also on Android.
- Money Lover: A budget planner and expense tracker.
- Moneystrands Mobile: Mobile version of the online application above.
- Pay Off Debt: This app is dedicated to helping you run your debt snowball.
- Pennies App: An expense tracker that helps you track your spending against budget goals.
- Empower: I mentioned their online software up above, but they’re worth mentioning again because of their superb app.
- PocketMoney: a full-featured budgeting and account tracking tool.
- PocketGuard: Seamlessly control your money, bills, and budget from a single place.
- Quicken Online Mobile: Syncs with the Quicken online financial tools mentioned above.
- Spendee: On iPhone and Android, this app helps you to visualize where your money is going.
- Spending Tracker: Simple application that allows you to track your budget.
- Splash Money: Full checkbook and finance tracking tool.
- Squirrel for Iphone: Mobile version of the macOS personal finance application above.
- Wally: Expense tracker and budget app.
So there you go. There is no shortage of options when it comes to personal finance tracking and budget software. There really is no excuse for not doing a budget. So why not get started today?
My Personal Choice For Best Budgeting Software
So there are a ton of options on this page for budgeting software. I have personally tried quite a few of them, and when it comes down to it there are three main ones that I would recommend, and that I use on a regular basis. Those include:
- You Need A Budget: This has been my go to budgeting software for going on 5 years now. I use it every day, and my wife and I both prefer it to other software.
- Tiller Money: I also have started using Tiller Money as an easy to use automated budgeting spreadsheet to complement YNAB. It automatically pulls my bank transactions and categorizes them for me. I love it – and they have an Excel spreadsheet version as well!
- Empower: I use this mainly for tracking my investment accounts. It gives me a good 10,000 foot view of my investing activity, and has some good tracking for general finances as well.
Do you have a favorite personal finance software – either online, desktop, or mobile? If you do, let us know about it (and leave a link) in the comments. We’ll add it to the list!
Terrific list! I can’t wait to work through it later on today—what do you use for your main budgeting software? We use a combination of Quicken 2007 for Mac + spreadsheets. (We’d use Mint, but our main checking/savings is not supported.)
Peter Anderson says
I currently use a combination of You Need A Budget, Mint.com and Personal Capital. It works well for me now, but after writing this post I may give some of these other software a test run.
Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says
Fantastic collection, sharing this with my readers and network. Thanks!
Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach ´s last post ..Superb Customer Service – A Lesson From Sears Repair Customer Care
Single Guy Money says
Awesome list. I recently started using AceMoney and it’s pretty cool for what I need it to do.
Thank you for including BudgetPulse.com in your long list of excellent resources. These tools will surely hep consumers out and getting started is the key. We just released our brand new site today and released a new savings goals function that will impress. If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me.
Marketing Director at BudgetPulse
BudgetPulse.com is an excellent choice. It is very easy to use and attractive.
Budgets Are Sexy says
Are you trying to seduce me, sir?
Peter Anderson says
haha.. what do you think? :)
Jason @ RedeemingRiches says
Wow! Nice job compiling the list man! I hear a lot of good stuff about Mint – may have to give ’em a try.
Jason @ RedeemingRiches´s last post ..7 Tips to Achieve Retirement Success
Michelle Traudt says
I love this! Thanks for taking the time to put this list together!!
Peter Anderson says
My pleasure. It only took a week or two. ;)
Paul @ Fiscalgeek says
Now that is a list! There are tons of great resources here, I was going to do a full budget software roundup but frankly it became too daunting. Love those vertex42 spreadsheets myself and I’m a YNAB lover.
Paul @ Fiscalgeek´s last post ..The Career Diaries: The Network Engineer
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
Thanks for putting this terrific list together, Peter! I’ve been doing my budget/expense tracking old school style (paper and pencil) and have been wanting to upgrade! Thanks for sharing some great resources – Now I can save time AND money!
Thanks for the list. The problem I had was in finding a good UK based company similar to mint.com
Recently there has been a lot of press coverage and It now looks like there is one to be launched shortly called Money Dashboard.
I have signed up at http://www.moneydashboard.com for the Beta and hope to get started soon.
Hey Peter thanks a lot for adding my budget to such a great list of resources! I agree with Jason, I may have to give Mint a try too.
Brad´s last post ..The Day I Killed My Credit Card
Awesome list….i guess anyone who needs to track his/her Personal Finance this list would be more than enuf for deciding about it…still I would like to recommend Perfios (http://www.perfios.com) as which is a start up from bangalore, India. They seem to have a better way to show themselves as most comprehensive and better auto update of accounts…they cover all kinds of investments and Insurance and Liabilities…try it out !!
Here are a few more to add to the list. I cannot vouch for their quality just thought I would list them.
AceMoney (not the lite version)
Budget Planner (from simpleplanning.com) Excel Sheets
EDIT: A Couple More…
MoneySlinger (Radically different approach to money management)
Remy | Money Saving Ideas says
Very nice list!
I would add “MyFinanceX” for anyone who is a fan of the money jar system like myself.
Excel is a very nice way of managing your budget. Check out the program I made using Excel, there is a free version on my website http://www.excelmybudget.com no strings attached. It is very easy to use. All you have to do is download your bank and/or credit card statements, copy and paste into the spreadsheet, and the program does the rest! No manually typing in dollar amounts. Let me know what you think!
My favorite budgeting software is 3D Budget. 3D Budget has the unique ability to tell you what expenses have been left out of the budget. (http://www.3dbudget.com)
Mark Aaron says
Don’t forget about budgetmath.com! It’s great website that automatically creates your budget very fast and easily: http://www.budgetmath.com
It’s for personal use but you can also use it for a family or a household.
Christopher Gokey says
I’d like to give a little plug for iEnvelopes w/ Sync. Note: I’m developer, so I’m biased. It has been through a huge overall, so earlier reviews don’t make a lot of sense for the current version. It is designed to be about as simple and as close the the spirit of envelope budgeting possible. There is a free limited version out there, so please give it a try! It is packed with features, unlimited envelopes, folders, payday w/ variable/fixed budgets, tags, reports, and pretty simple to use. Includes iCloud sync’ing technology which is improving with every new IOS upgrade.
Great recommendation! But there are a lot apps unknown to people. Now I’m using premium version of CashBase https://www.cashbasehq.com/ which is a very simple finance app. I also tried Mint and Home Budget, but CashBase is really anything that I need!
I use Geltbox money -automatic download from any website (banks,credit cards).
I like that I can keep my data locally instead of in the cloud.
An excellent home finance planner and tracker.
Jacob Merkley says
You said to leave a comment if we have a personal finance software that we like. What about for the DIY group out there? At Power Over Life, we have directions to work through a budget, alone with templates, spreadsheets and calculators for others to use.
You also mentioned that you’ll add our suggestions to the list. If you feel my suggestion to be worthy of the list, here is the link:
I’ve been using Apptivo for expense management. It is not only for business and also keep track of my personal expenses. I can access it through my mobile devices, so easily update every single penny spends. It is quite good for use and worth for invest.
http://www.lifestyle-budget.com this simple to use home/personal budgeting software works by entering bills and income, then calculates out your budget. it includes charting and ideas for saving money and reducing bill costs.
Jeremy Harrison says
My two favourites are Quickbooks (cloud edition now) and Mint.
You should also add Billguard to this list, it keeps track of all your credit card expenses in a very clean interface and allows you to flag any suspicious activity.
This is a great one stop shop! Am looking forward to sharing with my readers as well. I personally vouch for YNAB as well :-)
Milt Layman says
I currently use Crown Money Map software, and it’s no longer working! I love how it allocates my paycheck to my envelopes, and I always know exactly how much I have in each envelope. Do any of these apps/software do that? I haven’t been able to find one that does.
Me either. So sad!
Mark Smith says
for me the best is cubux.net
Don Milne says
This is a big long list, but why is EveryDollar missing? Dave Ramsey says it has 6 million users.
Peter Anderson says
Don, his software appears up above under the title: EveryDollar – Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance Software
Thanks peter for sharing this all valuable information,please can you suggest another desktop application accept banktivity for make users
AJ Tobing - Mondo AJ says
This is a great list, Peter. Lots of apps I didn’t know about, thanks!
Right now I use Mint all the time. It’s a huge help with budgeting. Just started using Personal Finance as well. I really feel that as we become more in control of our spending and budget, blessings follow. He helps those who help themselves!
Thanks for the pointers!