Top 5 Free Personal Budgeting Software

by Shawn

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Although some folks enjoy handling their finances on the back of napkins, or in a little spiral notebook, there are better, more automated ways to manage your personal finances. I enjoy having tools and methods that are readily available and at my finger tips. More importantly, I don’t want to always have to enter every transaction, then categorize it, and summarize it to see the impact vs. my spending plan. There’s also nothing like a smart phone app version as well for discreet check-ins during the day.

When I first started looking into personal budgeting software, I had some very basic needs. I wanted automatic updates. My Excel spreadsheet and paper solutions were wearing on my nerves. All my accounts needed to be accessible from one platform. I also did not want to pay a lot of money. “Free” sounded even better.

You’ll want to develop a spending plan, or budget for yourself before you begin using the software. I currently use Mint.com. It meets my needs. I am still evaluating more tools for my personal finance fit.

Check out the following free personal money management software. Some features are common, like:

Common Personal Budget Software Features

  • Access to all the accounts you add in one place
  • Personal Money Management Dashboard
  • Graphs & Charts
  • Net Worth Analysis

Now for some personal recommendations. Try these sites out and let me know what you think.

Mint.com

Mint and Turbo Tax have teamed up to help you compress tax time preparation. I really like to be able to access all my account info from my iPhone. It remembers my categorization for expenses. This part can be a little tedious because it mixes up the transaction assignments sometimes. The software will send you alerts about how to save money by avoiding ATM fees and using credit cards with cash back features. It also reminds you when bills are coming due. I’m still going to dive into the other software to see more feature differentiation.

Mint.com Features:

  • all accounts in one place,
  • auto-categorization of transactions,
  • bill alerts, graphics,
  • use for budgeting,
  • net worth analysis,
  • mobile application
  • secure (Verisign and Truste)

Yodlee.com

Yodlee is not only a means for managing personal finances, but the company has software developer capability for businesses and financial institutions. Yodlee also has a tax center powered by H&R block. These are fee-based services, but, the personal money management service is free.

Yodlee Money Center Features:

  • spending analysis,
  • cash flow analysis,
  • net worth analysis,
  • overdraft and late payment alerts, and fraud alerts,
  • auto-categorization of transactions, projected balances basis future spending

OneBudget.com (Beta)

What I like about OneBudget is that you can access your bill account websites from this site. Payments are automatically updated. You’re more likely not to miss bills with this feature.

One Budget Personal Finance Software

OneBudget Features

  • personal finance management dashboard,
  • accounts all in one place,
  • expense tracking and analysis,
  •  bill status alerts,
  • track net worth,
  • “envelope” budgeting,
  •  bill and utility pay

PersonalCapital.com

Personal Capital Finance Management Software

With Personal Capital, not only can you track bank, credit card, and loan accounts, you can monitor stock option values as well. You can track accounts offline too.

Personal Capital Features

  • all accounts in one place,
  • mobile Apps,
  • financial dashboard,
  • military-grade security,
  • investment advice,
  • personal savings and investment strategy
  • investment management

GNU Cash

Gnu Cash Finance Management Software

GNU Cash has the accounting software spin. This is a great feature for a small business. I like the check-book style register for viewing transactions.

GNU Cash Features

  • personal and small business financial accounting software,
  • track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses,
  • transaction scheduling,
  • reports, and
  • graphs

Please leave a comment and let me know which ones you’ve tried and how you liked them. Let me know about any bugs you encounter as well.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Hareiana April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

One excellent free online personal budgeting and money management service that I discovered through friends is Out Of The Dark Budgeting, it has some very helpful features like Credit Card Debt Terminating and a smart Cash Put Aside tool and it is unconditionally free and anonymous to use without giving out access to bank accounts, works really well for me.

Reply

Shawn McLeod April 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Hey Hareiana!

I had not heard of OOTD budgeting software before your comment. Excellent find. I went immediately to check it out.

For the readers who might be interested in finding out more, see the following link:

http://www.myexp.org/OOTD_gate.php

It looks like the major difference with OOTD vs. some of the software listed in the article is the fact that you can be anonymous with your accounting information, but, still gain the benefit of managing your finances and creating a budget.

Also, if you’re looking for testimonials and what others are saying about OOTD, check out this link:

http://www.myexp.org/OOTD_pages/what_is_OOTD.php#others_say

I really appreciate your suggestion. I’ll be checking it out in more detail.

Thanks,
-Shawn

Reply

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Shawn December 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Very glad to hear you enjoyed the article and the blog itself!

And thanks for letting me know how you heard about us.

Especially, thanks for spreading the word!

Best Regards,
Shawn

Reply

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Caleb February 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Having a budgeting software is a good way to keep track of your spending and saving. It can keep you accountable for reaching your goals.

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