Comparing and Contrasting Free Personal Finance Software

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software headerYou want to organize your finances, but you may not know where to get started. There are many personal finance software tools that can guide you and help you better understand your finances as a whole, but some come at a price.

There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on online financial software when there are plenty of free options to choose from. Whether you want to manage your money online, on your desktop or on your mobile device, we’ve got several options to fit your needs.

Features to Expect From Personal Finance Software:

  • Set up budgets
  • Import data directly from your bank
  • Name your transactions and spending categories
  • View your spending activity as a graph
  • Set up bill reminders
  • Export transactions into a spreadsheet
  • Choose from multiple languages

 

Money Manager Ex

Personal finance software for desktop, also available as an Android app.

Pros

  • Maintains checking, credit card, savings and stock investment accounts
  • Simple, fast and clean
  • Includes upcoming bill reminders
  • Supports 24 different languages

Cons

  • Data entries must be done manually
  • No password encryption
  • Medium learning curve

 

Acemoney Lite

Personal finance tracker recognized by credible sources like CNet, Consumer Reports and The Washington Post.

Pros

  • Interface is easy to navigate
  • Ability to change currency
  • Can set up recurring expenses
  • Password protected
  • Built-in loan calculators
  • Investment tracking feature
  • Runs on Windows or Mac

Cons

  • Free trial version only allows you to manage two accounts
  • Doesn’t have an app, so you can’t check your account from your smart phone
  • Better for tracking account balances, but not so much for budgeting.

 

Grisbi

One of the original free accounting tools, Grisbi has been around for almost 20 years.

Pros

  • Allows multiple accounts
  • Supports backup of files in case of crash
  • Features built-in scheduler of future payments
  • Can archive previous years’ data to free up space

Cons

  • No real-time tracking of financial information
  • Data will be lost if password is forgotten
  • Slightly dated, hasn’t been updated since 2014

 

Buddi

Full of many tools to provide exactly what you’ll need (budgeting, tacking accounts, personal finance reports).

Pros

  • Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems
  • Translated into multiple languages
  • Encrypted financial data for safety
  • Designed with non-financial background users in mind
  • Free plugin

Cons

  • Transactions have to be added manually (no downloads)
  • No app available to access your finances on the go

 

Micosoft Money Sunset Deluxes

The revamped version of the popular but now extinct Microsoft Money Plus.

Pros

  • Create and track a budget
  • Forecast your personal cash flow
  • Full reports
  • Link images and documents to specific transactions for a more thorough report

Cons

  • Only available for Microsoft computers
  • No internet-supported features (like automatic syncing for up-to-date transaction updates).

GnuCash

Based on professional accounting principles, you know you’re getting a professional product.

Pros

  • Available for Mac and Windows
  • Tracks bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses
  • Actively developed with regular updates for the best product
  • Automatic file backups and crash recovery
  • Ample online tutorials available to get to know the software

Cons

  • Made with small businesses in mind — may be too complex for some
  • Frequent updates

 

These free personal financial software options are very thorough and take time to set up, but they’re worth the effort. Soon you’ll see how sticking to a budget is simpler than you think! Even so, if you’re looking for a more low-key start to budgeting, try our easy-to-use budgeting calculator.

About 

Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find out more about her on Google+.

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