Budgeting software can make it simple and easy to keep on top of your finances, whether you're saving for wealth management or looking to manage your debts.
The advantage of budgeting is that it look at your daily spend, so you can really see where your costs and your savings can be made.
This is especially as it is the small but regular miscellaneous costs that can really undermine your finances, and can be missed by general finance software, which can be targeted more at general costs and managing those.
For example, when buying items with cash what do you do with your change after? This is something that budgeting software can account for that other financial software might miss.
Budgeting software also aims to get you into good habits, such as reducing debt and freeing up savings for investments purposes.
Even still, as every business owner soon learns, small costs and spends can really add up, and budgeting software is ideally placed to help you identify these so that you can took better control of your money and overall finances.
Here therefore are the best budgeting software platforms.
- Check out the best free accounting software
Best budgeting software at a glance
CountAbout is a personal financial and budgeting software solution. It is notable as it can import data from Quicken, or Mint, and is one of the few solutions that can do this.
It also connects to your other financial assets, including banking, credit card and retirement accounts which includes thousands of financial institutions. Additional features include multi-factor login protection, categories can be customized, running register balances, and support for recurring and split transactions. It also facilitates advanced budgeting, via activities such as account reconciliation, and tracking register balances.
CountAbout is available for the iOS and Android platforms, and can also be used on a full PC via the web based interface. It is available via a subscription interface, starting with a Basic account, but requires transactions be entered manually, or a more usable Premium account can automatically download transactions from your financial institution.
- Read our full CountAbout review.
Mint is another mobile based solution from the folks that brought us TurboTax and Quickbooks. It makes it easy to track expenses and balances. By creating an account, and connecting all your financial accounts, Mint can then provide analysis, to help find savings by providing potentially money saving offers for credit cards, retirement rollovers, and savings account deals.
Mint provides security via multi-factor authentication, security scanning with VeriSign and the ability to remotely delete your financial data in case your mobile device is lost.
Mint also conveniently provides a convenient way to know, and track your credit score. The cost is free, but the catch is that they make money through affiliate offers. On our perusal, we found multiple credit offers with 0% intro rates, that then had rates from 14% to 25%, which for folks with better credit are hardly a bargain.
- Read our full Mint review.
YNAB (You Need A Budget) is a modern approach to applying a budgeting solution to personal finances. Its chic interface is sure to particularly appeal to the millennial generation.
YNAB makes it simple by connecting accounts to come up with an amount to be budgeted, and then assigning where the money goes by the category including immediate obligations such as the rent and the electric bill, true expenses including medical and auto maintenance, and debt payments; the goal is to give every dollar a job.
Via the interface, the right panel clearly displays overall budget information such as the amount spent last month, the budget from last month, and any underfunded categories. Better budgeting habits are taught and encouraged via a weekly video, a podcast series, and a newsletter. It also encourages goal oriented savings, for holiday presents, and even retirement.
There is a free trial period for the curious duration of 34 days, and after that there are options for a monthly or yearly subscription.
- Read our full YNAB review.
Unlike some of the more mobile focused solutions, Quicken is downloadable software for a PC, and is in the minority for supporting both Windows and Macintosh platforms. It is a venerable budgeting and financial program that has been around since the days of DOS and Apple II systems.
Quicken works by downloading all your transactions to make it simple, and obviate the need for tedious manual entries. It offers advanced features including the ability to export data to Excel, integrated Quicken Bill Pay, the ability to generate custom invoices with your own logo, and secure online backup of Quicken files to Dropbox cloud storage.
There are differently priced tiers according to the type and number of features you require, such as customized budgets, priority customer support and free online bill payment, as well as one that can separately categorize both home and business expenses and can email custom invoices.
Moneydance has been a popular desktop money management solution for a good while now and has lots of Mac users as fans. Whilst it’s certainly a treat to use on the Apple OS platform, this software is also available for Window and Linux.
Whichever flavor you’re keen on the software is undeniably quick and easy to use. And, if you’re in the US then it has been continually improved to work with all of your bank accounts, which makes it hugely appealing, as well as credit cards and investments.
Moneydance comes with the same price tag for each version, so from the Mac OSX edition through to the Windows and Linux versions the cost is the same. There are also editions available for those who prefer a mobile solution, with versions on iOS and Android.
However, the good news is that when you download the software you do actually get a demo edition, which allows you to discover the features and functionality of Moneydance before committing fully.
That said, you’ll subsequently need to pay a fee for the software in order to lift the limitations that prevent the demo option being a full bells and whistles experience.
Pocketguard is perfect you’re often in the position where you’re feeling a little bit nervous about just how much you're spending. This is a financial management app, for both Mac OS and Android, plus there’s a desktop edition too.
However, if you're looking for a handy quick reference guide to your finances at any time of the day, or night, then the mobile edition of this package is certainly one to try.
It’s available for both the US and Canadian markets and allows you to get all of your incoming and outgoings into one convenient place and subsequently get budgeting much more efficiently thanks to its central In My Pocket star feature.
Pocketguard comes in a basic edition, which is still pretty well stacked, that comes with no cost attached. If you’re suitably smitten with what it does then you may want to boost the usability by plumping for the Pocketguard Plus model, which has a monthly or yearly subscription.