Best personal finance software of 2022
Published Jun 18, 2022 9: 00 AM
The best personal finance software will help you achieve your financial goals quickly and save you time and frustration. There are many great options for personal finance software that will make your life easier, whether you’re flying solo, managing your family’s finances, or running your own small business.
Despite the technological conveniences offered by online passwords, order management, and bill pay, there are still too many transactions to keep track. Personal finance software can help you manage all your data and keep it private, secure, encrypted, and secure. Let’s face it, we all want to have a great credit score ?.
Setting and reaching financial goals, avoiding stress over bills, and staying within your budget are important. It will help you sleep better at nights. You might find more happiness by changing how you spend your money. The best personal finance software will make it easy to manage your finances, keep your finances in one place, and back up and secure your personal information.
- Best overall: Quicken Premier
- Best for taxes: TurboTax
- Best for habit-building: YNAB
- Best for budgeting: Mvelopes
- Best free: Mint
How we chose the best personal finance software
We began our search for the best personal finance software brands by comparing seven of them. This was based on peer recommendations, personal experience, and user impressions. After comparing and considering the following, we narrowed down our selections to five.
- Cost: How expensive is the personal finance software?
- Features: What tools does the program offer?
- Goal setting: How will the program allow you to set and monitor financial goals?
- Security features: What steps do they take to ensure your personal information is secure and private?
- Training and education: How does the software educate you on not only how to use the program, but how to improve your financial literacy?
- Compatibility: How can you use the program, is the mobile app easy to navigate?
- Customer reviews: How do actual customers rate the financial software?
What to consider when selecting the best personal finance software
With so many options for personal finance software, it is important to think about what features you are most interested in and how you will use them. These are some considerations:
How much financial tracking do you want?
When it comes to options you have many choices. You can track everything, just a few, or all of it. It is important to ask yourself why and how you will use your personal finance software. Software packages are available that can help you track your expenses, credit cards, and investments. You might find simpler programs that are better suited for beginners and more focused on helping you stick to your budget.
Where and when will you track your finances?
Think about how you will use your software. Do you plan to sit at your desk and review it all? Do you want your program to seamlessly integrate with your smartphone? Your lifestyle should be reflected in your personal finance software.
Is cost a factor in deciding on your personal finance software?
Personal finance software is not too expensive. However, you need to consider how much you can afford. Is it easier to spread the cost out over a monthly basis or a lump sum? What amount are you willing and able to spend on personal financial software? Or do you prefer a free program? Many software programs offer a free trial to let you try them before you buy.
Is tax time your main concern?
If your primary goal is to get your finances in order for tax time, you have a few options. Software that helps you organize, prepare, and file can be purchased. Or, you can also look into software that will automatically turn your financial data into spreadsheets that can be used for tax-time for you or your accountant. These features are important, so make sure you choose software that supports them.
The best personal finance software: Reviews & Recommendations
It’s important to choose personal financial software that suits your needs. It’s worth taking the time to research and plan ahead so you can get started quickly and reach your goals faster. We evaluated, selected, and awarded the best software based upon its features and how they will help you meet your specific needs. The best personal finance software will simplify your financial life and help achieve your goals quickly. These are our top picks.
Best overall: Quicken Premier
Why it made it: Quicken Prime is our top choice for financial software because they offer the most features for managing spending, budgeting, bill paying, planning for retirement, and managing investments.
- Financial tracking includes: Banking, loans, investments, 401(k), IRA, assets including private holdings
- Bill pay: Pay bills for free through Quicken Premier
- Tax preparation: Generate Schedule A, B & D tax reports, Export and import data to TurboTax
- Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web-based
- The most comprehensive investment analysis tools on the market
- Allows you to run “what if” scenarios across loans and investments to help inform decision-making
- Includes Quicken’s Lifetime Planner to help you plan retirement and major life events
- Mobile app isn’t as comprehensive as desktop version
Quicken has been a household name in personal finance software for decades and brings decades of experience to the software design platform. Quicken has a variety of software versions that can be tailored to different price points and needs. Quicken Starter is the simplest and most affordable version. It is designed for budgeting, planning, and other tasks. Next is Quicken Deluxe which includes investment tracking tools. The third tier, Quicken Premier is our choice. It offers great additional features that allow you to analyze your investments and provide tailored advice about investing and loans.
Quicken Prime helps you with personal accounting. It syncs directly to your financial institution or investment accounts, and automatically updates and categorizes new transactions into budgets. You can always edit any errors, but this feature also saves you time. You can also visualize your budget using easy-to-read color codes. Another great feature included is the ability to pay 12 electronic bills and three check bills per month with no fees.
There’s a higher price level in Quicken Home & Business which is a great option for business owners. Quicken Simplifi is the company’s latest offering. This app-only service allows you to budget and save, track expenses, and view all your finances in one place. However, Quicken Premier is the best option for most.
Best for taxes: TurboTax
Why it made the cut: TurboTax is our top choice for personal finance software specific for tax preparation because of its easy-to-use design and multiple version options–from super basic tax returns for free to tiers that address the complexity of your personal financial situation.
- Flexibility: File your own taxes, get live advice as you go, or have a tax expert file for you
- Guarantees: Accurate or TurboTax will pay IRS penalty
- Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web-based
- Easy-to-use interface
- Get live advice or access their archive of up-to-date resources to help you file and organize your financial documents
- Free AuditSupport by trained tax professional
- Guided support with any major life changes
Taxes not only fulfill a legal obligation, but are also an important part of your financial well-being. TurboTax software can be the best choice to file taxes. It takes complex subjects and breaks them down for common people to understand. TurboTax simplifies tax code into simple question-and-answer sections.
If you are a freelancer, or have a small company, it is worth purchasing the more expensive version of the program. You will get live tax preparation assistance, and a final review by a real tax professional. The program can also be used as education to help you keep track of your tax records for future tax years.
Best for habit-building: YNAB
Why it was selected: We chose YNAB as our top choice for the best personal finance software that encourages good habits. Their proactive approach to budgeting, which teaches financial planning skills, makes them our top choice.
- Learning Opportunities: Live workshops, guides, articles, and a podcast to keep you up to date on all the app features and how to budget
- Account: Link Banking accounts manually or automatically
- Platforms: Desktop app, iOS, Apple Watch, Android, Alexa
- Proactive budgeting keeps you building good habits
- Try the YNAB App for Free for 34 days (no credit card required)
- 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the app
- No internal bill pay feature
YNAB is a tool that helps you take the guesswork out budgeting. You’ll learn how budgeting works by following its four basic rules. The rules involve the following: assign a “job” for your dollars as soon as you get them; plan for bigger true expenses by setting aside a little each month; move around your budget if you overspend; and learn to age your money to stay ahead of your expenses by using money older than 30 days old. These quirky rules are a fun way of building healthy financial habits.
Signing up for YNAB will also give you access to personalized support and teaching to continue your financial literacy education. You can sync your accounts, set goals, and view reports to track your progress. YNAB is a great tool for learning habit-forming behavior and giving you the motivation to stay focused.
Best for budgeting: Mvelopes
Why it made the cut: Mvelopes is our top choice for budgeting-focused personal finance software because it uses a clear, easy-to-understand system where you break down your income based on categories of expenses, or “envelopes,” and track them with the app.
- Membership Options: Basic Plan, Premier, and Plus
- Sync with accounts: connect financial accounts to have everyday transactions tracked
- Platforms: App available for iOS and Android devices
- Simple “envelope”-based budgeting philosophy
- Higher-tiered memberships include perks like live chat support, access to their learning center, sessions with a financial coach, and a personalized financial plan
- Easy to use for debit and credit card users
- No tracking of investing or retirement
Mvelopes, a personal finance app for budgeting, is offered by Finicity. Mastercard owns Finicity. The mvelopes app was created to help people create realistic budgets that are easy to understand. It uses the tried-and-true envelope budgeting method, but it has been updated for the digital age. It works by connecting your bank and credit card accounts, then entering your income. Then, you break down your desired spending into categories or “envelopes”. This allows you to keep your spending within the budget limit. The mvelopes app makes it easier by automatically updating all transactions. This allows you to see where your money is going, and adjust accordingly.
Mvelopes is best for people who spend primarily using debit and credit cards. However, information can still be manually entered if cash is used, but it’s not practical if swiping your preferred method of spending. Although the mvelopes app does not look at your entire financial picture, it is useful if you are trying to stay on budget in order save money or reduce debt.
Best free: Mint
Why it made it: Mint was our top choice for the best free personal finance software. It’s highly rated and has an easy-to use app platform that allows you to track all aspects of your financial picture.
- Financial tracking includes: Banking, credit cards, investments, 401(k), IRA, as well as other financial accounts.
- Bill pay: Set up bill pay reminders
- Platforms: App available for both iOS and Android
- Free access to your credit score without negatively affecting your credit score
- Free credit monitoring through TransUnion
- Built-in budgeting tools let you organize and categorize your spending
- No direct bill pay
- No joint accounts
The price is right (free!) Intuit’s personal finance software. Although it doesn’t have as many features as paid personal financial software, it is a great place to start. It offers many useful features, including the ability to view and track all of your finances, as well as help with budgeting, categorizing expenses, and free credit score tracking.
If you’re curious about how personal finance software apps can affect your financial planning, and budgeting, this app could be a great place to start. Mint’s commitment to security gives them a level of confidence. Security features include strong encryption, multifactor authentication, and your own security code on the smartphone. Mint is a great source for personal finance software that’s free. It’s highly recommended due to its useful features and high security.
Q: How much does personal finance software cost?
Personal finance software will cost you on average between $75 – $120 per year, which many companies offer as a flat yearly fee or broken down into a per-month charge. Tax preparation software is between $100 and $175 a year. There are also free programs that offer limited features and advertisements. Most brands offer different levels of memberships, depending on your financial situation and how many features are required.
Q: Is QuickBooks good for personal finances?
Yes, QuickBooks is good for personal finances but, for most average users, it may offer more features than you will really need. QuickBooks is more suited for business owners as it offers tools for accounting, inventory management, tax filing, and accounts payable management. If you’re a business owner, Quickbooks is a great choice for personal finance management.
Q: Can I trust the Mint app?
Absolutely. Mint’s parent company is Intuit, which also develops TurboTax so knows and understands the importance of financial data security. This means bank-level 128-bit encryption, monitoring through third-party sites like TRUSTe and VeriSign, and multifactor authentication are just a couple of the features assuring clients have peace of mind whether using Face ID, Touch ID, or unique PIN. Monitoring is done for unusual spending activity. There are remote ways to delete information remotely if a Mint access device is lost or stolen.
Final thoughts on the best personal finance software
Our selection for the best personal finance software is Quicken Premier because, for the cost, it offers the most robust features to not only help you budget and save but also pay bills and set and manage long-term financial goals, including investments. Make sure you are getting the features you need when choosing personal finance software. Higher-level programs are best for business owners, while others might be more comfortable with simpler budgeting and habit-forming tools that help you manage your spending within limits. No matter what your needs are, the best personal financial software will be safe and easy to sync with your financial accounts. It will help you reach your financial goals.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.