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Comparing Money Management Software


Managing money in today's world is much different than the days when cookie jars and shoe-boxes served as savings accounts. Just as the options for saving, investing and spending have increased over time, so have the methods which we use to manage and track our finances. Although several tried and true methods are still in use today, many consumers are turning to money management software to help keep their accounts organized.

How to Choose Money Management Software

Each option available today provides the user with a variety of ways to streamline their personal finances. Bank accounts can be linked to retirement accounts with options to import data from any number of sources. Where one online management tool focuses on tracking spending and finding ways to save money, another might allow you to view your stock portfolio. Each person must compare several money management tools to better understand which features best match your personal preferences.

Before you begin taking advantage of all technology has to offer, you may want to sit down and outline your own short, mid and long term financial goals. Examine your current financial situation to determine what steps you must take next to move forward toward your goals. When you compare the tools available, look for features which match your personal strategies. Fortunately with so many from which to choose, finding the perfect match is fairly easy.

While there are many benefits to new methods of money management, experts suggest keeping your old methods during the transition. This will ensure important data is not lost in the process as well as provide a backup until you are comfortable using the new method. There is no right or wrong way to manage your money if the end result is financial stability and independence.

Money Management Software Options

There are numerous websites providing tools for personal finance management. Some of your options allow you to work directly from the website without installing or downloading any additional software, while others allow you to download and install a program directly to your computer. Deciding which option is right for your family will depend largely on your own personal preferences as well as individual goals. The following websites are popular options; each providing features and tools specific to a certain style of money management.

Mint.com

With over 4 million users, Mint.com is the largest and one of the more popular online money management tools available. Mint.com users pay no fees to use this secure site which gathers all of your financial information in one place. In addition to the online version, Mint.com also offers mobile apps so users can access their information on the go from smartphones. A virtual one-stop-shop where users can track spending, view checking and savings account balances, as well as, investment brokerage accounts.

Quicken

Quicken is one of the first personal finance management tools available. Although the free online edition has been merged with Mint.com, Quicken offers users several premium (paid) editions from which to choose. These editions can be downloaded and installed to your computer, allow you to choose the best version to meet your needs. From balancing your checkbook to managing a home business or rental property, Quicken allows users to customize their money management tools to help each person reach their individual financial goals.

BudgetPulse.com

No need to download or install any software with this free option: BudgetPulse.com not only provides a comprehensive budgeting tool to help manage household expenses, but also provides an interactive forum where information can be shared and questions can be asked and answered by other users and the BudgetPulse team. Easy to use, this online money management tool can help individuals and families set up a budget, manage spending and track the progression of savings goals.

Security Concerns

Before using any online tools to manage your finances, you must first learn how to safely navigate the Internet. Security measures must be used to ensure your personal information remains private. Failure to learn and practice secure methods of managing your money online can result in identity theft and credit card fraud. This is the also the case if you decide to use mobile banking or apps to track and manage your finances.

Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance Blog, which covers a wide range of personal finance and investing topics, with features that include reviews, comparison guides, and Q&A sections.


Comments
10 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This article is like the Visa/Mastercard article in that it doesn't live up to its title.  I only see mention of websites, not software, and it doesn't compare Quicken to Money (while Money is dead it's still better than Quicken and I still get stock updates), or at least mention other software like GnuCash (much like Miranda's article on combining finances didn't bother to discuss something fundamental like Community Property, which allows you to have a partner without combining finances).  Ken I know you need blog updates to keep your revenue stream up, but this continuous stream of garbage articles will just sends people like me away, perhaps permanently.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ken, I agree with the other comment, this article is useless. The only "software" you mention is Quicken, and all you say is basically "Quicken is a software that you buy an then install on your computer. Quicken is nice."
No information whatsoever, and no comparison to any other "software".
You might as well just use a random word generator to fill your blog posts.

Get rid of "guest blogger"

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ken,

This is your site.  Write what ever you want and allow what ever other guest writers contribute that suits you.  Just as long as you keep up the excellent CD and savings information that attracted me, and others, to your site to begin with.  You have made me a ton of interest money through the years and I was able to assemble a great CD ladder to sustain me even through this prolonged period of extremely low interest rates.  Retired, living modestly, yet comfortably.

Thank you.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Seriously, how can you review money management software and not mention Yodlee?

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Comment #5 by brandon2 posted on
brandon2
Microsoft Money is still available from Microsoft - except now it's FREE ("sunset edition").

I highly recommend it.

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Comment #6 by Jo (anonymous) posted on
Jo
For me - hands down - it's Jesse Meacham's You Need a Budget (YNAB). It's truly one of the best around. But if you don't mind paying each month, CalendarBudget and Mvelopes are up there as well, and yes, they're websites, not standalones.

 

#2, honestly, I do believe that many who come here regularly pretty much understands what Ken is writing about....savvy? <winks> Now I am off to watch the Tappin brothers on PBS, those two loveable brothers - Click and Clack...until next time.  ;-D



 

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Comment #7 by lou posted on
lou
I agree with poster #3. I don't mind these guest commentaries at all. I would remind the users of this site that you are free to ignore any of the articles you don't like. This site has made a lot of us a good deal of money and to threaten to boycott the site because you don't like an occasional article is ridiculous. Although this article may not be include every finance software program, I still found it informative.

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Comment #9 by Chris (anonymous) posted on
Chris
Everyone is entitled to choose what to read and what to simply ignore. The same holds true when you are set to choose an online money management tool that best fits your financial needs. I personally use https://www.inexfinance.com/ expense tracking and budgeting tool and I can tell why exactly I chose it: 1) it's web-based (meaning I can access my account from any desktop or mobile device with Internet connection); 2) it's free, and 3) it's really easy-to-use and efficient.

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