Finding the best personal finance software can be a little tricky, but there are some questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing any programs. With all of the options available, it is important to identify what your goals and expectations are so you can make the right decision.
As Money Magazine says, “80 percent of financial success is just keeping track.” Personal finance software will help you with the mundane work of tracking your spending, calculating your budget, and making sure you are saving enough money for emergencies and investing. The best programs will go a step further and look at your expenses and show a visual on where your money is going and how you can save.
The best personal finance software programs out there will do just about everything for you, but most have particular strengths in certain areas. To narrow your choices down, you need to ask yourself if you want the program to help you budget, track your spending, give tax advice, or help you pay down debt. Figuring out exactly what you want and need your software to do for you first will save you a lot of time in searching for the right program.
The second thing you want to consider is if you want software that is installed on your computer, or if you prefer to be able to access it anywhere by using an online personal finance program. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. With the program stored on your personal computer, you can feel more confident knowing your information is safe and secure and you do not have to rely on an internet connection. With your information online, however, you have the luxury of accessing your information just about anywhere.
While safety and privacy is always a concern, you should note that online programs like Mint and Envelopes have the highest level of security standards. In fact, if someone where to hack into your account, all they would see if your expenses. There is no account information, no way to make any financial transactions, and no way to access your bank accounts. These programs simply pull data from your bank and credit card accounts and organize the information for you.
My personal favorite program is Mvelopes, which guarantees to help you recover 10% of your income by finding spending leaks that you do not even know exist. It offers plans to help you quickly eliminate debt, makes sure you never miss any payments, and it automatically tracks all your expenses.