Just started managing your money but have no idea which is the best personal finance software to use? Then this is the resource for you.
To find the best online finance tool, we compared over 20 of them, including our own web-hosted product GrowthAdvisor.
We’ll walk you through our top 6 picks in a moment. But first, a quick definition.
GrowthAdvisor has a free tool that helps you track the cash value of your Employee Stock Options, find ways to earn more, and even negotiate a job raise. We’ve aggregated data from over 800,000 companies, and we think you’ll love playing with our tool to see which company can give you better compensation.
A personal finance software tool is an app or money management desktop software that helps you take control of your money.
Basically, no matter where you are in your money management journey, there is a tool that can help you reach your goals.
But not all tools are created equal. Some help with budgeting. Others help with investments. Yet others help with saving, banking, or taxes—or even everything of the above.
How do you pick the best one? You decide based on the category.
Want to create a budget and stick to it? Then pick a budgeting tool like Intuit Mint or Tiller Money or YNAB.
Want to save for an emergency or to buy a house? Then pick a savings tool like Betterment. Or simply open up to 25 savings accounts (each with its own goal) at a bank like Capital One.
Want to invest with confidence and without paying high fees? Then pick an investment tool like Personal Capital or Wealthfront. (Betterment is a good choice too.)
Want to manage your overall compensation to grow your earnings? This is an entirely new category that we’re pioneering with our web-based product GrowthAdvisor. Pick GrowthAdvisor to see the cash value of your Employee Stock Options. Because your stock options are not just a perk. They represent real money that you can plan for with the help of our tool.
In this post, we’ll be covering the budgeting category. Because your cash management is what will get you to save, to invest, to earn more, and ultimately, to prosper.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for 2020.
1. Intuit Mint
Here is what Mint can do for you:
Set up any number of budgets. Mint will track them automatically. It’ll learn how you spend your money and categorize your transactions. Or you can create your own categories.
Track all your bills in one place. Set up reminders and get warnings when your balance is low.
Set up any number of savings goals. They can be short-term or long-term goals. You can even illustrate them with pictures.
NOTE: You can also see how your investments are doing in simple charts and graphs. But this isn’t the best feature Mint has. It’s best to use it for budgeting. Take a look at our 12 Better Mint Alternatives.
Here is what Tiller can do for you:
Same as in the Mint budgeting app, in Tiller, you can also set up any number of budgets. Tiller will track them automatically. But instead of logging in to see your charts like in Mint, with Tiller you can rely on daily emails with a simple text-based summary of your transactions. This is as old-school as it gets.
If you want to get even more old-school, you can do so with Tiller. Manually enter any of your transactions into your spreadsheet.
The beauty of Tiller is its many templates you can add to your general spreadsheet. One of them is designed for debt management.
NOTE: You can’t set up any bills or track your investments in Tiller. Think of Tiller as an upgraded spreadsheet that updates automatically.
Here is what YNAB can do for you:
Yes, you can set up your budgets in YNAB the same way as in Mint or Tiller. But YNAB offers something else. You can share your budget with your partner so you can get out of debt together. And unlike in Mint or in Tiller, you’ll need to set up the spending categories yourself. This is designed to show you where your money is actually going.
The savings goals in YNAB are also different. They’re called “funding goals” and are there to fund your future spending (so you won’t get into more debt). Watch their videos to learn more.
This is where YNAB shines. Once you connect all your credit cards to YNAB, it’ll move money from your “funding goals” to cover any transactions you make. If you exceed the amount in the “funding goal,” it’ll alert you that you have no more money to spend, until you increase your “fund.”
NOTE: If you’re not struggling with getting out of debt, YNAB may not be the best choice for you. But if you are, then on top of everything else they offer great support and lots of resources to help you.
Here is what Mvelopes can do for you:
No more need for paper. Set up as many digital “envelopes” as you’d like and track your spending as you’d track cash. No more cash left in the envelope? No more money left to spend. Another way to think about it in your pocket. No more cash in the pocket? Then there is nothing else you can buy. (This is similar to “funding” categories in YNAB.)
When you set up Mvelopes, it’ll walk you through steps to set up your goals. Two of them are focused on savings: saving money and planning for the future. You can create as many as you’d like. Check out their Learning Center to see all the savings options.
Perhaps the best Mvelopes has to offer is its reports. Get reports on anything from your cash flow to your balance, spending, “funding,” and even your net worth. See the full list here.
NOTE: Mvelopes is the simplest solution to getting out of debt and taking control of your spending. As personal financial software, it offers not much else, though. No bill tracking or paying. And no investment tracking either.
Here is what Quicken can do for you:
In Quicken budgeting works pretty much the same way as in the tools above, but it offers a whole host of additional features. For example, you can reconcile your bank transactions. Plus, you can install a copy of Quicken locally on your computer and do your budgeting offline.
Pay your bills directly from Quicken. Set up bill alerts so you never miss a due date. Or schedule your bill payments in advance (great for those of us who tend to forget). Even print paper checks to pay your bills!
Investment tracking and tax planning are the two reasons why you’d want to use Quicken. They work together in showing you how much you have earned and how to plan your tax payments based on realized and unrealized gains. Plus, you can export all transactions for tax prep to do it yourself or to send to your accountant.
NOTE: Quicken is best when used on the web (the app is not as good). But it can be too much for you if all you’re looking for is managing your spending or tracking your savings.
Here is what GrowthAdvisor can do for you:
Browse 800,000+ companies to see which companies offer the best Employee Stock Options compensation packages. Increase your gains and bootstrap your wealth-building all in one place. Think of it as budgeting not just your cash but also your options which represent real money.
Know when and how to negotiate a better Employee Stock Options offer. Get more from what you have now (in your current position) or get more from any new job offer. Think of it as setting up your bill payments, except instead of bills these are career moves, and instead of the reminders to pay, these will be the reminders to look for new jobs or to exercise stock options.
Map out your entire career for the next 10 years. Know when to switch jobs (and if it’s smart to switch jobs) to get the most earnings from your Employee Stock Options. Think of it as a savings goal, only you’re planning to save time—to make more money faster.
Track your Employee Stock Options cash value, compare compensations at over 800,000 companies, and find ways to increase your earnings.
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