Personal Finance Software
Managing your money
Whether it's a lot or a little, everyone has money. And whether it's a little or a lot, that money needs to be managed. Personal finance software can help make that task a lot less daunting.
The term personal finance software refers to any program or application designed to help individuals manage their money. This includes budgeting software, investing software, financial planning software and income tax software. It should be noted that the term is not to be confused with accounting software, which refers to applications designed to assist businesses with managing their accounts.
Budget software is the most basic form of personal finance software. A budget program tracks your spending so you can see where your money is going every month. Many also have features such as overspending alerts to help you stay within budget and automatic reminders of upcoming bills to help you avoid late fees and interest. Some programs also integrate with certain tax software to save you time and hassle when filing your return.
Slightly more advanced finance software also allows you to track your investments and retirement savings. These programs cost a bit more and take a bit more effort to set up, but they are often worth it because they are more complete. With all of your financial information in one place, you can view your entire financial situation at a single glance. Some truly deluxe editions also provide information on the stock market and/or the foreign exchange in order to guide your investing.
If you want to actually buy stock or foreign currency via software, you will likely require a separate investment software package. However, unlike budgeting programs, which are designed for the average person and are available in packages specifically for beginners, most investment software is aimed at a knowledgeable, experienced audience. If you are just beginning to invest, you might want to consider a budgeting package that provides stock and forex information, but use an actual broker or brokerage house to make any transactions. Once you are more comfortable, you can explore investing on your own with trading software.
For the average person, a simple personal finance program is more than enough to keep them on top of their money. By bringing all of your accounts into one place and doing the math for you, this software can help you manage your money more efficiently with less time and effort. It can also save you money by reminding you to pay your bills on time and avoid late charges.
Ultimately, it's still up to you to watch your spending and contribute to your savings. But, with the help of a good software program, you can track your expenditures and identify where you can cut back so that eventually, you'll have enough saved up to splurge.
Comparing personal finance software options
There are many different programs on the market that claim to help you manage your finances. Most do exactly what they say and they are well worth every penny. Some of the best and most trusted names in the industry include Quicken, AceMoney, YNAB, Moneydance and BankTree. Before you purchase any personal finance software, it is highly advisable to do some research online. Read reviews of each different product and compare the features they offer (as well as their prices). Figure out what program is right for you before you make a purchase.