Planning a budget takes time and sometimes money. There are many budgeting programs available but not every one of them will meet your individual budgeting needs. Finding that right plan is important so you can stay the course and keep your budget. With that being said, here are some budgeting options to consider; some are desktop and others are online.
- Mint – There are several reasons for using mint. It is simple to use and understand, there is minimal set up and maintenance time, and it is free. Being an online program, there are never any updates and since it is free, there is no commitment to purchase.
- Budgetpulse – This is another free online program that offers standard budgeting and tracking features. This program is also simple to use and doesn’t try to do a whole lot other than track your core accounts.
- Buxfer – A comprehensive financial management tool, Buxfer goes from a free, basic membership to a $5 premium membership. An iPhone app is available.
- ClearCheckbook – This website offers a free online program as well as a paid, premium program. Because it features simple yet robust reporting tools, many old users of Microsoft Money moved to it. It also has an iPhone app available.
- Mvelopes – This web-based version of the envelope budgeting system has been around for over ten years. According to the website, they offer free online envelope budgeting.
- Pocketsmith – With Pocketsmith you pay $10 on a monthly basis, although a free version is available as well. The program is unique in that it utilizes a calendar to forecast your future cash position.
- AceMoney – This app offers all the features you’d expect: downloadable transactions, budgeting, investment tracking, and more. AceMoney costs $40, but a free “lite” version is available.
- Quicken - Perhaps the most popular personal-finance software available today, Quicken is fairly comprehensive and well-supported, but not without problems. Old versions force users to upgrade if they want to continue using certain features and the software costs $60.
- Moneydance – This app manages to replicate much of Quicken’s functionality, but a bit more elegantly. If you’d just like to try out Moneydance, you can download it for free–the only limitation is a maximum of 100 manually entered transactions. A full-use license costs $50.
- YNAB – An acronym for You Need A Budget, YNAB is fairly impressive with its free and live classes. I agree with their budget methodology. Desktop for Mac or PC is $60. An iPhone app is also available.
These selections can help your decision in a budgeting software program. You have to decide which one meets your budgeting needs.