Picking the Software That’s Right for YOU

As more of my friends and family find out that I have this personal finance software review site, I’ve heard the same question a lot more frequently lately.  “So which one is the best?

And while my answer is always the same, it’s usually not the one they want to hear.  As with almost any decision, “it depends.”

I personally believe that the best way to budget and manage your personal finances is to take a very hands on approach. I’ve tried different methods and for me, if I’m not actively working with my budget (reviewing transactions, monitoring spending, etc.) on at least a weekly basis, then my “budgeting” turns into simply “seeing where too much of my money has gone.” (*Note that it still only takes me a few short minutes each week.)

But that’s what I’ve found works best for me.  Everyone’s different.  The best finance software package is the software that will work best for YOU.

Some people prefer a very hands off approach.  They get tired of monitoring or updating transactions in their software.  They want to know how much money they have and where it’s gone, but are less concerned about setting goals and plans.  For these people, I usually recommend Mint as a good, free service.  It provides great snapshots of your financial situation.  (I actually use it to accompany my “real” budgeting software.)

So when choosing the finance software for your family’s finances, not only should you look at the features and ease of use, but you should also take into consideration how hands on or hands off the software helps you to be with your money. For example, the software that I use really helps me to have a forward looking, active role in my finances.   That’s why I love it.

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