The best financial planning software will help you become efficient at managing your money, discover ways to meet your long-term goals, and even help you control your portfolio. The days of pen and paper record keeping are over with the modernization of technology. Financial planning software was created to make DIY financial planning easier, fitting seamlessly into your life as you manage your household income and investments.
Finding the right financial planning software will take a little research and time to familiarize yourself with all the tools at your disposal. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you understand your needs and the tools each software provides, it can help you master your financial outlook.
Important Financial Planning Software Features
You will want to choose your financial planning software based on your goals. Some software will help create a rock-solid budget, while others are better for focusing on investments.
There are even options that help with debt tracking and your long-term savings goals. Before you pick the personal finance software that is right for you, ask yourself which features are most important to help you reach your goals.
To be successful managing your money, you will want to keep a close eye on your expenses. The easiest way to do that is to create and manage a budget, then track your spending.
Health Care Planning
Given the ever-rising cost of prescriptions, deductibles, long-term care, and other healthcare expenses, planning for your health care in retirement is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
A good financial planning software will not just help you manage your investments but will also help you with all aspects of your financial life, including health care planning. The average retiree begins their retirement around 65-years of age and will spend a shocking $285,000 on health care for the remainder of their life.
As the digital age continues to progress, having your information readily available at your fingertips might be an important feature. At work, at home, at the bank – there are many instances when you might want to check in on your budget or investments. With mobile functionality you will be able to do that wherever, whenever – as long as you have your phone in hand.
When you’re in debt, there is nothing more frustrating than figuring out how to get out of it. While some debt, like your mortgage, is considered good, most debt is less than ideal. Debt reduction software can help you create a plan that tracks different pay off methods depending upon your budget, savings goals, and monthly needs.
Tracking your spending can provide you with insight into your habits. Financial planning software can track and analyze your spending to help you better understand how to cut unnecessary spending and plan for the future.
Are searching for an easy way to examine your portfolio, see your returns, fees, assets, and retirement plans all in one? If so, certain financial planning software have options that can help you stay on top of your portfolio after you sync your accounts.
Apps and websites that help consumers aren’t new. They have been readily available for the masses for years now. But if you are going to turn to a digital financial planning tool, be sure to check the security risks from the app or website. The financial planning software should take security concerns seriously and have procedures in place to mitigate risks.
Best Financial Planning Software For Individuals
Each individual and family will have different needs for their financial planning software. The best first step is to determine all the features you are looking for in the software, then find the solution that fits your needs.
Taking a strategic approach to your budget and investments can help maximize your money. Here is a list of the top financial planning software that can help you on your way.
Quicken is one of the most recognized names in financial planning software. It has been around for decades and is one of the most established and reliable software on the market. With Quicken you can manage your budget, track your debt, reach savings goals, and even explore investment options. It even has more advanced features like bill paying and asset tracking to calculate your net worth.
The Quicken software starts at $34.99 a month and is available on all computer and phone applications.
Quicken Pros & Cons
Many users find Quicken to be robust with its budgeting and financial tools, inexpensive, and flexible for reporting options. It also has great customer service. The main complaints with the software are that there is a learning curve to get up and running and set up can be extensive. If you are looking for an easy way to manage your finances, Quicken could cause a headache in the beginning.
Mint is an easier to use budgeting and expense tracking tool. From the creatures of Quicken, Intuit Mint allows users to import their bank and credit card information, analyze their spending, and address areas where they can cut expenses to improve their financial future. Mint has both a desktop and a mobile application.
This is free to use, Mint has no hidden fees.
Mint Pros & Cons
For a free financial planning software, Mint has quite a few features that make it appealing. Its user-friendly budgeting, mobile accessibility, and security makes it a great choice. However, Mint does fall flat when it comes to long-term planning. It does not have retirement planning options and is more focused on helping the masses instead of individual investing. It is quite simple to use, which can be a pro or con based on your personal financial needs.
3. Personal Capital
Personal Capital will help you manage all your financial accounts in their platform. This includes your bank accounts, credit accounts, mortgage, and investment accounts. It provides users with a complete financial picture. The software will also help track your retirement and investment goals, and let you know if you’re on track to reach them.
Personal Capital Fees
The Personal Capital app is free, but their fees are on the higher end.
Personal Capital Pros & Cons
It’s important to start with the cons on this one. The biggest con is that there is a $100,000 account minimum to use Personal Capital. Additionally, as mentioned above, the fees are on the higher end. However, if these cons do not scare you away, this software has a great advanced tax optimization strategy, free comprehensive investment management tools, and dedicated financial advisors.
4. YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB is a great software that helps you understand and manage your monthly budget and provides you with tutorials to improve your financial literacy. Its tutorials cover a range of financial topics, even those that are harder to comprehend. It breaks it down into ways that help you address bad financial habits and break through with trusted financial management tips.
YNAB offers a free trial that allows you to test out their software. After 34-days, you can select a monthly payment of $11.99 or pay the year in advance for $84.
YNAB Pros & Cons
YNAB syncs with over 12,000 banks on multiple devices. It is a fantastic way to track spending. Unfortunately, YNAB does not have customer service readily available, only via email. It also does not have an investment tracking feature.
5. AceMoney Lite
AceMoneyLite is the Quicken alternative from Microsoft Money. It provides budgeting options, financial tracking in multiple currencies, analyzes your spending, and even allows you to keep an eye on your investments.
AceMoney Lite Fees
The AceMoney Lite software is free.
AceMoney Lite Pros & Cons
While the free software, tracking tools, and debt management features are the biggest appeal to AceMoney, the largest drawback is that the financial software is limited to only two accounts and is computer based only.
FutureAdvisor is the best financial planning software for investing. If you are a DIY investor that has been searching for a low-cost access to financial advisor, this is the software for you. It will provide you with personalized recommendations to diversify your portfolio and help you manage your assets.
It is free to use, and has a 0.50% management fee.
FutureAdvisor Pros & Cons
With FutureAdvisor, it provides robust support for its clients with human advisors, offers free tools and advice, and it utilized popular online brokers. However, the management fee is on the higher end, and it does require a $5,000 account minimum.
Mvelopes brings back the traditional envelope budgeting system in app form. It helps you stick to your budget by using envelopes of “cash” for each expense. This allows the user to create financial goals that are most important to them, then helps create a budget to set your digital envelopes. It even tracks your spending so you can see if you are on track.
After your free 30-day trail membership, Mvelopes starts at $5.97 per month or $69 per year.
Mvelopes Pros & Cons
If money management is a stressor for you, Mvelopes will give you peace of mind. It can help create emergency funds and even help save money for vacations, holidays, and birthdays. Mvelopes is not as comprehensive as other financial planning software because it does not have bill payment or investment monitoring. If you are looking to improve your retirement accounts, it is not the best suited option.
Final Thought: DIY Personal Finance
We provided our top 7 results for DIY personal finance after detailed research, although there are others available online. The most important thing to remember is that they are all different with varying features. Figure out your budget and investment goals, then select the personal financial planning software that fits all your criteria.
Personal finance software can help you manage and track your finances and become more efficient with your systems. If you use the software as designed, it will more than pay for the cost associate with it.