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January 2023's top personal finance software


Are you prepared to comprehend your finances more clearly? Long-term budget adherence and the development of improved money habits can both be achieved with the help of personal finance software.

Here are five top choices for personal finance software that you might want to take into account.

The best financial management app for beginners is Mint.

Why it stands out: Mint is a wonderful option if you're a newbie wanting to manage your finances largely through an app or website. The money management tools in Mint make it simple to take charge of your finances.

To use Mint, you must first link your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, loans, and mortgages. The platform will categorize your expenses and give you spending information. You can create a budget and set spending caps for particular categories. Through its relationship with Billshark, Mint also offers a bill negotiation option and the ability to set up individual savings objectives.

What to watch out for: You will be charged 40% of the money Billshark saves you during the service period if you agree to use the bill negotiation option. Also, be advised that choosing a payment plan as opposed to paying in full upfront will result in a one-time $9 cost.

Ideal for a thorough budget: Fasten Deluxe

Cost: $4.99 per month ($2.99 per month with a one-year plan purchased by January 8, 2023)

Why it is unique: Quicken Deluxe is a desktop application. Both Mac and Windows machines can get it.

You can use the program to link and manage your bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, and credit cards. Additionally, you can make a budget for the next 12 months. Programs for managing personal finances typically just include monthly budgets.

Additionally, Quicken Deluxe offers a "what-if" option that enables you to view potential outcomes when you decide to make specific investments or loan selections.

What to watch out for: Quicken Deluxe focuses mostly on fundamental budgeting and investing. With Quicken Premier or Quicken Home & Business, you might perform better if you own a business or desire more advanced features, such as priority customer care.

Regular monthly costs for Quicken plans range from $3.49 to $9.99. The majority of programs currently provide a 40% first-year discount if you sign up by January 8, 2023, except for Quicken Starter. Only new members are eligible for this deal.

Personal Capital is best for keeping track of investment accounts.

Why it stands out: Another software product that can be accessed via a website or mobile app is Personal Capital. If you're looking for a platform that has it all and also lets you keep an eye on your financial accounts, Personal Capital might be appealing.

You can compare your current portfolio allocation to a desirable goal allocation using the Investment Checkup function to lower volatility and minimize risk. Additionally, Personal Capital offers a fee analyzer tool that examines unreported fees for retirement accounts, investment accounts, and mutual funds.

Beware: Some capabilities are only available to Personal Capital advisory clients. Customers will, for instance, have access to a financial roadmap tool that can support them in maintaining important financial objectives.

TaxAct, for taxes.

TaxAct is listed in our best tax software guide, which is why it stands out. The four online DIY alternatives offered by TaxAct are Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans. If you need to file a state tax return, there is an additional cost. You will pay one price for a federal tax return.

In contrast to other tax software providers, TaxAct provides free expert support regardless of the DIY plan you choose. Simply submit your inquiries if you have any concerns about submitting your tax returns, and an expert will call you back.

What to watch out for: Other tax software providers charge less for submitting federal tax returns and don't charge for state returns (although, their features may not be as robust). To assist you in selecting the best tax preparation software for you, you might want to look over a few reviews.

Google Sheets is ideal for a hands-on approach.

Why it stands out: Perhaps you like to handle your finances more actively and don't want to link all of your bank accounts or credit cards. Then, as an easy way to analyze your saving and spending, you can think about utilizing Google Sheets.

Even those who aren't as tech-savvy will appreciate how easy it is to get started using Google Sheets. Simply create a Google account and select the Google Spreadsheets tab to get started. After that, choose a general template for tracking investments or budgets and adhere to the instructions on the spreadsheet.

Remember that for your spreadsheet to be productive, you will need to update it frequently.

What to watch out for: Whether you're willing to manually enter all of your data will determine whether you can create and keep your budget. Some people might prefer taking a closer, more active role in keeping track of changes or counting spending. However, have a look at one of our other options if you're concerned that making adjustments each month might become too taxing.


Other personal finance applications we considered but rejected, along with their reasons

* If you like using a spreadsheet to track your finances but don't want to manually update it, Tiller can be beneficial. Your balance and transaction information is immediately updated since it connects your bank accounts and credit cards to Google Sheets or Microsoft Sheets. Tiller only offers a 30-day free trial before it costs $79 per year, so it wasn't a top choice.

* You Need a Budget is a tool that you can access online or through an app. Although it might be a wise choice if you have trouble controlling your expenditure in some areas, Mint and Quicken Deluxe have more advanced features. Additionally, it offers a 34-day free trial before charging $14.99 monthly or $99 annually.

* Monarch Money: With a free plan, Monarch Money is a personal finance app and online platform. You may define financial objectives, a budget, and a better knowledge of transactions with the free plan. You must take into mind the paid edition, which costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 annually if you want to track investment accounts or employ movable budget categories.

* Free accounting software for small businesses and individuals is available under the name GNU Cash. The software is available for download for Windows and Mac computers. You manage your finances using GNU Cash using a conventional checkbook method. If you own a business, it might be something to think about, but for those without one, it probably won't be a user-friendly interface.

* Simplifi by Quicken: Simplfi by Quicken is a cloud-based tool, hence an internet connection is required to access its features. Other Quicken applications, in contrast, can be downloaded to your computer. Additionally, Simplifi by Quicken isn't as reliable as Quicken's desktop applications.

* Quicken Starter: If you're looking for a quick summary of your money, Quicken Starter can be useful. But Quicken Deluxe will be a better choice if you want to be able to make a 12-month budget or keep track of investment accounts.

* Rocket Money: There is an app and an online platform for Rocket Money. Its premium subscription offers unlimited budgets, premium customer assistance, concierge services for reviewing invoices, and configurable budget categories. Rocket Money and Mint are similar, however, Rocket Money charges for premium services, whilst Mint is free.

* Tax Slayer: In our guide to the best tax software, Tax Slayer was highlighted as the best budget selection. However, you cannot claim dependents and your taxable income must be less than $100,000 to be eligible for the Simply Free Plan. You can claim dependents under TaxAct's free plan. It also gives professional assistance for any filing software.

* H&R Block Tax Software: We also include H&R Block in our list of the top tax preparation programs. TaxAct would be a better alternative if you want to go with something more reasonably priced, though.

* Tax software from TurboTax: If you have a complicated tax situation, TurboTax is recommended in our guide to the best tax software. TaxAct alternatives are less expensive than the Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed plans from TurboTax.

Methodology: How did we pick the best software for handling personal finances?

Finding a personal finance software tool that meets your needs requires extensive research. We started by creating a list of 13 personal financial software applications. Then, we evaluated each program's platform accessibility, pricing, money management options, and user experience to compare them. We just looked at DIY online filing alternatives for tax software applications; we didn't look at full-service packages that include expert tax assistance.

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