2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP 5 BEST PERSONAL FINANCE SOFTWARE
Top 5 Personal Finance Software – Free, Paid, Best, Most Popular Money Management Software for All Devices (PC, Mac, Online, Android, iPhone,…)
Below is 2017’s best-ranked 5 personal finance software tools, including 3 award-winning financial tools which are free for you to use.
This 2017 ultimate ranking comparison review presents this year’s most powerful personal finance software that can be used in all aspects of your budgeting, financial planning, money management, and transaction tracking.
When you’re on top of your money with a balanced budget, life is good.
Some of these top money management software tools even allow you to see a 360-complete view of your entire financial life in real time (money coming in, money going out, expenses that are coming due, your assets, and many more). It’s like having your own personal financial manager.
360-View of Your Finances
Which Money Management Software Should You Go With?
Identifying the best personal finance software for you based on which platform you use the most (desktop, online, Mac, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) can be a daunting undertaking, especially due to the hundreds of budgeting, personal finance, money management, and savings software sectors.
Based on numerous emails and questions received from our readers, AdvisoryHQ’s editorial team decided to conduct an extensive research to find the top financial tools best matched for you.
Award Emblem: Top 5 Best Money Management Software
Top 5 Best Personal Finance Software | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Click any of the software names below to go directly to the detailed review section:
Top Personal Finance Software
|Free or Paid?|
|Personal Capital Wealth & Money Software |
(* Top Ranked)
Individuals, Average Consumers, Families, Investors
Individuals and Investors
Table: Top 5 Best Personal Finance Software
Click here for last year’s ranking of the Top 5 Most Popular Financial Planning Software
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Personal Finance Software
Personal Capital | Free Money Management Software
Personal Capital’s free personal finance software is gearing up to be one of the most powerful budgeting, investing, and personal finance software that is revolutionizing how consumers manage their money today.
Founded in 2009 by Bill Harris (previous CEO of PayPal), the Personal Capital Finance & Wealth Software has been designed to be a highly advanced, powerful, and free software for budgeting, personal finance, investments, and money management for all devices and platforms (online, desktop, laptop, iPhone, Mac, Samsung, Android, Windows, iPad, tablets, BlackBerry, Nokia, etc.).
Key Factors Why This Tool is Ranked so Highly
Comprehensive Money Management & Wealth Building Capabilities
The free Personal Capital software allows you to easily manage your entire financial situation – so you can reach your goals faster. From budgeting and wealth creation to planning for your retirement future, it makes managing your money a snap – directly from one secure (more on this later) platform.
Use Personal Capital’s software to develop your long-term financial goals – calculate your net worth, set a budget, manage investment accounts, and plan for retirement. This personal finance software puts you in the driver’s seat of your financial future.
When you register for Personal Capital, you’ll have free access to these powerful wealth tools plus their award-winning dashboard.
On your dashboard, you can pull up your transaction history and perform a cash flow analysis to see where you are spending money on the most. You can also use the personal budget software to quickly and effectively generate spending and income reports, that way you can quickly identify areas where you are wasting money and where you can save.
In the Personal Capital dashboard, you’ll see your:
- net worth
- cash flow
- income statement
- upcoming bills
- spending by account
- portfolio balances
- account balances and transactions
- portfolio allocations
- key financial assets
- top gainers and losers
- investment returns
- projected investment fees
- and many more
Get to Know Your Money
Over 1.4 million people use Personal Capital to track over $350 billion!
Click Here – Try Personal Capital Today (60 Seconds Sign up)
Using Personal Capital’s Cash Flow Analyzer tool, you can easily create a budgeting plan that comes with real-time tracking features. The Cash Flow Analyzer tool also has advanced capabilities that allow you to zero in on problem budgeting areas and find places to save.
Personal Capital also allows you to stay on track when it comes to managing your budget, paying your bills, and meeting your financial goals, making it the best personal budget software to consider.
This personal finance app makes it easy to see your recently paid, pending payments, and past payment information. You’ll also see upcoming bills that are due, the minimum amount due, and the total amount outstanding.
What about mobile and desktop device capability? Personal Capital is one of the best budget and money management apps for desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Microsoft devices, BlackBerry, and online users.
Using Personal Capital allows you to monitor and manage your financial transactions from anywhere, anytime.
Looking for the best free personal finance software? As a free personal finance app and your own financial manager, Personal Capital is designed to be used across all platforms and is considered the best free personal finance software for all devices and platforms.
Sign Up Process
To sign up for this free personal finance software, you’ll need to provide your email address, a strong password, and a cell phone number.
Your mobile number is used for security validation. Click to Open Your Personal Capital Account
After signing up, the next step will be to link the accounts you would like to track.
To link these accounts, you’ll need to provide log-in information (see the below section on security for information on how Personal Capital protects you and your information). The log-in information you enter will be the same ones you use to log into your online bank accounts (checking, savings, etc.), credit cards, mortgages, expense accounts, and whatever financial accounts you want to track.
Security: How Secure & Safe Is the App?
Like most financial and personal finance apps, Personal Capital is a read-only application, which means they are unable to transfer or remove funds from your accounts.
The software basically “reads” and aggregates your financial information, and then groups the information into categories for tracking and monitoring purposes. You can’t move funds between–or out of–any account using Personal Capital. And neither can anyone else.
The website’s encryption is rated A by the world-renowned Qualys SSL Labs, a stronger rating than most major banks or brokerages have. The company uses ECDHE key exchange for Perfect Forward Secrecy and does not allow SSLv3, RC4, or other insecure protocols or ciphers. Their servers prefer to only allow highly secure TLS 1.2 protocol and also support TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.0.
Lastly, in regards to security, here is what the firm has to say about it:
- Personal Capital operates under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jurisdiction and is audited for compliance with SEC cybersecurity regulations.
- We also use Verisign and other state-of-the-art security solutions and practices to protect our site.
- WhiteHat Security performs around-the-clock security testing on our site.
- Our iOS apps have passed the rigorous AppSecure certification process by NowSecure.
How Does Personal Capital Make Money?
If the software is free, how does the company make money? The personal finance app is free to use for tracking your finances and investments, budgeting, and money management.
However, the company also has financial advisors that you can choose to use for financial planning and investing if you wish. They charge fees for these financial advisory services.
Could Personal Capital Be the Best Free Money Management Software for You?
You can consider Personal Capital the best personal finance, budgeting, and investment management platform for you if you are looking for an all-in-one financial tool where you can manage your finances and budgeting, build a strong financial future, manage your portfolio and assets, and know how much you are worth in real time.
Mint is a powerful and free personal finance software which allows users to create budgets, pay bills, and gain better control over their finances.
Within two years of being launched, Mint was acquired by Intuit for $170 million, bringing Mint alongside leading money management software apps like QuickBooks, Quicken, and Turbo Tax.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of Mint as One of the Top Money Management Apps
Below, please find a detailed list of the features which led to our selection of Mint on this list of the best personal finance software.
Cost-Effective Personal Finance Software
Similar to Personal Capital (reviewed above), Mint is a free personal finance app that is only available to U.S. based individuals. As a free personal finance software, Mint makes it cost-effective for people to learn how to budget. This also includes free credit tracking–a notable benefit among personal financial planning software.
Mint provides a full financial picture and offers users guidance on how to improve overall credit.
Free Personal Finance Software
If it’s free, then how does Mint make money? Mint has many revenue streams.
For example, whenever a user signs up for a credit card, checking account, savings account or account marked as sponsored on Mint, Mint earns a referral fee.
Compatible With Multiple Devices
Is Mint a great personal finance software for Mac users? Absolutely. It does not matter what device you use: Mac, PC, Android, etc.
As long as you can access the Internet, you can log in and use the Mint personal finance app to manage your transactions.
Mint also has free apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, Microsoft, and other devices.
With excellent forecasting capabilities, Mint personal budget software allows you to see exactly how your spending decisions today would affect how much you have left at the end of the month or year.
Our Mint review found that this personal finance app provides efficient reporting through the way that data is communicated to users.
Mint uses plain English that is very easy for anyone to understand (“Spent $87.66 at Target in Chicago, IL” instead of the standard “POS TGT X89G CHIC IL 87.66” that you would see on your bank statement).
Sign Up Process
Easy to open an account? Check! Open an account in minutes. It is very easy to get started because Mint is connected to most U.S. financial institutions online.
Our Mint review found that this personal finance app can very quickly pull in your financial data and aggregate your various accounts with very little effort on your part.
Online Bill Payment Feature
As a personal budget software, Mint provides a simple and organized way to not only keep track of bills, but to pay them off, too.
The Mint personal finance app features Mint Bill Pay, which allows an unlimited number of bank accounts, credit cards, and assorted bills–all for free. Through Mint Bill Pay, users can:
- Schedule bill payments
- See bills & account balances in one place
- Save time by tracking everything in one spot
- Avoid late fees with due date reminders
As an additional benefit, payments made through Mint personal budget software often post by the next business day, making for a timely and efficient bill payment system.
Our Mint review found a few other notable features of this personal finance app that deserve recognition.
Mint has literally hundreds of naming categories that can be personalized and used to categorize your “in and out” cash flow. It is also very easy to re-categorize transactions.
Even better, this money management software allows users to add their own categories, which can be applied to future charges.
Mint is obsessive about security. Since this money management software comes from the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, there are strong security measures in place to protect sensitive data.
Mint uses the same 128-bit SSL encryption that is used by major banks, and it is continuously verified and monitored by VeriSign, an online security firm.
Our Mint review found that this money management software also uses multi-factor authentication to protect each account, which includes:
- 4-digit user code
- Touch ID enabled
- Security questions or code sent to email or text
Could Mint Be the Best Personal Budget Software for You?
Previously (until Personal Capital entered mainstream consciousness), Mint was the best free personal finance software to use.
With its advanced technological budgeting, accounting, and financial management features, it quickly knocked Quicken off its perch as the “best personal money management software.” Mint was (and remains) available free of charge, and has a better tracking and management algorithm than Quicken. This was a key reason it was acquired for $170m by the very same company that owns Quicken.
One key difference: Mint is an online personal financial planning software, while Quicken needs to be downloaded to your computer. Mint never has to be upgraded, while you’ll need to upgrade and maybe pay for the upgraded version of Quicken.
Mint vs. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is similar to Mint, but it comes with many more comprehensive features. If you invest or have any investments, or are interested in financial planning, wealth building and management, then Personal Capital picks up where Mint leaves off.
Like Mint, Personal Capital allows you to track your budget, spending, savings, and more. More than Mint, it provides substantially better functionality for tracking investments and stock/bonds portfolios.
Personal Capital also provides detailed information on asset allocation, income tax planning, and retirement planning, making it the best personal finance software for investors.
Personal Capital: Read the Review
Personal Capital (PC) vs. Mint (M) Comparison Factors
Personal Capital (PC) vs. Mint (M)
|All-in-one financial app|
|Does the company show ads on your dashboard?|
|Cleaner (less crowded) interface|
|Wealth management and investing interfaces|
|Sets alerts and thresholds – get notified|
|Easy to use and personalize|
|Conduct benchmark portfolio allocation|
|Easily see your net worth (real time)|
|Access to a financial planner|
|401(k) and portfolio allocation|
|Advanced budgeting capabilities|
|Additional security (device authentication)|
|Secured funds (can’t move money in, out)|
|See all of your bills in one place|
|Plan for retirement|
|Wide range of colorful graphs and charts|
|Tracks business and/or tax-related items|
Click here to sign up for a free Personal Capital account
Because Mint and Personal Capital are free to U.S. consumers, it is easy to sign up for both of them, and do your own personal testing to see which of the two works better for you. Let us know what you think.
For staying on top of your personal budget or maintaining your investments, Quicken has been one of the best personal finance software options since 1982. However, you have to pay a fee to use this money management app.
With powerful budgeting tools and comprehensive financial management features, Quicken continues to be a top personal financial planning software.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Finance Apps
Below, please find a detailed list of the features which led to the selection of Quicken on our list of the best personal finance software.
As mentioned above, Quicken is not free. However, it has six different versions, one of which is bound to meet your needs and price point.
These versions include:
- Quicken for Mac 2017 ($64.99)
- Quicken Starter Edition 2017 ($29.99)
- Quicken Deluxe 2017 ($64.99)
- Quicken Premier 2017 ($99.99)
- Quicken Home & Business 2017 ($109.99)
- Quicken Rental Property Manager 2017 ($154.99)
Note, though, that it often offers its Deluxe and Premier versions at sharp discounts.
Starter, Deluxe, & Premier
Quicken’s Premier version is designed for individuals who are interested in portfolio management (managing their investments) as well as budgeting, banking, bill payments, account aggregation, and all of the features provided by the Starter and Deluxe versions.
Quicken allows you to see all of your financial transactions in one place–including allowing users to snap and store receipts for purchases–providing a complete “end-to-end” financial solution.
Our Quicken review found that this money management software has a new feature that allows you to get your credit score for free.
Additionally, you are provided with daily monitoring and credit watch alerts to help protect against someone stealing and using your credit.
Because credit score and personal finances often go hand-in-hand, Quicken is a great personal budget software for those who want a holistic view of their financial status.
As a top personal budget software, Quicken provides users with valuable personal financial planning software aimed at maintaining a budget.
Users can create a customized budget plan, and the Quicken money management software will track progress over time based on unique user plans.
Budget goals are also created based on previous spending habits, making it easy to dive into implementing the tools inside this personal budget software.
Quicken’s newly revamped mobile apps give you the ability to quickly access and view your financial transactions on the go. These personal finance apps make it easy to review your Quicken account balances and track your budget plans and goals.
Mobile apps are designed for iPad, Android, iPhone, and many other mobile platforms. Data is quickly synced throughout all platforms, including your computer, tablet, and smartphone.
Privacy & Security
Quicken is committed to upholding the highest standards of security, protecting sensitive information inputted into their personal budget software.
Data is protected and securely transmitted using 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, a security level equal to that of major banks. Security features inside Quicken money management software also include:
- Integrity checks for all messages
- Firewall-protected servers
- Option to password protect Quicken data files
Desktop Versions: Mac vs. Windows
For desktop devices, Intuit provides two separate versions of this money management software: Quicken for Windows and Quicken for Macs. Quicken has been rated as a top Mac personal finance software, and is one of the best known personal financial planning software for PC and other devices.
Quicken for Windows includes a wide range of features and versions. Previously, Quicken for Mac only included the basic version, with limited features for Mac users.
However, the latest versions (Quicken 2017 for Mac) comes loaded with a lot of new features which makes managing your money easier than ever. Quicken 2017 for Mac supports bill pay from nearly 500 financial institutions. You can quickly pay any bill without leaving the Quicken for Mac platform. You can also transfer funds between accounts at the same financial institution.
Would you need to register your copy of Quicken 2017 for Mac? Yes. When you install or upgrade, you’ll be guided to enter your Intuit ID and register Quicken.
Could Quicken Be the Best Personal Finance Software for You?
Quicken is the best paid money management software for those who seek a personal accounting and portfolio management software that has been around for decades – Quicken is definitely a “well-established platform.”
However, if you are interested in Quicken’s portfolio management features, you can get that for free with Personal Capital (Top Free Money Management and Investing Tool). Also, if advanced personal finance software and budgeting features are what you seek, then Mint and Personal Capital would present better (more affordable) choices.
QuickBooks is the market leader in small business software, and was the award-winning product that revolutionized the way people managed their small business finances and accounting.
As the market leader for business apps, QuickBooks provides a comprehensive suite of features that will meet most (if not all) of your business needs irrespective of your business size: very small, small, medium, large, very large, enterprise, and global.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Finance Apps
Below, please find a detailed list of the features which led to the selection of QuickBooks on our list of the best personal finance software in 2017.
Powerful Business Tools
QuickBooks is this year’s highest-rated financial app for businesses, as this money management software provides great tools for small businesses to use.
A few specific benefits of this personal finance app include:
- Easily enter your employee & business information.
- Import your PayPal transactions into QuickBooks Online.
- Extract data from receipts and invoices, track income & expenses, & generate estimates & invoices.
- Easily see your Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, & dozens of other reports via the click of a button.
- Enter in hours & overtime or deductions, or review your payroll & submit, all from within the QuickBooks dashboard.
Not surprisingly, part of being a top business money management software means providing users with the ability to run payroll.
QuickBooks provides small businesses with the following payroll benefits:
- Run payroll as many times as you’d like each month, with no additional cost.
- With automatic reminders, you’ll never miss a payroll again.
- Run Payroll: Just enter hours for up to 50 employees and you’re all set.
- Review your payroll at a glance with detailed reports, right inside QuickBooks.
QuickBooks also provides specific benefits for tax preparation, including:
- Quarterly and year-end payroll taxes are all calculated for you. Just click to e-file and e-pay right from QuickBooks.
- Easily and quickly prepare and print 1099 forms.
For those who are looking for a fluid personal financial planning software to handle day-to-day finances and tax preparation, QuickBooks is one of the best personal finance software options out there.
QuickBooks makes it easy to work securely online with your accountant or team simultaneously – from anywhere.
Users also don’t have to worry about backing up their information, as data is securely stored through QuickBooks software, and QuickBooks Online syncs files easily in real time.
Collaboration is closely tied with compatibility, which is why QuickBooks Online works from any device (Mac, Windows, Apple, Microsoft, etc.).
QuickBooks offers a wide range of pricing options to meet most price points.
You can choose one of four monthly plans (for the online versions) which allow you to work across all your devices – PC, Mac, smartphone & tablet – or you can choose one of the “one-time cost” pricing options for the downloadable desktop versions.
Could QuickBooks Be the Best Personal Financial Software For You?
QuickBooks (although not a free personal finance software) is designed to work flawlessly with all business types and structures.
When it comes to business management, sometimes it pays “to spend money” in order “to make money.”
Its advanced features, comprehensive business and accounting management capabilities, wide range of integrated services and interfaces, and overall sophistication makes QuickBooks this year’s best accounting software for businesses.
Not only is the Wave money management software easy to use, but it is also intuitive, designed for anyone to understand, not just accountants. For small business owners, this is a huge benefit.
With over $21 billion in annual invoices and $62 million in investments, Wave is continuing to change the way that small businesses approach their financial planning software.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Finance Apps
Below, please find a detailed list of the features which led to the selection of Wave on our list of the best personal finance software.
Although not as well-known as QuickBooks, Wave Personal Finance Software is a fast-growing finance application, and one of the top five best personal accounting software of the year.
Wave is best designed for business owners who are looking for a hybrid personal finance app and business management app.
Wave has grown so fast that it now has 2.3 million customers and $175 billion in tracked income and expenses.
Free Personal Finance Software
Wave money management software is available free of charge, making it one of the most affordable business management tools.
While there are charges for credit card and payroll processing fees, Wave allows users to pay as they go, rather than sign up for a contract or make a lengthy commitment.
The credit card processing fee 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, while the payroll processing fee is $15 per month, including an extra $4 for each employee.
Businesses in New York, California, Florida, and Texas can enjoy full payroll tax service for $10 a month.
Versatile Accounting Tools
Wave’s personal accounting software works very well with Wave’s business invoicing, accounting, and payroll tools.
It is a budgeting, personal finance, personal accounting, business finance, and investment tracking tool. With real-time updates and tracking, Wave is truly an all-in-one finance software.
With seamless integration, Wave allows business owners to integrate their business accounting tools with personal budgeting tools.
This is very important, as business owners must always account for expenses that apply to both sides of their lives (business and personal).
With Wave, all you really need is online access and a browser, and you can easily and quickly view your Wave account anywhere, from any computer.
Is Wave available for a Mac user who wants to manage his or her business and personal finances? Yes.
Wave is accessible by Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and iPad users. Wave is a cloud-based platform, so there is nothing to ever install or update.
Security? Wave uses 256-bit encryption. It also stores all of your data on servers that are physically and electronically protected.
In addition, Wave’s protocols are certified by Thawte and TrustE, and the software is PCI Level-1 certified for handling credit card information.
Could Wave Be the Best Business Personal Finance Software for You?
Wave definitely earns an honorary title for a great accounting and business finance app for business owners.
As mentioned above, Wave is designed for entrepreneurs and business owners looking for hybrid accounting software for their personal finances and a management tool for their business.
Our Wave review found that this business money management software is organized, efficient, and powerful.
For small businesses who want a personal finance app and a business finance app in one package, Wave is a great financial planning software to consider.
AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
See “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
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Additional Image Source: BigStock, Personal Capital, Pexels, and Pixabay