Quicken works by downloading all your transactions to make it simple, and obviate the need for tedious manual entries. It offers advanced features including the ability to export data to Excel, integrated Quicken Bill Pay, the ability to generate custom invoices with your own logo, and secure online backup of Quicken files to Dropbox cloud storage. BudgetPulse is an online, web based application that facilitates tracking money and better budgeting.
Even though it is free, it can import data from Quicken or Microsoft Money, and has the ability to print graphs and reports.
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It also can encourage savings for bigger financial goals such as a wedding. They claim to be more secure as they do not access personal bank details nor credit card account information. There are other budgeting apps available, some of which are paid services, although some are free. Obviously, free is better if money is tight, but paid-for software can provide added value in making you more actively manage your money, which may work better in the long run.
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Especially if this means rather than saving a few dollars on your grocery every week, you're actually putting a few hundred dollars in your k every year. Here we look at some of the other budgeting platforms you may want to consider. Not only does Pocket Guard help you keep an eye on your spending, it breaks things down into different areas so you can see not just how much you're spending, but also on what.
Furthermore, it does a good job of trying to lower your bills in the first place, while trying to show where you get better interest on your savings, by shopping around recommended options. While it integrates with your checking and savings account to give an overall picture of your finances, like many other products, it goes further in promoting investment planning and portfolio management. As the name suggests, it's all about planting little acorns figuratively, and seeing how they grow — all from money the software has helped you save.
It does this by helping to provide some of the better financial offers out there, especially for small sums. This means you have the opportunity to learn to manage small amounts of debt, which helps improve your credit rating, therefore allowing you to work with larger amounts of credit.
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More budgeting software options to consider
Mint 3. Quicken 5. BudgetPulse Read on for our detailed analysis of each app. In order to define the best app for you, you have to determine your initial goal. Do you want to watch your incomes and expenses and find ways to trim back on some of your daily spending? If so, a budgeting app may be for you. Fortunately, a few of the options discussed in this review handle both the financial planning and budgeting aspects with ease.
However, if you have a very specific purpose, you may want to hone in on your specific goal before selecting an app. If you want a little bit more foundational knowledge on the topic before we dive in to the applications themselves, here are a couple of notable finance blogs:. Side note: some of these are native Mac apps, but some of them are online services. In selecting the best personal finance app, we want to take into consideration all of the possible software and service-based options for people to use when tracking finances on their Mac. Since there are some very strong service-based options available, this review would be incomplete if we neglected to take services like Mvelopes, YNAB, EveryDollar, and Mint into consideration.
Most of the applications we looked at fall into one of two camps in how they approach financial management and are usually very good at one of two things:. The very best personal finance apps strike a balanced approach between these two extremes. Banktivity is the right blend of powerful features and ease-of-use to help just about anyone improve how they manage their personal finances.
Importing transactions is a breeze, and it offers flexible budgeting tools to help you stay on track and make sure you meet your financial goals. The Banktivity Dashboard has been updated for version 7 and looks clean, fresh, and full of initial data to see your financial picture at a glance.
It offers easy access to all of your financial information. A sidebar on the left gives you access to your accounts, budgets, reports, and even websites for when you need to confirm transaction details from within the app. And a dark mode ensures Banktivity looks good day and night. From the sidebar, you can also quickly access scheduled transactions, categories, tags, accounts, securities, and even currencies by clicking the Settings icon in the bottom-left.
The summary of your financial health has been moved to the Summary in the main window, which keeps the sidebar looking tidy. The main window displays the selected information, like your transactions or your budgeting categories. This information changes based on which sidebar item you have selected, but the sidebar remains in place throughout your interaction with the app so you can quickly jump to the different parts of the application with ease. Banktivity 6 introduced Workspaces, which significantly extended the functionality of the main window.
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Workspaces allow you to use any account, budget, report, or other view in Banktivity side-by-side. This allows you to work in two parts of the app at once and is completely customizable. There are two ways to create a Workspace:. For example, you may want see an account register next to your budget to see how your spending affects your budget. Or if you need to verify something in your bank website, you can drag the website over from the sidebar next to your account register.
Banktivity 7 introduced the Calendar, which tacks all of your historical and future transactions onto a calendar. The Calendar also offers a look at your personal net worth on a daily basis. Banktivity makes it really easy to import and sync data online. While we had some trouble syncing certain types of accounts in previous versions of Banktivity specifically iBank versions , this seems to be largely resolved with the release of Banktivity 6 and beyond. When testing the new version, we encountered zero issues using Direct Access.
Banktivity also offers support for many different types of accounts. Checking, savings, cash, credit cards, loans, assets, liabilities, lines of credit, money market, investments, and k accounts can all be managed in Banktivity. Managing all of these things in one place is convenient because it can give you a more complete financial picture. For international users, Banktivity does a good job of adapting to a foreign financial system. As a whole, Banktivity works universally, but you may have to adjust your thinking just a bit to fit Banktivity to your international needs.
Finally, Banktivity currently struggles with robo-advisors and algorithmic forms of investing. You can track individual stocks and lots in the Portfolio view and you can automate pricing updates , but any investments that include units or any investments held in a robo-service are more difficult to properly track. Managing accounts with Banktivity is easier than just about any other app we tested. For example, if you have multiple transactions from the same payee and you change the category on one transaction, Banktivity will ask you if you want to change it for the other transactions as well.
In order to accurately identify trends and really know if you are hitting your financial targets, you have to do some setup work. Fortunately, Banktivity remembers these values once you put them in, so after you do it once it makes it much simpler in the future. Banktivity also syncs all your accounts automatically if you are using Direct Access or Direct Download, so they are always up-to-date — no need to manually refresh your accounts.
Banktivity 6 introduced tags, which is kind of like next-level categorization. These can be very useful in helping you track your spending accurately because they allow you to pull up reports for spending that are cross-categorical. Tags are different than categorization, and allow you to see the big picture. The solution is to use tags. For example, if you use a vacation tag on your vacation expenses, you can easily access a report based on that tag to see all your vacation expenses together.
Banktivity has an entire view dedicated to tracking your investment portfolio. If you create an Investment class of account, Banktivity will alter the main view with more account-specific transaction types. You can quickly drill down the dropdown menu to choose purchases, dividends, interest income, and more. This feature may take a little bit to wrap your head around, but once you do, acts as a very easy way to track your portfolio performance. But Banktivity 7 debuted built-in real estate tracking with the help of Zillow. Banktivity will then apply any mortgages or loans held against that property and provide an overall equity valuation of your real estate holdings.
Unfortunately, this feature only works on addresses in the United States at this point, so international users will have to manually update the fair market value of their real estate holdings. The reporting tools in Banktivity are top-notch and are one of our favorite features of the app. There are many different types of reports available in Banktivity:. For any of these reports, you can choose which accounts you want to include in the reports, and you can select from a number of pre-defined or custom date intervals.
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Quick Reports allow you to instantly drill down into transaction categories and view reports on everything inside. To access Quick Reports when looking over transactions, just click Report On and select a category to access the custom report, then click the three vertical bars at the top of the report and drag it to the sidebar so you can keep tabs on it.
For example, if you want to see how much you spend on fancy coffee, you can view the report by the category and then just drag the report to the sidebar. Now you can access the report again at anytime from the sidebar simply by clicking it, making it easy to track your hipster caffeine cravings. Banktivity does have iOS apps, but you have to purchase them separately.
You can use the app to access just about anything you can in the Mac version. The web app does a great job of guiding you through setting up everything from your very first budget, planning a month ahead, setting long-term savings goals, and more. This makes YNAB a great starting point for people just dipping their toes into the personal finance waters as it is incredibly easy to use. However, it lacks features like portfolio tracking, real estate tracking, and other features designed to help you track your personal balance sheet.
Again, your initial financial goals will help determine whether Banktivity or YNAB better fits your needs. Of all the apps we looked at, MoneyWiz is probably the most beautiful. It looks and feels like a native Mac app its Touch Bar support is unparalleled , supports portfolio management and even crypto but lacks some of the polish found in our favorite app, Banktivity. One major plus for MoneyWiz is the accessibility for international readers. This is especially noticeable in the investments portfolio section of MoneyWiz. Where Banktivity works best with US-based stock exchanges, MoneyWiz supports all world stock exchanges.
MoneyWiz also has a unique pricing structure as you can choose to either buy the application outright or subscribe monthly to receive free updates. The standard version of MoneyWiz 3 can be downloaded for free and can be used for free with some limits. Major updates are paid updates for the purchased version. Honestly, the Premium subscription is the best deal for this app.
This app has been around awhile, and it shows in the refinement and attention given to even the smallest details. The reports are also not as in-depth as Banktivity the interactive reports in Banktivity were by far the best we saw in our testing. It takes a little-bit-different approach to how data is displayed, but gives you more flexibility as well.
Moneydance , by The Infinite Kind, is another full-featured native Mac app that has been around for awhile. A couple of the reviews featured on their website were actually published in and respectively, and The Infinite Kind have built on the solid foundation of the app which now offers features like online banking and bill pay.
It does offer more widgetized areas to provide you additional financial information like exchange rates , but some of this may be unnecessary. One very interesting feature of Moneydance is the developer API , which allows developers to extend the Moneydance functionality and use the information from Moneydance in creative ways. They even offer some sample Python scripts on their developer page. If you really want to tinker with how things work under the hood, Moneydance gives you that ability.
MoneyWell , by No Thirst Software, is a unique take on the digital envelope budgeting system. The premise of MoneyWell is simple:. It does take awhile to set it up correctly, though, and it only has minimal support for investments.