If you’re in the market for a personal finance accounting software program, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been using such programs for years and can tell you that they are a powerful tool for saving money and tracking your spending habits. Personal finance accounting software is one of those things that sounds boring but is actually incredibly useful. I’m going to share my top ten picks with you today so that you can get started on organizing all those receipts from last month’s vacation!
In this guide, we review the aspects of Personal Finance Accounting Software, What is the best free program to track personal finances, Can QuickBooks be used for personal finance, and double entry accounting software for personal finance.
Personal Finance Accounting Software
Get your head in the game with these top ten personal finance accounting software programs.
There are plenty of ways to manage your money, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people prefer the old-fashioned method: writing checks and keeping track of them in a ledger book. Others prefer the convenience of online banking, or even just using their smartphone apps to keep an eye on their finances. In any case, it’s important that you keep track of every dollar that comes into (and goes out) your life; otherwise, you won’t have an accurate picture of where your money is going–and this will make saving difficult at best and impossible at worst.
To help get your head in the game with these top ten personal finance accounting software programs:
Check out Banktivity
Banktivity is a personal finance software program designed for Mac, Windows and iPad. The program connects to over 14,000 banks and can help you see all your accounts in one place. It’s been around since 2009, so the company has had plenty of time to improve the app and fix bugs as needed.
You may have heard about Banktivity from our previous post about online banking tools for college students—the software makes it easy for users to track their spending habits, categorize expenses and keep an eye on their cash flow, among other things.
If you’re looking for a personal finance manager and accounting software to help get your finances in order, Moneydance is an excellent choice. It’s easy to use, has many features and is available on all major platforms (MacOS, Windows and Linux).
Moneydance also offers a free version that can be used for personal finances such as tracking spending, budgeting, investments and more. If you want more advanced options like running payroll or taking inventory then you will need to pay $59 per month or $14 per month if paid annually.
Enrich your life with Mvelopes.
Mvelopes is one of the best personal finance accounting software solutions out there. This app allows you to easily track your spending, set monthly budgets, and even save money with a great savings feature. If you’re looking for a way to organize your finances without spending hours at a time on spreadsheets or other complicated software, Mvelopes may be just what you’re looking for.
The interface of this program is extremely user-friendly and easy-to-use—especially if you’re familiar with budgeting apps like Mint or Personal Capital. You can easily create multiple accounts using different currencies and add transactions by typing them in directly or scanning them from your receipt (if available). The app also has an intuitive tagging system that makes it easy to categorize expenses so that later on when it comes time to pay bills or track income tax deductions, everything will be organized neatly into categories such as groceries versus entertainment expenses
Do your duty with Dollarbird.
Dollarbird is a budgeting app that helps you set goals and track spending. It’s free to use, available for iOS and Android, and super easy to use. The great thing about Dollarbird is its intuitive interface: once you input your income and bills, the app will automatically generate budgets for each category so that you can see where your money is going at a glance. Having this information makes it easier to stay on track with your finances—and have more money left over at the end of each month!
For those who want more detailed analysis of their spending habits (as well as some encouragement), there’s also an optional feature called Goals that prompts users to look at their progress toward monthly goals every day or week. This feature makes it much easier to get ahead financially by providing daily reminders about how much progress has been made toward reaching one’s financial goals – even if they don’t come naturally!
Simplify things with Simple Home Budget.
Simple Home Budget is a free budgeting app for Windows, Mac and Linux. It supports multiple accounts, currencies and budgets. The interface is simple and easy to use, even if you’re not a finance expert. You can use it to track your spending and increase your savings.
Take a look at You Need a Budget.
Let’s talk about budgeting. If you’re not a fan of tracking your spending, then this section isn’t for you. But if keeping track of your finances is really important to you, then budgeting is exactly what you need.
You need to be able to see where your money is going: if I spend $20 on coffee every day and another $10 on lunch every day, that adds up fast! And if I go out for dinner twice a week and buy new clothes once every few months, well…you get the idea. You must be able to see how much money is coming in and how much money is going out; otherwise it’s impossible to know how much money is left over at the end of each month (or quarter or year).
Goodbudget is a free budgeting app that makes it easy to track your spending and set financial goals. The app has a built-in calculator, so you can quickly see how many dollars are left in your budget once you account for everything on the list. Goodbudget will also help you set up a savings goal or debt repayment plan, if that’s what you need.
Spend some time with Quicken.
Quicken is a personal finance management tool that allows you to track your spending and saving, and plan for the future. Whether you’re looking to get out of debt or save up for a home, Quicken can help you reach your goals by tracking your spending and balancing your budget.
Don’t forget to check out Mint.com.
Mint.com is a free service that helps you track your spending and save money. It’s easy to use, and has a nice user interface (UI). You can set up budgets and track your spending, which is great for tracking how much you spend on groceries or going out with friends. If Mint gets too confusing at first, don’t worry! It’s best if you just learn one thing at a time so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.
Mint also has a mobile app where you can check in on things like what percentage of your paycheck goes towards rent or utilities each month, as well as how much money is left over for discretionary spending—like going out for lunch with coworkers during workdays! The mobile app also lets users scan their receipts using their device camera rather than manually entering each receipt into the system like they would if they were using Excel spreadsheets (which are way too slow).
If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your money, WalletHub is a great option. It’s an online personal finance management service that helps you find the best credit card, bank account and financial advisor. WalletHub also provides tips on how to save money and reduce debt. The site is available on all mobile devices meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere (including work!).
Never underestimate the power of tracking your spending and increasing your savings!
You may be wondering how tracking your spending can help you save money and achieve financial goals. It’s simple: by tracking your spending and analyzing where the money is going, you will become more aware of how much money you have spent on each category. This awareness can aid in setting financial goals based on what your actual needs are instead of just guessing or making assumptions about where that money should go.
By keeping track of where all that hard-earned cash goes, it’s also easier to see if there are any areas where improvements can be made—and this process isn’t just applicable to business owners or CEOs! Everyone is encouraged to use personal finance accounting software like Mint (www.mint.com) because it makes life easier by simplifying complicated tasks into easy-to-understand graphs and charts, which enables users’ eyesight not only for seeing but also for comprehending as well! Doing so allows them to make better decisions because they have access to relevant information about their finances at all times thanks primarily thanks due entirely owed entirely owed completely 100% percent.
What is the best free program to track personal finances
Managing your money successfully includes keeping a close eye on your expenses. One way to do that is to take advantage of free software and services. Free personal finance software can be surprisingly robust, helping you track spending, create and manage budgets, and run reports.
Whether your computer runs on Windows or macOS (or even Linux) or you do all your budgeting on your phone, you’ll find a no-cost selection below for tracking your finances and planning for the future.
You can complete your financial toolset with free personal tax preparation software to keep more of your money in your pocket.
Mint is a free online budget planner from Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quickbooks. This app brings all of your financial data together, showing you an overview of your budget, spending, bills, and credit score. You can create your own budget, set goals and reminders, and sync your data between web and apps. Security is enhanced by encryption and multi-factor authentication. You can also use Mint to track your investments and portfolio.
Access Mint via the web or phone apps for iOS and Android.
GnuCash is desktop software; its features include tracking bank accounts, stocks, income, and expenses. GnuCash is based on double-entry accounting for balanced books and you can run a number of reports to see your financial data. GnuCash also offers small-business accounting tools that let you manage customers and vendors, handle invoicing and bill payment, and even payroll.
GnuCash is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, BSD, and Solaris. There is a companion app for Android that will let you track expenses on the go and later import them into the desktop software.
AceMoney Lite bills itself as the best Quicken alternative. You can manage your budgets, track your finances in multiple currencies, keep an eye on your investments and analyze your spending habits. You can also do online banking. As this is the lite version, you’re limited to two accounts; the full version supports unlimited accounts.
AceMoney Lite is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Personal Capital offers free financial software for tracking investments and planning for retirement, in addition to its tools for cash flow, spending, budgeting and net worth. Personal Capital’s focus is on investments, showing you the performance of your portfolio over time and helping you make decisions for the future, so its budgeting components aren’t as robust as other software.
If you’re not an investor or prefer fine-tuning your budget to getting the broad view, Personal Capital may not be the best fit. However, if you want to save for college or retirement, its free tools will show you whether you’re on track.
Personal Capital can be accessed via the web or apps for Android and iOS.
Buddi is an open-source budget software that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and has been translated into multiple languages. Buddi can encrypt financial data with a password, and it’s designed to be easy to use even if you have no financial background.
Features include budgeting, tracking accounts, and personal finance reports, but you will have to enter transactions manually. Free plugins add more features, and the online user manual is easy to read and use.
Buddi is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Free Budget Spreadsheets
If you don’t need fully featured personal financial software and you’re just concerned about keeping a budget, there are some great free budget spreadsheet templates you can use with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc or Google Sheets. Just download and open them in your spreadsheet software to get a handle on your cash flow.
Can QuickBooks be used for personal finance
I think that QuickBooks is a much more powerful program than some of the other options.
I also feel that many people don’t use QuickBooks because they have never used it before and find the program intimidating to learn.
Although I use QuickBooks in many ways to manage my personal and family bookkeeping I wanted to touch on the three key ways I use the program.
Cash Flow Management
The biggest benefit I find when using QuickBooks for personal bookkeeping is the ability to manage cash flow. By entering my financial data on a regular basis for all of my accounts I can really drill in on my cash flow situation.
I do this by entering not only transactions that have posted to my account but also those transactions that I know are coming. Items such as mortgage payments and auto loan payments usually occur each month and the amounts rarely fluctuate.
For items that are recurring payments or deposits I simply memorize those transactions in QuickBooks and have them post automatically to QuickBooks 10 days in advance of when they will post to my bank or credit card account.
The next step of managing your cash flow effectively is to reconcile your accounts manually on a weekly or daily basis. I refer to this process as daily reconciliations in QuickBooks.
By clearing transactions through the bank register to the last online daily balance you can effectively balance your books on a regular basis.
The last step is changing the display options in your bank register. When you double click on your QuickBooks bank account and open the register you will see a box in the lower left labeled ‘sort by.’
If you select ‘cleared status’ from the drop down QuickBooks will sort items by cleared or not cleared.
This will allow you to perform daily reconciliations and view not only your current balance, but also your future cash balance based upon transactions that will eventually post to your account.
Automate Bills And Income
I tend to automate my bills, income and savings as much as possible. I put all bills on auto payment to hit either a credit card or checking account.
I always select credit card when it is an option to not only control cash flow but also to take advantage of credit card rewards.
I never carry a balance on my credit card and pay the entire balance off each month when due. When bills roll in I simply enter the bill into QuickBooks through memorized transactions.
That way I only need to change the amount and date then the transaction will automatically post to the correct credit card or bank account.
As far as income I always sign up for direct deposit. I again used memorized transactions to have my paycheck automatically post to the correct accounts.
If income or tax amounts change I simply change the amounts.
The last thing to consider is automating your savings. Maybe you want to set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings each month.
However, you certainly want it to be an amount that you can easily afford each month. I personally like to manage my cash flow as accurately as possible and then transfer most of the excess to savings, but I leave a small buffer in checking (maybe $500-$1,000).
The combination of automating your bills and income along with daily reconciliations is really powerful for your family finances. You will become more involved with your finances so you are paying closer attention and caring more.
Financial Reporting On The Family
The last way I use QuickBooks for personal finances is through financial reporting. In order to be sure that you are looking at accurate financial reports you must first reconcile your QuickBooks accounts.
It is important to understand that you need to reconcile all of your QuickBooks accounts not just your bank accounts.
You can reconcile credit cards, loans and any account that has a statement with a start and end date with a beginning and ending balance.
Properly reconciling all of your accounts is the only way you can be sure you are looking at accurate financial reports.
I run several different reports on the family. However, a straight profit and loss is a useful report for anyone. I like to look at the profit & loss in several different ways, but typically I like to compare it to some sort of prior period.
If you are looking at a profit and loss for the current month it is easy to compare it to the prior month period or year by clicking modify report in the upper left hand corner.
By running monthly and year to date comparisons you will easily be able to identify any issues or concerns with your family finances. Another profit and loss variation that I have found very useful is looking at your entire year but changing the columns settings to month.
You can find your columns drop down menu above your report in the middle of the screen. Change the columns settings to month and dates to this fiscal year. This will display your profit and loss by month for the entire year, but also a total.
QuickBooks is a useful tool for handling your personal bookkeeping as well as your business finances. Using QuickBooks to manage all of your income and bills is simple. Also, with some simple modifications you can easily use the program to get a handle on your cash flow.
The end result is being able to run financial reports on your personal finances to get a better handle on your personal books.
These are just a few of the highlights and I’m sure you will find other ways to use QuickBooks for your personal finances.
double entry accounting software for personal finance
So I started to put together my family’s finances recently. I thought about using some fintech solution. Ultimately, in my data nerdliness, I landed on using double-entry accrual accounting principles to look at my finances through. At first, I thought to myself, “I should use some fintech account aggregator”; but then I thought, “Wait, they are giving that service away for free. I must be the product”. Then I started to look into it some more, and holy cow. The shameless shady data usage.Okay, it isn’t too shady. They just use your personal finances to figure out whether or not they should push credit cards, loans, and other stuff. Which let’s be honest, is standard fare these days.
The other problem was that this didn’t give me nearly as much insight into my finances as I wanted. The big problem was that most of these aggregators suck at detailing your financial position. Most of the time, they are little more than a global check register. They won’t alert me that my car has depreciated to the optimal selling point, and that I should start looking for a new one. They won’t be able to tell me which investments I’ve made over the last year have contributed the most to my cashflow. In short, they kind of sucked.
So I started trying to build one. I did this project a few years ago, actually, it was more like a decade ago. I did it in microsoft access. Yeah, that microsoft access. I built my very own personal finance app in microsoft access, from the ground up. I used it for about 3 months before I discovered a bug, and that bug kept growing and causing issues for me. It had this problem where it was causing some of my numbers to be off every month. This was of course before I knew anything about programming. So my balance sheet, slowly drifted from reality into something that didn’t make any sense.
So I wanted to totally redeem myself, and build an app. Sort of like I did with Skinnier Me to get myself into physical shape. Well, I began looking into what other competitors were offering, and someone had built what I was looking for and giving it away for free. Plus it had features that I didn’t even know that I wanted. So I decided to use the thing from someone else. I’m talking about gnuCash.
So what does gnuCash do for you?
It is a double-entry accounting system that was built as open-source software. That means you can crack the hood open and tinker around with its inner workings, but more importantly it means you can download it for free.
If you are looking for a simple budgeting app this isn’t the right choice for you. The reason to go through the hassle is to get detailed, accurate data about your financial health.
It let’s you do things like split your transactions up between different categories. A good simple budgeting app will let you do that. It also lets you do things like track depreciation of things that you have bought, like that new printer, or the new tablet that you bought. That way you can see how your net worth changes. It let’s you get as detailed as you can about your finances, so that you can analyze them in excruciating detail. That is what I wanted, because I am super nerdly.
That brings up the next point. You then have a choice to make, do you want to follow a cash-based method, or do you want to do an accrual-based method. Both of them have their pros and cons. I opted to set up my accounts as accrual accounts. Which means that I now have some interesting things on my personal balance sheet like accounts receivable and accounts payable. Honestly, it is a little overkill for someone like me to do this.
Here is the idea, when a bill comes in the mail (or more likely, email these days) you immediately post the expense and you fund the expense with your account payable. I also post my income in a similar way. For regular pay, I should post the income and send it to my accounts receivable, and then a separate transaction goes to my bank account from accounts receivable. Honestly, this level of detail is too much for even me. However, there is one aspect of my income that I do this exact thing for. That is for my PTO hours that I have accrued at work. It turns out those are a valuable asset that I want to track on my balance sheet, so I do.
Accrual accounting also helps if a friend buys you lunch and you commit to buying next time, drop that into your accounts payable, or vice-versa, if you pick up the tab, and your friend says they’ll buy next time, you can drop that into your accounts receivable. (Actually, don’t do that. The first one is fine, that makes you a good friend paying back a buddy. The second one makes you a transactional jerk, but the point is that you can track these things.).
This is accrual accounting for you. It is more complicated, and honestly, recording the transactions correctly is a bit of a pain for the average Joe like myself. So that begs the question:
Why should I use accrual accounting personally?
Honestly, I’ve been wrestling with this myself since I started doing it. If you start to do it, you will have to answer your personal why. It is a bit more work than simply recording the exact outflow. I don’t even think it is more accurate. In some ways, like from a cashflow perspective, it is less accurate.
Here is what I landed on. There are things that I buy that have value. Things like tablets, printers, cars, and other things. They continue to have value even after I pay for them, even if they don’t have value to anyone else but me. I want to know how much of that money is left over, since likely these things will lose value. So I want to track them, and I can only do that via the accrual method for those. There are also other things that I prepay for, like car/home insurance, life insurance, sometimes HOA dues and other things like that. Someone owes me these services. I don’t want to lose track of those. When a bill comes in the mail, I don’t want to drop the ball and not pay it, so I track it on my accounts payable.
It gives me a better sense of where I am, and how I am moving financially. It also gives me pristine data so that I can forecast, and do other things with. I can analyze my cashflows, and I can know what it actually costs to keep my family going per month.
Oh! That is a huge benefit right there. The accrual method is like taking the average of your monthly expenses. It let’s you smooth out those random big ticket items and get a sense for how much it actually costs to run your household. I think that is why I am doing it mainly. For me, accrual accounting for personal finance is a data cleaning hack. It just ensures that my numbers that I use to estimate my life expenses are correct.
I think that the thing that surprised me the most was since I started to depreciate my personal property assets, how much my stuff was actually costing our household every month.