Budgets and Money

Better Budgeting with Financial Planning Software

There are desktop budgeting software tools to help you with your personal finances. An advantage to desktop software is that it's local to your computer, so it's not out there lingering in the cloud.

Better Budgeting: 3 Easy To Use Financial Planning Software Programs for Your Desktop

We've already discussed a few free online budget tools, so now, we're tackling the topic of the best desktop software programs for personal finance. Unlike the options we discussed for online budgeting tools (that host your data online), desktop software is local to your computer, so your personal finance info is right at hand and not hovering in an invisible cloud of data somewhere.

All of the desktop software options listed below are available for Mac and PC, and all of them allow you to import your account data, track your spending, create a budget plan, and manage your mortgage and credit card payments. Just don't forget to regularly back that info up to an external hard drive!

AceMoney

It has all the capabilities listed above, AND it allows you to pay your bills, connect directly to your bank or credit union for the most up to date account info, bank online, manage investment accounts, and even calculate exchange rates. There's also an AceMoney Receipts mobile app available that complements your software package.

Quicken Starter Edition

Quicken is a well-known and trusted name in the finance industry, and its personal finance desktop software does not disappoint. Quicken professes to “make budgeting (and staying on budget) painless” with its Quicken Starter Edition program. This software imports all of your bank information and creates “budget forecasts” and budget goals for you based on your spending patterns. It also creates handy graphs and charts to help you see where your money is going, and it also comes with a FREE mobile app for budgeting on the go. It only lacks a couple of the features that AceMoney has, namely the ability to track investment accounts and calculate exchange rates.

You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget makes an appearance on both of our desktop software programs and free online budgeting tools lists, because while it does offer a free mobile app, and many of its extremely informative finance webinars and articles are available for free on the YNAB website, the YNAB budgeting software itself does cost money. The YNAB software doesn't have quite as many bells and whistles as the other two programs we've mentioned, but it heavily stresses the importance of budgeting, and it's the only program listed here that really delivers in terms of personalized financial guidance. It may be the most expensive option listed, but YNAB is a great choice for those who are brand new to the befuddling world of finance.

If you're opposed to the idea of spending money to manage your money, you should give the online finance tool Mint a try. While Mint is completely free, it is not available as a desktop program.

For more information on money management, financial planning and budgeting, visit the Protective Learning Center.

Was this article helpful?
1
4

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

WEB.1537.06.15