Best Personal Finance Software
- October 11, 2018
- Posted by: Ashley Sutphin Watkins
- Category: Personal Finance
At a Glance:
An increasing array of personal finance software is changing the way people manage their money, simplifying complex finances at the touch of a button. Today’s best personal finance software offers innovative features and robust functionalities.
The idea of managing your finances and expenses through a personal finance software platform was once farfetched. Now, the market for money management software is competitive, so the consumer faces an abundance of options, regardless of their budget or even their comfort level with technology.
For many, personal finance software now plays a pivotal role in managing money and in setting goals and achieving them. It also provides visibility into what money they’re bringing in versus what funds are going out. With these programs, people feel much more equipped to meet their financial objectives.
However, not all personal finance software is the same. Some platforms only focus on one area of financial management like tracking expenses while others are more comprehensive and might include multiple financial tools, like budgeting to taxes.
Below, we review some of the best personal finance software options available right now. Click a link below to jump down:
- Best for Passive Investing: Acorns
- Best for Budgeting & Expense Tracking: Mint
- Best for Taxes: TurboTax
- Best for Investing: ETrade, TD Ameritrade
Best Personal Finance Software Breakdown
Best for: Passive Investing
Acorns is a financial savings and investing app with a focus on helping its more than 4 million users grow their wealth by starting small. It’s an investment tool, but it links with regular spending accounts. When you use the app, you can set aside spare change or any extra money, and have it automatically invested.
The app offers Round-Up features that round-up your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnel the additional money into your investing account. Users can also set up Recurring Investments that add a specified amount to the account on a regular basis.
Acorns might appeal to someone looking for a simple personal finance app. It’s features include:
- Users can grow their money faster when they use the “Earn Found Money” feature, allowing them to invest more when they shop with certain partner brands.
- Right now, users can pre-order Acorns Spend, which is a full financial system with an Acorns debit card.
- Along with automated investment tools such as Round-Ups, Acorns offers the option to set up the Acorns Later account, which is a simple-to-manage IRA to save for retirement.
Acorns is an ideal financial app for multiple reasons. Along with making it easier to save and invest money, it’s also user-friendly with straightforward features are straightforward. It doesn’t have all of the features you might want with a personal finance platform, however. For example, it’s not a budgeting tool. The basic plan is free, but for other plans there may be a small monthly fee, which varies depending on your type of plan.
Best for: Budgeting & Expense Tracking
Mint is a platform from the Inuit company with options for tracking and managing bills. You can set up alerts for any unusual activity and create personalized budgets to more clearly see how you spend.
Some of the standout features of Mint include:
- A centralized dashboard for users that makes it easy to see cash, spending by category, budgets, investments and a financial overview at a glance.
- Mint connects to almost every financial institution in the U.S.
- All information is categorized and automatically updated.
Mint is hard to beat if you are looking for a streamlined way to manage your overall finances, from investments to budgeting to retirement accounts. Mint categorizes your spending and bills so you can more easily stay on top of what needs to be paid. In addition, users get access to a free credit score.
Best for: Taxes
Filing taxes isn’t fun, but it’s an important component of personal finance. And it’s the law. TurboTax, like Mint, is an Intuit product. It simplifies all things tax-related, which is a rare feat. Users can access the app or online platform for free in some cases.
Unique features of TurboTax that make it a preferred personal finance platform include:
- When users file with TurboTax, the company guarantees they’ll receive the maximum refund they’re entitled to.
- More than 350 tax deductions are searched and TurboTax guarantees all calculations are completely accurate. If they’re not, TurboTax will pay any owed IRS penalties.
- If someone uses TurboTax and files electronically, they’re guaranteed to receive their refund as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t get much better than TurboTax when it comes to dealing with the complexities of taxes. The company offers one-on-one help from tax specialists and an Audit Support Guarantee for guidance from a tax professional, if you need it. This platform also makes it easier to file your taxes, as well as offering a variety of online and mobile tools.
Best for: Investing
ETrade has a long history as one of the most innovative and leading personal finance technology-based solutions. ETrade was one of the first online trading platforms available. Now, ETrade offers not only brokerage accounts but also managed portfolios, retirement accounts, and bank accounts.
Some of the elements of using ETrade and the available features that make it an appealing personal finance platform include:
- Core Portfolios, an easy-to-use feature, are digital portfolios that are diversified based on your goals.
- In addition to investing, ETrade has traditional bank accounts. For example, there is the Premium Savings Account that requires only a $100 opening deposit and has a 1.70% APY.
- ETrade says it strives to keep fees low for customers.
ETrade is a good tool not only for investing, but also for managing and contributing to retirement accounts. Now the company has also made it easy to do traditional banking through its platform. It’s not the least expensive online trading option, with fees averaging $6.95 per trade, but it’s one that has some of the most options available to users.
Best for: Investing
TD Ameritrade is also a popular online trading platform with a trading app. TD Ameritrade has a wide set of investment choices and it offers education such as courses and webcasts.
Notable features of TD Ameritrade include:
- A variety of account types: the standard account, retirement accounts including various types of IRAs, and specialty accounts.
- TD Ameritrade offers a managed portfolio option, so you can invest based on the personal preferences, needs, and objectives.
- TD Ameritrade regularly offers special promotions and pricing. Currently, the company is offering the option to trade commission-free for 60 days and also receive up to $600.
TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage that you can use whether you’re completely new to investing, or you’re an experienced investor. The features are plentiful, and the trading prices, averaging $6.95 per trade, are competitive.
With evolving technology, almost everyone has the opportunity to gain control over their financial health with a number of personal finance softwares for budgeting, financial management, taxes, investing, and trading.