Best personal finance software 2018 – programs for mac, windows pcs electricity production in north korea


Once you create an account with Buxfer and download the app, you can connect it your bank and credit card accounts. Once connected, your balances and transactions are added to Buxfer and automatically categorized. You can also edit the information if the automatic categorization isn’t accurate.

Creating a budget with Buxfer is easy. You set an overall spending limit for each week, month and year you intend to budget. You can use the categories to further refine your budgeting. The budgets are color-coded. One advantage of being primarily app-based is that you can always have your budget available and reference it when you’re out shopping. Buxfer also has shared-expense tracking, which lets you send money to others, especially useful if you split rent or utilities with roommates.

Buxfer offers simple reports that help you visualize your spending. You can use the pie charts to determine what percent of your income you spend on various categories. Line graphs give you a quick view of your income versus your expenses. One drawback of Buxfer is that you can’t set up savings or retirement goals.

To test these programs, we purchased or downloaded complete trials and used them to create budgets, connect to a bank account and monitor how well each program performs. We found that setting up your budgeting software can take some time, so be sure to give yourself an hour or possibly more. The best programs connect automatically to your bank, credit card or investment accounts directly. A few require you to import through Dropbox or another intermediary. Our Options & Functionality Score reflects this; anything with an 80 percent or above is easy to connect.

Once our transactions were imported, we let the program categorize them for us and began creating budgets. We noted the tools each program has to simplify the budgeting process, and whether you can copy the budget from month to month and set up recurring payments.

To make sure we tested these programs for all manner of financial scenarios, we also looked at the tools for monitoring investments. Many of the programs at least give you an overview of your portfolios and track their performance. The more extensive personal finance programs allow you to compare your portfolio to the rest of the market.

If you need to get a handle on your finances and track your spending, each of these programs offer something for you. A budget can be as simple or complex as you need. You may want to simply track your total spending, or you may want to divide it into a range of categories. Some people like the envelope budgeting method, which allows you to set aside money each month for specific items or goals. Mvelopes is a good program that utilizes this method.

If you’re budgeting because you want to save toward a goal, say a down payment on a home or for retirement, many of the programs offer tracking tools that let you set aside an amount each month and track your progress. Using personal finance programs to manage your budget can help you find areas you’re overspending in or ways you can cut back your spending to make your goals.

Not everyone invests money in the stock market, but if you do, you’ll need a program that can cover the full breadth of your financial picture. Many of the programs we tested integrate with your financial firm and can at least give you a top-level look at your portfolio. The best let you track your performance and compare your portfolio with the market. If investment tracking isn’t what you need, you can find a lower-cost program with the budgeting features you’re looking for.