When I was young and single I didn’t need money management software. (It’s a good thing, because there wasn’t any such thing!) As the years passed, along came the husband, the children, the house, the dual incomes, multiple bank accounts and, yes, eventually, investments. I was the chief budget manager and financial record keeper for our household, so when the first personal money management software appeared, I was an early adopter.
Most families will benefit in many ways.
Financial software takes time to set up, but the benefits are worth it. It’s not too late in the year to set up money management software. When it’s time to file your tax returns next year, you’ll be glad you did. Also, if couples share access and data entry, both will know where things stand at any given time. Depending on which software you choose, here’s how money management programs can help:
- Create and track a budget
- Balance bank accounts
- Keep tabs on credit card balances
- Pay bills electronically
- Print checks
- Calculate your net worth
- Plan for retirement
- Monitor investment portfolios
- Print reports
- Keep tax related data and export it into tax preparation software
Which software works for you?
There are many money management programs available. They differ in what they can do. (See the list above.) But they all fall under one of these categories: 1) web based programs like Mint®, which store your data online on their servers; and 2) programs you download or install, like Quicken®, which store data on your computer. Web based programs like Mint® allow you to access your data from any device with internet access. However you need to decide whether you want your personal financial information stored on the company servers. If you choose a downloadable or disc based program like Quicken®, your data will be stored only on your computer. Make sure your data is backed up off site in case your computer fails, is stolen or damaged in an accident or natural disaster.
Personally, I use the subscription-based version of Quicken®. It allows me to keep track of three budgets: personal, my business and a homeowners association. But if my finances were simpler, I’d choose Mint®. It’s user friendly, the ads aren’t too intrusive and it’s free!
Here’s a good article to help you compare Quicken and Mint.
Find more links you can really use
The internet is full of great resources, but page after page of search results can be too much of a good thing. We search for useful information in eighteen lifestyle categories, so you don’t have to. When we find the link with the most useful content it becomes a HabiLink, one of the chosen few. Unlike other web guides, we don’t accept payment for listings. We simply think they’re the best at what they do. You’ll find links to popular money management software under the Financial Matters category at HabiLinks. When you’re looking for information on money management software, you can depend on HabiLinks for links you can really use.