Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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17outs
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Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by 17outs »

I was using EveryDollar to manage budgets for about a year. It was really easy for me to bucket downloaded transactions and track monthly spending. Then it went into several months where it wouldn't work with USAA or Citi. I chose not to renew in Sep and Citi is still broken to this day according to their website. I have read many reviews of others software and just tried to test Banktivity and Quicken. Banktivity failed to add my accounts and Quicken tried to bait and switch me into paying more then failed on processing my transaction anyways. I think its a sign.

I used YNAB at one point but didn't care for its style of budgeting (I want to budget monthly, not as I get a paycheck). Does anyone use anything they find easy and doesn't have issues with their accounts? I feel like what I am asking for is pretty easy. I have used Personal Capital for investment tracking for several years but it doesn't really do personal finance budgeting. Mint seems to have issues with USAA.

Is there anything good out there? I dont care what it costs.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by WoodSpinner »

OP,

Not sure what happened with Quicken but its my finance software of choice. I am able to sync all of my accounts including Citi with minimal problems. I do use the subscription model.

Would like to see the UI improved but overall it works well. I have built a good bit of automation into the Sync and Reporting processes to further optimize my toolset.

WoodSpinner
acegolfer
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by acegolfer »

If you are willing to pay, then 100% Quicken.

Otherwise, mint and/or spreadsheet.
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cowdogman
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by cowdogman »

+1 on Quicken. I use Quicken and various supplemental Excel spreadsheets. On Quicken shop for the lowest price. For most people Deluxe is sufficient--I use Home & Business.

If you are spreadsheet savvy, you can try Tiller or Money in Excel (both are essentially the same product). Altho I came to the conclusion with Money in Excel (and Tiller if you use Excel instead of Sheets) that you also need to be VBA savvy. I am, but just am not willing to devote the time to develop the product.
iowahokies
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by iowahokies »

I was a long time Quicken user but got tired of required Quicken upgrades to keep the online access to my accounts working properly. Quicken is really good software. They break functionality after several years, so you do need to update it periodically. Not sure how often this happens these days.

Many years ago, I switched to Moneydance (https://moneydance.com/), so I wouldn't be required to keep upgrading. It doesn't have the bells and whistles that Quicken has, but it is pretty full featured and meets all of my needs. I have no relationship with them other than being a satisfied customer for the last ~10 years or so.
onourway
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by onourway »

17outs wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:10 am
I used YNAB at one point but didn't care for its style of budgeting (I want to budget monthly, not as I get a paycheck). Does anyone use anything they find easy and doesn't have issues with their accounts?
I could not personally be happier with YNAB. It's been extremely effective at making us substantially more efficient with our income, and the support is unparalleled. I budget monthly just as you want. The only reason you wouldn't be able to budget monthly with YNAB is because you are in one sense or another living paycheck to paycheck, and thus, don't have enough in reserve to budget for the month before you get paid. If you aren't living paycheck to paycheck, it will take more than a month of use to fully implement the YNAB method (this is why their free trial period is for 35 days).

As for account support, the problem is that this is not yet standardized, so it requires constant updates to keep the import mechanism working for every bank. And if your bank does something weird, it my never be supported by any platform. At least YNAB is extremely responsive at fixing these issues, and the system is becoming standardized. In the last couple of months two accounts that had not worked for years adopted the new method and now all of my accounts import automatically.
mptfan
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by mptfan »

I use Google Sheets. I can customize it to my heart's content and I can access it from any device, it suits my needs very well. And it's not a black box, and I own my data, and I don't have to worry about paying a subcription fee or being forced to pay to upgrade, and I don't have to worry about my data being trapped in proprietary software if I decided to use something else. And it's free.
Coltrane75
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by Coltrane75 »

I use Libre Office Calc. (Spreadsheet)
mrb09
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by mrb09 »

Another happy YNAB user. I did find their documentation a little confusing with their budget philosophy, but at the end of the day it is still double entry accounting, it is just they really don't like negative balances. I do budget by month, and my income comes in bi-monthly + yearly bonus. As long as my checking account stays a month ahead of my budget, YNAB seems happy. I don't track investments, just checking/savings.

On the import side, they do have occasional problems with credit card imports, but they notify you on delays and have a pretty good status page. I have imports from chase, citi, elan (fidelity cc) and usbank (no USAA). I have't had a delay of more than a week or two ever, and those delays are fairly rare.
jmg229
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by jmg229 »

I also like YNAB and budget monthly. I appreciate the ability to have running totals for infrequent expenses I budget for (like house repairs, insurance, etc.). I think I fundamentally like the envelope method for those types of expenses (and the idea of pulling money from one bucket to another, carrying over excess into the next month, etc.). I have never totally got the approach to credit cards or their concept of being over/under spent in the aggregate, so I just ignore it. I feel like there's value there for people who are more paycheck to paycheck, but I don't need it. Regardless, I find it meets my needs well, has a smooth enough interface, and their connections seem to have been substantially improved recently. I was close to cancelling this year because I was needing to manually import all the time, but this fall they seem to have launched a new integration of some kind and things are moving very smoothly. Similar to what others said, they do have strong communication/support for those sorts of issues. I have never had a problem with USAA and while Capital One was a problem for a while, the issue seems resolved.

ETA: One caveat, it doesn't really handle investments and I don't bother to try to make it. I have thought about Personal Capital as a complement, but am wary of syncing my Vanguard account to a 3rd party; I feel a little less stressed about it for my banking/cc accounts for probably unjustifiable reasons. I feel like there are probably better solutions if you want to handle both investments and budgeting in one platform.
mhalley
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by mhalley »

I switched from YNAB to Simplifi by quicken for expense tracking. It seems to do a better job staying connected to my financial institutions.
DJZ
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by DJZ »

+1 for Quicken for Mac. Really great. I generally hate subscription software but I can see where they are putting the $.
NS_Bane
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by NS_Bane »

I use YNAB for daily spend and Quicken for investments. For budgeting, you really can’t beat YNAB. My only issue is they make credit cards way too confusing. When I add them, I classify them as “bank accounts” or something like that. I like Quicken a lot for

I’m not sure what you mean about budgeting as you get paychecks. I budget monthly using YNAB. Of course, I’m not living paycheck to paycheck, so that may be the issue?
jsutherland
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What tools do you recommend for personal finance management?

Post by jsutherland »

[Post merged into here --admin LadyGeek]

I'm aware of Mint, Personal Capital, etc. but what are some new tools coming out that people like using?
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by LadyGeek »

Welcome! I merged your post into an ongoing discussion.
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orlandoman
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by orlandoman »

iowahokies wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:45 pm I was a long time Quicken user but got tired of required Quicken upgrades to keep the online access to my accounts working properly. Quicken is really good software. They break functionality after several years, so you do need to update it periodically. Not sure how often this happens these days.

Many years ago, I switched to Moneydance (https://moneydance.com/), so I wouldn't be required to keep upgrading. It doesn't have the bells and whistles that Quicken has, but it is pretty full featured and meets all of my needs. I have no relationship with them other than being a satisfied customer for the last ~10 years or so.
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LadyGeek
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Depending on the direction you want to go, we have two ongoing threads:

- Quicken Alternatives
- Quicken 2019 and forward
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leeks
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by leeks »

excel and turbotax are adequate for us
GLState
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by GLState »

If you're looking for a complete personal finance package, you don't have a lot of choices. There is Quicken, the old Microsoft Money, or create your own with Excel, Google Sheets, R or Python. With Quicken, one transaction carries over to budgeting, loans, investments, and taxes. I didn't want to budget in one program, track portfolios in another, and track taxes in yet another.

I began to use Quicken when it was nothing more than a checkbook program. I've tried many of the other programs over the years, but always stick with Quicken. Quicken has saved me a lot of time and money over the years. When my sons were in college, I could fill out a FAFSA in a few minutes, as I had all the needed info in Quicken. I had incentive to make extra payments to pay off my mortgage early, as I could see my final payoff date getting earlier and earlier. I could also see that stockbrokers were making a nice chunk of change off my commissions while I was taking all the risk.

Quicken has been around for a long time. Sylvia Porter's Personal Finance program, Andrew Tobias' Managing Your Money, and Microsoft Money are no longer around. For an all-encompassing personal finance software, Quicken is tough to beat.
Last edited by GLState on Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeG62
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by MikeG62 »

I used excel to track our spending. Custom designed spreadsheets which work perfectly for me.

I use Fidelity Full View to track out financial assets.
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jyoung
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by jyoung »

I use excel and a couple of credit cards to track my spending at a high level. For cash flow and investment modeling I use, and really like, OnTrajectory.com
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CardinalRule
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by CardinalRule »

mptfan wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:20 pm I use Google Sheets. I can customize it to my heart's content and I can access it from any device, it suits my needs very well. And it's not a black box, and I own my data, and I don't have to worry about paying a subcription fee or being forced to pay to upgrade, and I don't have to worry about my data being trapped in proprietary software if I decided to use something else. And it's free.
I subscribe to Quicken, and almost none of the things you cite is applicable to the program. Other than having to pay a fee, of course. :wink: Then again, it’s pennies a day, and I use the program pretty much daily.

With the number of banking, brokerage, retirement, and credit card accounts I have and my desire for online functionality, a spreadsheet approach doesn’t make sense for me. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I retire and have more time to spend on spreadsheet building and maintenance with Excel or Sheets. I am curious, though, about the Money template for Excel (for 365 subscribers). Has anyone tried it?

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microso ... -finances/

One other benefit of products like Quicken. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a Chase Visa charge that I didn’t recognize, as part of my morning download. My card had been compromised :annoyed but at least I was able to get ahead of the problem.
runner540
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by runner540 »

onourway wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:18 pm
17outs wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:10 am
I used YNAB at one point but didn't care for its style of budgeting (I want to budget monthly, not as I get a paycheck). Does anyone use anything they find easy and doesn't have issues with their accounts?
I could not personally be happier with YNAB. It's been extremely effective at making us substantially more efficient with our income, and the support is unparalleled. I budget monthly just as you want. The only reason you wouldn't be able to budget monthly with YNAB is because you are in one sense or another living paycheck to paycheck, and thus, don't have enough in reserve to budget for the month before you get paid. If you aren't living paycheck to paycheck, it will take more than a month of use to fully implement the YNAB method (this is why their free trial period is for 35 days).

As for account support, the problem is that this is not yet standardized, so it requires constant updates to keep the import mechanism working for every bank. And if your bank does something weird, it my never be supported by any platform. At least YNAB is extremely responsive at fixing these issues, and the system is becoming standardized. In the last couple of months two accounts that had not worked for years adopted the new method and now all of my accounts import automatically.

+1 you can budget monthly in YNAB, but you need a month’s worth of cash in your account available. Some Bogleheads (not me) consider this inefficient :twisted:
mptfan
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by mptfan »

CardinalRule wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:45 am
mptfan wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:20 pm I use Google Sheets. I can customize it to my heart's content and I can access it from any device, it suits my needs very well. And it's not a black box, and I own my data, and I don't have to worry about paying a subcription fee or being forced to pay to upgrade, and I don't have to worry about my data being trapped in proprietary software if I decided to use something else. And it's free.
I subscribe to Quicken, and almost none of the things you cite is applicable to the program. Other than having to pay a fee, of course. :wink: Then again, it’s pennies a day, and I use the program pretty much daily.
Almost none? Which ones are not applicable?
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CardinalRule
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by CardinalRule »

mptfan wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:19 pm
CardinalRule wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:45 am
mptfan wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:20 pm I use Google Sheets. I can customize it to my heart's content and I can access it from any device, it suits my needs very well. And it's not a black box, and I own my data, and I don't have to worry about paying a subcription fee or being forced to pay to upgrade, and I don't have to worry about my data being trapped in proprietary software if I decided to use something else. And it's free.
I subscribe to Quicken, and almost none of the things you cite is applicable to the program. Other than having to pay a fee, of course. :wink: Then again, it’s pennies a day, and I use the program pretty much daily.
Almost none? Which ones are not applicable?
I certainly own my data, and it resides locally, on my computer. If I choose not to renew, the program will still work. I could export my data to a spreadsheet if I want. I don't think it's any more of a black box than Google Sheets is.

Quicken Data Access Guarantee: https://www.quicken.com/support/what-qu ... -guarantee
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midareff
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by midareff »

I do everything in excel... took awhile to get everything set the way I wanted it but it works exactly the way I want.
Hoosier CPA
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by Hoosier CPA »

I had the same frustration the OP mentioned with YNAB initially in that I wanted to budget by month, but over time I've grown to really appreciate the method. I think it takes some time to understand it but it's one product/service that I'm glad to pay for. To me it gets back to the old envelope system - how to plan to use the money that you have.

It doesn't do investing but that's fine with me as I don't need to look at on a daily basis anyway.
spammagnet
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Re: Does anyone have any good personal finance software they actually recommend?

Post by spammagnet »

17outs wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:10 am... I used YNAB at one point but didn't care for its style of budgeting (I want to budget monthly, not as I get a paycheck). ...
You can budget monthly in YNAB easily. Many users, including me, do. See How to Create a Budget Template in YNAB
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