As a result of several decades of easy credit, in combination with years of economic uncertainty, many people now find themselves desperately falling deeper into the vicious cycle of being trapped in their own financial holes. These people are financially overextended and unable to pay back the total balance of the money that they borrowed (besides the minimum payments due); and as a result, they just keep incurring higher and higher outstanding balances. As their balances grow, their interest continues compounding, their credit card bills increase and their financial holes become deeper and deeper.
Unfortunately, too many people still continue to rely on living off of borrowed credit and find themselves one or two paychecks away from bankruptcy. Needless to say, living that way will not provide the quality of life that comes with financial success. By incorporating disciplined money management habits and tools early on, you will be giving yourself the healthy financial infrastructure you’ll need in order to avoid the kind of financial distress that most adults currently end up enduring today.
If you are someone that never seems to have enough money to pursue the things you love, your financial obstacles may not be due to a shortage of income, but rather a lack of awareness in terms of where your income is going. In fact, you are probably clueless about how much money you are actually spending (e.g. throwing away) each month. If you were to allow yourself to step back and finally pinpoint the true origin of your negative financial situation — you would see it is most likely due to a lack of financial oversight. So, in an effort to help you get a better grip on why your cash flow always seems to stop flowing, I am going to list the top 5 Best Personal Finance Software, Apps and Tools (for all devices: desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices) for 2016 as ranked by Advisory HQ.
The Top 5 best personal finance software tools were divided into two categories: Best for Individuals and Best for Small Businesses.
Best Personal Finance Software for Individuals:
- Personal Capital: was founded in 2009 by Bill Harris (previously CEO of PayPal and Intuit). The company offers free online personal finance software for budgeting, personal finance and money management for all devices (iphone, Mac, PC, Samsung Galaxy, IPad, tablets, etc).
The software’s dashboard allows you to financially track and evaluate: financial planning, savings, investments, debt, monthly expenses, etc. by linking up all your accounts so you can receive real-time information whenever you desire. The software only aggregates your information into budgeting and expense categories so you can monitor and evaluate your finances.
- Mint.com: is also a free personal finance app that was created by Intuit (makers of Quicken, Quickbooks, and Turbo Tax). Mint is similar to Personal Capital in functionality, but not as robust as Personal Capital in terms of its features. Mint is available for both PC and Mac. The software allows you to budget and track your expenses to help you determine your current spending habits. One benefit of Mint is that it allows you to get a free credit check and provides guidance on improving your overall credit. Just like Personal Capital, you can link your accounts to the software and you can receive real time updates. Mint also uses the same security encryption used by most banks.
- Quicken: Unlike the other two financial software providers, Quicken is not free. There are three different editions: Starter, Deluxe and Premier, which increase in price. The Premier edition was created for those users who are interested in portfolio management as well as financial accountability. With Quicken, not only are you able to view your credit score but you are also provided with daily monitoring and credit watch alerts to help you avoid identity theft. Quicken also offers different desktop software for PCs and Macs. One final note: Quicken also provides the option for bill pay without having to leave the Quicken platform.
Best Personal Finance Software for Business Owners:
- Quickbooks: Currently Quickbooks is the market leader for small business software to help businesses manage their finances and accounting. Quickbooks is also this year’s highest rated financial app for businesses. The software allows you to track employee information, run and review payroll, track income, expenses and receipts, generate invoices, and provides you with various financial reports (Profit & Loss statements, balance sheets, etc.)
Quickbooks allows you to work securely online from anywhere and from any device. The software also prepares 1099 forms as well as quarterly and year-end payroll taxes. Like Quicken, Quickbooks is not free but you can choose from up to four different monthly plans based upon your needs.
- Wave (accounting software): is not as well known as Quickbooks but is also designed for business owners who are interested in both personal finance and business management. The software is free, provides business invoicing and accounting and payroll tools, but also allows you to track your investments in real time. Available in more than 200 countries, the tool allows you to track all of your personal and business needs within one software device (e.g. budgeting, personal finance, personal accounting, business finance and an investment tracking tool). Wave stores all data on physical and electronically protected services. Like all the other software tools, Wave is compatible with all devices.