WORK-LIFE BALANCE / APR. 25, 2015
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5 Must-Have Personal Finance Tools

Managing personal finances is a major challenge for many people. Trying to keep track of your finances manually can be a very frustrating and time-consuming exercise. Fortunately, there are several personal finance tools which can make your work much easier. The following are some of the best personal finance tools available:

See also: How to Keep Track of Personal Spending

1. Mint

This is a free, web-based personal finance tool which allows you to integrate all your bank accounts so as to get an idea of your financial health. You can monitor how much you have, where it is going and the account balance in real time. In addition, Mint allows you to create a household budget and, as well as saving targets, warns you if you deviate from your goals. This tool also suggests financial products which could come in handy for saving such as higher interest savings accounts and lower interest credit cards. It comes with mobile apps for Windows, Android and iOS.

2. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Just like Mint, You Need a Budget lets you import transactions from your retirement funds, credit cards, banks and other accounts so that you can get a sense of your financial health from one view. It comes with an app which explains the budgeting process, and helps you reconcile accounts and set financial goals. However, You Need a Budget is more than just a budgeting software. It also comes with tutorials, financial literacy classes, budgeting tools and tricks, and a huge community of users. YNAB offers a one-month trial period, after which you will be required to pay for the app.

3. GnuCash

GnuCash is an open source personal finance tool which is compatible with OS X, Windows, Solaris, BSD and Linux systems. Unlike Mint and YNAB, it does not have to be connected to your bank accounts to work. This tool manages your finances using an ‘always balanced’ approach. This means transactions are only made by debiting another account, thus ensuring that your books are always balanced. GnuCash also helps you schedule transactions, reconcile accounts, split transactions, and generate detailed reports which show you how you are spending your money. One of its best features is the ability to import OFX (Open Financial Exchange) files and Quicken files (QIF) which are used by most banks.

4. Moneydance

This tool allows you to easily handle multiple kinds of financial transactions and syncs seamlessly with banks. It reminds you to pay your bills when they are due and can even print checks for you when necessary. Moneydance lets you create payment schedules for recurring transactions, and also allows you to monitor your investments using the investment module. It comes with a free mobile app for Android and iOS devices. You can try the app for free for the first 100 transactions, after which you will need to pay for a full license.

5. BudgetSimple

This is a free personal finance and budgeting tool that mainly focuses on helping you create a practical budget. BudgetSimple scrutinizes your finances and then generates a budget planner along with tips for cutting down your spending and increasing savings. You can either connect the tool with your bank accounts or enter your expenses manually. BudgetSimple is therefore ideal for anyone that would want to create a sensible and sustainable budget. You can sign up for the premium account if you want to use the mobile app.

See also: Simplify and Put Your Personal Finances on Autopilot

So, which tools do you use to manage your personal finances? Let us know in the comments section below.

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