Personal Financial Planning Software
Using personal financial planning software can be a big help in keeping your finances under control and your goals in sight. Software helps to eliminate human error in calculations and could save you quite a bit of money. There are a lot of software packages on the market now; most of them share common features and a few have thrown in some extras that you might find useful.
In order for personal financial planning software to help you take and keep control of your money, any that you choose should have planning tools to help you achieve your goals. Most of these programs not only help you create and adhere to a budget but let you plan for your financial future.
Quicken Starter Edition allows you to track your finances and
investments as well as manage your money. It has the ability to
connect directly to your bank or brokerage account via the web so that
you can transfer money, balance your checkbook, pay your bills, write
At around $35 you get a very functional program that lets you
organize and track spending and pay bills. It will show how much
money you have left till your next payday, organize your personal and
household budget and displays all your debit and credit cards in one
place. You have the option to receive reminders when your bills
are coming due, track expenses and categorize them automatically.
There are basic tools like financial calculators; you’ll be able to
see how much you can save now by refinancing or how much you’ll pay
for a new mortgage. There are also tax features and will show
which expenses are tax deductible, which is an excellent tool for
those who itemize.
Moneydance, at $39.95, also has online banking capabilities. You can pay your bills online, check your balances, transfer funds and any other banking chore you would normally visit your bank to do. Moneydance works with Windows, Mac and Linux. It generates reports and graphs quickly, gives you reminders when bills are coming due, and has a calendar and a practical toolbar that is easy to use.
You’ll like the library of extensions that includes a debt payoff calculator, credit card payoff calculator, investment profit calculator and more. Moneydance also includes an option that tracks and calculates the VAT (value added tax) that Europe already has and that the United States government is thinking of adding to the peoples’ tax burden. You can archive, backup and restore your work and also make use of password protection options.
If you’re looking for free software, check out Mint.com.
It takes just a few minutes to set up a secure, password protected
account and then you can begin using a myriad of tools provided to set
up a workable household budget. Mint is unique in that once you
set up your parameters; it notifies you if you’re in danger of going
over budget in any area.
It provides calculators for planning how much you need to save for
emergencies and gives you suggestions for small changes that can help
you save money. The inflation calculator show you how much money
you’ll need when you retire.
It even has a calculator that shows you how long it will take to
save up your first million dollars! In addition, there are
articles on the site to educate and teach you about money matters.
There is even a cell phone application that lets you keep track of
your money when you’re on the go.