2016 Personal finance software
November 21, 2016 7:42 AM   Subscribe

This question comes up every now and then about what software is out there for personal finance. What's out there that people use (and that hopefully meet my criteria) ?

What I really want is:
* some insight into where our money goes - the spending - (monthly/yearly). I could download transactions and use an excel spreadsheet or homebrew code, but I'd like something a little easier (but with lots of categories/buckets for the spending)
* I'm cheap - I'd rather something that's free.
* I don't want a mobile app - web/cloud is fine, or pc application.

I have 1 bank account and 2 credit cards for transactions to process, all with major institutions.

I've looked at quicken (software, not free, sketchy format/support history), mint.com (is it really free?), ynab (I don't want the setup/approach ynab has, not free), buxfer.com (from a prev ask), goodbudget (also prev ask). Most have a limited number of categories, and off hand I can think of more categories than the free 5 or 10 you get. None were wowing me, but several seemed like "well, I could live with it, but .. "

(And if I'm unrealistic in wanting it free, that's OK to say, just suggest something good that's cheap :) Most options seem to have all these features I'm not interested in. I've lived 40 years w/o any deep dive/analytics, and am not in dire straights where I need to get my stuff together. I'm just now curious enough about how we spend to wonder how it breaks out)
posted by k5.user to Work & Money (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I use MINT for that. Yes, it's free.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:55 AM on November 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

Personal capital is free, and is awesome. I love you need a budget, but it's definitely not free.
posted by snowysoul at 8:03 AM on November 21, 2016

Mint is really actually definitely free. I've been using it for years and I love it.
posted by phunniemee at 8:06 AM on November 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mint allows you to add categories. You can also download a CSV with all your transaction data and make your own plots etc if you like.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 8:19 AM on November 21, 2016

Yeah, I have basically the same needs as you described, and Mint takes care of all of it. And dead simple, too.
posted by General Malaise at 8:22 AM on November 21, 2016

Mint is "free" in the sense that you're the product being sold.
posted by uberchet at 8:27 AM on November 21, 2016

Mint is "free" in the sense that you're the product being sold.

I haven't found that to be a problem at all. It's not hard to x-out all the avertising and "advice", nor to ever click on any of it.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:39 AM on November 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Have you checked the online banking site for your bank? I think most banks now offer some sort of budgeting tool with their online banking. I have Wells Fargo and it's really not bad- although it works bet if all your spending flows through the bank (ie credit cards come from them too.)
posted by COD at 8:40 AM on November 21, 2016

I look at the cost of YNAB (or another useful product) as a small price to pay as a bulwark against potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars I'd lose by fucking things up again.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:48 AM on November 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, YNAB is $5/mo.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:04 AM on November 21, 2016

nthing Mint.
I went to it when Quicken wouldn't play nice with my Mac and haven't looked back. Love it. It learns transactions making for easier categorization too.
posted by TravellingCari at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2016

I largely use it on my phone, though it certainly works on my computer, but Mint does everything you describe and works ok for me. There are some ads and "advice" but both are surprisingly non-intrusive. Other than that they are monetizing your data it is indeed free.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:17 PM on November 21, 2016

I tried using Mint for a while but it was way too hard to make it do exactly what I want.

I've never found anything better than Quicken. But I like making my own charts/graphs exactly the way I want and having a lot of control over how I import/categorize things and the web stuff tries to do a lot more "magic" (which some people like). Never had any issues with Quicken and it works quite well for a range of things. I usually upgrade every few years but even fairly old versions still work (at least on Windows).
posted by thefoxgod at 5:40 PM on November 21, 2016

I have been using MS money since 2004

It's free.
posted by sandmanwv at 7:07 PM on November 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

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