The Best Free Personal Finance Apps and Software

Fiscal responsibility involves a lot more than following a budget and paying bills; it means watching your credit, keeping tabs on your accounts, saving for the future and more.

 

If you’re like most Americans, however, you probably have all the resources you need to manage your finances for free. According to two recent studies, roughly 81 percent of American adults own a smart phone1, while about 90 percent of American adults use the internet.1,2

If you always have access to your bottom line, you’ll be able to take better control of your financial health. We looked at the latest desktop and mobile software for features that can help you manage your finances and save you time. Whether you use a smart phone, computer or both, here are eight of today’s best free personal finance software programs and apps.

 

Personal Finance Apps

Check out these smart phone apps to stay on top of your finances while you’re on the go.

Best for: A quick and easy way to manage your finances and grow your savings from your smart phone without a brick-and-mortar bank.  

 

PocketGuard

Available on web, iOS and Android (Free, extra features are available for $3.99 per month or $34.99 per year)

This app offers a wholistic view of your finances across multiple accounts to give you customizable reports, goals, charts and other budget snapshots. You can also keep track of bill payments and look for ways to lower your bills through the app. While you can access your account via desktop, PocketGuard offers more robust features and options through its smart phone app.

 

Best for: Another bank alternative with additional features to help you budget, track and save money.

 

Current

Available on iOS and Android (Free, extra features start at $4.99 per month)

Current is an online banking platform designed for users looking for a flexible alternative to brick-and-mortar banks. The app gives you the option to save, transfer and manage your money if you don’t have a normal bank or savings account. The basic plan includes options like free money transfers and cash withdrawals, no minimum balance fee and mobile check deposits, but additional features are available for a monthly fee.

 

Best for: Another traditional bank alternative with features like early paycheck deposit and fee-free banking.

 

Varo

Available on iOS and Android (Free)

Varo is another virtual bank with a host of features to help you keep an eye on your finances from your phone. Besides getting paid up to two days early, Varo boasts no fees on overdrafts, ATMs, transfers and other common banking charges, so you can even save money in the process.

 

Personal Finance Apps and Software

These selections offer a smart phone app and software or website component to give you even more access to manage and monitor finances.

Best for: All-around budgeting, planning and saving financial tool for smart phone or desktop.  

 

Mint

Available on web, iOS and Android (Free)

As one of the leading choices in personal finance software and smart phone apps, Mint gives you a feature-rich approach to managing your money online or on your phone. While other programs may require manual entries and data imports that can take you time and effort, this option automatically syncs your data and accounts on one convenient platform.

 

Best for: Those who prefer the $0 budgeting system to prioritize your debt, save more money and build a solid financial future.  

 

EveryDollar Budgeting App

Available on web, iOS and Android (Free, extra features are available at $129.99 per year)

EveryDollar uses the $0 budgeting system to track every dollar that you make, which is a more structured approach to managing your finances. It’s a great choice for those looking to get out of debt, start building an emergency fund and save for long-term goals. While the app and its standard features are free, new users will also get access to the optional premium features for 15 days.

 

Best for: A quick and easy way to manage your finances from one easy-to-use platform.

 

Goodbudget Budget Planner

Available on web, iOS and Android (Free, extra features are available for $7 per month or $60 per year)

This option integrates the envelope budgeting system to give you a virtual representation of your income, expenses and allocations without keeping track of physical envelopes or paper. Goodbudget also lets you share your budget with a partner to manage shared finances, plan and save together. The free subscription gives you access to a limited number of envelopes and accounts, but more options are available for a monthly or annual fee.

 

Best for: Convenient tips and resources for budgeting, expense tracking, credit health monitoring, saving and more.

 

NerdWallet

Available on web, iOS and Android (Free)

This app and online tool can also track spending and help you manage your budget, but it can also help you manage your credit health. You can also take advantage of NerdWallet’s credit simulators and tips to improve your rating and see how different factors affect your credit rating.

 

Best for: More advanced users familiar with double-entry accounting systems.

 

GnuCash

Available on web (download) and Android (Free)

Although it’s geared toward small business accounting, GnuCash is a free, open-source program or Android app that can also be used to manage a household budget. While the interface might be confusing for beginners who aren’t familiar with the terminology, it’s relatively easy to set up and manage your own personal finance accounting system.

 

 

References

1Pew Research Center. (2019). Mobile Fact Sheet

2Pew Research Center. (2019. Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet

 

The information in this article is provided for educational and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.


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Written by:

Barbara Davidson

Babs is a Senior Content Writer and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! 

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