How to Choose the Right Budgeting Software for You

You have a lot of options nowadays when it comes to choosing a budgeting software and budgeting tools that can help your family (small or large) make the most of its income.

There are free platforms like Mint that track and monitor your financial details, and not-free spreadsheet programs like QuickBooks that have upfront or recurring costs.

best budgeting tools

So how do you know which budgeting method will work best for you before you invest time and possibly money into it? By answering these two questions:

1. Do you look forward to reviewing the budget?

The amount of detail you want to get into can indicate what kind of program works well for you. If details terrify you and budget day gives you a headache, you won’t enjoy a seven page spreadsheet that analyzes your projected retirement date to the hour. However, if you love seeing where your money is going, short-term or highly simplified budget programs will leave you frustrated and wanting more information.

Your software solution: Choose a highly-detailed budgeting program that will give you all the answers you want — otherwise you feel like you’re missing something. Try Quickbooks.

2. Does the idea of cleaning out your inbox appeal to you?

Do you have tons of emails and you deal with emergencies as they come up? Or are you constantly battling for inbox zero? Do you actually feel physically relieved when you can see an organized inbox? How you approach items that need maintenance can be great is night to your preferred budgeting software.

Your software solution: The budgeting software for you is user-friendly and full of visual representations of organization. Try Mint.

Still Not Sure? Give It Some Thought

What it really comes down to is whether you are a visual  learner or a traditional learner. Do you prefer comics or text? Do you understand easily understand a topic when you read about it, or do you need to hear it and see it as well? For some, images don’t feel like “the whole story,” so while comics and infographics can be entertaining, this kind of person almost always prefers information in bullet points or long form.

When it comes to managing your money, it’s important to give it some thought and make sure you are budgeting and managing money in the way that is easiest for you — that makes it more likely that you will stick with it and succeed.

Do you use a budgeting program? How did you know if it was the right one for you?

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17 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Budgeting Software for You

  1. I’ve used Quickbooks for years now. I love the detail and charts it creates. I can see exactly where my money is going (of course, setting up the right categories is crucial). I tried Mint a couple years ago, but it seemed like an overkill since I was already using QB. There wasn’t much use in both programs for me.

  2. Gnu cash is another option for someone who wants something offline but doesn’t want to pay money for software. It’s an open source platform so it’s free to use. That said, I am a huge fan of Mint personally. I don’t want to have to log in transaction when all the information is available online. Mint does this for me so I can focus more on tracking my spending and analyzing the data.

  3. I use iBank, after abandoning Quicken a couple of years ago after Intuit disrespected Mac users. I think a system like Mint would be great, but I’m the paranoid type, and I worry about putting all my info ‘out there’ (where ever ‘there’ is). I’m sure the security is good, but still…

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