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Managing your finances can be a time-consuming and stressful job for most people. This very fact has led to the advent of personal finance software, which provides various financial tools and solutions to clients to help them budget, manage expenses, and plan for the future. Millions of people now use at least one personal finance platform to save up for major future acquisitions and expenses, such as a new home, car, vacation, kids’ education, retirement, etc. Going through the entire budgeting process on your own, while being a full-time employee, can be tough as most people and personal finance platforms offer to fulfill this role, typically in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. Some users prefer more control over their savings and use these platforms to construct a portfolio of their liking, while others seek a hands-off service, where they can entrust their funds to experienced financial professionals to manage the money on their behalf.
Personal finance companies can differ in many ways, from features and solutions to fees charged for their services, and comparing them can be a hassle.
If you are interested in personal finance platforms, but unsure where to start - this guide from investfox is for you.
Personal finance software refers to software that is used to manage personal income and expenses, make budgeting decisions, and save up for future expenses. Personal finance software has seen major growth throughout the past decade and new startups are taking the market by storm. This growth has gone hand in hand with technological advances and the democratization of finance, which allows millions of people access to affordable, or even free, budgeting solutions to help manage their finances more effectively.
Some personal finance software is simplistic and offers only a handful of features, such as a dashboard and income/expense categorization, while others offer a full suite of financial services and provide recommendations with complex financial analysis and forecasting solutions.
To choose the best option for your needs, it is important to consider your financial objectives and approach to savings and investments, in order to determine the number of tools you may need to plan out an effective budget and manage your finances well.
Mint is a popular free personal finance platform owned and operated by Intuit. Mint offers financial management tools and account integration to clients and offers personalized services, such as:
These are only a handful of services offered by Mint for free, which makes it a great option for a wide audience of users. The Mint platform has a user-friendly interface and is easy to navigate. For clients who want an ad-free experience, Mint offers a $0.99/month tier, as well as $4.99/month for additional features, such as spending habit management, spending snapshots, data exporting, data visualization, etc. Mint is also integrated with TurboTax, which enables tax planning from Mint, as well as automated investment tracking in real-time to keep an eye on your investments directly from Mint.
Overall, Mint is one of the most accessible and reliable personal finance platforms on the market, with affordable pricing and plenty of useful features. The tax reporting feature is especially convenient and is not offered by some of Mint’s competitor services.
This gives Mint an average score of 4.7/5 and positions it as one of the best personal finance platforms available on the market today.
Quicken is another personal finance platform offered by Intuit, which targets users with more personalized features, such as bill payments, goal setting, budgeting, debt tracking, and investment coaching. Clients can also use Quicken to integrate and track the values of their immovable assets to get a clear picture of their personal net worth. Quicken also offers personal and business expense management and all data can be exported into excel to additionally modify and use the data aggregated by Quicken.
Quicken is a paid service and subscriptions are divided into four tiers:
Quicken is the primary personal finance software offered by Intuit. The platform offers plenty of features and the ability to categorize spending and evaluate personal net worth. The platform is straightforward and easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and useful features. Quicken shines in its depth of features and the ability to make payments via the platform.
This gives Quicken an average score of 4.4 and makes for a well-balanced and feature-rich experience.
TurboTax is a specialized personal finance platform from Intuit that helps users file their tax returns by offering financial tools and the ability to consult a tax expert from the platform.
While not a service that is typically used year-round, TurboTax is extremely helpful during tax season and gives users the ability to file their federal and state tax returns for free by inputting their W-2 information from their employer. The paid TurboTax service allows clients to get more personalized service from a tax professional.
The basic subscription is free and paid tiers can be broken down as follows:
TurboTax serves a niche purpose in the personal finance market. The platform is geared toward users who want to remove the hassle of filing tax forms and have a birds-eye view of their overall tax burden for the year. The platform is rich in features and offers multiple subscription tiers based on the objectives of the users. Based on the features and fees offered by TurboTax, the platform gets the following score:
This gives TurboTax an average investfox score of 4.3 out of 5.
Personal Capital is a personal finance platform that offers wealth management and retirement savings to its customers. Clients have access to a team of professionals who manage their funds in accordance with a personalized passive investment strategy. The investor is profiled by their age, income, and risk tolerance to determine the right portfolio for them. Personal Capital invests in a mix of stocks, ETFs, and bonds. The company upholds a $100,000 account minimum and management fees are charged in tiers:
The platform comes with an easily navigable website and mobile app, as well as robust account security and plenty of additional financial tools and calculators. Where Personal Capital really shines is the access to personal advisors. Clients can have direct contact with two personal financial advisors after depositing a minimum of $200,000 into their Personal Capital accounts. The advisors help clients plan effective investment strategies to suit their long-term objectives.
Personal Capital is a solid and well-respected option for investors who wish to have a hands-off investing experience. The firm offers advice from financial professionals and guides clients through retirement savings and wealth management processes. The platform is well-designed and easy to navigate and the mobile app also offers a quick and easy way to keep track of your finances. Although the $100,000 account minimum may be steep for some people, Personal Capital does a great job at providing value for money to its existing clients.
This gives personal Capital an average investfox score of 4.5/5 - making Personal Capital one of the best choices for wealth management and retirement savings.
Credit Karma is a free-to-use credit score management platform owned and operated by Intuit that allows users to connect their bank accounts to the platform and analyze their credit scores based on their financial history. Credit Karma also offers alerts for potential credit score breaches, as well as the tools to find and secure the best credit cards, loan options, insurance, and other financial services for the user to keep their credit score safe.
Credit Karma has amassed a large subscriber base of over 120 million users and provides bill payments, credit scores from two separate credit bureaus, and credit card snapshots to its users.
Clients provide their Social Security numbers and other personal details while signing up with Credit Karma, which is why the platform is equipped with plenty of security features to protect user data.
Credit Karma is a solid free-to-use option for credit score management but lacks some of the financial management features that other personal finance platforms offer.
This gives Credit Karma an overall investfox score of 4.4/5.
Nerdwallet is a popular personal finance platform that provides individuals and small businesses with financial tools to simplify daily financial decisions. Nerdwallet comes with a host of great educational content that is free to access and users can use the platform to calculate their net worth, manage cash and credit scores, etc.
Nerdwallet also includes reviews for other financial services, which can come in handy for users who are looking for something Nerdwallet does not provide.
The editorial content from Nerdwallet is especially helpful for beginners, as it includes free content covering a broad range of financial topics, including investments, personal finance, fintech, credit scores, insurance, banking, and so on.
Nerdwallet has overhauled its website and mobile apps, which has made the platform easier to navigate.
Nerdwallet is one of the better alternatives for users who have limited financial knowledge and would like to learn as they go. The platform provides plenty of educational content to take advantage of, as well as reviews of various financial products and services. Users can manage cash, credit scores, calculate net worth, etc., all while staying informed about new financial products on the market. Nerdwallet’s interface overhaul has also made the platform more convenient and navigable.
The average investfox score for Nerdwallet is 4.2/5 - placing the platform as the top choice for educational content.
You Need A Budget, or YNAB for short, is a budgeting app that helps people manage their finances and maintain a budget. The platform works using four core principles:
YNAB is the budgeting app for more hands-on users and also offers the ability to track investment accounts, however, this feature is less sophisticated than with other portfolio tracking software. YNAB also offers hundreds of free articles and an online forum to answer users’ questions. Users can sign up to YNAB for $14.99/month, or $98.99/year, or use the 34-day free trial, which does not require credit card information to sign up.
You Need A Budget offers an interesting take on personal finance and offers flexible categorization options to its user base. However, the platform ultimately falls short due to its steep learning curve and high subscription fees. YNAB does not offer bill tracking either, which can be a dealbreaker for some users.
The average investfox score for You Need A Budget is 3.7/5.
Honeydue is a budgeting software geared towards couples. The platform offers collaboration between partners and expenses are divided into three sections, including individual expenses of each partner, plus shared expenses. Each partner can mark an expense as individual or shared, such as subscriptions, bills, etc.
Honeydue also has a shared calendar, where each partner can set reminders for bill dates. Partners also have the option of using a joint bank account and taking advantage of the joint checking account, which comes with no monthly fees and activity alerts for both partners. The checking account is FDIC insured for an added layer of security. The Honeydue app is free to use but has advertisements. The platform can be linked to over 20,000 financial institutions and also comes with a handy chat function to discuss decisions with the partner.
Honeydue offers a refreshing service for couples to collaboratively manage their finances. The app provides plenty of features for both partners to be engaged with the service and effectively categorize their expenses. The joint checking account is a convenient service for couples to not only keep track of their finances but also make payments together.
Overall, Honeydue is a great app that services a niche market with the ability to link thousands of financial institutions to the platform.
This gives Honeydue an investfox score of 4.4, making Honeydue the best personal finance platform for couples.
PocketGuard is a personal finance app that helps users track their spending. Users can sync their bank accounts with PocketGuard and set limits on spending categories. The “In My Pocket” feature calculates how much can be spent without jeopardizing the user’s finances.
Each incoming and outgoing transaction is automatically categorized and users can keep track of their savings goals at all times. The base PocketGuard account is free to use and clients who need more customization can upgrade to PocketGuard Plus, which costs $4.99/month, or $34.99/year. Users can also set savings goals and view spending reports to see where they may be overspending.
All-in-all, PocketGuard is a decent option for users who want no-frills personal finance software at an affordable price. While the free base account might be lacking in customizable features, the paid subscription is not at all too pricey and allows users to set spending limits, track out-of-budget expenses, and control their spending capacity using the “In My Pocket” feature.
This gives PocketGuard an investfox score of 3.9 - placing it near the middle of the list.
Stash is a personal finance platform that offers investing and savings management services for a flat monthly fee. The platform provides plenty of educational content and allows automated and DIY investments. Clients can trade thousands of stocks and ETFs, while automated investments come with a monthly fee of $3 or $9 - depending on the user’s preferences and required features.
Stash makes investing accessible to a broad customer base and makes the process simple by providing an intuitive and minimalist interface, as well as streamlined pricing packages. The $3 Stash Growth account offers individual investment services, while the $9 Stash+ offers services for families, including custodian accounts for kids.
Investors on Stash can start with minimal investments, as the platform supports fractional share trading. One notable downside of Stash is the absence of automated IRA management, which can be a dealbreaker for some users.
Stash also offers a Stock-Back card as part of its banking services, which can be used to earn additional stocks while shopping in thousands of Stash partner retailers.
Stash provides a well-rounded and affordable personal finance platform that offers individual and automated account management to users. While the platform does not support tax-loss harvesting or automated IRAs, it makes up for this by providing a reliable service with a sleek and easy-to-use trading experience. Furthermore, Stash does not charge trading fees for individually managed accounts, which clients can use to trade thousands of securities - including fractional shares.
Overall, Stash is one of the most attractive choices for people who wish to have the choice between individually managing their accounts, or using automated investing services from trained professionals. Stash gets an investfox score of 4.5/5.
Our partner, XM, lets you access to a free demo account to apply your knowledge.
No hidden costs, no tricks.
Personal finance software can help users divide their expenses into categories, keep track of investments and manage their assets. It is a useful tool for getting a clear picture of your financial position and possible risks.
Yes. Personal finance platforms in the United States are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000, which provides a safety net for clients and protects their funds from risks not associated with their own financial activities.
Personal finance users can choose whether they want to actively manage their funds, or prefer an automated service. Keep in mind that not all personal finance companies may offer DIY investing and brokerage services.