Keeping a hand on all your accounts and tracking your various money moves can be a daunting task. Personal finance tools can make the job infinitely easier. Personal finance tools should be easy to use and feature-rich, helping you to accomplish a variety of needs such as managing multiple accounts, sticking to your budget, and giving you a clear picture of your financial health.
So without further ado here are some of the best tools and resources I can personally recommend for managing your finances:
MoneySmart is a free online South African personal finance management platform that helps people to manage their finances to achieve financial success by providing individuals with services, tools, education and products to increase their financial acumen. The platform encourages its users to ‘budget what you earn, save for the goals that you want, aspire to achieve, visualise your future, and invest in yourself’.
MoneySmart ‘reads’ a user’s transactions and categorises them automatically, providing an instant overview of current spending. The platform includes an online community and end-users have access to content from columnists dealing with trends, popular culture and financial empowerment.
The Wonga Blog
I’m the first to admit that linking to a short term loans website is a little counterintuitive for a financial tools blog post! BUT keep an open mind and check out some of their content for yourself. The blog is packed full of financial resources to help improve your financial literacy, control your debt and to get educated in investment fundamentals, all for free.
Old Mutual’s 22seven allows you to see all your accounts and transactions in one place. You can link cheque and savings accounts, credit and store cards, investments, loans and rewards. Your transactions are automatically categorised to show you exactly how much you spend and on what. An automatically generated budget helps you spend less on what isn’t important and find more for what is.
MoneyDance is available for OS X, Windows, and Linux. It is a robust personal finance tool that supports online banking (so you can download transactions from your bank and manage your investments in the application). It can connect to hundreds of financial institutions out of the box, and you can import transactions on your own if you choose. The account register works like a balanced chequebook, and shows you where your money is going. You can also set up payment schedules for recurring transactions so you know when big transactions are about to take place, and track your investments using the investment module.
This is a free budgeting and personal finance tool that focuses on creating a budget that works for you. The tool analyses your finances and spits out a budget planner that’s packed with suggestions for where you can save money, trim your spending and increase your savings. It aims to make the process as easy as possible, and promises that an hour with the tool will give you a better understanding of where your money is going. You can enter your expenses manually if you want, or connect it with your bank to auto-link accounts. BudgetSimple is a webapp and completely free, but if you want mobile apps or the option to fully link your bank accounts, you’ll need a $5 per month premium account.
BudgetSimple is praised for its simplicity and its focus on creating a no-nonsense, sustainable, and sensible budget that you can live by. It’s a straightforward tool, and it does a lot of things that many other software options charge for – and the graphs and statistics do a great job of explaining where your money is going.
Budgetpulse is free online personal finance software that’s easy to use without sacrificing meaningful budget tools and financial reports. This app is also great for anyone who doesn’t want to enter financial account numbers and passwords to download transactions automatically. You can download transactions yourself from your bank and import them or enter via your keyboard. Savings goals can be made public for fundraising or giving family and friends a chance to chip in toward reaching goals.
The Chrome Web Store has free and paid money management apps and extensions, which make handling financial tasks from within Chrome very convenient (We suggest checking them out here.)
Well, that’s the list! I hope you give a few of these a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.