Comparisons of Budgeting Software
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The Top Ten Reviews website rated the top budgeting software programs by criteria including ease of connection to bank accounts; tracking and reporting mechanisms and exportability to tax programs. The top five included Quicken, Ace Money, YNAB, Moneydance and Bank Tree Personal.
Of the five, only Moneydance works on Mac and Linux systems.
Ease of Use
Most of the top five got top marks for overall ease of use including installation and set-up. Quicken, YNAB and Ace Money standardise payee names so that recurring payees' names pop up after you type in a few letters. They also split entries so if you purchase home supplies and groceries at the same store, you can enter them separately. Moneydance does not offer this, which makes keeping track of finances more time consuming. Bank Tree splits bills but doesn't standardise payee names. Quicken gets top marks for customer help and support. The others don't have live chat or phone support.
- Most of the top five got top marks for overall ease of use including installation and set-up.
- Moneydance does not offer this, which makes keeping track of finances more time consuming.
YNAB omits tax and investment tools as well as calculators such as mortgage calculators. It does offer a buffer tool so that if you overspend in a category one month, it will reduce the amount you have in that category for next month's budget. Quicken Basic is one of the few that does not have loan calculators, such as payoff calendars. However, Quicken Deluxe does have those tools. Ace Money has many useful calculators.
- YNAB omits tax and investment tools as well as calculators such as mortgage calculators.
- Quicken Basic is one of the few that does not have loan calculators, such as payoff calendars.
Tax and Personal Investing
Ace Money and Moneydance had the most features for personal investing, such as importing investment account data, portfolio manager and downloaded stock quotes. Quicken was the only one that could export information from the budgeting software to a tax program.
Ace Money at £19 with a lifetime upgrade guarantee is the biggest bargain of the bunch. Quicken Starter Edition and Bank Tree Personal both retail for about £26. Moneydance is £32 and Quicken Deluxe and YNAB both retail for about £39.
Jane Doyle has been writing for newspapers and magazines for more than 30 years. She served as associate editor for a business/lifestyle publication and has written articles for magazines ranging from "Bank Director" to "Natural Home." Doyle holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas.