A popular 2011 resolution was for people to achieve (or at least get closer to) financial independence and freedom. We’re more than 6 months into the new year, and some people either have yet to get started, or need some additional assistance. Some have taken a step in the right direction by installing mobile applications such as Discover Mobile Banking. Money management is difficult, especially when you haven’t done it before or in a while. It no longer needs to be tough; here are 5 types of money management software and programs that can make the job easier on you:
- Finavigation: Tony Ojeda couldn’t find the right program for him when it came time to make a plan to manage his money. Nothing was all encompassing and everything he needed, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. 3 years later, Finavigation was born. Finavigation is a software that puts everything into perspective when it comes to your personal finances, including financial situation analysis, debt manager, expense manager, and cash flow manager. Ojeda believes that some programs allow for too much automation, and that you need a more hands on experience. If you want to focus on one aspect over the other, you have that option, limiting how much information you’re given at one time. This prevents you from getting overwhelmed. You can sign up for a 30 day trial, then $9.99/month afterwards.
- Mvelopes: Have you heard of the envelope method? Well there’s an online version that can help you budget effectively. You make sure that every dollar has a purpose, whether it’s for household expenses, bill pay, savings, or even fun money. Mvelopes focuses on spending management, making sure you’re making necessary purchases, and it supports more than 14,000 banking institutions including big names like Chase and Wells Fargo. Interested in your net worth? That’s automatically calculated too. Mvelopes offers a free trial, and several payment plans afterwards. You can pay $39.60 quarterly, $129.60 every year, or $189.60 every two years, which is the best value being $7.90 per month.
- Pear Budget: If you’re not interested in all of the fuss that goes with typical money management programs, Pear Budget is known for “really simple budgeting”. It’s great for people who are new to budgeting, and is easier than other popular programs like Quicken and Microsoft Money. Enjoy a quick set up that’s secure and straightforward. You have the option to customize categories so that they fit your needs, and don’t have to worry about backing up your data, since it’s done automatically for you.For a no hassle system like Pear Budget, you can try out the program for free for 30 days, and only $4.95 monthly thereafter.
- You Need a Budget: Yes, you know you need a budget, but you don’t know where to begin. YNAB helps you gain control of your money, prompting that you can learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save money faster. These are the goals many people have towards financial freedom, which makes You Need a Budget a great fit. The software is computer based, meaning you don’t need an Internet connection, and it has amazing reviews on Amazon. If you don’t get the program right off the bat, there are free, online introductory classes, which can be helpful. YNAB has pie charts, line graphs, color codes and categories to real make sure your money is organized. A 7 day full free trial is available, and you can purchase the software for a one time payment of $59.95. The software works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Mint: The more popular of the money management programs is Mint. Mint combines all of your financial accounts into one place so you can see your current balance in your checking and savings, as well as on your credit cards, in your investment accounts, and your cars. You can set a budget and get e-mail reminders when you’re getting close, they have goals you can set and action plans to achieve them. There’s also smart phone apps so you can manage your money on the go. Best of all, Mint is free!
If you’ve started your quest toward financial freedom, any of these programs can help you make your dream a reality. You can now see where your money is going, decide where it should go, find money leaks, and work toward a goal. Do you use any money management software?
Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.