The personal finance program Quicken has been the industry’s darling for many years. When it was sold to HIG Capital last year, it was with the assurance that users would continue to enjoy the same benefits as before, but with the added expansion and enthusiasm (read: new features) that new ownership can bring.
However, this sale has left some users wondering about alternative methods of tracking their spending and creating a budget. Luckily, the personal finance space has evolved over the last several years, and there are plenty of new players ready to swoop in to provide them with the guidance they need. Here are a few alternatives to the personal finance program giant that are worth checking out.
7 Alternatives to Using Quicken
1) Personal Capital
Personal Capital may have the best all-around money tools available, and they are completely free! Like Quicken, Personal Capital users can link all of their accounts and track them all in one place. This even includes tracking your investments and your net worth. Also like Quicken, Personal Capital tracks all of your spending and categorizes it for you — allowing you to get a clear picture of where your money is going each month.
Personal Capital also features a retirement planning tool and a retirement savings fee analyzer. It can be used either on a desktop or through a mobile device. One thing Quicken users might miss is the ability to track and pay your bills from within the software itself. Even lacking this feature, Personal Capital is certainly one app that you should try.
See our full review of Personal Capital here.
For long-time Quicken users, Mint is probably the app which is the most similar. Like Quicken, the Mint app allows you to view all of your accounts in one place. Simply link your accounts, and the Mint software tracks your entire financial life. Through their desktop or mobile app, you can use Mint’s budgeting software, track your investments, and view your categorized expenses.
They also offer users alerts and advice, as well as the ability to get a free credit score. In addition to Mint, Quicken users should check out Mint Bills. This is a fun feature that helps you monitor your bills and pay them directly through the app. Best of all, both Mint and Mint Bills are free.
3) You Need a Budget (YNAB)
If you’re looking for a great budgeting software, YNAB is it. YNAB takes the guesswork out of budgeting by providing you with a flexible “living budget” that will save you money and help you stay positive. However, if you’re looking for complete automation, YNAB is not it. The program connects directly with your bank account(s), but you have to tell it when to download transactions. You are also able to schedule known transactions ahead of time or download transactions that you can then load to YNAB.
More good news is that YNAB works everywhere — even without an internet connection. In addition to the desktop software, YNAB has an app available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The software does cost $50/year, but the license is good for all YNAB updates. Plus, you can try the program for free before committing!
See our review of YNAB here.
GoodBudget is a free mobile app that can be used to help you create a budget based on an “envelope system.” It is a pretty basic setup, but it gets the job done.
Just sync your bank accounts with GoodBudget, and it will help you track both your income and your spending. Simply set an amount for each category, and you can easily see how close you are to reaching your spending allowance for the month. You can also sync your budget across multiple phones, so everyone in your household has access to the information. This app is available on iOS and Android devices.
If you’re looking for a very detailed mobile app to help replace Quicken, HomeBudget could be a great choice. This app may have the best interface of all the mobile apps on this list. It is clean, color coded, and easy to read. Once you link your accounts, you’ll be able to see your expenses, income, budget, accounts, and bills. There is also a chart that shows you how much you are spending as a percentage of your income.
This app also offers you the ability to search for past transactions, so you can easily pull up any information you may need. HomeBudget is available in iOS for $4.99 (free for the lite version) or on Android devices for $5.99.
Dollarbird is a mobile app that uses a monthly calendar as the basis for its design. This makes it easy for you to see when and where you may have expenses coming up. After you sync your accounts with Dollarbird, the app helps you track your spending and income.
Unique to Dollarbird is the 5-year financial plan, which allows you to set (and hopefully meet) your financial goals. Dollarbird also alerts you to any upcoming bills that need to be paid. The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.
7) Level Money
Level Money is an easy to use personal finance app that helps you track your daily, weekly, and monthly spending and income. Simply, link your bank account to the app and let Level Money do the rest.
With this app, you can automatically generate a monthly plan based on your income and expenses. You can also compare your spending from month to month and track your spending by merchant and category. The app is simple, effective, and free. You can find it on iOS and Android devices.
Whether you are a Quicken user looking for alternatives, or someone who is just ready to get their finances in order, know that you have many options. These are several of our favorite financial tools, available to help you automatically track your saving and spending habits. Since many of them are free, there is no risk to trying them out.
Sign up for a few of them, and see which you like best (and which you’re likely to stick with!). It doesn’t matter how you track your money, as long as you do it.