Which budgeting tool is best for you? Here are our reader’s most popular picks.
Last Saturday I asked a question in the weekly newsletter that goes to more than 18,000 beautiful people (join here–it’s free and worth every penny). The question: What software or tool do you use to track your spending?
The number and variety of responses was just amazing. Some of the results, as you’ll see, were not surprising. But there were a number of readers who use budgeting tools that I had never heard of. I’m guessing some will be new to you, too.
Here are the results:
1.5%—Ready For Zero
It’s not surprising to see Mint, Quicken and YNAB at the top. These are the three most talked about budgeting tools. I’ve used all three, and while YNAB is my personal favorite, each of these tools does a great job at helping you track your spending and budget.
The comments from readers that responded to the question are interesting.
Michael: “I’ve used Quicken deluxe for some 25 years now.” Now that’s consistency and dedication. I didn’t know Quicken had been around that long.
Dan: “I’m a big fan of Quicken. I run a Mac like you but have a Windows emulator (parallels) to run the Windows version of Quicken Rental Property Manager. It does everything I need.” I have to agree that the PC version of Quicken is better than the Mac version.
Steve: “You know my answer. YNAB has been THE biggest financial difference in my life. But it’s not about tracking your spending. It’s about planning your spending ahead of time. A big part of that planning is figuring out how much you can save. Tracking your spending is just a by-product.”
Patrick: “I use Mint for cash tracking & Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Quizzle for credit tracking.”
Chris: “I have been using the same spreadsheet that i found on line in Microsoft templates web page for 13 years.”
Ralph: “I use excel spread sheet. I don’t specifically track my spending but I do track my spending rate. On a monthly basis, I review my bank statements and credit card report and note what each purchase was and how much and capture the differences each month. I account for one time purchases like new windows for the house and other money allocations and exclude them from my cost of living expense. Also in excel, I made a list of all my required expenses like insurance, utility, tags, taxes, etc.”
Jen: “I use Mint primarily, but I am exploring Level Money. With Level, I set my income, tag bills, and set a saving percentage. The app then provides a spendable balance. I’ve used it for 3 weeks and I think it can be a simple way to stick with a budget. The only issue is that your bank may not be supported, but they are adding new banks.”Topics: Budget