Personal Finance

8 Alternatives to Quicken that are Easy to Use

These are some of our favorite financial tools to help you track your saving and spending habits. The best part? Most of them are free!

Editor's Note

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Quicken has been a big name in the personal finance industry for many years. When it was sold to HIG Capital, it was with the assurance that users would continue to enjoy the same benefits as before.

However, the sale 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 you with the guidance you need. Here are a few alternatives to Quicken that are worth checking out.

Overview of the 8 Alternatives to Quicken

BrandBest For
EmpowerBest for monitoring your net worth
You Need a Budget (YNAB)Best for those who want a complete budget overhaul
PocketSmithBest for forecasting future scenarios
BettermentBest for investors
MintBest free budgeting app
GoodBudgetBest for envelope budgeting
HomeBudgetBest for percentage-based budgeting
DollarbirdBest for monitoring upcoming expenses

1. Empower

(Personal Capital is now Empower)

Fees: Free; investment services start at 0.89% based on account balance

Minimum Balance: None; $100,000 to invest

Features: Financial budgeting dashboard, investment fee checkup, cash flow analyzer, 401(k) analyzer, net worth tracker, and retirement planner

Empower may have the best all-around money tools available, and they are completely free! Like Quicken, Empower users can link all of their accounts and track them all in one place. This even includes tracking your investment accounts and your net worth. Also like Quicken, Empower tracks your spending and categorizes it for you allowing you to get a clear picture of where your money is going each month.

Empower 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, Empower is certainly one app that you should try.

Read more: Empower Review

2. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Fees: $11.99 per month or $84 annually; free 34-day trial

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: None

Features: Budgeting, investment monitoring, bill management, add in manual entries

If you’re looking for 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!

Related: Empower vs. YNAB

3. PocketSmith

Fees: Free; $9.95 or $19.95 a month, $89 or $169 annually

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: Try the Premium monthly subscription at a special price. Get 50% off the first two months when you sign up here.

Features: Creating budgets, alerts, reminders for bills, projecting scenarios in the future

PocketSmith is a personal finance software app that allows you to connect your bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, and credit cards to see a big picture view of your finances and find out your net worth. A great feature you’ll find here is the ability to forecast your money and run what-if scenarios to project future balances. Other features include creating budgets, setting up alerts if your money is running low and reminders to pay bills, though an actual bill-paying function isn’t available.

There is a free version but it’s very basic and you’ll have to input your bank info manually. The Premium version is $9.95 a month or $89 a year and gives you access to connect 10 accounts, automatically imports your bank feeds, and comes with 10-year budget projections. The Super package is $19.95 per month or $169 annually and gives you 30-year budget projections and the ability to connect an unlimited number of accounts.

Read more: PocketSmith Review

4. Betterment

Fees: Starting at a 0.25% management fee for investments

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: Up to one year of no fees with a qualifying deposit

Features: Investment and 401k tracking

Technically you can’t use Betterment as a budgeting app for your daily spending and expenses, but you can use it to manage your investments. If you choose a budgeting app that doesn’t have this feature, then consider this one.

Betterment allows you to track all your investments even ones outside of Betterment and see whether you’re on the right track for retirement. To invest with this app, it’ll cost you 0.25% of your investment amount with a basic account and 0.40% for their premium service.

Read more: Betterment Review

5. Mint

Fees: Free

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: None

Features: Customizable budgets, download transactions easily, track investments, use via desktop or mobile app

For long-time Quicken users, Mint is probably the app that 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.

Read more: Mint Review

6. GoodBudget

Fees: Free

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: None

Features: Multiple users, set limits on each spending category, tracks income and spending

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.

7. HomeBudget

Fees: Free (iOS lite version only); $4.99 (iOS) or $5.99 (Android)

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: None

Features: Search for past transactions, budgeting, charts to see your spending

If you’re looking for a 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.

8. Dollarbird

Fees: Free

Minimum Balance: None

Promotions: None

Features: Upcoming bill alerts, budgeting, financial forecasting

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.

Read more: Dollarbird Review

How We Came up With This List

We understand that budgeting can be challenging for you it’s easy to throw in the towel when it feels like so much work to track expenses and figure out where your money went. The good news is that we did all the legwork of researching the ones where you don’t need to do so much manually.

The tools we tested out are some of the most popular ones on the market. We compared how each app functions, its security features, pricing, and how they access your financial data. Our picks are the ones that offer free trials or have a free version, are secure, and user-friendly.

What Is a Budgeting App?

A budgeting app is a piece of software you can use on your computer or mobile device. Its purpose is to help you track your finance such as your expenses, income, investments, savings, and debt payoff status.

In many cases, these types of apps will sync with your financial accounts such as your credit card and bank accounts to monitor your finances in real-time. The point is so that you can track things like your spending automatically, saving you time from having to do so manually. Depending on the app, you can also access features such as forecasting future scenarios, planning for retirement, and getting insights into your financial habits.

Is It Worth Paying for a Budgeting App?

It’s up to you and whether you think the features will be worth it to help you thrive in your financial future. Both free and paid apps have their advantages and disadvantages so it’s best to look at what features you want when making your comparison.

It seems strange to pay for an app to help you save money, but it could be worth it if you end up saving more than what you paid or learn about your habits that can positively impact your future. In many cases, paid apps offer a free trial so you can test it out to see if it’s worth the investment and one that you’ll use over time.

What Features Should You Look for in a Budgeting App?

At the very least, you want an app that will sync with your financial accounts (though most, if not all will do this). There are also plenty that will automatically categorize your spending into different categories and even provide charts or tables to show you what your financial habits are like.

If you want more guidance there are apps that offer educational components and ones that forecast certain scenarios. If you want to go with an app that offers a savings feature, make sure that the bank account is FDIC-insured

Bottom Line

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 in trying them out. The best alternative is Empower, which will track your investments and your net worth. It will track all of your spending and categorize it for you -- allowing you to get a clear picture of where your money is going each month.

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.

Related: 4 Budget Types and the Best Tools for Each One

Empower Personal Wealth, LLC (“EPW”) compensates Webpals Systems S. C LTD for new leads. Webpals Systems S. C LTD is not an investment client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation or Empower Advisory Group, LLC

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li-Cain is a finance writer and Accredited Financial Counselor candidate whose work has appeared in places like Bankrate, Business Insider, Redbook, Financial Planning Association and Kiplinger. She's also the host of Beyond The Dollar, a podcast where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations on how money affects our well-being.

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