Top Personal Finance Software

Budgeting software allows you to optimize your spending and saving. You can do much more with these programs than you could do with Excel spreadsheets, or a pen and paper. These programs allow you to set goals, track investments, manage bill payments, and some do all of the above. It’s no surprise that people who regularly monitor their money end up financially better off than those who don’t. 

There’s a lot of stress associated with finances, especially in today’s climate. Personal financial software takes away some of that stress by making things less complicated and helps with your financial goals. You may especially benefit from financial software if you have multiple accounts (checking, savings, retirement, credit, etc.) Many programs allow you to import all your accounts so you can manage everything in one place. This also gives you a bird-eye view of what’s going on with your budget, and what goes in and out of your virtual pocket.

How to Pick One

There are a plethora of apps, websites, and programs to choose from. It’s important to identify your financial goals and consider each one’s features. Each app is different so you may need to test a few before you settle on one that’s right for your goals and needs. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, it matters how well you manage it. It can get overwhelming, especially for those of us who aren’t well-versed in finances, but we’ve rounded up a few of the top personal financial programs to help you out:


Perhaps one of the most familiar programs, this free app is easy to download and allows you to link all your accounts. Not only does it analyze your personal finances, but it also gives you personalized insights, free credit score tracking, customizable budgets, and monitors your subscriptions. The app sets up an alert when there’s an upcoming bill, so you don’t lose money with overdraft fees. Mint also does an excellent job with its security features to help ensure your data is protected.

YNAB (You Need A Budget)

YNAB offers features for debt tracking, budgeting, and goal setting. It takes on an educational approach and aims to teach their users valuable financial skills, whether spending or saving. It even offers courses for those who want to develop better financial habits. You can access it on your laptop, tablet, or phone, and it updates in real time across all devices. However, after a 34-day free trial, it’s US$6.99 a month.


If you’re looking for a simpler budgeting app, PocketGuard might be ideal for you. Simply put, it lets you know how much money you can spend without going into debt. It makes sure that you’ve put away savings and paid the bills before it gives you a picture of what you have left to spend. PocketGuard also sets up an automatic budget based on your income and expenses. PocketGuard Basic is a free service, but if you want to track cash spending as well as bank accounts and investments, PocketGuard Plus allows you to do that for a monthly fee of US$3.99. 


If you don’t mind the paid subscription (starting at US$7.50 a month), PocketSmith features impressive forecasting abilities up to 30 years into the future. This is great for those who are serious about budgeting and are preparing for major life events that require money. You can also integrate overseas accounts and foreign currencies, making it ideal for those with bank accounts in multiple countries, or frequent travellers. There is a free version; however, it’s much more limited in its capabilities and does not automatically sync with financial institutions.

Spending Tracker

If you want to organize your spending but are weary of linking your financial accounts to an app, Spending Tracker is a simple way to do exactly that. It works by entering your income and manually entering the amount spent when there’s an expense. It’s also a good first step to monitoring your money if you’re overwhelmed with other financial software. Spending Tracker is available both on Android and iPhone.

Helen Jacob | Contributing Writer

Fall 2023

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