Keeping tabs on your finances is not always easy. From saving money to making sure your income lasts you till the next paycheck, money management can be a very helpful exercise – and knowing how to do it well is a great skill.
This is where free budget software can help you get your personal finances in order without having to spend your hard-earned cash on budgeting tools.
Budget software can come with different features and functionality. This is why it’s important to understand the strengths of each one. Knowing this will help you make the best decision for your financial health.
Best Free Budget Software
Here are the top 11 free budget software tools you can download today:
- 🏆 Personal Capital: Best Overall
- Google Sheets
- Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is one of the best personal finance software options out there right now. If you are looking to track your spending as well as your investments, retirement plans, and net worth, then Personal Capital might very well be the app you are looking for. It shines when it comes to tracking the performance of investments, showing you the value of your portfolio over time to help you plan better for the future.
You can also connect card accounts, including credit, checking, and savings, as well as any mortgages and loans you might have, IRAs, and 401(k)s. On top of that, you have tools that help you analyze your cash flow, spending, and budgeting so you can make sure you stay on track.
If you’re looking for a financial planner in your pocket, Personal Capital also has a widely popular free Personal Capital Android and Apple mobile app.
- Accessible through a web browser or smartphone app
- Tracks budgets and investments
- Helps you save money smarter
With Personal Capital, you can see your net worth, analyze investments, and discover any hidden fees you weren’t aware of before – as well as set spending and saving goals.
YNAB is an acronym for You Need A Budget, and it’s great for first-time budgeters as it’s free for one year if you’re a student. YNAB uses a budgeting system called zero-based, where every dollar must have a plan for it. It works with pretty much any device that has an internet connection, including Apple Watch, if you happen to have one.
You can link your bank accounts to YNAB, set financial goals, and grow your savings. You can also use it for expense tracking. The YNAB app can be customized and has access to many resources to help you make your budgeting a success.
- Students get an entire year of free access to YNAB
- Links bank accounts
- Provides access to resources to help you budget better
YNAB helps you save money and get a handle on your finances. Get started today, risk-free, with their 34 day free trial.
Mint is a free budget planner created by Intuit (the makers of Quickbooks and TurboTax). It can be used as a web application, which you can access through a web browser on your PC or Mac, or as a mobile app on iOS and Android devices. In fact, Mint is one of the top-rated budgeting apps out there. You can set your budget, including financial goals and reminders to help you stay on track. You can also keep tabs on your investment portfolio to track its performance.
Mint can also track credit cards and bank accounts, as well as your credit score. The app is quite secure with encryption and multi-factor authentication, helping you stay safe online. And – you can set alerts to notify you if you’ve overspent on a particular monthly spending category, which is super handy.
- Access Mint from a web browser or the iOS / Android app
- Track budget, bills, and credit score
- Multiple security mechanisms help you stay safe
GNUCash is a feature-rich free budgeting software. You can track your bank accounts, stocks, and if you have a small business, you can also track expenses. Data representation is quite rich with graphs, reports, and even a checkbook register to give you a clear picture of your financial situation.
You can also import your bank account information so you can keep an eye on your account balance.
- Compatible with most computers
- Track multiple currencies
- Use graphs and reports for better data visualization
Just like GNUCash, Buddi is an open-source budget software. It runs on computers with Windows, Linux, or Mac operating systems, and data can be encrypted with a password for maximum security.
Buddi has all of the features you would expect in a budget software including budgeting, reports, and account tracking. You can also boost the functionality of the software by installing free plugins. Transactions need to be entered manually, which means you will need to be committed to making the effort of staying on track.
- Open-source license
- Install plugins to boost the functionality of Buddi
- Transactions need to be logged manually.
6. Google Sheets
Google Sheets is something most of us are very familiar with – but not many of us will have thought of it as a good budget software. If you’re not quite sure how to set up a budgeting sheet, you can make use of a free template. Google Sheets can be accessed from virtually anywhere, which makes it a great choice.
It will require a lot of manual input, but there is 3rd part software available to help you pull transactions into Google Sheets automatically. The functionality will depend on your setup or the template you download, but it can be quite a powerful tool when set up correctly.
- Freely available with your Gmail account
- Templates can help you make budgeting on Google Sheets easier
- 3rd party software to import transactions data
Truebill is more than budgeting software. It can also help you save on your bills. You can do this by connecting your bill or uploading a picture. Truebill’s negotiators will then get to work to try and reduce that cost for you. They will keep 40% of any savings they manage to get for you.
Aside from saving on bills, you can also use Truebill to track your spending, set up goals, and make budgets. It also has reporting features to help you stay on track.
- Can help you save money on your bills
- Track spending and set up financial goals
- Use report functionality to stay on track
With Truebill you can finally take control of your money. It makes it easy for you to manage subscriptions, lower your bills, optimize your spending and get a grasp on your financial life.
Goodbudget utilizes the envelope budgeting system. This means that you will need to allocate your monthly income into specific categories on which the budget is set. You can give multiple devices access to the account – a great feature if you are setting up a budget for the entire family.
Goodbudget does not sync to your bank account, so you will need to enter data manually. The free version has some limitations, but you can always upgrade to the full version if the free one is too restrictive.
- Uses the envelope budgeting system
- Great for family budgets
- Paid upgrade required to unlock more functionality
9. Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe
Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is a free budgeting software from Microsoft. It replaces the earlier versions of Microsoft Money and can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s website.
It offers basic budgeting functionality but lacks connectivity features, meaning you can’t pay bills or synchronize data through the app itself. It is generally very easy to use and receives good reviews. It is only compatible with Windows-based PCs. If you like the sound of this app, you may also want to look up Quicken and AceMoney Lite.
- Compatible with Windows PCs
- Easy to use
- No synchronization functionality
Pocketguard takes a slightly different approach to budgeting. It takes away many of the complexity and tells you how much money you have to spend for the day, week, or month. It does this after accounting for any expenses you might have.
You can get a clearer picture by tracking spending by categories such as groceries or entertainment to help you understand where you are spending the most, and where you need to cut down.
- Tells you how much money you can spend
- Tracks by category
- Available on the iOS App Store and Android Google Play
Everydollar uses a zero-sum budgeting system to help you allocate income to categories. If you have never done a budget before, Everydollar also offers a standard budget template to get you going in the right direction. There is also a debt snowball function to help you get out of debt quickly.
The free version is missing some functionality, such as the automatic download of banking information and transactions, so you will need to input these manually.
- Uses the zero-sum budgeting system
- Includes a standard template to get you started on the right foot
- Debt snowball function to help you get out of debt quicker
Now let me answer your most frequently asked questions when it comes to free budgeting software.
What is budget software?
Budget software comes in all shapes and sizes. At the most basic level, it is there to help you understand where your income is coming from and where it is going. It also helps you set up a budget so that you will know what you can spend money on and what needs to wait.
Some budget software includes other tools, such as wealth management. This can help you keep track of your investments and understand performance levels over time. By having such information at hand, you will be able to plan better for the future.
Is there a free version of YNAB?
The first time you sign-up for YNAB, you get 34 days completely free access. Students can also get 1-year free access to YNAB. Once the trial or student access expires, there are monthly and yearly plans with a no-risk money-back guarantee.
What is the best free personal finance app?
The best free personal finance app is going to be the one that has the features you need to accomplish your financial goals. We like Personal Capital due to its wide set of features that can help you manage your budget as your wealth grows, once your budgeting bears its fruits.
What is the best budget website?
Personal Capital not only offers the best free personal finance app, but the website also includes a number of financial tools to help you make the most of your budget. There is also a learning center that can help you broaden your understanding of budgeting and wealth management for a more successful financial future.
Is the Mint budget app free?
Yes, the Mint budget app is free to sign up for and use. You can access Mint through a web browser (just head to mint.com) or by downloading the app. The app is available for both Apple devices as well as Google Android devices.
Using Free Budget Software For Better Money Management
Budgeting is always a good idea. It can help you create better spending habits, meet your savings goals, and build a more stable financial future.
And now, many software options make budgeting easy. They’re all excellent – but if I had to pick the best budgeting software, I’d have to pick Personal Capital.
Not only can you access it from any device, but it also includes tools and learning opportunities that will help you plan and budget better than ever before. On top of that, it offers one of the best free investment accounts and retirement planning performance trackers available.