Your future financial success is dependent on a number of factors. If you’re thinking about becoming financially independent, it’s great to have a dependable plan in place. Building one of these plans on your own can be tough. Luckily, there are a few companies out there that have developed free financial planning software allowing you to start saving and investing for long-term wealth.
Before jumping into the top five tools on the market, it’s important to understand the stage you’re at in your financial planning life. From successfully stabilizing your debt to increasing your personal savings, knowing where you’re at will help you figure out which free financial planning software is right for you.
Identify Your Area of Focus
Planning your financial success starts with identifying which areas you need to focus on. You may want to consider reaching out to a financial advisor if you need help determining which area of focus is right for you. Use these focus areas to help create and execute your financial plan while choosing the right budgeting software for free.
- Budgeting – setting your estimated amount of income for spending over a given time
- Saving – reducing your total expenditures
- Investing – expending money with the expectation that you will gain a profit as a result
- Paying off Debt – paying off money that is owed or due
- Roadmap to Retirement – setting aside money in anticipation for spending money after leaving a job or ceasing to work
The Best Free Financial Planning Software Options
Below is a list of mobile and desktop free budgeting software tools that have been chosen because they are easy-to-use, intuitive, and offer the most value in terms of providing the financial planning services listed above.
Mint is perfect for anyone with multiple bank accounts. The software lets you track your bank and credit card accounts in one place. It works as an app on your Android or iPhone device. It also automatically updates and categorizes transactions to create a picture of your spending. Mint has several features that allow you to set monthly budgets, track and categorize expenses, monitor credit scores, and track investments. Mint is focused on basic budgeting more so than investing, which makes it one of the best money management apps out there.
2. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is ideal for people who want to combine their investing needs with financial planning. The free financial planning software combines all your financial accounts (bank, mortgage, credit, and more) into one platform so that you can manage all your money in one place. You can use this software to let you know if you’re on track with your retirement and investment goals. Some of the features offered include a way to find hidden fees you might be paying for, a budgeting tool to track spending, and a goal tracker that counts your spending so that you can reach your savings targets.
3. You Need a Budget
YNAB is great for users who are trying to learn to live on their last month’s income. After paying off a payday loan, this is the perfect app to keep you on track with your personal budget so that you don’t have to take out any short-term loans. This app offers a 34-day trial so that you can decide if it’s right for you and your personal finance goals. The app has a few features that allow you to set rules for spending and help you deal with bad financial habits. It also helps you create budgets to manage your daily finances and offers free tutorials to help you take on some tougher financial topics.
The PocketGuard app gives users a snapshot of how much they can spend at any given moment and is free for download on either your Android or iPhone. This is one of the best apps out there that does the work for you and makes it simple so that you know how much you have left to spend. These free financial planning software accounts for bills, spending, and savings goals to determine how much left you have for the day, week, or month. This app is perfect if you’re trying to build a budget after taking out a short-term loan and want to improve your finances while building your savings account.
Albert is a free iPhone app that tracks your accounts and provides useful recommendations for improving your financial health. It creates a customized budget based on your spending habits, income, and recommends how much you could be saving based on all your financial factors. The app comes with an additional paid feature that allows you to get expert advice from one of their financial advisors on topics like investing, paying down debt, or saving for a goal.
Planning Your Future
Keep in mind that no single free financial planning software tool may be perfect for you. Choosing the right app depends on your current financial needs. Sometimes, though, budgeting isn’t enough, especially when it comes to emergency expenses and issues that come up.
If an unexpected expense occurs, such as a car repair or a medical bill that needs to be paid, Cash Factory USA offers short-term or installment loans that may be able to provide immediate options where alternative choices are limited. If you are able to meet the basic requirements and have the information to fill out an application, you could be approved within one business day.*
*Short-term loans are not intended to be long-term financial solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. A single payday advance is typically for two to four weeks. However, borrowers often use these loans over a period of months, which can be expensive.