Review of free money management software for the Mac

Piggy bank

Following up on last week’s articles on free money management software for the Windows operating system, this week we look at what’s available for Apple Mac users. And surprisingly, the choice and quality of free personal finance is as good if not better than for Windows.

Mac has long been criticised for the poor choice and high costs of the software available for its OS X operating system, however this is changing rapidly. So, here are our favourite free money management applications for Mac.

GnuCash

We mentioned this one last week but it definitely deserves another mention. GnuCash runs on Mac, Linux and Windows and is probably the most powerful free piece of personal finance software around. This open-source wonder is no beauty on the outside, but is a powerful and feature-rich application at its heart. If you are used to the likes of Quicken or Money, this one might take some learning as it uses the double entry system of accounting. However, if you are looking for a free but powerful accounts solution then this could be the option for you.

Koku

Koku is another open license offering that is freely available to everyone. This really is a bare bones money management app but on many levels it may be all that you need. Sometimes its refreshing when an application doesn’t pack the kitchen sink and still gets the job done. With Koku, you can create accounts, add transactions, import online statements and create reports. You can also print cheques, reconcile accounts, and print your accounts.

Buddi

Buddi is another open source application that will run on Windows and Linux machines as well as Mac, so long as you have the Java virtual machine installed (you probably do even if you don’t know it). This is another application that aims to make things as simple as possible for the home user. If you want multiple currency support, cash flow statements and profit & loss accounts Buddi will probably fall short of your needs. Otherwise it should do fine.

PLCash

PLCash is another cross-platform personal finance program that is Java based. However, this doesn’t hold it back. The newest release earlier this month is powerful, responsive and fast. It also offers an impressive range of features for a free application. Of course, you can create and manage accounts. However, you can also import data from online accounts and others sources, create reports, track investments and print cheques.

So, if you are looking for some money management software these are four of our favourites. If you want a really powerful personal finance program you could check out Quicken for Mac, MoneyDance or Personal Accountz, which is now called Home Accountz 2012, but you will have to pay for them. We suggest that you give one or two of these free options a go first to see how you like them.

That said, if you do want to go for the Home Accountz 2012 we currently have an exclusive voucher code for 20% – just visit the Accountz website and use code SHMRH20 at checkout. The code is valid until 31 January 2012.

A final point, bear in mind that many money management applications have a steep learning curve, especially if you haven’t used one before. So give it a couple of weeks before making any decision.

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