Over the last few weeks we have looked at some of the more popular money management applications on the market. Then we thought, what could be better than money management software that costs nothing at all? So, this week we look at some of the best free personal finance software available for download.
Our research unearthed an impressive range of free money management applications, so we have picked out our favourites. None of these will have all the features and options of heavy hitters like Microsoft Money and Quicken, but considering they are free the quality and the choice is excellent. If you just want to keep household or small business accounts, you should find something here that is sufficient for your needs.
Ace Money Lite
AceMoney Lite is the free version of its more feature-heavy counterpart, AceMoney. However, the Lite version does hold its own as it allows you to keep track of spending, investments, bills and more. More importantly, it supports QIF and OFX file formats so you can import your online bank statements to keep your figures up to date quickly and easily. It also has plenty of extra features such as bar graphs, 150 currencies, 20 languages, a loan calculator, and more. This software is easy to use and it was updated late last year, so it looks and feels current.
GnuCash is an open source personal and small business accounting package. If you are familiar with the likes of Money or Quicken you will think you have stepped back in time when you open up GnuCash. This is mainly for two reasons. First, the user interface is very basic. This doesn't mean it's poor software, it just means the developers concentrated on the stuff that really matters. Second, unlike most modern money management it uses the double entry system. So if you take money from one place, you have to add it to another. This system is easy enough to get the hang of even if you don't have accounting experience.
GnuCash is feature rich, including reports and graphs; multiple currencies; QIF and OFX import; stock quotes; cheque printing and much more. If you can get used to the basic look and feel, this is a powerful piece of software that is worth checking out.
IngenMoney 3 hasn't been updated in a while now but it is still not a bad piece of software. This is a calendar-based money management application that is good for basic finances and keeping up to date with bills and day to day spending. It also throws in some extra features such as a calculator and, inexplicably, an MP3 player. It does not handle QIF or OFX files so it is quite limited. It can be handy for keeping budgets though.
These are our three favourites but there are plenty others to check out as well. For a really, really simple tool that just keeps track of your incomings and outgoings you should check out Easy Cash Manager. Others you might consider are Abassis Finance Manager and GFP – Personal Finance Manager.
You will also find free software applications that focus on particular personal finance needs, such as stock trackers, currency converters, property investment software and more. So have a look around to see what is out there that suits your needs.
Next week we will look at the best free money management applications available for Apple Mac and Linux users.