Completely Free Financial Budgeting Software
If you are reading this, maybe you finally realized that you need a budget. Or maybe you have been budgeting for a while, but you are looking for some free tools to simplify your budgeting. Either way, I think this page will have something to offer.
If you are just getting started budgeting I suggest reading an article I wrote called how to make a budget. It will walk you through a lot of the steps that I wish someone would have walked me through when I started.
Let me first mention the Envelope System of budgeting. This is the old faithful for many. It is recommended by Dave Ramsey and used by millions.
If you like that method but can’t make all your purchases with cash only and want the convenience of using a debit card, I use a modified version of it for my personal budgeting.
And if you are an Excel junkie like I am, you may want to check out these 10 free household budget spreadsheets.
Free household budgeting tools
Some of these budgeting tools are online applications, some are downloadable software, some are for Windows, some are for Mac and Linux, some of them may have lots of bells and whistles, and some may be overly simplified. I suggest you dig through and see if what works for your budget. Every person is different, therefore every budget will be different. It may take some time to find what fits you best, but it is out there and if it isn’t create it and let me know about it!
The guys over at Personal Capital have done a great job at making online money management secure, beautiful, and very helpful. You can read more about their program in our Personal Capital review.
Pretty amazing online personal finance tool. They have won a ridiculous amount of awards for this free service. I would be using it myself, except that they still do not have an auto-import from my credit union. If it were not for that I would definitely be using them. You can watch the video below to learn more about them or visit the Mint.com website, or read our review of Mint.com.
Wesabe.com They are similar to Mint with many of their features. They haven’t quite gotten as much fanfare as mint, but they still offer a great service. They are also an online tool that seems to have a secure method for keeping your financial information safe. You can watch a video tour below.
An “open source Windows application designed for personal or household financial management.” The screenshots actually look pretty slick. It is free to use.
Microsoft Office Accounting Express (DISCONTINUED)
A great free accounting and budgeting program geared more towards small businesses, but could be helpful for household budgets as well. Surprisingly it is absolutely free!
Free budgeting tool for Windows and Mac OS X.
Budget On Web
Also more biz-oriented, it is a “free online system that integrates project management with contacts management and financial tools.” Manage your budget, schedules and contracts online. It integrates project management with contacts management and financial tools.
Up to 5mb of storage for free, if you need more than that you will have to pay. 5mb should be plenty for people using this for their household budgets. Business budgets may end up going beyond the 5mb limit.
It is another free online budgeting tool. It is simple to navigate and easy to use. The pro/con of it is that is an online tool, rather than downloadable software. The benefit, of course, is that you can access it from anywhere. The downside is that your budgeting info is on someone else’s server.
Moneytrackin financial tool
A free online web application that lets you track all your expenses and income with another easy and user friendly interface
Free-to-try budgeting software
They offers a free 5-day budgeting eCourse, a free budgeting eBook, and a free trial. After the trial expires, they also charge a monthly fee like Pear Budget. For more info check out our Mvelopes review.
A free-to-try personal budgeting program that is very simplified and offers a minimal amount of features. To purchase it costs $9.99.
A very simple, easy, and pretty (think Apple) budgeting system. The user has to enter receipts into the program, but they make it seem fun. It is free to try and $3 a month to use.
AceMoney Lite Budgeting
I am a little bit confused with these guys, they call themselves Freeware on their site, but when you download the software it says it is a trial version that is NOT free to use. So, I am calling this a Free-to-try version of an offline personal finance management program. It even downloads stock quotes from the Internet. This is basically a lighter version of Microsoft Money or Quicken. It is not nearly as flashy or sophisticated, but it offers some of the features the “big boys” offer for $30.
Paid Budgeting Software
YNAB stands for You Need a Budget and you can find their software at YouNeedABudget.com.
Here are a few features they mention on their site…
- Split transactions with ease.
- Track of all of your account balances in one simple interface.
- Easily see a breakout of spending in a specific category.
- Monitor your spending trends.
- Compare spending of one category to another.
- Easily employ the envelope budgeting method.
- Enjoy the benefits of the YNAB Methodology built right in.
- Bring all your personal finances together in one place
- Get a snapshot of monthly spending, set savings goals and track your progress
- Never miss a bill— stay on top of bills due and paid
- Connect to online banking and credit card accounts with one password
- Make tax time easier— capture all possible deductible expenses
- Insights, now with customizable alerts
- Bills Insights alert you when bills are overdue or due soon
- Spending Insights keep on top of the spending you care about most
- Cash Flow Insights gives you a fast convenient view of your spending and deposits, as well as your account balances
- Attach links to important files such as check images or scanned receipts right from transactions in the Money account register
Technorati Tags: free budgeting tools, free budgeting software
If you know of any other free budgeting software or tools please share them in the comments!
Great summary! I’d like to point out that AceMoney Lite really is free, but it can manage only one account. If you need to manage multiple accounts, you have to get a full version on a free to try basis. Unlike the big boys products, every AceMoney license ($30) comes with free lifetime upgrades!
What a great collection of free budgeting tools! I would like to respectfully point out that while Mvelopes and PearBudget Online charge a monthly subscription fee, Mvelopes’ fee is much higher than PearBudget’s. Mvelopes also has many more features, where PearBudget is more of a dedicated budgeting app. To use the Mvelopes free trial, you have to enter your credit card number and if you decide to cancel, do it within 30 days to avoid being charged. I have had reports of people having problems with being charged although they canceled on time. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but I’ve heard enough about it to be concerned.
God bless your efforts with this blog!
I’m surprised you didn’t mention Mvelopes. I love the fact that it is a virtual envelope system that downloads all my transactions, lets me assign them with drop and drag or to split them up, and that it automatically takes any charges I make, and allots the budgeted money for any purchase into the corresponding “save for credit card payment” envelope, and has endless flexibility in creating envelopes. It isn’t perfect, but it works great for me. It doesn’t take the place of something like Quicken, but Quicken just doesn’t have the ability to budget so quickly and clearly.
Mike S says
I use and recommend Moneydance (free to try, pay for license) which I find very effective. It’s comparable to quicken but without the bloat. It is much less expensive to purchase, has generous license terms (more than one user on on computer, or one user on several computers), and unlike quicken does not force you to upgrade every few years. Well worth serious consideration.
Also, on the free side, take a look at GnuCash. A little more complicated than others, but free. Very capable, you could say it’s more geared to small business than home use.
Business Choices says
The microsoft link is broken…try budget tracker, it is free
We allow for both standard and envelope style budgeting. It also ties in with your Bills and Income that you can setup seperately so it will dynamically update your budget based on the bills and income recurrences you have setup.
Tommy Bunce says
Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your site, but the link to the Mint.com video on YouTube is broken. Apparently the video has been removed due to a violation of content.
I love mint.com for my personal budgeting and finance tracking. I’m using Outright.com to track all my freelance and business expenses. It’s pretty good for a very simple and easy to use solution for those of us who need to file a schedule C and pay taxes quarterly.
PS. I hate quickbooks and quicken. Neither are Mac friendly or intuitive.
I wish I could use Mint. Their software is not compatible with my bank, because my bank uses a 3 step login process. It’s super annoying. Thanks for the other links though, I found a few to check out – right now I’m using an old version of quicken. I refuse to upgrade
I’m trying to get the hang on Mint, but one thing I’m just not figuring out is how to actually use it for budgeting. I want a breakdown of how much I’m spending in different areas and I just don’t see it. I entered that I do not have a credit card and it pops up that I’m spending $1800 a month with my credit card I don’t have? I used Microsoft Money many years ago and I could at the click of a button see how much I was spending on pet care, or groceries, or rent/mortgage or entertainment… (I absolutely HATED future versions of Money and quit bothering when I couldn’t “downgrade” back to my old faithful, I think it was ’97?) With Mint I don’t see how it can be used to create or stick with a budget at all. Am I missing something?
OK, so I found the “Trends” tab, and I see this taking several months of manual editing before a true picture will emerge. :/
I need a software program which can, as each paycheck comes in, automatically divide my paycheck into budget allocation categories I’ve designated for that time (or take left-overs and deposit them into an “envelope” chosen for this). I’m not that good paying attention to after-the-fact “alerts,” and I’d like to streamline the process of manually allocating things myself.
I just came across your blog recently. I enjoyed your article on making money on your blog (which I hope to start soon!). I also just spent my morning setting up my my budget on mint.com.
Thanks so much for all the advice.
I currently am with yodlee.com to manage all my accounts on one page as well as budgeting. I love it over mint.com.
YNAB ought to be moved to the free-to-try section. They offer a 34-day full-featured free download.
As a side note, I started working with Mvelopes yesterday and am ready to give it up. Part of the problem is that my credit union doesn’t sync well with the system, and part seems to be that the Mvelopes interface is not very well designed. Navigation is difficult, the free version has info bubbles that totally obscure very important buttons, and once you leave the account management screen it is difficult to return without logging out and back in. I suspect they may have recently redesigned the site and are still working out bugs, but it’s still very sloppy even for that. The terms of the free version are NOT explained well anywhere.