Friday, April 11, 2008

Financial Advisor: Personal Finance Software - Reviews

Today I want to take a short break from our Financial Freedom Mini Series and focus on Personal Finance Software. This article should give you good practical financial planning advice on some of the potential personal finanace software programs available.

Personally I really enjoy doing things myself so I use Excel to do my personal finance budgeting. If you are interested in doing your personal finance budget this way you will have to be fairly skilled in Excel. I took three college classes on Excel alone and have just the minimum amount of knowledge that it takes to essentially build my own Free Personal Finance Software in Excel.

Despite this there is hope for those of you who are lacking Excel skills. There are many free personal finance software programs out there on the Internet that you can get. If you go to Google and simply search "free personal finance software" you will get many relevant results. Of course though as always, if you choose to go the free route it will require a little more work on your part. No problem with this at all though, like I said, I go the free personal finance software route myself.

If you do decide to use free personal finance software you should look for one that includes the following. Your personal budget worksheet needs to have a section for all income and expenses and a spot to total the differences between the two. The personal finance software template should also allow you to make revisions and also include a section for future months. The most important part is the cash flows section that figures the difference between income and expenses. This way you can keep track and make sure you are bringing in more money than you are spending. A personal balance sheet section would also be a nice add on to keep track of all of your assets.

If you have decided that you want to be very serious and very professional about your personal finance budgeting then I suggest you spend the measly $20-$50 and find a really good personal finance software program. Below I have included some suggestions of a couple good personal finance budgeting software programs available. I have also provided links so that you can go directly to the personal finance budgeting software websites and check them out for yourself. Like I said before, buying actual personal finance budgeting software is not necessary and is simply a personal preference from person to person.

1) Quicken Deluxe Personal Finance Budgeting Software

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Positives: Quicken personal finance software has some of the most comprehensive and professional personal finance budgeting software programs out there. These personal finances programs are very good, give you any tool you could imagine, and quicken also provides good support/updates. These are by far the most complete and well known products available.

Negatives: More expensive that other personal finance budget software programs out there.

2) Living Within Your Means: Personal Finance Budgeting Software

Positives: It is very inexpensive. It includes a book about living within your means, a budgeting and bill organizer program, 35 money management articles, 10 budget calculating forms, a bill pay management systems, and a credit card interest software program.

Negatives: Not as professional as quicken. Home-made product with potential glitches and less product updates.

Now that I have given you information about what a Personal Finance Budget is and also shown you two excellent personal finance budgeting software programs you have absolutely no excuse.

Please do the smart thing now and either start your own free personal finance budget through Excel or make the small purchase of a personal finance budgeting software program that will pay for itself hundreds of times over.

Time is of the essence here, if you plan to take control of your personal finances when do you plan on doing it??? 6 months from now? 1 year? 5 years? If you can do it then why can't you do it today? Give yourself the peace of mind and start today. And as always, for those who think this is to hard or time consuming getting a financial advisor might be right for you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could review the OOTD online budgeting website at: