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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best Free Personal Finance Software

Best Free Personal Finance Software

Weekly Budget Tip (At a Glance) -  Some Helpful Savings Advice (courtesy of

1.   Pay your credit card bills in full on time, every time - this will save you unnecessary interest and late fees.

2.   Learn to cook all your meals - this will impress your family & friends and you will save eating-out money.

3.   Don't shop simply because there is a sale - do you really need the item?  Decide "need first", then shop.

Weekly Budget Humor - Any topic can be fun - including money and budget planning - so, enjoy!

Why did the lady go outdoors with her purse open?  Because she expected change in the weather.  :)



GnuCashIf you're looking for a quick education in double entry accounting, look no further than GnuCash. It will ease you into the "Assets = Liabilities + Equity" accounting equation and help you keep tabs of your budget without using the categories commonly used in commercial personal finance applications. Users are allowed to easily create as many accounts as they need under each category. The program is integrated with a reporting and graphing module to generate a full suite of standard and customizable reports including balance sheet, profit & loss, portfolio valuation, etc.

On the downside, it does not track stock price movements automatically and some brokers only support online downloads of files compatible with Microsoft Money or Quicken so the users have to update them manually. The program does not provide encryption of files but the users can rely on third party encryption software to keep files confidential and secured if necessary. It will also take a while to either start up or close down the program.

Home BankHomeBank is a feature-rich program that allows users to keep detailed track of expenses, income, assets, and other budget-related categories.  Numerous report-generation options are also available, as well as the ability for a user to import Amiga-related information.

However, due to lack of a local help file, the program is somewhat difficult to learn, especially for a novice user - and even the online help file is complicated in that a user must sign up for an account on the developer's site in order to be able to view the software guidance.

AceMoney LiteAceMoney Lite is a full-featured budget program, geared primarily for personal, home use, as it handles only two accounts, compared with its upgraded, shareware version AceMoney, which handles unlimited accounts.  It allows users to keep detailed track of their expenses, and provides a wealth of options for report generation by various categories, sub-categories, and functions.  The program also provides password protection, which is a plus for security purposes.   In addition, the program supports 40 different international languages, and contains a feature-rich currency converter.  Lastly, because the program contains a complete, detailed Local Help File, it is fairly easy to use (i.e., with a low learning curve).  The program is therefore useful for both novices and experts.

GFPGFP is a rich and full-featured program. It has numerous transaction and report categories, and also supports numerous edit and option settings for each transaction and report.

It is easy to use and understand, and it offers a detailed Help Section that provides clear guidance.  It has a low learning curve, and is suitable for novices and professionals, alike. It is based on the GNU open-source license model.

Money Manager EXMoney Manager EX is an excellent full-featured budget program that enables users to create multiple accounts, transactions, categories, and reports. The program is fairly easy to use, with a medium-level learning curve, and has an extensive help file to assist users on how to navigate the various features and options. It also supports most (if not all) computer operating systems. In general, it is a good program for novices and experts, but is sorely lacking in real-time, automatic fiscal tracking and download capabilities, and does not support password encryption, which is a must in today's computing environment.


Grisbi is another GNU GPL open-source budget program that is full-featured, and allows users to created multiple, unlimited accounts, categories and reports.  The program's GUI is simple, attractive and easy to understand - but because of the lack of a local help file within the program, there is a medium-level learning curve involved with fully knowing the ins and outs all of the program's features and operations.  The program is versatile for the most part in terms of its capabilities and format accommodations, and supports encryption of files - though a user must be careful not to forget his or her password, as to do so would mean losing all of the created financial data -  as data recovery would be impossible.  Overall, it's an excellent program, which I recommend to Gizmo's users. 


 Metalogic Finance Explorer is a full-featured, straightforward budget program, that has two primary advantages over many other programs, in that it (1) allows for automatic uploading of financial data from banks, and (2) it accepts importing of financial data from all sources and formats, via the Open Financial Exchange (OFE) protocol.  In addition, the program allows users to import stockmarket data, and to print out their displayed financial data. However, there is a very skimpy local help file within the program, with a relatively more extensive online help file - thus, the user must play around with the features to learn how to fully use them. 

Microsoft Money PlusMicrosoft Money Plus (Home & Business) is another excellent full-featured budget program that offers users a  wide range of services, including budget planning, report generation, stock-investment service lookup capabilities and tracking, and automatic importing/updating of online bank account services.  It also offers security options, data archival, backup, and restore backup functions.  In addition, there is an extensive local Help File within the program to assist users in learning how to use all of its capabilities and features. It's an excellent program - however, since this is legacy/sunrise software, which is longer being developed, Microsoft no longer supports the program - and, effective January 31, 2011, all online services will cease to exist.

 Looking for online money management?



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