Keeping a hand on all your accounts and tracking your money moves can be a daunting task. Personal finance tools can make the job easier. Here are some of the best personal finance tools for managing your finances.
Personal finance tools should be easy to use and feature-rich, helping you to manage multiple accounts, stick to your budget, and giving you a clear picture of your financial health.
MoneySmart is a free online South African personal finance management platform that helps South Africans to manage their finances to achieve financial success by providing individuals with services, tools, education and products to increase their financial acumen. The platform encourages its users to ‘budget what you earn, save for the goals that you want, aspire to achieve, visualise your future, and invest in yourself’.
MoneySmart ‘reads’ a user’s transactions and categorises them automatically, providing an instant overview of current spending. The platform includes an online community and end-users have access to content from columnists dealing with trends, popular culture and financial empowerment.
Loan repayment calculators
Online loan repayment calculators are a great way to work out how much you can afford to pay off on your personal loans. This tool is particularly helpful when deciding the amount you can best afford to borrow. Cash loans provider Wonga.co.za discloses all their fees upfront on their slider calculator on the wonga website when you apply for a loan.
South African 6cents provides a quick and easy platform to manage personal finances. If you are looking for a user-friendly online financial tool, 6cents offers a number of features in one place.
Old Mutual’s 22seven allows you to see all your accounts and transactions in one place. You can link cheque and savings accounts, credit and store cards, investments, loans and rewards. Your transactions are automatically categorised to show you exactly how much you spend and on what. An automatically generated budget helps you spend less on what isn’t important and find more for what is.
MoneyDance is available for OS X, Windows, and Linux. It is a robust personal finance tool that supports online banking (so you can download transactions from your bank and manage your investments in the application). It can connect to hundreds of financial institutions out of the box, and you can import transactions on your own if you choose. The account register works like a balanced chequebook, and shows you where your money is going. You can also set up payment schedules for recurring transactions so you know when big transactions are about to take place, and track your investments using the investment module.
A free mobile app for iOS devices is available and the Handybank app for Android, for $7, will also connect to MoneyDance. The app is available to try for free, but after entering 100 transactions, you’ll need to pay $50 for a full license. The app is able to handle multiple types of financial transactions with ease and syncs seamlessly with banks even though it works as a desktop app, reminding you to pay bills when they’re due every month.
This is a free budgeting and personal finance tool that focuses on creating a budget that works for you. The tool analyses your finances and spits out a budget planner that’s packed with suggestions for where you can save money, trim your spending and increase your savings. It aims to make the process as easy as possible, and promises that an hour with the tool will give you a better understanding of where your money is going. You can enter your expenses manually if you want, or connect it with your bank to auto-link accounts. BudgetSimple is a webapp and completely free, but if you want mobile apps or the option to fully link your bank accounts, you’ll need a $5 per month premium account.
BudgetSimple is praised for its simplicity and its focus on creating a no-nonsense, sustainable, and sensible budget that you can live by. It’s a straightforward tool, and it does a lot of things that many other software options charge for – and the graphs and statistics do a great job of explaining where your money is going.
BudgetPulse is free online personal finance software that’s easy to use without sacrificing meaningful budget tools and financial reports. This app is also great for anyone who doesn’t want to enter financial account numbers and passwords to download transactions automatically. You can download transactions yourself from your bank and import them or enter via your keyboard. Savings goals can be made public for fundraising or giving family and friends a chance to chip in toward reaching goals.
The Chrome Web Store has free and paid money management apps and extensions, which make handling financial tasks from within Chrome very convenient (We suggest checking them out here.)