Which? has tested nine personal finance software packages to find the best ones to help you manage your money – no matter how much or how little you have.

What is personal finance software?

Personal finance software helps you keep track of your money and make smarter financial choices.

The programmes allow you to monitor your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and investment balances in one place, as well as log your income and outgoings – giving you an in-depth picture of your position and helping you set goals for the future.

We put nine personal finance software packages to the test, to find out which are best at helping you manage your money.

Best personal finance software

While some packages are free to use, some will charge you anywhere up to £60 a year. So, which ones are worth trying?

We tested nine of the leading personal finance software packages available to UK users – You Need A BudgetMoneydanceAceMoneyBuxferBanktivityBankTreeHome AccountzGnuCash and HomeBank.

In our latest tests, we awarded three Best Buys, while one of the packages was very close to being awarded a Don’t Buy.

Our table below shows how these complex tools were rated on features that are important to you, including overall performance, customer support and the mobile app.

You can find a full review of each package by clicking on the links – including how easy it is to input data, generate reports and set reminders, plus safety features and support.

Software Price Last tested Version
tested
Which?
test score
Performance
Support
Mobile
app
Investment
tracking

 

You Need a Budget

£67.87 a year

More info
May 2018 YNAB 5 /May/2018 77% 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 No

 

Buxfer

Basic – free

More info
May 2018 18/05/2018 72% 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 Yes

 

Moneydance

£49.99 May 2019 2019.3 (1880) 71% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 Yes
Banktree £35 May 2019 3.19.5 67% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 Yes
Home Accountz £39

More info
May 2017 17.01.31 67% 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 3 out of 5 No
Banktivity £56.50

More info
May 2019 7.2.2 (44) 66% 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 Yes
AceMoney £32.28

More info
May 2017 4.36.2.0 56% 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 Yes
GnuCash Free May 2019 3.6 56% 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 2 out of 5 Yes
HomeBank Free May 2019 5.2.6 48% 3 out of 5 2 out of 5 1 out of 5 No

The latest tests were run in June 2019. Test results for Home Accountz and AceMoney are unchanged from April/May 2017 and the results for Buxfer and You Need A Budget are unchanged from May 2018, as the software has not been updated.

Sterling equivalent prices are based on rates correct as of 26 July 2019.

Why use personal finance software?

Personal finance software allows you to see where your money is going on a monthly or yearly basis, and use this information to set goals.

This can be a powerful tool if, for example, you want to see how long it will take to save up for a car, or where you could cut back on spending.

The software allows you to set reminders for upcoming payments, analyse incomings and outgoings with charts or graphs, and set short- and long-term budgets.

You can use these tools for a more sophisticated analysis of your financial position, instead of managing your budget manually, with lots of spreadsheets on the go.

Sharing data with personal finance software

Some personal finance software packages may state in marketing materials that they can import data from your bank accounts. In practice, however, very few banks outside the United States are able to connect directly to these packages.

If you do find a way to link your UK bank account to your package, you may be taking a risk. The software may ask for your login details to collect or ‘screen scrape’ your transaction data – essentially posing as you to access your accounts.

While these programs usually offer their own security guarantees, you may not have recourse to your bank’s fraud protection if any money goes missing or your details are used improperly.

None of the personal finance software packages we tested is set up for the Open Banking scheme, which allows you to share current account data through a secure connection via application programming interfaces (APIs).

The programmes we tested allow you manually input information, which is generally a safer option than giving a firm access to your accounts.

Find out more: Open banking: sharing your financial data explained

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