Using software to assist in keeping your finances in order is a great way to stay on track. Most financial software will allow you to keep track of income, expenses, and even your investments. Some even have the option to automatically download or connect to your financial institutions via the Internet, which can simply the process even further.
Intuit's Quicken software has been a staple for many people for years, and the 2009 edition continues to deliver the goods. Quicken allows you to easily track every aspect of your finances, from income, expenses, real estate, and your investments. As an added bonus, you can also directly connect to your bank or brokerage account through the web so that you don't have to worry about importing or manually entering data for most transactions. If you're a Turbo Tax user, you'll also enjoy the simplicity of importing your data from Quicken right into your tax return in Turbo Tax.
Microsoft Money Plus Premium makes it easy to begin planning for your future, whether it is saving for college, getting out of debt, or building your retirement nest egg. Microsoft Money Plus Premium 2009 takes investment management to a new level with enhanced features that allow you to track your investments in great detail as well as having quick access to research tools. It is important to note that Microsoft Money is being discontinued as of 2009. You can still use existing software, but there will be no more updates going forward.
Unlike Quicken or MS Money, Mvelopes is an online software tool. The real benefit to this type of system is that you can access your information from any computer that has Internet access. Mvelopes is also different in that it focuses on budgeting. Money and Quicken have a broad coverage of financial tools, but Mvelopes lacks the more advanced investing and reporting features. But if you are looking for software that can help you get that budget started and keep track of where your money goes, this is a great alternative.
If you're looking for a good free money management option, look no further than Mint.com. Mint is an entirely online application that allows you to manage and track your expenses from any computer. In addition, Mint seamlessly integrates with most existing bank accounts to easily import your data. If you're always on the go, Mint even has a mobile phone application that can help you keep tabs on your spending wherever you are.