With all of the desktop software and online personal finance software choices, it can be difficult to know which program is best for you. Intuit is a leader in personal finance software, and we evaluated both the Quicken Premier and Quicken Starter software. Those software offer more than just budgeting, including investments with Premier. But Intuit also offers an online service with complementary mobile apps. This service is Mint, and it is entirely free.

Syncing to Your Banks
One of the most convenient features of Mint is that you can sync directly to your banks and credit unions. This is an option that not even all pay software offer. By using this feature, all of your bank accounts, transactions and balances transfer to Mint, including checking, savings, credit card and loan accounts. If you do not want every account to transfer, like specific savings account, you can make it inactive so it does not display or affect your budget. After you've synced your account, it automatically connects with your financial institution to regularly update transactions and balances, ensuring your account is up to date.

When transactions transfer, this personal accounting software automatically and logically categorizes them into budgets. You can then adjust those categories to your liking, and Mint will remember the payee and category in the future. You can also add tags and notes to each transaction or mark it as a duplicate so it does not count against the budget.

Creating a Budget
After you transfer or enter in all of your transactions and have them appropriately categorized, you're ready to set up a budget. Each of the active categories appears and you can add additional categories as needed. You can easily adjust the limit by clicking to increase or decrease the amount or edit the budget, setting the duration and amount and choosing if you wish the leftover amount to roll over to the next month.

Once you've established your budgets, you can view a quick overview on the main page. Each line item is color-coded: green is well within budget, yellow is approaching the limit and red means you have exceeded your budget goal. The program also provides the leftover amount for the total and for each budgeted category as well.

Mobile Apps
Smart phone apps are available for all of the most popular devices, including Apple, Android, Windows and Amazon products. When you log in to your account, you have three windows. The first is updates, which first displays any alerts or issues that should be addressed. Next you can view the most recent transactions to update to Mint. An overview of the budget and balances for recently used accounts provide a quick look at your accounts in general.

With these apps, you can not only view all of your account information but also edit and add transactions, add and adjust budget, and add additional accounts. You can also create bill reminders so you never forget an upcoming expense.

Managing Finances With Mint
When it comes to the best home finance software, Mint is right up there. And the fact that it is a free service is a huge bonus. If you do not need fancy software but still want to be able to easily manage your finances, Mint from Intuit is an excellent choice.

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