Desktop software is increasingly being replaced by online platforms, which provide a place where you can log on without being at your home computer and without downloading software. You can create an online profile and keep everything online.
Buxfer is one such browser-based program that makes it easy to upload your bank accounts, set up a budget, and track your income and expenses. Its interface is clean, simple and intuitive so you can easily complete your home accounting tasks, which is why recommend Buxfer for personal finance software.
Buxfer provides all of the connectivity options we looked for in home finance software. You can sync directly to your financial institutions, including credit card, checking, savings, cash, loan and investment accounts. You can also link to your PayPal account.
When you sync your accounts, all of your balances and transactions update in the system and are automatically categorized. You can also edit any information uploaded by changing the item name, tag name, category and keywords it should attach to.
This personal accounting software offers mobile apps for both Apple and Android products, and you can also access the website from your mobile browser. With the apps, you can manage your budget; adjust your budget; and monitor, add, and edit transitions. You don't need any additional software or applications to sync your information between your devices. (Some services require you to have a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox.) However, if you have Dropbox, you can opt to have your automatic backups saved there daily.
One of the most important features for financial tracking software is budgeting, which is simple to complete with this financial software. You can set an overall spending limit per week, month or year, and adjust the budget for each individual tag. You simply type the tag, the amount and time period, and you can choose to have the budget roll over to the next month or period.
The budget screen gives an overview of your balance and limits, plus you can see the total as well as the average dollar amount of your expenses. Each individual budget is also displayed and color-coded with the amount spent and the amount left over in the budget. When you're well below budget, it appears green, and then turns orange as you approach your limit. If you exceed your budget, it appears red to let you know you've gone over.
A unique feature offered by Buxfer is its shared expense tracking. With this feature, you can send money to family and friends to settle informal bills. This might be useful if you share expenses, like rent or utilities, with others.
This financial planning software has fewer reporting options than many other services we reviewed, but its reports are easy to generate and read. The reporting tab offers reports for your expenses, income and net worth.
The expense and income reports are simple pie charts with a color-coded key that explains the total and the percent of the total expenses for each tag. You can view a line chart with income versus expenses for a quick view as well. The net worth report provides a forecast of your expenses. This service doesn't have any tools for setting and tracking goals, however.
There isn't an option to export any of these reports. However, you can save a backup of your transactions, choosing the account, tags and date range. You can choose from a PDF, CSV, HTML, OFX or QIF format. As mentioned above, you can sync to your Dropbox account to have these reports automatically saved as backups each day.
While this software allows you to add and track investment accounts, it doesn't offer many advanced investment tools. You can view a portfolio overview, which displays your balance, income, expenses and transfers. You can upload transactions or sync to certain institutions. You can manually add trades as well to keep your portfolio up to date.
Buxfer's online platform is extremely easy to use. The intuitive layout allows you to quickly set up your account, create a budget and begin managing your finances. While its reports and investment options are lacking compared to other services on our lineup, its budgeting and management features are solid, making it one of the best personal finance software options available.