Everything You Need to Know About Financial Software
Frequently Asked Questions
What is personal finance software?
Personal finance software is computerized systems that consumers use at home to control and manage their financial records and transactions. It consists of apps and programs that can help you master the basics of financial management. You can choose different software for different goals. For example, some software is best for creating budgeting habits, and others aid in filing taxes.
How does personal finance software work?
To begin using personal finance software, you often have to input detailed personal information, specifically regarding your financial habits. Then, in most cases, you will have to connect the software to your financial institution, investment accounts, credits cards, etc. That way, you will be prepared to set up your financial goals. Many businesses use personal finance software to keep track of their accounts and expenses associated with the entire team of employees.
How much does personal finance software cost?
The cost of personal finance software will vary, but it typically costs between $5.97 and $14.99 a month, or you can usually pay an annual fee at a discounted rate. Most starter programs from software companies, for example, cost about $35.99 a year. These programs are best for individuals who want to connect their financial accounts to track income and expenses, monthly budgets, bills, reports, and calendars.
How do you keep track of expenses?
Typically, if you have a budget, you would track your expenses regularly. Through a budget, you can categorize your spending and see where your money is going. By knowing how much you spend each month, you’ll be able to identify ways to cut down if need be. There are many ways to keep track of expenses, including by hand, but one of the best ways is through an online expense tracker.
Discretionary income refers to the amount of income left over after accounting for taxes and essential day-to-day expenses. It's distinct from disposable income, which is simply the amount of income left over after taxes are taken out.
"TXF" stands for "tax exchange format," a file extension for data files that contain tax-related information. Most income tax preparation software will import this type of file, as do accounting software, spreadsheet programs, and accounting programs.
A credit score is a number that evaluates and rates your creditworthiness based on your credit history. Lenders use credit scores to decide whether to approve someone for a loan or credit card and to determine what interest rate to charge.
Net worth is the value of everything you own, meaning your financial and non-financial assets, minus your total outstanding liabilities (your debts). Your net worth can act as an indicator of your financial health, and there are several ways to measure this useful metric.
A savings account is a basic type of bank account that allows you to deposit money, keep it safe, and withdraw funds, all while earning interest. Savings accounts offered by most banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are FDIC insured and typically pay interest on your deposits. Some savings accounts offer higher interest rates than others.
A financial plan creates a timeline for you to follow for your financial goals. It helps you focus the way you manage your money and your time on reaching your financial goals, so that you can do the things you want to in your life. It includes planning for things like budgeting, retirement planning, saving, insurance, and getting out of debt.
Online Bill Pay
Online bill pay is a digital banking or payment service that lets you pay bills over the web from a bank account—often at no extra cost. It can simplify your finances by eliminating the need to write out checks or count and distribute paper currency.
Mint is a popular free online personal finance application from Intuit that offers a variety of easy-to-use financial planning and tracking tools. The online app is complemented by the free Mint mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
A budget sheet, typically created in an Excel spreadsheet, is a record of your expenses that acts as a tool for managing your finances from month to month. It consists of your fixed monthly expenses, variable monthly expenses, and monthly income records, including money you earn from your job, child support, or side hustle. You then input this information into a spreadsheet software program, which can be used as a budgeting guide.