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Quicken has been around for a long time, and it is still among the best-known budgeting software available. That being said, it may not be the best fit for everyone. In fact, you may have heard a lot about Quicken lately and why you should use alternatives instead.
You might already have Quicken, or maybe you don’t have any idea what it is (or perhaps it’s a little bit of both). Even if you have Quicken downloaded, or a dusty old CD-Rom, the chances are high that you haven’t set it up or looked at it recently. You’re not alone!
Some people think Quicken is only for accountants or business owners. However, that is a misunderstanding. Although it’s a good software to help professionals conduct business, it also helps anybody who wants to manage their money better.
When you think about managing finances at home, many people think of Quicken before anything else. That’s because it was one of the first budgeting programs to really take hold. But as you probably know, there are Quicken alternatives.
Alternatives to Quicken
Since Quicken was created, the product has coasted on brand recognition, but technology has changed. Now, a whole world of alternatives is available that do the same things Quicken does (and even more!).
In fact, you can run your entire budget right on your smartphone. With the app store, you have access to dozens of budgeting apps, and some of them are even free. If you are looking for an easier way to take control of your budget and manage household income and expenses, then read through the options available below.
I can help you understand more about Quicken and what it does so you can start on the right foot. However, if you use the program and are unsatisfied or just want to try out some Quicken alternatives, I’ll highlight some of the best, including my favorite free apps.
What Is Quicken?
First of all, what are we comparing everything to? Quicken is the number one budgeting solution in terms of history and span of influence. It is reliable and trusted and was a pioneering budgeting software that remains a top contender among personal finance apps today.
Quicken is best known as a tool used by business owners and accountants, and with good reason. However, anyone can use quicken to manage their household budgets as well.
Quicken used to be a product of Intuit – the publisher that also owns Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Mint. Back in 2016, Intuit sold Quicken to H.I.G.
Lately, Mint has emerged as one of the better-known apps to go toe-to-toe with Quicken. The major distinction between these two is that quicken is a subscription-based program that you download onto your computer, while Mint is free, cloud-based, and requires no downloads.
What Does Quicken Do?
Quicken is great for giving you an overall view of your financial status. You can see your net worth at a glance. Plus, you can manage your finances within the app using a wide range of tools to support your financial needs.
There are different levels of Quicken that you can subscribe to, but the most basic version allows you to see all of your financial accounts in one place and budget your money. It’s also supported on mobile devices and the web.
Heftier versions include more organizational features like expense categories and tracking of tax deductions.
What’s Wrong With Using Quicken?
There is nothing necessarily wrong with Quicken! In fact, I even use Quicken to manage our money and track our spending. However, you’ll want to be aware of a few things about Quicken if you want to get your budget under control.
Quicken is the software you have to pay for, and it’s a high price for the 30+ years of experience the program brings to the table. It’s important to realize that your purchase is not a one-and-done deal.
Back in the day, you could buy the software and decide whether to buy the newest version each year. However, that business model is long gone.
Quicken is now a subscription service, which is great on one hand because it updates automatically, and you don’t have to worry as much about getting a buggy version and having to replace it. On the other hand, you pay for the product in perpetuity until you no longer want to use it.
What Are The Best Alternatives To Quicken?
The natural alternatives to compare with Quicken are Quickbooks and Mint because these two apps are Intuit products running against their predecessor. Quickbooks especially has an obvious connection to Quicken as an alternative product.
Mint was a competing product that Intuit acquired a few years before opting to sell Quicken. The distinction between these two cloud-based entities is that Quickbooks is best used for accounting while Mint is best for budgeting. This may seem like a distinction without a difference, but both programs highlight very different features.
Want to hear more? I have an entire article devoted to Quicken vs Mint!
Let’s jump in and start talking about these other Quicken alternatives!
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a favorite financial app for many people of varying levels of wealth.
It provides a clear overview of your financial situation, including your net worth, retirement planning, and analysis tools that even include the ability to spot and avoid hidden fees among your financial accounts.
Personal Capital is especially good for managing your portfolios, but the dashboard makes all accounting and budgeting accessible.
Dave Ramsey’s app for budgeting is a no-frills critical approach to budgeting that lets users get on track and stay on track with their personal spending and investing. The focus of EveryDollar is almost exclusively to budget your money, and it does a good job of that aim.
EveryDollar relies on users to input and track their data rather than cloud-based integration. However, what it lacks in financial analysis, it makes up for in streamlined, no-nonsense budgeting software.
This app is designed to keep you involved in your budget, so you develop good habits and manage money with intent.
A lot of people get this one confused with Mint, but they are quite different. Here’s the breakdown of EveryDollar vs Mint.
Albert is an incredible example among Quicken alternatives that not many people have heard of, particularly when compared to apps like Mint or Personal Capital. However, it’s one worth considering! The seamless integration of banking features blurs the lines between banking apps and budgeting apps.
You can handle everything through Albert’s services which leverage technology and real financial experts called “geniuses.” When you have Albert, you can bank online as usual but instantly spread deposits across multiple accounts for saving and investing.
Albert features also include money-saving opportunities based on your spending habits, and even insurance policies.
No, it doesn’t stand for Your New Account Balance. However, “You Need a Budget” is one of the favorite Quicken alternatives among users looking to get a better handle on their financial situation.
Like the EveryDollar app, it aims to put budgeting power in your hands. However, it also gives you the tools necessary to stay within your budget while also helping you learn good solid budgeting skills.
YNAB API is a big selling point, promising big changes to your app interface that could potentially include interconnectivity to online shopping accounts and even smart appliances in your home.
Currently, you can use YNAB on your phone, tablet, and even Amazon Alexa.
What is a budgeting app good for? Moneydance has it all. The app allows you to manage your accounts, not just look at them. Through this single app, you can bank and pay your bills.
It also includes budgeting and investing tools. Moneydance gives you a graphic analysis of your finances and includes features that track transactions and remind you of future payments.
Moneydance even handles multiple currencies and automatically downloads current prices and computations for stock investments.
Free Quicken Alternatives
So far, all of the Quicken alternatives we have looked at are premium apps or require a fee for the primary app features. However, you don’t need to pay a premium for good budgeting software if you don’t need to have so much access to financial assistance.
These are three of the top free apps for budgeting and accounting:
If you use the envelope system for budgeting, you will love its modernization in the free app Goodbudget. With Goodbudget, you can pay off debt, save money for big expenses, sync your budget with others in your household, and more.
It all starts with creating “envelopes” for where your money goes and sharing your budget across account devices, so everybody in the household is always on the same page.
Now we come full circle to Intuit’s newest version of accounting/budgeting software. Mint is free to use, and it gives a good overview of your financial accounts. You can sync them all so you can see them in one place and manage your budget as well as your investments.
Zipbooks is a free app that has multiple functions. You can use it for accounting, but it also offers invoicing and billing which is handy for those who are self-employed or have a side hustle.
If you are a visual person, you may especially appreciate the graphs and other breakdowns this Quicken alternative offers.
So, there you have it! 8 Quicken alternatives to try if you are ready to spruce up your accounting system. Don’t be afraid to try a few out and see which one works for you.