Want to save more money? I am sure you said yes.
After spending over a decade working for some of the best brands, I kept wondering where does all my money disappear?
I may handle several high profile clients and earn huge dollars for the companies I worked with but I realised how bad I was at managing my money. This is when I started exploring different options. I started by keeping a record of my income versus expenses on an excel sheet. This helped me to a certain extent but I wanted a more user-friendly way of generating my financial data. I wished for a report which would show me a graph stating all the heads with the nature of the expense populated. I wished I have instant access to my financial information without the need for logging in to my computer every time I want one. I wanted my financial information to always remain private and secure. I was also looking for advanced options which will enable automatic syncing with my bank accounts.
One day, while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon some really nice applications which seemed liked the ones I was after. Before deciding on buying one of those applications, I decided to explore the suitability of the same.
These are the applications I was considering purchasing
- Quicken 2017 for Mac (also available for Windows).
- Banktivity 5.
- MoneyWiz 3.
- YNAB (You Need A Budget).
So, let’s dive in and individually explore the above applications.
Quicken comes from Intuit Inc. – a trusted name in money management for over a decade in business. One advantage you may associate with Quicken is that it is available for both platforms – Windows and Mac.
Quicken offers almost all the benefits that a finance app must provide – multiple bank accounts and credit card accounts, reporting etc. With the latest upgrade (Quicken 2017), the following features are newly introduced:
- An all-new mobile application (available for iPhone, iPad and Android).
- An all-new user interface.
- Pay bills through the app.
- A 60-day money back guarantee.
- Maintain your personal and business records separately.
- Create your own invoice.
- Track rental income, lease terms, deposits etc.
- Syncing with your bank (your information is unreadable as it is imported directly from your bank).
- Your financial information is protected by 128-bit and 256-bit encryption.
- Shows statistics on how your investments are performing against the market.
- Imports and categorises transactions and put them in one place.
Formerly known as iBank 5, Banktivity 5 is yet another application which comes from a trusted company “IGG Software” with over 13 years in the business.
Unlike Quicken, Banktivity 5 is available only for Mac. This is an amazing application virtually offering every feature available on Quicken but further enhances it.
- Banktivity 5 integrates with Face-time camera enabling attaching of a visual record towards your purchase.
- Allows entry of split transactions, enabling you to split the mode of payment while recording your transaction.
- Enables you to go into the desired dates and generates a graphical chart showing your Income and Expenses history.
- Transfers tour Quicken data to Banktivity 5 when you decide to switch over. Even Quicken for Windows data is imported effortlessly.
- Multiple windows – assist you when comparing reports.
- Comes with a 30-day trial and a 90-day guarantee.
Banktivity 5 is available for $59.99.
If I had to name one finance app which provides amazing ease of use, then I would definitely recommend MoneyWiz 3.
Boasting similar features like Banktivity 5, MoneyWiz 3 is one of the easiest app to use. MoneyWiz had a recent upgrade (version 3) which has the following features:
- A completely new design.
- GPS integration for payees (not available with Quicken and Banktivity).
- Income Budgets.
- Background sync (also available for Online Banking).
- Smart notifications – notifies you when a specific payment arrives, the budget is low or exhausts.
- Ability to set financial year.
- Multi-line transactions – enabling expenses and income in the same transaction.
- Touch-ID (also available on Banktivity) on supporting devices.
- Pro-features on iOS and more.
MoneyWiz 3 is available for Windows ($24.99), Mac ($24.99), iOS ($4.99) and Android ($4.99).
What I like about YNAB is the way they have designed the website. And, what I love about them is that they offer a 12-month free subscription for students (in addition to the 34-day trial applicable to everyone)! That is too generous, isn’t it? I reckon YNAB wants students to cultivate a habit of managing their finances so as to facilitate them in being money-savvy.
In my opinion, YNAB has some basic and some advanced features and is more targeted towards personal finance. Your opinion may differ. Hence I encourage you to have a look at their website.
YNAB is available for $5 a month or $50 a year.
I like the simplicity of MoneyWiz 3 and YNAB. If you prefer ease of use and basic financial management and are a student, then I suggest signing up for YNAB. However, do bear in mind that YNAB is a subscription-model (though priced economically).
If you want ease of use with advanced features, then MoneyWiz 3 is the app. Also, MoneyWiz 3 is a one-time purchase model. So you may want to consider MoneyWiz 3 over YNAB.
However, if you want an all rounder application to cater to all your financial, budgeting, reporting, taxing and other needs, then only Quicken and Banktivity 5 are best suited for you. Please note that Quicken for Mac is more user-friendly than Banktivity 5 while there is a slight learning curve for Banktivity 5. Having said that, after spending just about an hour with Banktivity, you would not regret your decision.
After exploring the features and benefits of all the apps above, I decided to purchase Banktivity 5 for the following reasons:
- At the time of making the purchase, Quicken for Mac was waiting for an upgrade from a long time.
- Reviews suggest that Banktivity offers updates at regular intervals, meaning that any software or usability issues are taken very seriously by the developers.
- The reporting function in Banktivity 5 appears better than Quicken for Mac.
I am happily using Banktivity 5 on my MacBook. Do tell me your experience.
Which one is preferable to the other? Have I missed an important feature? What do you think?