Even if you’ve never used Quicken, there is a good chance your parents did – it’s been around since 1983! Yes, you read that correctly, so I think it gets to claim the true OG budgeting software crown. For years it was practically the only option out there, but now, in 2019, it feels like there are Quicken alternatives being released weekly.
I actually think Quicken still does have a lot to offer millennials, their Debt Reduction Tool is amazing (you can read my full Quicken review here to learn more). However, you don’t get the same functions across all platforms, from mobile to desktop and then PC to Mac. And really, how can a millennial-friendly software that’s older than some of us really be?
We clearly need those alternatives.
Like always, I’ve got you covered… here are 15 Quicken alternatives for 2021:
1. Personal Capital - Best for investments and retirement planning
Even though I’m not ranking these Quicken alternatives, I’ve decided to list my favorite first. Personal Capital is tops for me for a lot of reasons, mostly how it focuses on retirement planning – really, we’re all playing the long game. This financial app takes top status for more than retirement planning though, it’s also free.
Personal Capital has a comprehensive list of money tools that let you track your spending, see and interact with your investments, check your net worth, and more. This personal finance app takes a big picture approach, and it’s easy to use, offering a clean, intuitive interface.
I use Personal Capital on a near daily basis mostly for investment tracking and retirement planning. It offers a cool asset allocation tool, analyzes your fees (so you’re not leaving money on the table), and monitors your investment performance.
All it takes to use Personal Capital is signing up for a free account, connecting your accounts, and you’re good to go. They keep it free by offering fee-based wealth management tools for high net worth individuals. If you fall into that category, you can opt-in for those services or keep using the free version.
2. QuickBooks Online - Best for side hustlers
While not everyone is going to get the most out of it, I’m adding QuickBooks Online to my list of Quicken alternatives because it’s a great way for side hustlers to track their business expenses.
In addition to managing your personal spending, QuickBooks Online will help your business by letting you create invoices, pay bills, print checks, manage client data, and more.
You can also take QuickBooks Online with you through mobile access, and they have a ton of integrations that make this a more comprehensive financial tool.
QuickBooks online starts at $20 per month (currently $10 on sale), but there are higher levels, Essentials, and Plus, that adds options for multiple users, tracking your time and project profitability, and more. Those options run $35 and $60 a month.
3. Mint - Best for the big picture
Mint has been one of the most popular Quicken alternatives since 2006. Owned by Intuit, of Turbo Tax fame, Mint has serious name recognition with a powerful budgeting platform to match.
Mint’s goal is to help you see your entire financial picture in one place, and because everything is cloud-based, you can access everything from both their desktop and mobile versions.
Mint shines with budgets and I know a lot of people who use it just for tracking their credit score, with new scores and credit alerts whenever they come in. Mint also lets you track your spending and bills, create budgets, and link your investments.
Mint is 100% free, but you will encounter some ads along the way.
4. EveryDollar - Best for Dave Ramsey fans
If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, then you will love EveryDollar. Financial guru Ramsey created this alternative to Quicken using the principles he teaches with his 7 Baby Steps. The goal is to get you out of debt and headed towards a healthy financial future by creating a better budget, eliminating your debt, and learning to save for retirement.
EveryDollar is one of a couple of these Quicken alternatives that uses a zero-based budgeting approach. If you’re unfamiliar, zero-based budgeting means you take your monthly income and subtract out all of your expenses (including debt payments) and savings goals until you’re back down to $0. The idea is that you’re finding ways to save even when you feel that it’s impossible.
EveryDollar has two options, free and Plus – Plus comes at an annual fee of $129 and now includes access to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. With the free version of EveryDollar, you will need to manually enter all of your transactions, but EveryDollar Plus will link them for you.
5. Moneydance - Best non-cloud based
If you love the look of Quicken (think old school ledger style), then Moneydance might be the Quicken alternative for you. With Moneydance, you can log your transactions manually or by automatically syncing them through any accounts you link. You can build a budget by creating spending categories and limits, monitor and track your investments, and look at your finances with their interactive graphing tool.
And despite being able to link to your accounts, MoneyDance only stores that data on your computer. Plus, for those of you who are tech savvy, you can even build your own extensions using their free Extension Developer Kit.
Moneydance gives you a free trial that feels a lot different than many of these Quicken alternatives – there’s no time limit, instead, it’s free up until you hit 100 manually entered transactions. After that it comes with a $49 one time fee, but they offer a 90-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
6. Goodbudget - Best for the envelope method
Goodbudget uses the envelope method to help you create a better budget that forces you to rely on the money you have coming in rather than using credit cards. The envelope method works by separating your expenses into budget categories that are each given their own envelope, so envelope for groceries, envelope for gas, envelope for eating out, etc.
You put cash in each envelope, and only use what’s in there. If you run out of cash in one envelope, you borrow from another. If you have money leftover in one, you can add it to your savings or debt payoff envelope.
The envelope system isn’t for everyone, but Goodbudget is one of the Quicken alternatives that teaches you how to use it with the help of technology. You simply link your accounts, track your spending, and make sure each envelope is being used as it should be.
GoodBudget lets you sync and share household budgets, it’s available as a desktop or mobile app, and has two different pricing models.
- GoodBudget Free includes 20 total envelopes, one account, two devices, and stores one year of history.
- GoodBudget Plus gives you unlimited envelopes and accounts, seven devices, seven years of history, and email support. It costs $6 per month or $50 per year.
7. YNAB - Best cult-like following
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is one of my M$M readers’ favorite budgeting apps. I’ve had readers tell me that it’s changed their lives!
M$M tip: Read my full review of YNAB to find out more about what it offers.
Like EveryDollar, YNAB is one of the Quicken alternatives that uses the zero-based budgeting method. It also runs on four principles:
- Rule 1: Give every dollar a job. You take the amount of money coming into your accounts, which you will link after signing up, and allocate every dollar until you’re back down to $0
- Rule 2: Embrace your true expenses. This is setting goals to help you with large upcoming expenses, like holiday spending, an emergency fund, etc. You set an amount you want to reach and put a certain amount of money in each category.
- Rule 3: Roll with the punches. This means flexibility and being able to move money around if you overspend in an area. Spend less on groceries than you thought, then move that over to savings.
- Rule 4: Age your money. The idea here is that you aren’t spending everything the minute it goes into your account. Ideally, they’d like you to get to the point where you are spending what you earned last month – the goal being to get out of a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
YNAB claims that you’ll save an average of $6,000 in your first year. But, it isn’t free… YNAB runs $84 per year, and they offer a 34-day free trial.
8. Banktivity - Best for Mac lovers
Banktivity is one of a few native Mac applications in this list of Quicken alternatives, so read carefully Mac lovers – Banktivity syncs to your iPhone, iPad, and even Apple Watch, meaning you can easily take this budgeting app anywhere you go.
With Banktivity you can link your accounts, track your spending, pay your bills, see your investments, and create budgets. You can also generate reports to give you a better break down of your spending in certain areas, like in specific time frames or from certain companies. You can also easily search for things with Banktivity’s “Find” feature.
It’s a one time $69.99 fee to sign up and download Banktivity’s desktop app, which then allows you to download the app across your Apple devices.
9. Dollarbird - Best for families
Dollarbird takes a calendar and collaborative approach to managing your money. That means you use Dollarbird to plan and schedule your expenses to help you plan for the future. In addition to monthly planning, with Dollarbird, you can create a 5-year plan to map out larger expenditures and financial goals.
The collaborative aspect means this is one of the Quicken alternatives that lets others in your household (spouse, family, partner) contribute to your budget. However, this option is only available in the paid version, which costs $39.99 per year.
10. Tiller - Best for spreadsheets
Tiller is one of the newer Quicken alternatives on this list, but don’t discount it for its age. It’s used in conjunction with Google Sheets (so you’ll need a Gmail account to use Tiller) and Excel, and it really does take a spreadsheet approach to budgeting. I see you spreadsheet lovers.
Beyond budgets, once you’ve signed up and linked your accounts Tiller downloads your transactions into Google sheets or Excel. Tiller also makes tax time easier with reports for annualized spending, itemized deductions, and more. They even offer tools to help you with the debt snowball method of debt payoff.
Self-employed people will love how Tiller can help you estimate your quarterly taxes, and they offer tons of customizations for any type of budgeter.
Tiller is free for students, or $79 a year (with a 30-day free trial) for the rest of us.
11. Status - Best for peer comparisons
If you’ve ever wondered how your finances compare to other people’s, Status is a free financial app and credit tracking tool that lets you see how you stack up against the national average and your peers. Status Money takes your age, income range, location, credit score range, and housing status to build peer groups that give you a more accurate comparison.
And like other Quicken alternatives on this list, Status gives you some of the money tracking and budgeting tools you need to actually become a better money manager.
Status is completely free, but you will see some ads that show you offers for ways to save and financial products that align with your situation.
12. PocketGuard - Best for knowing what’s left to spend
We’ve all been at the store, about to make a purchase, when we suddenly ask ourselves if we can actually afford to spend some extra money right now. PocketGuard is the only Quicken alternative on this list that answers that specific question.
You simply link your income, accounts, upcoming expenses, and savings goals, and then PocketGuard tells you what’s left over for extra spending. That extra is called “In My Pocket.” To trust that number, you’ll need to link everything!
They use the term “Pockets” to describe different spending and budgeting categories. Read my full PocketGuard review to learn more.
PocketGuard is available for your smartphone and takes a very millennial-friendly approach by letting you apply hashtags to different transactions to break things down into easier to read categories, like #bahamasvacation2019 to see what you spent on your epic spring break trip.
PocketGuard has two options, free and Plus. PocketGuard Plus is $3.99 per month or $34.99 when billed annually. Plus lets you track cash purchases, plan cash payments, record ATM withdrawals, and create even more Pockets.
13. MoneyWiz - Best live syncing feature
MoneyWiz is a great straightforward alternative to Quicken that helps you create a clear, easy to implement a budget.
It has powerful investment tracking tools across all world stock exchanges and investment types, from ETFs, stocks, bonds, etc. You can even track your cryptocurrencies with MoneyWiz.
What I love about MoneyWiz is its super clean and intuitive interface. There is an easy to read dashboard that lets you access reports, your billing schedule, forecasting, and they even have user friendly keyboard shortcutsg that make the whole system even more efficient.
Oh, and they even have a live syncing feature!
To get all of the MoneyWiz features, it will cost you $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, but they offer a stripped down version for free.
14. Countabout - Best for a seamless transition away from Quicken
Countabout is built to be one of the best Quicken alternatives because it supports importing data from Quicken (Mint too). Countabout also offers many of the tools and features that Quicken supports, from budgets, reporting, graphs for income and spending, recurring transactions, split transactions, investment balances, and more!
Countabout has both a desktop and mobile app and comes with a 15-day free trial. There are two subscription levels, Basic at $9.99 per month and Premium at $39.99. The platform is clean and ad free.
15. GnuCash - Best for accountants
Out of the Quicken alternatives on this list, GnuCash is the only one that uses the double-entry accounting method that many business owners use to balance their books. Double-entry accounting means that every transaction must be listed twice, debiting one account and crediting another.
This is a tried and true method that may take some getting used to, but it creates a clear picture of your finances because it helps you understand how your money moves.
GnuCash gives you many of the same functions as Quicken, like splitting transactions, reporting with graphs and charts, managing multiple accounts, and more.
The look and feel of GnuCash is a little old school, but if you’re also running a business, it’s a great, free alternative to Quicken.
My final word on Quicken Alternatives
Here’s the thing, any time you use any type of budgeting app or personal finance software, you are taking positive steps towards a better financial future. You are taking control of what’s happening right now so you can prepare for what’s next.
We’re all going to have a favorite tool out there, and it just takes trying some of them out to find what’s right for you. Maybe you use and love Quicken. But for those of you who are looking for an alternative to Quicken, there are tons of options out there. Just find something that works for you and your finances. Start now, and you’ll thank yourself later.