Tech Time: Software – Personal Finance

Great personal finance software can transform our lives! Hmm, ok may, maybe that is an overstatement, but personal finance software can help us track our income, spending, savings and debts providing insights to help us make smart decisions about our money.

Above all, personal finance software should be user friendly with intuitive features. Software should also have built-in calculators and tools to help plan retirement, large purchases, taxes and debt management. Reports, charts and graphs features provide powerful analysis tools for informed decision making.

Unfortunately, the best available commercially available doesn’t offer Jamaicans some of the greatest advantages such as integrated online banking and tax preparation – thankfully they are still robust enough to be practical. Quicken is by far, considered to be the best personal management software available. It costs roughly US$40.00. In a perfect world, in addition to tracking income and expenses, Quicken syncs seamlessly with your bank accounts for electronic bill payments and account reconciliation and has the most up-to-date tax information to facilitate the preparation of tax returns.

Using the cloud, Quicken allows you to move from your PC to your mobile phone without missing a beat. Quicken has a dedicated iPhone app, sorry Blackberry and Android users.
If the US$40 price tag is too much, offers a free option. Mint is completely cloud based and is available for Android in addition to iPhone, but for Jamaicans, features the same non-bank/tax integration.

Blackberry users hell bent on mobile personal finance can check out Ascendo Money and Splash Money with desktop support for about US$40.00 each.

Windows 7 Tip: Jump lists are a new feature that give you the option to view a list recently accessed files by applications, even when the application isn’t open, by right-clicking on the application’s icon in the task bar.

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O'Neil Jason Charles Edwards