Sent to you by Vihang Shah via Google Reader:
Whether you've got an investment portfolio the size of Texas or you're just trying to keep a balanced checkbook, nothing's more useful than a well made personal finance application. The hard part is finding the right tool to fit your needs. On Tuesday we asked you to share your favorite personal finance tools, and today we're back with the five most popular answers. Hit the jump for a look at the five best personal finance applications, then cast your vote for your favorite app of the bunch.
Mint (Web-based)Mint is a web-based personal finance software that's made a splash over the last year because of its simple setup and easy to use budgeting tools. The service, which is completely free to use, automatically retrieves your latest financial data from your online financial institutions, then analyzes and integrates it with their service. Mint's many budgeting tools, alerts, and charts help you manage your spending with ease, and it's also just added investments. It can't do the most complex of budgeting, but Mint's a favorite for people who can't wrap their head around more feature-rich personal finance tools. (Read more)
Excel (Windows/Mac)It may not be made exclusively for managing your budget, but Microsoft Excel is a DIY budgeter and spreadsheet-lover's dream come true. The biggest plus to Excel: If you're willing to put in the effort, it can slice and dice your finances in practically any way you dream up. The downside to that is that you have to have the Excel chops to get the most out of it, though you can also check out one of our previously mentioned Excel budget spreadsheets. Excel can't automatically import your financial statements, but some users see this as a plus because it helps them keep a better mental picture of the money they've spent if they have to manually record it. Excel will set you back $230, Windows and Mac only.
Quicken (Windows/Mac)First released in 1983, Quicken has long been a leader in personal finance software for the desktop, and earlier this year they launched Quicken Online to compete with some of their web-based counterparts. Quicken can handle both simple and complex budgets without batting an eye, and—as opposed to some of its web-based counterparts—it provides tools to reconcile your spending rather than just trusting your bank and credit card statements outright. Desktop versions of Quicken range in price from $30 to $100, while Quicken Online costs $2.99 per month. Quicken is available on both Windows and Mac.
Yodlee (Web-based)While Mint gets most of the hype among web-based personal finance apps, web application Yodlee is actually the back-end that runs most of Mint (i.e., when you're using Mint, it's much like you're using Yodlee in newer clothes). That means it automatically connects to and updates information from your financial institutions for you, and provides similar features for alerts and reminders that you don't get from desktop software (except when it's running). Yodlee is free to use.
Microsoft Money (Windows)Launched in 1991, Microsoft Money was Redmond's answer to Quicken (ignoring Excel, that is). Though MS Money is currently falling behind in the web arena, that doesn't seem to be a problem for die-hard Money users, many of whom prefer their financial information stays firmly rooted on their desktop. While some Microsoft Money lovers admit that the software can be obtuse, they also promise that—once you learn the ins and outs of Money—you won't be disappointed. Microsoft Money comes in many versions ranging from $20 to $60, Windows only.
Now that you've seen the best as voted on by your peers, it's time to pick your favorite:
This week's honorable mentions go out to web-based tool Mvelopes and the free, cross-platform desktop application GnuCash. Whether your favorite made the Hive Five or not, let's hear more about why you love it in the comments.