The tired old finance software of the past has been replaced with the finance software of the present. Gone are the tricky interfaces hindered by the need to perform difficult calculations by yourself. In their place we have slick programs that are genuinely helpful when working out what you are spending your hard earned cash on.
If, like me, keeping track of finances is most important at the end of the month when money is tight, these apps will be for you. Helping keep you flush with cash from payday to payday, the following apps are just what you need.
OpenOffice has become known for its excellent work when it comes to free, open source rivals to Microsoft's Office suite and Apple's iWork products. OpenOffice Calc is no different, offering Excel level spreadsheets for free.
The main benefit of OpenOffice Calc is its versatility: the software is just as comfortable pulling in a tonne of enterprise data as it is charting your weekly food shop spend, so if your needs change, OpenOffice Calc can deliver.
While OpenOffice Calc does have plenty of high-end features, it is also accessible to anyone who has ever used Excel, as the user experience is very similar. Documents can also be exported in Excel or Numbers formats, so there will never be an incompatibility situation.
Developed by MechCAD, AceMoney Lite is a professional grade money management app that allows you to track your spending and see where your money goes, track investment performance, work with up to 150 currencies while automatically syncing their exchange rate from the Internet, and track the deadline for bills, among a myriad of useful functions.
According to MechCAD, "AceMoney Lite makes organising personal finances and home budgets a breeze", and from my experience this is certainly true. AceMoney accurately tracked my investments and where my money was going, helpfully breaking the latter down into different categories (which helpfully come bundled with the software).
AceMoney Lite is free for up to two accounts. If you need more, there is a paid-for version available on MechCAD's website.
Bargain Price Refueling
Anyone who drives a car knows that fuel is expensive, however economical you are.That's where Bargain Price Refueling comes in, offering a comparison of all your local petrol stations at the click of a button.
Collecting data from thousands of petrol stations, Bargain Price Refueling offers both numerical and graphical representations of how much each petrol station charges for the two main fuels—petrol and diesel—with legacy costs included.
If you like to get the best deal when driving, and make your money go further, Bargain Price Refueling is for you.
Designed to be used by small businesses, accountants and more advanced users, GnuCash is a powerfule account managing program designed for Windows, Linux and OS X. It has a range of different features that make it a strong contender for the go-to finance app on any platform.
With the ability to track stocks and investments, support double entry accounting and manage scheduled transactions, GnuCash works well for household finances as the interface is simple and easy to grasp. Searching for a specific payment is also made simple in GnuCash, enabling the user to search through thousands of transactions instantly.
RQ Money is billed by its developers as being one of the best financial aids out there. Built as a very light program with speed in mind, RQ Money offers the features of the high end programs with less of the clutter. Even better, it's completely portable – there's no need for installation, and it's small enough to fit on a USB stick, meaning you can use it wherever you go.
The interface is helpfully designed to be easily accessible for those who don't know the ins and outs of accounting too intricately, while also providing a full suite of features that will keep even the pros happy.
Another strength of the program is that there is no need to installhuge amounts of software just to get it to work. In fact, just unzip the downloadable folder and you're away: quick, simple and easy.
Balancing a chequebook is a long and laborious process that can take up many unnecessary hours. Luckily, Checkbook from Dataware solves this problem. Just like a physical chequebook, the user inputs their outgoing cheques into the simple interface and at the end of the month Checkbook will balance the books for you, saving hours of time and stress.
The simple interface is incredibly user friendly and the programme is designed to be far simpler than the more complex clients on the list, choosing to focus in on one issue rather than providing a solution for them all. So if you're looking for a simple solution to a specific problem, give Checkbook a try.