Finances Money Apps

On my iPad i have been using a Numbers spreadsheet to watch spending. This is not for traditional bugeting or taxes or reminders to pay bills but for gathering info. Info so we can ask the question is this where I want our money to go.

I’ve installed Mint and after getting rid of a zillion notification, it works. Goes into our credit union and grabs basic info, cards and the like. Sorts expenses into categories… Seems to save time over manual entry.

We are leery of giving access to accounts… But convenience rules.

Are there other apps we should look at?

YNAB - used it for years, it’s fantastic.


I’ll second YNAB. It takes a little while to set up, but once it’s rolling you only need a couple of minutes a day to manage it. You can use it without giving it access to your accounts. My small local bank doesn’t interface well with any apps, so I do all the YNAB stuff by hand. I actually prefer it that way so that I have a firm grasp on what’s happening in the accounts.


Yes. We’ve been using YNAB for several years. In the past, we tried Quicken, Moneywell, and few others. The power of YNAB is the simplicity of the app combined with the philosophy of money management.


I’m another YNABer, but I will warn you that YNAB isn’t just an app, it’s a budget system. If you try to do your budget in a non-YNABy way, it will end in frustration. Definitely do the free trial and attend one of their live online trainings. I would have been really lost without the live sessions.

EDIT: I just want to say that YNAB is not a cult. (But it’s kind of a cult.)


Banktivity formerly iBank

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Personally I have never found a better bit of finance software then Microsoft money, and have spent the last 8 years trying to find something to replace it.

I think this is an area really needing someone to have a killer app, because most of the apps out there that I have tried are pretty poor quality, or have features that cause me to not trust them.

In a few weeks some IP clauses in my current contract expire, and software engineers always have side projects going :smirk:

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Another YNABer here as well. I used Quicken for many years and switched to Microsoft Money for a short stint as well. It took me a little while to get use to the methodology behind it. After I realized I did not need to track every little thing, loans with P&I etc. it became easy to use. I just let the banks track all of that stuff with me making sure my payments post. You make all your spending decisions based on your budget categories. Its cool when you can set a goal to pay something a year out and track and allocate a few bucks every month to that category and watch it grow till its time to pay it when it becomes due with no surprises. As an example, I track all my yearly vehicle registrations allocating 6 or 7 bucks a month. YNAB makes it easy once you get the hang of it. I’ll never go back to an accounts based system. Like it was mentioned, they provide free online classes as well.


I’m checking out MoneyWiz since it is included in Setapp. I will be checking out the YNAB training; I watched the screencasts on SCO but, while good at describing the interface, ended up a little confused about the methodology.

Banktivity. Has stood the test of time for me.


YNAB has made me financially confident

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It really only makes sense when you think about it using their methods. I was totally confused until I went to one of their trainings. I’m not sure if they still say this, but I remember them describing YNAB as a “personal finance education company that sells software to keep the lights on” or something like that. I think it’s an apt description. The software is good, but it’s the education you’re really paying for.

I’d also recommend the community forum.

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I will add my voice to the YNAB chorus. As others have said, it’s really a budgeting system that happens to be implemented in the form of an app. It’s definitely not a generic finance app that could be used for a lot of different purposes.

That said, if a system like this is what you need, it’s a godsend. I’ve been using it for about three years now and it’s had a huge, positive impact on the state of my finances.


For budgeting, I have used and still like MoneyWell. It has a comparable approach to YNAB (buckets), and I prefer its UI to that from YNAB. It has one developer, its development is limited strictly to maintenance updates (no new features), and it has dropped its user support forum.

Should I ever consider to switch over to finance tracking from a budgeting approach, I would likely consider Banktivity as the top choice. I found most other finance tracking apps to be a bit “cluttered” or less intuitive.

Also, I imagine that you will hate to have purchased a Mac app only to find that its iOS companion app is not at all to your liking. Another reason I preferred MoneyWell to YNAB was the design of its iPhone + iPad companions. So as you test drive different apps, remember to test drive both platforms as a set.



YNAB has changed our lives.


I’ll add my vote for Banktivity. It is an exceedingly well-crafted piece of software, their tech support is bar none, and the program is very intuitive. I have tried lots of others and was on Quicken for nearly 20 years. I even used an open source product called GNU Cash for a long time. If, like me, you still like to reconcile your accounts with your bank statements, then Banktivity is ideal. It particularly excels when it comes to editing previously reconciled accounts. In Quicken if you had anything wrong on an earlier statement, you had to unwind–and then re-do–the entire stack. In Banktivity, you can arbitrarily edit any statement.


I use an expense tracking app (phone) but it’s manual. The problem for me using applications that pull spending from credit cards or bank accounts , aside from giving access to those sources, are that we use a mix of traditional and some non-traditional ways of spending -like using credit cards to buy pre-paid cards to pay expenses (credit card points) , and that using the apps like Mint, etc. does not give me real-time views (week/month/yard) into spending. I record day to day expenses as they happen and spread some expenses (like insurance) monthly (even though it might get paid differently). I categorize the expense as I enter it (recurring expenses are automatically categorized) and I can export the data to csv, import into Excel and analyze further. I can then use this for taxes. I visually scan credit card bills to see whether I’ve missed anything worth entering.

I’ve used a heap of different finance apps over the years, including several mentioned in this thread. I’ve yet to find one I’m really happy with. Most recently I’m in the process of abandoning Banktivity because the process of downloading transactions from the bank is consistently unreliable. It just makes too many mistakes, and the process of correcting them is too time consuming, and it never seems to learn. I’ve been looking at MoneyWiz, because I already subscribe to SetApp, but I’m finding that it is no better. It’s worse, in fact, because it never reliably identifies a transfer between one bank account and another, but instead treats one half as expense, and the other as income. It’s frustrating because I’m sure like everyone else I have a set of regular transactions with the same payees, yet the software consistently gets them wrong. I’d like to be able to establish a set of rules that the import process follows. Of course, back when I was using GnuCash or MoneyDancer I used to do all the entry manually, but life’s getting too short for that…

As much as I can remember, MoneyWell does well with downloading bank transactions. I believe it was for the reason that you mention that I decided not to switch to Banktivity, and that was over a year ago or more.

I’ve since given up on MoneyWell for the fact that it is essentially abandoned except for occasional bug fix postings.


After completing my 2017 tax return tonight (due on 10/15 - a whole day early), I am really irritated that I still have to run Quicken Home & Business for Windows. With so many great Apple developers out there, why can’t anyone create an “on par” Mac program?

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