Complete Idiot’s Guide to Managing Your Money. Don’t be offended by the title. This plainly written book shows that anybody can learn to manage their money effectively, and is full of consumer tips, advice on mortgages, debt, mutual funds, auto loans, bank fees, credit cards, and other money-related matters. The book, written by expert financial columnist Robert K. Heady and financial writer Christine Heady, has already gone through four editions and sold millions of copies.
Buddi is designed for ease of use even if you have absolutely no financial background and are wading into the concept of budgeting for the first time. It has very simple features for tracking accounts and for generating a few personal finance reports, and it includes translations for many languages. Plug-ins are available to extend Buddi’s features for reporting, data synchronization, and importing or exporting data. Buddi will even tap you on the shoulder to let you know how your budget is coming along.
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Before you get started, AceMoney asks if you want to use the sample file that comes with the software. I recommend using it to experiment with the software to see how it works. You can also start with a new data file, but it may be easier to rename the sample file, add your own accounts, edit budget categories and make other adjustments while deleting the accounts that come with the sample file. After renaming the data file and saving it, you will need to restart AceMoney to use the new file.
If you’ve used other personal finance software, the account registers will look somewhat different with future bills showing up in the registers in a pale gray font. AceMoney supports scheduled transactions, which can be viewed in a list format or on a calendar. The bills calendar feature is a nice touch that’s not available in all desktop personal finance software. Entering Transactions: To enter a new financial transaction, click on the New Transaction button found on the left while using account registers. It brings up a window that allows you to enter the payee, the amount of the transaction, a check number and other details.
A word of caution, however: YNAB was initially designed for Mac and Windows, and then Linux users alerted the company that it also was working fine on their operating systems. Some bugs were subsequently reported. They’ve been fixed, and yes, the software will work for you, but YNAB won’t guarantee its performance. GnuCash for Linux sports a rather plain-looking interface, but it still has a good feature set, including online stock quotes and multiple currency support.