Although online banking has made it possible for all of us to gain far better insights into our finances than used to be possible, there's still very much a place for money management software. There are various commercial offerings to choose from, but Money Manager Ex is a free, open source and cross-platform app that makes it easy to track spending, plan budget, monitor assets and generally manage your money.
The program is easy enough to use that it is suitable for everyday personal finance management, but it is also powerful enough to meet the needs of small businesses. You will have to set aside some time to manually create the database in which Money Manager Ex will store all of your financial information, but this is very much a guided process; it's a little on the time-consuming side, but it's certainly not difficult. If you've already been using another financial program, or you've been using a spreadsheet to track your finances, you can speed up the process of getting Money Manager Ex setup by simply importing this data directly into the app.
You just need to provide information about all of your banks accounts and so on, enter details of your bills and regular payments, and then keep the database up to date with your incomings and outgoings from moving forward. And if you're concerned about security, the SQLite data base is locked down with AES encryption.
As long as you keep up with the ongoing maintenance and data entry relating to your spending and income, Money Manager Ex can give you an at-a-glance overview of the state of your finances. There are numerous reporting options available in the app as well as asset management and the ability to track stocks and shares. Budgeting options help you to make the most of your money and save up for bigger expenditure such as holidays or a new car.
There's support for multiple currencies and multiple languages, so this is great for anyone who travels, or for companies and individuals who receive payments from other countries. The app is available for macOS, Windows and Linux on the desktop, as well as Android – but sadly iOS users miss out.
With scope for very detailed financial recording, Money Manager Ex offers not only great budgeting options, but also cashflow forecasts. Just about the only thing that counts against the software is the fact that it is not possible to link it directly to your bank accounts to download transactions, meaning managing your money is a very hands-on process – not that, ultimately, that is a terrible thing.