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Manage Money Online or on Your Computer?

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Desktop Personal Finance Software: Pros and Cons
Personal finance software helps you to manage money faster.

Money Management Software

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Trying to decide between online personal finance applications and desktop personal finance software? Here's help with discovering which is right for you, starting with desktop software.

Desktop financial software runs on your computer's hard drive and is purchased in a box or as a download. In either case, you need to install the software on your computer.

Windows Personal Finance Software | Mac Personal Finance Software

Desktop Personal Finance Pros

  • As long as your computer is running, you can access desktop financial software.

  • You maintain ultimate control over the security of financial data if you use passwords, antivirus software and a firewall.

  • Compared to online software, desktop financial software usually offers more financial management features.

  • If you have a well-equipped computer (fast processor, maximum amount of RAM), desktop financial software should run responsively.

Desktop Personal Finance Cons

  • If you forget to back up data regularly and your hard drive fails, recovering the data will be very expensive, if recovery is possible at all.

  • Most desktop financial software installs without a hitch, but no two systems are alike due to differences in hardware, settings and software, so installation issues can occur.

  • It is more difficult to share financial reports between computers, and sharing data entry tasks may be impossible.

  • If you have a budget computer or an older computer, new personal finance software may run frustratingly slow. Fully-featured desktop financial software like Quicken, Moneydance or other Windows desktop software run slower on older or budget computers.

  • There are fewer free software options compared to online money management software.

  • Desktop personal finance software is usually more expensive than web-based alternatives.

Next: Online Personal Finance Software.

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