Best Software for Savings Goals?

Seems like there have been similar threads to this topic in the past, but I’m looking for new budgeting software at the moment and thought my notes on fiddling around with different options might be useful to others.
I currently use Mint and it does a good job of tracking and categorizing my transactions, but I want to “level up” my budgeting and become a little more proactive. Specifically I’d like something with more powerful and intuitive savings goals or ‘sinking funds’ built in, to give me a better optic of how much I have saved specifically for different purposes, rather than just a pile of cash. I use a Mac computer and an Android phone and would like to sync data between the two.
(I am aware that YNAB sounds like exactly what I want, but I’m having a hard time stomaching the idea of $84/year for it so I’m exploring cheaper options first.)
Please chime in with suggestions, or with pros/cons of software or templates you’ve tried!


Starting out with a free trial of Moneydance - it’s got some real nice features but I don’t think it’s going to be my final pick.
I like:

  • available on a bunch of platforms
  • imports several different data formats
  • one-time fee, no subscription
  • can track investments (haven’t personally tried this feature though)
  • fully customizable categories (I can’t believe Mint doesn’t have this, I hate having a pile of default categories I can’t delete)
  • I only have to handle USD, but it seems Moneydance has some nice built-in options for working with multiple currencies
  • lots and lots of useful reporting functions, available either as charts or lovely graphs.

    look at this nice color-coded graph of my expense categories across this year! (legend & pie chart present but not shown). that’s what I’m talking about :clap:

I don’t like:

  • tracking specific savings goals seems difficult to handle. some users have workarounds involving sub-savings accounts with virtual transactions representing different amounts of money put toward a goal, but it all seems more involved than necessary
  • so many features that the interface is hard to navigate

I use Excel and store the workbook in google drive so I can get to it from any device.

  • Pros: it’ll do anything I want, even if I figure out I want something 10-20 years in, plus longevity (have been using for 10-20 years and expect I’ll still be able to in 10-20 more), no third-party access to my accounts
  • Possible cons: have to set it up exactly how you like it
  • Definite con: manual-ish entry

Oh, and a minor pro of the con: sometimes don’t buy things because it will be a pain to enter the transaction ( this is only an advantage if you do literal manual entry instead of downloading the csv file from online accounts).


What do you need for the goals and sinking funds that’s beyond what Mint can do? I have two reasons I still have a Mint account at all and one is actually the goals section (the other is the auto-calc of net worth). Is it that you need to split an account between multiple goals? Or is it something else?

I also use spreadsheets located on Google Drive, for many of the same reasons as rural: It does ANYTHING I want, I don’t worry about account security, it’s cheap and easy and free. The manual data entry is a potential con, but I actually mostly find it helpful because it makes me go through my spending frequently and really interact with it. It’s a pleasant meditative process for me, not a chore.

I believe there is some program out there that lets you automatically hook up your accounts to dump data into a spreadsheet – @lhamo recommended this to me at some point I think, though I haven’t tried it and can’t remember the name. So if you’re thinking about spreadsheets but don’t want to deal with manual data entry, there’s options there.

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I haven’t used it but the software is Tiller – I think they have a free 30-day trial period at Met one of the founders at Camp Mustache in 2016 and he seemed very cool. If I ever decide Mint and its glitches are too frustrating, I’ll probably subscribe to it.


I have my own spreadsheets as well. I have pages with long term projections, monthly record keeping, tax planning, tracking each rental property, etc. The thing is a behemoth but extremely useful to me.


Yep, that’s it - I want to track progress towards multiple goals using one savings account. Easiest way to do that might just be to keep a spreadsheet and track it manually? I just enjoy playing around with different options.

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Yeah, that’s definitely a frustration for me with Mint, too.

Although tbh – I just recently started using two different savings accounts for different financial goals (one for my e-fund and one for my “save up to buy whatever the fuck I want fund”, currently get filled up for a bike). It’s been a nice mental break between those two things.


I started using Tiller in January this year, mainly because I wanted to do more analyses of multiple accounts, and spreadsheets are a more direct & convenient starting point vs Mint. If I get bored or nudged enough I can share a blank version of Tiller’s default output, plus my monthly analysis sheet that builds on that.

But it’s not particularly helpful at the task @cube originally mentioned, which is divvying money up into sinking funds. YNAB is great for that, but the value of $85/year depends. I wasn’t terribly disciplined in my spending before and have definitely saved more than that from using the app. There’s also a $12/month option, billed monthly, which is more expensive but also more flexible.


YNAB is the best for savings goals + sinking funds, hands down, however the price tag really does make me shudder (I am grandfathered in under the $45/year rate, and I will pay that, no question - I save far more than that from using YNAB - $85…I would still pay it, but more begrudingly).

Tiller I think is a good option as well.