When managing your money, there are tons of free tools and apps to pick from. Two of the biggest names out there are Personal Capital and Quicken, and they’re both excellent money management tools to help us save more and spend less.
But when it comes right down to it, is one better than the other?
Follow us as we go head-to-head with Personal Capital vs. Quicken and see which of these money management platform is right for you.
(Editor’s Note: If Mint is more your style when it comes to money, we’ve also compared Personal Capital vs. Mint.)
Personal Capital: A Quick Overview
If you’re looking to improve your financial situation, Personal Capital has you covered. It’s one of the best investment apps available and has tools to track your expenses to keep you on budget, too.
The software automatically tracks and categorizes spending, giving you a crystal-clear view of your financial health. With over 1.9 million people using the free financial management services, it’s one of the best alternatives to Quicken you’ll find.
Personal Capital’s Key Features
Track your cash flow – Keeping tabs on your deposits and expenses is tedious. With Personal Capital, you can create a budget and track your spending to manage your monthly finances.
See your spending habits – By gathering all your transactions in one central place, you’ll see where your money is going each month. Tracking your spending habits and knowing how your money is spent is the key to making changes and managing your finances better.
Retirement planner – We’re all looking forward to the day we retire, and this is one of the most advanced retirement calculators available. After you link your accounts, Personal Capital will calculate your projected income, investments, and distributions from Social Security.
Know your net worth – Net worth isn’t limited to billionaires and celebrities. Seeing your net worth paints a picture of your overall financial situation. Personal Capital automatically updates your accounts, including loans and investments, giving you a weekly update of your net worth.
Investment checkup – Helping you analyze your investment strategy, Personal Capital’s Investment Checkup tool will analyze your portfolio. Based on your goals and risk tolerance, you’ll get suggestions for how to improve financial performance.
Analyze fees – If you’re not paying close attention, you could be losing money without even knowing it. Most investment accounts charge trade and administrative costs, and some banks even have fees for checking and savings accounts. Personal Capital analyzes your accounts to find fees to show you where you could be wasting money.
Personal Capital: Fees to Use It
Not only is Personal Capital an awesome software for managing your money, but it’s also entirely free to use. That means you get access to all the key features listed above for free.
As we mention in our full Personal Capital review, you do have the option of using their fee-based wealth management services to tap into the full potential of your investments. With that said, there’s no obligation to do so. The retirement planner, investment checkup tools, budgeting tools, and spending tracker are all still completely free.
If you have a substantial amount of investments, their wealth management services might be a good option because it gives you access to dedicated advisors.
It comes with one price and no hidden costs, and here’s what the fees look like:
- Up to $1 million: 0.89%
- $1 to $3 million: 0.79%
- $3 to $5 million: 0.69%
- $5 to $10 million: 0.59%
- Over $10 million: 0.49%
You can use Personal Capital’s fee-based services if it makes sense for you, but there’s no requirement if it doesn’t fit your situation. You still get free access to their financial tools.
Quicken: An Overview
Quicken is best known as a budgeting software platform. It’s available for both Windows and Mac, and has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, too. Like Personal Capital, you can auto-import your transactions and categorize them into the right accounts.
The one key difference is that Quicken comes at a cost. As a subscription-based software, you have to pay to use it.
Quicken’s Key Features
Track spending – With the auto-import feature, you’ll see at a glance where all your money goes, and you can search transactions by amount, type of expense, or payee. It’ll also project and forecast your cash flows so you’ll know how much you have left to spend after you pay your bills.
Make a budget – Quicken will scan your transaction history and create a budget based on your spending patterns. Your transactions are automatically categorized, saving you time from having to do it yourself, and you can see how much you have left in each category when you’re on-the-go with Quicken Mobile.
View and pay bills – Keeping track of bills is key to avoiding late fees, and the Quicken dashboard displays all your bills in one common area. You can store and view statements in the software, set up a schedule to pay bills at a later date, and use your own bank’s bill pay from within Quicken.
Retirement planning – You can connect to your financial accounts to know your net worth and see where you stand with your investments. The retirement planner tracks your spending to understand its impact on your future financial goals.
Investment tracking – By seeing all your investments together, you can get a clear picture of your portfolio and understand your market returns. You can analyze your accounts, see historical data, and create stock watch lists to track potential investment opportunities.
Property management – If you own or want to own a rental, Quicken can track property value, loans, tenant lists, income, and expenses in one place. Plus, the dashboard shows you outstanding and paid rents to easily track the status of tenant payments.
Manage a small business – Easily keep your business and personal transactions separate, even if they’re in the same account. And you can track your assets and liabilities for a comprehensive look at your balance sheet. Quicken also has reports on business income, expenses, and deductions to make tax time a breeze.
Fees to Use It
Quicken changed their pricing structure starting in 2019. Instead of buying the software outright, using it is now contingent on paying a yearly subscription. It comes with a lot of features packed into four different plans.
The Starter plan lets you see all your accounts in one place. You can also make a budget and manage your bills across their desktop software, web platform, and mobile app.
Their most popular option is Deluxe which adds customization options to your budget. It also features the ability to track and manage your debt and create savings goals.
If you have investments and want to keep a closer eye on them, the Premier plan is your best option. It comes with free online bill payment and priority access to customer support.
To track personal and business transactions in one platform, Quicken’s Home & Business plan is for you. You can separate and categorize business and personal expenses (even if they’re from the same account), email custom invoices, and log business tax deductions.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: What You Get with Both
- Budget tools – To stay on top of your finances, you need a budget first. You get the ability to create a budget and track expenses to meet your financial goals with both programs.
- Mobile app – Personal Capital and Quicken have apps for iOS and Android to easily manage your money on the go.
- Your money at a glance – Seeing your financial picture in one convenient place helps you make better money decisions. The dashboard in both platforms gives you all the information you need without having to open different screens or use multiple programs.
- Investment and retirement planning – Personal Capital is best known for the ability to manage wealth and track investments, and you get access to those tools for free. With Quicken, you’ll need the paid Premier plan to use those features.
Personal Capital vs Quicken: Best Features of Each
When comparing Personal Capital to Quicken, you can see they both give you tools to budget like a pro and keep close track of your finances.
Personal Capital: Advanced Investment Tools
With advanced tools at your fingertips, Personal Capital simplifies your finances to optimize investment planning. Adding all of your accounts from basic checking, savings, and CDs to money market, 401(k), and IRAs, Personal Capital organizes your finances to give you a complete overview of your assets.
The free Investment Checkup tool analyzes your investments based on size, style, and sector to help you balance your portfolio. You can also tap into their fee-based wealth management service for dedicated financial advisors to guide your investment strategies.
But even if you don’t sign up for their fee-based wealth management services, Personal Capital is a great platform for budgeting, retirement planning, and investing – and these key features are all free.
Quicken: Budgeting and Business Management
Quicken is an excellent paid option for tracking your spending and managing your business and rental properties. The ability to track tenant payments and property values for your rentals is a great feature, too. Plus, you can sort personal and business expenses to easily maximize tax deductions.
For basic budgeting, you can see your spending patterns and upcoming bills that are due from your dashboard. Using your bank’s online bill pay from within Quicken allows you to set up a schedule to pay bills in the future so you’ll never miss a payment.
Personal Capital vs. Quicken: The Verdict
When it comes to Personal Capital vs. Quicken, the best part is that you don’t have to pick one or the other. Since each of them excel in different areas, you can use them together for better money management.
Personal Capital’s investment and retirement planning tools are top-notch. Creating a budget and using their spending tracker is great, too. But with Quicken, you get budgeting tools plus access to online bill pay from within the program.
With Quicken’s advanced ability to pay bills online, manage your rental properties and organize business expenses, you’ll keep your budget on track and simplify your taxes. When you add in the incredible investment analyzer and net worth tracker of Personal Capital, you’ll get the best of both worlds by using them together.