Wesabe Shuts Down

What Are the Alternatives?

For those of you unaware of the news, Wesabe, an online personal finance information manager that I quite liked because of their strict security methods, is shutting down on July 31 – at least in terms of their personal finance management tools, as their discussion forums will remain open.

In the past, I’ve recommended Wesabe as an alternative to Mint for those (like me) who are very concerned about privacy issues and are hesitant to share their account information and personal data with yet another resource.

What alternatives are there to Wesabe?

In building this list of personal finance data aggregation tools, I’ve kept three principles in mind.

First, the tool does not require any personal information from you whatsoever.

I’m only interested in tools that maintain strict privacy.

Second, the tool makes it possible to see all of your personal finance information in one place.

This is really the point of this exercise, after all.

Third, the tool is well-supported enough that you can find assistance for your problems online.

In other words, if you’re trying to do something with the program and run into trouble, you can seek help fairly easily.

Here are the five best tools I’ve found that do this:

Microsoft Excel

is what I use to manage my personal finance data. It’s simply an incredibly powerful spreadsheet program, capable of generating all kinds of views of my data and whatever charts and graphs I can invent. It makes importing the data pretty easy via copying and pasting or importing CSV files.

There are two big drawbacks to Excel, though. One, to really get the best parts of the software, you have to climb a fairly steep learning curve. Two, it’s costly. There’s no way around it – Excel is expensive. However, there is a ton of support for Excel online – virtually any question you come up with has an answer that can easily be found. Find out more about Excel at http://www.microsoft.com/office/excel.

Quicken

‘s inclusion here might surprise people, since it’s usually known for automatic retrieval of account data. However, if you choose to manually enter the data yourself – or import it from downloaded CSV files from your financial institutions – Quicken can operate quite well without having any of your account information.

Quicken is easily the most full-featured option when considering just personal finance data, but it’s also costly, as retail versions of Quicken sell for a variety of prices depending on your exact needs. You can find out more at http://www.quicken.com/.

OpenOffice

is very similar to Excel in many ways – it’s a full featured spreadsheet program. Even better, it’s absolutely free, as it’s open source software. Of course, that’s not to say it’s an absolutely perfect alternative to Excel, either. There are some bugs in the software that crop up just often enough to drive me crazy and the interface isn’t as slick.

However, it’s free. This takes away one of the big drawbacks of Excel – the price – and replaces it with a number of smaller ones – a less intuitive interface and some software bugs. I used this for a long time, but eventually migrated back to Excel when bugs frustrated me one time too many. However, one can’t argue with the price and recent reviews have indicated that it’s more stable than in the past. You can find out more at http://www.openoffice.org/.

PearBudget

captures many of the features of Quicken in an online service that doesn’t grab your account information, either. In fact, if there’s a successor to the functionality of Wesabe, it’s probably PearBudget.

It’s important to remember, though, that PearBudget pretty much does what it says. It helps you create a budget and track your spending within that budget. It does not help you track investments or income growth. However, if budget management is what you need, PearBudget is probably the best tool for you. You can use the paid online version at http://www.pearbudget.com or try out a free spreadsheet version at http://www.pearbudget.com/spreadsheet.

An old fashioned ledger

seems archaic, but it works. I have a lot of readers that simply use a printed ledger to record every dollar coming in and every dollar going out of their home.

A paper ledger is really straightforward to use – just write in the expense or source of income, the amount of that expense or income, and carry forward your new balance. It simply works and it maintains as much privacy as you wish. Frugal Dad has a great article on starting a paper household ledger – it really does work.

What solutions do you use for keeping track of your finances without sharing your account information? (Yes, yes, I know there are a lot of great tools that require account data, but that’s not the focus today.)

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  1. Molly says:

    gNumeric. It’s similar to Open Office. But both of them bug me just enough because I know excel so much better that I wouldn’t choose them if I had access to excel at home.

  2. prasanth says:

    moneywell is a great app for the mac that you can create a budget and envelope system with awesome support

  3. Annie Jones says:

    I use Budget by Snowmint Creative Solutions. It’s just the basic envelope system (or a take on the old-fashioned ledger system) that resides on my hard drive. It’s inexpensive, includes lifetime free upgrades, great support, great customer service. Nothing fancy, but it works very well for me.

  4. Anna says:

    I use YNAB and have nothing but praise for it. It’s a bit pricey going in, but for me it paid for itself in allowing me to easily track my spending and budget in a way that didn’t frustrate me and have me give up.

  5. chacha1 says:

    I use a ledger to create my annual spending plan, and Quickbooks to enter actual transaction data. There are two home-based businesses plus a wage-earning job in our household. By putting the data in Quickbooks I can classify various expenses on the fly, so that all I have to do at tax time is print a Profit/Loss, read off the totals, and fill in the blanks on the 1040, Schedule C, etc.

  6. Ryan says:

    I recommend MoneyWell on the Mac as a lighter weight, easier to user alternative to Quicken.

  7. Mark says:

    Another nod for Budget by Snowmint. I’ve been using it for a couple of years with success. There isn’t a lot of traffic on the forums, but every question I’ve posted has had a response from the developer within 1-2 days. Email support is also great. I’ve communicated with him a few times and helped to identify bugs that then get resolved and pushed out in an update quickly.

    If you’re like me and the Envelope budget style really clicks in your brain, it’s a great piece of software.

  8. Jennifer Soucy says:

    I’m fond of YNAB, but it’s a quirky system that I think people either love or hate.

  9. Adam says:

    My vote goes to You Need a Budget. The fact that I don’t have to enter personal data is one of the selling points, not to mention the great budgeting features.

  10. “The tool does not require any personal information from you whatsoever. I’m only interested in tools that maintain strict privacy.”

    These aren’t really mutually exclusive. A tool like Mint can ask for information from you and still maintain your privacy. They only violate your privacy if they then disseminate that information.

    I’m not defending Mint necessarily (although I’ve been using it for over a year now and love it FYI), but I just wanted to point out that I don’t think your logic is sound on this point.

    Companies (Brick and mortar and online) ask for information all the time and still maintain your privacy. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I’m guessing since you’re a blogger you probably have a paypal account that’s linked to a bank account. Does the fact that Paypal asked for your banking information mean that they violated your privacy?

  11. jgonzales says:

    I use Mint and they just added a feature that you can manually add transactions. I’m not sure if you can delete your banking info (I haven’t tried) but the feature is there, so it may be possible to use Mint the same way as the others.

  12. Arts says:

    I have been totally bummed over Wesabe shutting down since yesterday, when I first saw the notice. Wesabe really was the best tool there that didn’t ask for your personal information and provided an excellent GUI, tagging, bulk uploads, data visualization. I used it as a monthly true-up to my balances, to see if my cash flow projections in Excel (just a combination of balance + salary – budgeted expenses – one-off expenses) was tracking correctly. I checked out PearBudget just now, and it doesn’t look like it does everything Wesabe did. I’m really bummed that I might have to do this tagging business on Excel going forward. :(

  13. AnneKD says:

    We use KMyMoney for most of our household money tracking. My husband is a software developer, and prefers to grab free stuff off the net and help develop it to his specs for his preferred operating systems. Of course he donates any code he writes for the software.

    I said ‘most of our household money tracking’- we agreed to let me handle the grocery budget. I use Excel to track it, as well as keeping track of weekly menus, grocery lists, and the money spent as well as how much I ‘save’ with coupons and sales. I’m still working to get it to a point where I really like my templates, but it’s a start. Keeping the menus on there makes me see how many times I repeat meals, plus how the menu changes over the seasons.

  14. Arts says:

    @#5-jgonzales – Wow, really?! I absolutely respect Mint for the great visualizations but will not give them (or Yodlee) my passwords. I don’t mind if they use my bank info for statistics and such, but the ongoing tracking will be perfect. I’ll give Mint another try.

  15. Jeremy Davis says:

    I used to use Clear Checkbook. I grew tired of manually entering all of my data and went the automatic route a la Mint.

    The app was very good at what it did with a nice rich design.

    For the security conscious I would recommend giving them a try.

  16. Nate says:

    I use mvelopes. Yes it is pricey compared to many free solutions but I am willing to pay for features I want if they are difference in me actually using the system consistently. My requirements:

    1.Automatic transaction importing. No, not import a qxf file from your online bank (like YNAB). True automatic importing from your accounts, like with Mint. It’s little steps like that which cause resistance to building the habit. My first experience with Mint doing that was the ‘aha’ moment that made me realized I NEEDED this feature and could never go back to manual key entry or cumbersome saving and importing of statements.

    2. No info on local pc (unlike quicken desktop, completely web based). I want as much info in the cloud as possible so that I can access it anytime, anywhere and I’m NOT dependent on ONE workstation having a particular program installed and also to make sure I know where the data file is. Less installed programs, local data files, and settings on local computer is so much easier to manage with less to think about.

    3. Envelope budgeting. I found that it is a huge psychological difference to me vs budgeting by expense tracking. Envelope budgeting plans where your money WILL GO whereas tracking (mint, quicken, etc) just tells you where it went. I always broke my rules with budget tracking, but actually have FUN sticking to my rules with envelope budgeting. Also, for the FIRST time ever I’m able to quantify those intermittent expenses that are so hard to account for when first building a budget. Mvelopes/YNAB really help eliminate that particular fog of war.

    Mvelopes had all the features I wanted and is the first budget system I’ve stuck to and made a real difference in my spending habits. I researched at least a dozen programs looking for that same combination because I didn’t want to pay. But in the end, the small monthly fee is worth every penny considering I actually enjoy using my money system now.

  17. Arts says:

    @#5-jgonzales – Nope. False alarm. They let you add cash transactions as a debit against your cash withdrawal. That way you know what you spent the cash on. But you still can’t get around actually providing your bank user id and password.

  18. Kevin F says:

    Gnucash!

    If you’re will to spend the time to understand double entry accounting, gnucash is the way to go.

    It’s free open source software too.

  19. Camille says:

    Hubby and I use envelopes and have recently put our debit cards on “ice” (not literally but they’re tucked in a drawer). We are far from being diligent enough to record each and every expenditure. Baby steps though. Our envelopes are simple enough that it forces us to think twice before spending and when the money’s gone…it’s really gone. If we happen to have money left at the end of the month, it goes into a jar to be spent on something worth saving some coin for (to be determined at a later date).

  20. steve says:

    I use Budget Calendar from mishell.ca. You have to enter transactions manually but it’s very fast once you get it set up. No security worries there. The best part is the calendar portion: it’s easy to see where your money goes every day and let’s me see the “timing” of bills to keep an arbitrary balance in my account. There’s also a graph that projects the balance in real time up to 12 months out. Want that new TV? See what happens to your balance in a year if you buy it! This program has really changed the way I look at and use my money.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Don’t want to nitpick, but Open Office is not free because it is open source… It is open source AND free… and a great alternative.

  22. Jones says:

    I use gnucash. I’ve toyed with spreadsheets, mint, and a few others, but I’ve really come to love gnucash for its double-entry accounting. It took me a few days to really understand the point of it, but now I can’t imagine using anything that didn’t enforce double-entry transactions.

  23. Natalie says:

    I use Pearbudget – just wanted to add that they are very active on Twitter/email, and will answer any questions or suggestions that anyone has for them. The customer service/support side of things really makes their site worth the $30 a year. It’s the best investment I’ve made in our budget. And it’s free for the first month as well.

    (I’d use a spreadsheet, but I’m really terrible with them. I needed something straightforward!)

  24. Elmak says:

    I use Ledger. It’s a unix program (can be compiled for other OSes) that reads data from a simple text file. You enter the transactions in ledger format in the file and the commandline program balances things out, makes sure things are right, and does reports. Works beautifully for me.

    http://wiki.github.com/jwiegley/ledger/

  25. Enjoy Birth says:

    I was a BIG Quicken user, but last year I switched to YNAB. Which I am loving. They just came out with an iPhone app which helps me keep track of things while I am out and about. I blogged about it here.
    http://enjoybirth.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/ynab-you-need-a-budget-2/

  26. http://www.moneyStrands.com is a free web-based alternative. Its a good option because it allows you to create manual accounts, so you can preserve your your old Wesabe data by exporting it into a CSV file and importing it into moneyStrands.

  27. MarkD335 says:

    I gave Wesabe a try for several months and was very disappointed. Functions always seemed to be in beta and changing, and I found the entire interface rather difficult. I finally gave up and switched to Quicken Online, which I like very much, altho I think it is in the process of being morphed into Mint by Intuit. I pay everything I can by credit card and these transactions are easily tracked, but remaining cash and check transactions are rather time consuming to enter. I’m primarily concerned with our family and household expenses, which I’m pull into a spreadsheet from Quicken. This is working, but the time involved in compiling the non-credit card income and expenses, along with payroll deductions, is taking more time each month than I thought.

  28. darryl says:

    I use gnucash (http://gnucash.org). It’s not as polished as say quicken but it has all the features I need to track my spending and do some cash flow reporting.

    And it’s “free”

  29. andi says:

    I agree with Adam, I think You Need a Budget is spot on. Like PearBudget, it doesn’t track investments, but you can keep track of your savings manually within the program. It doesn’t grab any of your data, but you are able to import your statements into the program to double-check your manual entries (much like rectifying a check register), it’s simple and easy to use, and the support for the program is amazing — there are very active forums for the product, and the creator of the program is easy to reach as well.

  30. Jeff says:

    I use Moneydance. (http://www.moneydance.com/) I replaced Quicken on the mac with Moneydance and it’s been great. It is highly flexible, even handles things like sub accounts.

    It doesn’t have a lot of the automation and reporting that Quicken does, but it does an excellent job of helping manage your money and investments.

  31. We may not have hit the top 5 list, but we have developed a nifty personal finance product on MoneyObedience.com. It gives feedback in plain English that targets users who are not very comfortable with spreadsheets, tables, charts, etc. It also fulfills the 3 requirements Trent lists. (1) No personal information required. (2) Covers most areas of personal finance from budgeting to retirement to financial goals and to debt. (3) There is a link to Contact Us that allows you to get personal help with the system easily.

  32. Chris says:

    Entering your personal data in a website like Mint really is no more risky than entering into 5/3.com or Chase.com. Mint holds themselves to the same standards and encrypts similarly. I understand that identity theft is a real and prevalent issue, but the percentage is so small it really isn’t worth the hassle to worry about. That would be like driving down the road worrying about getting in a wreck with a drunk driver. Sure, it could happen, but the odds are low and it doesn’t stop you from driving. I would argue that logging into Mint each day is a good way to catch identity theft much quicker and easier than not, simply because you will instantly see the fraudulent activity and get it taken care of before it gets out of hand. If you are worried about sharing your personal information and identity theft, don’t use any online banking or for that matter, snail mail, email, facebook, or linkedin.

  33. Dan Sully says:

    I highly recommend MoneyWell for Mac. It focuses on envelope/bucket budgeting, not on shiny features & charts that are useless.

    http://nothirst.com/moneywell/

    A small developer that is very responsive with a great community.

  34. Kris says:

    I use Cha-Ching on my iPhone. Allows me to record transactions as they happen, set budget categories, etc. Password protected for security. There’s also a desktop version that it syncs to, but I haven’t bothered with that yet. If you use a Mac, it integrates pretty seamlessly with a lot of other apps (like creating To Do calendar items for paying bills, etc).

  35. Jeff says:

    I use clearcheckbook.com which allows you to put in all your transactions without putting in any account information. Plus it has tons of great features.

  36. Ernest S. says:

    +1 on You Need a Budget (YNAB). It has really changed the way that I manage my finances and budget. Plus, the amount of information and support offered by the owner is awesome.

  37. Ryan says:

    I still don’t understand the security concerns with Mint. Dozens of other websites and servers already have everyone’s personal information.

    What’s one more?

    I would be much more worried about someone stealing something sensitive from my mailbox.

    The idea that there are countless “hackers” out there trying to break into the database of a bank or Mint is laughable. Makes for a good episode of NCIS, but isn’t based in reality. Phishing schemes are what people should really be worried about.

    In 2010, manually inputting data from different banks and brokerage firms just seems like a huge waste of time. Computer geeks, like Trent and myself from time to time, are fine with Excel, but the general public just won’t do it. If the choices are doing nothing or using Mint, most people will choose Mint everytime.

  38. vbr404 says:

    YNAB. It has an innovative way of budgeting that I can actually keep using month after month. I’ve tried the old Pearbudget spreadsheet that they had before they went into the cloud, but I just couldn’t get into their budgeting system after a year – the spreadsheet ended up not being up to date. With YNAB it’s very easy to see where I am going with my budget and I’m actually motivated to keep it up-to-date.

  39. Jasper says:

    I use gnucash it may have its flaws but for basic accounting it works good enough.

  40. marta says:

    What about Number (iWork)? Any Mac users here who can give some input? I have taken a quick glance at the program and I was thinking of acquiring it.

    I use Excel for my spreadsheets at the moment but if Numbers is less time-consuming, I will do the switch.

  41. will says:

    GnuCash

    standard double-entry accounting, open-source (meaning: free) and available for Windows and Linux.. probably Mac too, not sure.

    Open source software is where it’s at; especially if your trying to be frugal.

  42. aj says:

    I use clearcheckbook.com — it’s an online checkbook register and it doesn’t require personal information. It does charts/graphs and has mobile apps for the iPhone, Android, and Palm Web OS should you need it on the go. It’s all free too.

  43. Grace says:

    You can try http://www.buxfer.com, i’ve been using it for over two years now. They have great graphs, they can alert you when you reach your budget and even calculate your balance projections in the future. Plus you can import and export your transactions in csv, or quicken format without giving it personal info.

  44. Ben says:

    I’m with @Ryan.

    Chances are your bank probably has much of this information on line on their servers and they could get hacked just as Mint could be.

    I, along with many many others users, have been using Mint without having my data compromised.

    You have a great blog and I have learned a lot but have always found it curious that you are so particular about this issue considering.

  45. Matt says:

    Mint uses the same encryption level as banks use themselves. If you are comfortable using online banking or shop online at all, than you should have no problem with Mint. It’s easy, saves a boatload of time and effort, and is probably more accurate than all but the most diligent ledger keeper. It just added a goal feature which allows you to link a certain account to a savings goal among many other things. If more people used Mint, their personal finanaces would be in much better shape, and at no realistic cost to security.

  46. Marci says:

    I use a program that I believe was recommended by you at one time, or at least advertised on the site: Personal Finances Pro.

    It is not an online service so the security issues are less of a concern. It is a very affordable piece of software and the learning curve is not too arduous. It is a tremendously helpful tool for organizing one’s financial life. I would highly recommend it: http://www.financessoftware.com

  47. Luke says:

    There is also http://neobudget.com, an online envelope-based budget.

  48. anthonynp says:

    I would like to also recommend You Need a Budget (YNAB). I went from Quicken to Mint and have finally settled on YNAB. In fact, I’ve enjoyed using it so much that I’m now giving it out as gifts to family members! ;)

  49. eva says:

    Actually, the big problem I have with Mint is, like other packaged software programs, it is not customizable. For instance, you cannot manually add an account–if you keep a cash account, or if your bank is not supported, there is no way to track these expenses *at the account level.* You can manually enter transactions, but that’s not the same.

    With Excel, you can do anything you want up to your technical capabilities.

  50. GC says:

    Mint is cool but it stopped supporting my credit union when they improved their security features.
    I’m not leaving my credit union. . .

  51. Jon says:

    @Ryan

    “The idea that there are countless “hackers” out there trying to break into the database of a bank or Mint is laughable. Makes for a good episode of NCIS, but isn’t based in reality. Phishing schemes are what people should really be worried about.”

    As someone who works at a financial institution, I can tell you that phishing is by far the #1 thing banks have to worry about. Why waste time trying to hack an application when users are more than willing to just give you their logon information.

    However, I think the point that Trent often makes is about minimizing your risk. Yes, your bank has your information, but they key is to keep the number of people who do to a minimum. I think that is part of the reason he prefers to “push” his electronic bill payments, not have them “pulled”.

  52. Amanda says:

    mvelopes is great, but costs money….it might be worth it for some folks

  53. Fin says:

    We use clearcheckbook.com You can use it for free, however, we loved the program so much that we decided to go ahead and pay the subscription cost for a couple extra features.

    We use the spending limits to set up our budget like an envelope system. There are multiple ways to enter info into the program on the go from your phone as well as several apps.

    The only drawback we’ve seen on it is it doesn’t have a feature for sinking funds.

  54. vi says:

    What about GnuCash (http://gnucash.org/)? Have you tried? I remember using it a few years ago but I did not have the discipline to keep using it. What do people think of it?

  55. Andrew says:

    I find buxfer to be the best, never need account info although it is an option.

  56. I’m a user of both Excel and OpenOffice for my finances.

    Lately I’ve been flirting with “Google Spreadsheets“, as long as you would have internet access, you have access to your finances.

    The only part I might be afraid of is the security aspect…

  57. kyle5434 says:

    I’m happily using YNAB for bugeting and keeping track of accounts. I originally used their basic spreadsheet version, but a few months ago upgraded to their Adobe Air application.

  58. kyle5434 says:

    I’m happily using YNAB for budgeting and keeping track of accounts. I originally used their basic spreadsheet version, but a few months ago upgraded to their Adobe Air application.

  59. Gal @ Equally Happy says:

    Hey Trent, quick note. Mint’s security policy is just fine. The odds of you having your personal information stolen from them is about the same as you having your information stolen directly from your bank. If you’re against online financial information in general, I can understand that, but don’t single out Mint.

    Honestly, as someone who works in eCommerce, you’re much more vulnerable buying stuff from small etailers than you are using Mint.

    Have a good 4th of July weekend Trent, hope you get some great family time :)

  60. Kari says:

    I use Mint and LOVE it! I don’t personally feel like I am at risk by putting in a little bit of personal information and feel like the payoff is there 10-fold. I’ve tried other ways to track my accounts and spending, but there is nothing like seeing all my money in one place.

  61. Marjorie says:

    I ended my Mint.com experiment after it did not sync the transactions for my primary account for a month. I decided I’m more on the stick with my budgeting if I’m watching/entering the transactions myself. I’ve been test driving a new envelope budgeting beta website and associated android app at http://www.eebacanhelp.com. I also use Google spreadsheets.

  62. KimK says:

    #9 marta – I used a spreadsheet in Numbers (iwork) for a very long time. It’s really no different just preference of Excel vs. Numbers. If you’re more comfortable with Numbers use that.

    Although I loved the fully customizable features of Numbers/Excel I realized that I missed the quickness of being able to do reports very easily. I had various “sheets/tabs” to keep each bank account separate. So when it was time to try to figure out what I spent in a particular category, I had to create a new sheet and dump all the information from the month(s) that I wanted to see. I’ve now switched to YNAB. It was the best thing that I found that I liked for a Mac for my needs. Many options are out there and depending on what you really want from a personal finance software program is what would fit your needs.

  63. Ellery says:

    Thanks to the above commenter who mentioned Buxfer. It’s exactly what I was looking for! I’m so excited to have found a site that meets my requirements (allows import of statements, has web and mobile interface, good tagging system, and free!).

  64. If you’re looking for an app that’s built around budgeting, you might try Easy Envelope Budget Aid, or EEBA for short.

    EEBA has a website, a mobile website and an Android app that makes it super-easy to check your where you are in your budget (supports weekly, monthly, semi-monthly and bi-weekly budgeters) and record transactions at point of sale. For those who are familiar with the envelope budgeting method, EEBA basically allows you to carry your virtual “envelopes” with you–so you don’t worry about carrying all that cash. It syncs everything automatically between multiple phones and the website; and the app can be used with or without a cell signal.

    We’ve been highlighted by Google and featured by Verizon as a great app for grads to keep track of a budget. But we think EEBA’s pretty much good for lots of people.

    If you like auto-transaction importing, EEBA’s probably not for you (but try it, you just might change your mind–tracking in real-time really gives you much better control over your finances)

    No personal information required at all, over 20,000 registered users at last count.

    Website is at https://www.eebacanhelp.com. Give us a try!

  65. Daniel says:

    @marta, since switching to Mac earlier this year, I’ve used Numbers as a replacement for Excel and it works great. It cannot (to my knowledge) do things like PivotTable or arrays that Excel can, but for basic personal financial management it is working well.

  66. jen says:

    GnuCash is an open source program and I’m thinking of trying in the wake of the Wesabe shutdown.

    I’ve heard good things!

  67. jen says:

    also there is word around the wesabe.com ‘groups’ that there might be an offline desktop application in development???

  68. Justin says:

    There’s a lot of choices actually. GreenSherpa and Mvelopes look nice. I signed up for both to try out.

    GreenSherpa lets me import my data which I like. Let ya know what happens!

    http://www.greensherpa.com

  69. Landon says:

    I use both OpenOffice and the Pearbudget spreadsheet.

    I have my own budgeting system where I only need to keep track of one number when managing my spending cash. That’s where OpenOffice comes in.

    I use PearBudget to get a better grasp of what I’m spending across different categories. I like to set a monthly spending limit for each category. If I exceed this monthly limit, I “penalize” myself by removing the different from my spending cash.

  70. AnnJo says:

    I’ve used Quicken since about 1988, before it offered downloads, so I got used to entering things manually.

    I’ve chosen to continue manual data entry for several reasons:

    1) the privacy issue – even though I believe the risk is small;

    2) I don’t have to purchase a new version of Quicken so often (the download capability is what they stop supporting after a while) – I’m currently using Quicken 2004 and since I don’t download, didn’t have to replace it last year when they quit supporting downloads and probably won’t have to replace it for several years more.

    3) With many transactions memorized, it takes very little time – data entry and reconciling accounts takes about an hour a month including several bank, brokerage and credit accounts, and

    4) I feel better informed than if I’d just downloaded everything without looking at it closely.

    You can use Quicken without knowing anything about accounting, but taking advantage of all of Quicken’s capabilities requires a little knowledge of basic accounting and setting up your accounts, loans and categories correctly. Once it’s done, your reports will really mean something, and will allow you to easily handle tax prep also. I’ve been very happy with it. And if you’re not purchasing a new version every year, but only every 7-10 years, it’s very inexpensive.

  71. vbr404 says:

    Why is it that my comments never show up?

    I use YNAB for my budgeting and it’s the only system that I’ve kept using so far. I used the Pearbudget spreadsheet in the past but never managed to stick with it.

  72. Jennifer H. says:

    I use OpenOffice spreadsheet for budgeting (each month has a tab), and GnuCash for recording transactions. I like GnuCash because I have virtual subaccounts — envelopes — for my checking and savings accounts.
    I am curious — what functionality does Excel have that OpenOffice does not? I haven’t used Excel in years, so I have no idea what I’m missing out on. :)

  73. Lou says:

    There actually is an alternative to the high cost of Excel.

    College Student bookstores sell the student version of MicroSoft Office (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) for about a third the price of the package in software stores or on-line. My version for Mac cost $125 and it had THREE licenses in it.

    That is, you could sell the remaining two licenses/copies back to the bookstore & they resold it for even less, as fewer licenses were included. At many student bookstores no student ID is necessary.

  74. JH says:

    The way I see it, if Mint makes you concerned about privacy, you shouldn’t be banking at all online.

  75. po says:

    I’m bummed Wesabe is gone. I’ve been looking at alternative sites. I checked out Mvelopes, Thrive, GreenSherpa.

    They’re all good. I liked Greensherpa, they seem to have the security thing really well figured out too. Check them out:

    http://www.greensherpa.com

  76. Ed says:

    Microsoft has released three “Sunset” versions (no activation required, no online support) for free. Here’s the plus version:

    Money Plus Sunset Edition

    Don’t know if html is acceptable here, so the URL is:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=60302e1e-207e-4710-ac80-d19c22e47488

    I’ve used Microsoft Money Standard since 2003, just installed it onto a Windows 7 machine and it worked fine. GOing to install the Sunset edition on another Win7 box and try importing my data.

  77. Amy says:

    Another alternative you might like to consider is Xero Personal.

    We’re sad to hear about Wesabe as well. We’ve always followed them closely.

    Xero Personal is looking good and we have a number of major updates coming over the next few weeks. We are about to release a Wesabe import tool and would appreciate your help and feedback.

    http://blog.xero.com/2010/07/importing-from-wesabe/

    Cheers

    Amy

  78. phillip says:

    Mint does allow you to create a cash account. it also allows you to create budgets and it automatically calculates where you are in your different budget fields. so say you have a 30 buck alowance for dining out a month you can set it to check and notify you your either exceeded or getting close. one nice thing is it had roll over. so if you choose a roll over feature its good to go. seriously give it a try

  79. Matt says:

    there’s a new one out there that doesn’t need any account info whatsoever, is free, and pretty easy-to-use:

    http://www.simplechecking.net

    lacks some bells and whistles, but it serves the purpose…

  80. Amy says:

    I’d recommend GreenSherpa. They really have the privacy aspect down and (if you choose) you can add all your bank/credit/loan accounts so you can see all your financial info in one place. Best of all, they give you a really clear idea of what your financial future looks like, have a goal keeper tool, and allow you to collaborate with your spouse or CPA. It really is awesome!

  81. alex says:

    After using Wesabe for 3 years and based on on comments from other Wesabe switchers, I am now using Buxfer. If you used Wesabe, you’ll find Buxfer to be a better option. It allows to import transactions. Bestof of all you can customize transactions tagging 100% to your needs (something that Mint lacks) Buxfer’s automatic rules are also very useful. Lastly the option to show reconciled transactions is awesome. Still needs to try their budgeting and other tools.

  82. R. Francis Smith says:

    Surprised that nobody’s mentioned the open source GPL software HomeBank — when I left wesabe, I started using HomeBank and have been nothing but happy with it. Much more Quicken/MSMoney-like than GnuCash is.

    http://homebank.free.fr/

  83. Chris says:

    Microsoft used to make Microsoft Money which I have used for several years and it has served me well. Since they have discontinued it, Microsoft is allowing you to download it for free as the “Money Plus Sunset Deluxe”. You have to update information manually, but I’m good with that. I find fund and stock prices with my Google Finance account but keep the transactions on Money.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=60302E1E-207E-4710-AC80-D19C22E47488&displaylang=en

  84. Brian H says:

    Marc and Team,

    I have a similar concept to Wesabe.com. If any member of the team is able to reach out to me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you kindly in advance!
    Brian

  85. Karen says:

    Does anyone know of an online program that does auto-importing and has an Android app? I especially like the envelope system; EEBA looks good except for the lack of automation.

  86. Kevin says:

    A lot of Wesabe alternatives lack a lot of functionality (pending transactions etc…) and a lot of them can’t preserve data from Wesabe (like splits and tags).

    Moneydance actually can do those things and actually has an extension to import data from Wesabe.

    http://moneydance.com/blog/

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