Updated on 09.11.07

The Good And Bad Of Microsoft Money And Quicken – And Why I Usually Point People Towards A Spreadsheet Instead

Trent Hamm

Perhaps the most common question I get from readers is what about Microsoft Money and/or Quicken? Do I recommend them to people, and if so, which one of the two do I really recommend?

First of all, Money and Quicken are both excellent packages for what they do. If you want to track your personal finances in great detail, both packages will certainly do the job, providing countless reports and views of the data.

When I first went through my financial meltdown, I tried both packages for a short time, first trying out Money via Microsoft’s free trial of the product, then trying out Quicken using a free copy that came with my computer. I did not feel that one package had a huge advantage over the other – in fact, they felt pretty similar to me. I liked Microsoft’s data views somewhat better, but I had more difficulty connecting to my accounts with Money – but, honestly, they both did the job just fine.

So why did I stop using them? They were overkill. I sat down and thought about the time I was spending entering information into the program, appropriately categorizing all of my spending, and looking at reports, and I realized two things.

First, it wasn’t a good use of the time. Sure, I could see areas where I was spending a lot, but almost always my own mental accounting told me where I was spending too much. I also had a great picture of my month-in month-out money flow, but it was a lot of work to get this picture.

Second, I could be doing a lot of other things with that time. Like, for example, working on The Simple Dollar or working on my computer consulting business or spending time with my family.

Another nit that bothered me was the regular bombardment with what amounted to ads. I was constantly being introduced to mutual funds and other financial products that “matched my financial picture.” I’m really not interested in being served up ads by a program that I paid for (or, in Money’s case, was using on a trial basis to decide if I wanted to pay for it).

There’s another problem: both of these programs are on a constant upgrade cycle, which means roughly every three years, it ceases to function and you have to upgrade. Why? It ensures consistent product purchases from people who are actually using the program.

Eventually, I figured out that the one feature I really liked and that kept me on track was the constant updating of my net worth – I felt motivated to keep it moving in the right direction. So I just built my own in a spreadsheet exactly how I wanted it and moved on to just using that. I couldn’t be happier – it’s very easy for me to update and I don’t have to worry about upgrades or any other issues that Quicken and Money introduce into the equation.

Here’s my serious recommendation if you’ve never used either package and are interested in trying one out. Try out Microsoft’s free trial of Money for 90 days and see whether or not you’re still using the program after that period – this will let you know whether such software is actually useful to you. If you are still using it, then spend a bit of time and research both Money and Quicken to find out which one works for you (Quicken will import all of the stuff you set up in Money quite easily).

It wasn’t quite my cup of tea (though I am considering giving Quicken ’08 and Money ’08 detailed run-throughs for future posts on The Simple Dollar), but it might be yours. Give it a shot and find out.

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  1. David says:

    I use GNUCash, an open source replacement for Microsoft Money or Quicken. No advertisements there, and the upgrade cycle is free and optional. It uses Yahoo! (or other services) to get stock quotes.

  2. Jim Wang says:

    One free and nifty alternative, if you’re running linux, is KMyMoney or GnuCash.

    You can’t beat free – are you running linux or windows?

  3. Jeff says:

    I use Simply Accounting for my business, and have used both Quicken & Quick Books in the past. But as you pointed out, these tend to be overkill for Personal finance.

    A good alternative for Mac users is iBank. It’s designed to be very simple, with a focus on budgets:


  4. kevin says:

    Gnucash is available for windows now also…anybody can use it. It is totally free and open source…and no ads of course. I started using it a few months ago, right when the first windows betas came out.

    There is a definite strong learning curve for Gnucash, since you basically have to understand double entry accounting, but once I worked through some examples from the documentation on the website, I now fully grasp the ideas. Double entry accounting is the only proper way to think about your money and how you’re spending it…I’m sure that both Quicken and MS Money are using double entry accounting behind the scenes.

    Readers of Simple Dollar—do not pay money for Quicken or MS Money when such a powerful program like Gnucash is available for free! You don’t have to worry about upgrades, since it’s free anyways. I don’t even download my bank accounts…I just do it by hand and it’s very easy…it takes about 10 minutes once a week and maybe a little more at the end of each month when I pay my bills.

  5. Another option says:

    What I do is purchase 1 – 2 years old software on ebay. Quicken deluxe 2005 can be had for less than $10, then in two years do the same thing.

    Works for me…

  6. Anonymous says:

    The best feature of Quicken, (It may be in money as well) is the “Get out of debt” planner. It will automatically do the snowball method (Optimized by interest rate), but tells you how much you can save and how long it will take. I used this to generate a plan back in 1999 to payback student loans, credit card debt a computer, auto loans and later a home. We are now debt free.

    Anyway, it’s just the snowball method, but shows a nice graph and a gives you a printout that you can use.

    The graphic presentation may appear to be eye candy, but I found it is extremely important to show your significant other and get them excited about the plan. Being able to see and chart progress is great to convincing the one you love that it will not take forever and is worth the TEMPORARY hardship. Approaching debt together is infinitely easier than having separate goals.

    Hmmm, out of debt in 2031? Or be out of debt in 2007 saving XX,XXX in interest?

    It worked fantastically for us. Worth every cent.

  7. IckesTheSane says:

    As a quick note, GnuCash has a new release that does include a Windows version, so you can try that even if you’re not running linux.

    Also, if you just want to use a spreadsheet, there’s free alternatives to MS Excel in the form of Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which is online based of course, or the more fully featured OpenOffice.org office suite.

  8. Corey says:

    Another Linux alternative is eqonomize! which I’ve dabbled with mildly.

  9. dong says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I attempted to use quicken for almost a year. At the end of year, I decided that I had wasted at least 2 hours every month importing data, and trying to get everything to reconcile. Nor did Quicken tell me anything I didn’t already know. Tossed it and have gone to a spreadsheet setup augmented with the use of Yodlee. Now I spend about 15 minutes downloading my data, correcting a few categories, and voila, I’ve got what I need. Given that I track my accounts via yodlee on a semi-daily basis, if I spot something fishy I find it. In addition I take snapshot of my assets and liabilities every month which then gives me a picture of how I’m doing financially.

  10. I always see people say that it takes so much time, but once you get it set up to electronically download your accounts. It doesn’t take me more than a minute or two each day or maybe 10 minutes a week to go through all of the new items.

    I was with Money 2005 for 3 years, and just switched to a copy of Quicken 2007 I won. I agree that they are both very similar, and offer almost the exact same experience. I can’t say I prefer one or the other, but I do prefer either of them to nothing or a spreadsheet.

  11. Rob in Madrid says:

    I was never very happy with quicken or anything similar, I used to do everything with pen and paper and a year or so ago switched over to excel (or open office if you want the free version). I find it works fine for me, very flexible and I only need to learn a few basic commands. The best part is it’s very adaptable I can change things to my hearts content.

  12. Josh says:

    First off in Money there is a setting to get rid of the ads. Second if you set it to automatically download from all of your accounts it takes almost zero time. I’ve been using it for like 7 years and love it.

  13. Derek Wong says:

    Not sure if this is even going to get through with all of the comments that get posted here. But I’ve been working on a program called The Budgeteeer that aims to more simply all for financial budgeting. Its main goal at this point is to keep track of the balance of sub-accounts that you specify. Percentages are assigned to each sub-account to divide deposits (like from a paycheck) and withdrawals can be made on each account. I know that a lot of people essentially do this kind of stuff with a spreadsheet. I don’t like working with spreadsheets (I think they’re cumbersome, especially with logic within them), so I decided to create this.

    However, it’s not yet available for public use (I’m working on that now). I guess I just thought that I would leave a note since I noticed a lot of overlap. I don’t know how feasible it is, but I’d enjoy letting you (or your readers) know when I do have it available as I’m sure that the feedback would be very helpful.

  14. vh says:

    Thanks for bringing up this interesting topic.

    In a fit of resentment that Quicken forces you to buy a new version every few years (they engineer the program so that if you delay too long, your data will be incompatible with the current version, and Microsoft engineers Windows versions so that sooner or later, when your computer crashes and you have to buy a new one, your ancient, perfectly functional, relatively uncluttered version of Quicken won’t run on the new PC), I decided to keep my books in Excel.

    This worked just fine until I tried to reconcile my bank accounts. The problem is…i are a english major, i are not a mathematician. Or an accountant: I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to reconcile an account in Excel. So, after a couple of months it was back to Quicken, wading through fields of redundant technology to perform very basic routine tasks.

    If someone would explain (in words of one syllable!), how to reconcile a bank account in Excel, that would be mighty handy.

  15. Josh says:

    I’ve been using Money since my freshman year in college. Updating every 2-3 years. But thinking of moving to Linux full time. So maybe switch to Money Dance it’s $30 but looks like it’ll do the trick. I really like being able to plan 6-12 months down the road in the registers and running reports every couple of months to check the budget and adjust it. Being able to sink with accounts online is great, also, makes everything a breeze.

  16. I’ve really been enjoying the free online application: http://www.wesabe.com. Its simple and secure. It gives me access to the numbers without having to flip through lots of data like Money or Quicken required.

  17. Andrea says:

    I have an old copy of Quicken that I’ve been using for about 2 years. I don’t even know offhand which one it is. I don’t have it connected to any of my accounts, I don’t pay any fees for using it, and I don’t get any ads.

    I enter in all of my spending manually, each day. It only takes a couple minutes, if that. And I like having everything categorized so that I can look up very specific things whenever I feel like it.

    As mentioned, the debt planner is useful, but even more useful I find, is that you can automatically make a budget for yourself based on your actual spending habits of the prior year. Of course I still tweak the numbers, but I like how automatic it is.

    I also love that if I’m looking at a monthly “statement” and I’m unsure of why a number is what it is, I can just click and immediately see everything in that category, and beyond that, I can click a specific entry and be taken right back to where it is in the registry.

    I love using Quicken, but I really only use it for pretty basic tasks, so I can certainly understand why some people wouldn’t like it.

  18. Joanne Reed says:

    I have my own little set up in Excel that I put my bills including investment amounts into the cells that I have formulated to automatically divide the total yearly amount into 52. This way I always know what my “nut” is on a weekly basis. I am self employed so it is important for me to escrow weekly from my business account to my ING savings account for my fixed expenses such as my quarterlies, property taxes, insurances, investments etc.
    Every time a bill comes in, I check my budget sheet to adjust if necessary. This way the money is always there when the bill is due.
    I really like the One Hour Project ideas…they get me thinking.

  19. Katie says:

    How do you track your budget using Excel then? I, too, have given up on Money/Quicken, but Excel is sort of complicated when it comes to tracking your budget. I don’t even use categories of spending, I just want to track whether my saving is lining up (i.e. is my net worth growing as expected) and it gets a little complicated.

  20. Erin says:

    My husband and I still use Quicken 2005. It runs fine on Windows XP and we don’t plan on upgrading to Vista anytime soon. Sure, it will no longer factor tax rates or whatever, but I’ve only heard bad reviews of the bloat of 2006 and 2007.

    The thing I like about Quicken rather than a spreadsheet is the ability to download statements directly onto the computer. I use none of the online features, so I don’t see any ads.

  21. Vinny L says:

    First, I really really like this site and point people to it all the time – so thank you! With that saide, I have to completely disagree with you for the following reasons:
    – Timing – If you connect to the right banks/accounts – you will save much more time then you could ever imagine. Everything downloads and self categorizes in no time flat. Pick Money vs Quicken based on which application your bank supports. If your bank doesn’t support either (support meaning from within the application, not download a csv file via the website then manuall import) leave that bank.
    – Accuracy/Objectivity – in a family situation, I have found this to be an invaluable tool to point out to the significant other exactly without argument what we spend money on. It gives you indisputable insight to what you are actually spending money on.
    – Technically – I am willing to bet that most people who need the help don’t and will never learn to use a spreadsheet. It just isn’t in their nature. As such, they won’t know where to start and won’t do a spreadsheet.
    – Protection – using the auto download feature, you will be able to spot erroneous charges almost instantly and protect yourself on many levels. I was able to prevent a lengthy dispute because I found a fraudulant charge one day after it was made. If I did not have Quicken, I doubt I would have found it.
    – History – Have you ever wondered what you paid for something two/three years ago – it only takes a second or two to find out.
    – Advertising – at least with Quicken, while they do put a crap load of icons on install – just delete them. Aside from that, I don’t ever see/get any ads.

  22. Mrs. Micah says:

    Good entry. I’d been wondering if they were worth the investment. I’ll hold off.

    I had to use Excel in my personal finance class and stuck with it. Now I actually use the Open Office version.

    The Gnu one looks interesting. I like open source and ad free. Maybe I’ll give it a shot! Thanks, various commenters.

  23. Bill Long says:

    I too found that Money was overkill for my needs and that I spent a lot of time categorizing and such. Then I discovered that my bank has free portfolio software built into the online banking interface, and it tracks all my other accounts too, including my mortgage, auto loan, accounts with ETrade, Fidelity, etc. If you just want to track general spending trends and your net worth without a lot of work, this is a great option, and it’s free. Mine is Bank of America, but I bet many other banks offer the same kind of service.

  24. Robin McCown says:

    hmm, I just use an excel spreadsheet. We track every penny, so I have it set up with a “allocated” “spent” and “remaining” column for each row of expenses. There is also a column for each day of the month, and I have it set up so I just type an amount, say in the “grocery, 21” column in the August one, and ta-da, it keeps a running tally of my grocery money. There’s also a “total” row that tells us how much money we’ve spent in a given month, and then a little income section giving us total income, and of course a gain/deficit block.

    It sounds complicated but it’s really not… but I’m a math nerd. The setting it up requires some knowledge of excel (Sum, equation, features), but once it’s made anyone can use it.

  25. cv says:

    I’ve been using Microsoft Money for the past 4 years. I enter everything, including cash purchases, manually rather than downloading everything from my bank. It only takes a few minutes every few days, and I like the discipline of recording each purchase. I’m more careful about what I buy when I know that I’ll have to record the transaction and hold myself accountable for it later on.

  26. lorax says:

    Quicken for Mac doesn’t have a lot of ads, at least none that I’ve seen.

    I’d love to use iBank or MoneyDance, but both are lacking some critical functionality… MoneyDance is really close though. I might switch if it gets drill-down charts in the next release.

  27. Trent, your opinion re: Money Vs Quicken Vs spreadsheets matches mine. I’ve also tried out both Money and Quicken but quickly gave them up.

    With a spreadsheet, I can set it up to track the things that I want to track (I get by without tracking every penny that I spend).

    And when I do a projection in my spreadsheet, I know what assumptions I’ve built into it and I know what the answer means. With these products, I don’t know. (I have a similar opinion of most web calculators.)

  28. Adam says:

    I tried Money, but despite all its bells and whistles, I found it too constricting. For instance, while it was great that imported all my transactions, it wouldn’t let me split the amounts between my budget categories. For instance, if I had a “pet” budget and a “grocery” budget and bought kitty litter at Kroger, it wouldn’t let me put the litter in pets, I had to stick everything in groceries. Plus, I didn’t seem to have a budget category for repaying debts, which is silly. Obviously if I’m paying 300 bucks towards paying off my credit card, I don’t have that money for other things!

    I thought about checking Money out again, until I found out that my bank would charge me 6 bucks a month to download my banking information. Sure, I could do it all manually, but at that point, I might as well use my trusty spreadsheet.

  29. David Szpunar says:

    Interesting post. I read about some software called You Need A Budget a while ago (it has an Excel-based version and a full Windows version) that aims to simplify budgeting.

    I’ve never used their software, but I did spend several hours reading as much information as I could find on their website and forums about maybe a year ago when I first found them. I still intend on trying it one day. It looks like an interesting concept. Until then, my wife has a homemade Excel budgeting system that works pretty well for the basics.

  30. Urko says:

    I don’t have much experience with this kind of programs, but I recently found this one, HomeBank.
    Also open source and free, seems to be simple to use.

    Not for Windows, though. But I kind of fail to see how using Microsoft can be considered “frugal” :)

  31. Rick Jones says:

    I certainly don’t mean this to be offensive, but in reading through the comments, I am struck with the fact that people cannot figure out how to use Excel or some other spreadsheet. If you can use a computer and the web to get to this site, it’s simply not that much more difficult technically to open a spreadsheet and use simple formulas to track your finances. It’s not as easy as eating ice cream, but come on, this is the 21st century.

    I used Google docs for a while, but switched to Excel mainly because I have intermittent Internet outages where I live. Also, I wanted to write some simple macros to aggregate certain spending categories at the end of each month to give me a clearer picture of my spending. Since I’m planning on switching from Microsoft to Linux sometime over the next 2 – 3 years, I’ll probably switch to GNU Cash for financial planning and management.

  32. Brian says:

    I have been using Quicken 2004 for about a year now. Since i enter all of my information manually I do not have to worry about their ignorant sunset clause. However, the program has been running freakishly slow now that it has a years worth of data in it. The program works and but the constant upgrade cycle would be a pain for anyone wanting to use the automatic functionality of the program.

    Last week I tried MS Money and decided in about 3 minutes I will never use this program considering how aggressive it was at importing my data from Quicken and the fact I was required to give an email address to use the program.

    I have been interested in switching to a spreadsheet or GnuCash but I have not made the time to make the switch.

    Personally I feel there are plenty of free alternatives better than Quicken and MS Money.

  33. I evaluated MS Money and Quicken a few months ago. I was disgusted with how bloated they were with features I didn’t care about. More importantly, those not-important-to-me features made the products more difficult to use. If you absolutely must have a desktop application, I suggest taking a look at You Need a Budget. Many of the same features as the other two products, but it’s presented in a very straightforward fashion.

    Ultimately, I decided on Wesabe. Besides supporting every known transaction file format, their reporting is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve been using Wesabe for several months and have been thrilled with it.

  34. Wendy says:

    Moneydance is great for its simplicity. I’ve noticed a couple of annoying ‘features’, but nothing so frustrating as Quicken.

  35. Jeff says:

    I traveled the same journey as you over the years with Money. I gave up a few years back and have not missed it. I now use an Excel spreadsheet for budgeting, and it does everything I want with none of Money’s restrictions and annoyances. I miss the net worth tracking, but one of my financial sites has a very similar feature that is close enough for me.

  36. Martin says:

    Good point about the time consuming nature of entering information. I downloaded both and decided to go with Quicken because of prior experience. Initial set up took a while as expected but the tedious aspect of entering all that information drove me back to my old method of just keeping a spreadsheet with general category titles for expenses. Spreadsheets are simple and easier to maintain.

  37. Chris says:

    I’m still using Quicken 99′. At the time so few institutions had account details available that I never bothered to set up access, my wife just enters stuff manually. When/if I decide to leave it I’ll probably go with GNUcash.

  38. I’ve tried both Quicken and Money and both were needlessly complicated. I settled on the online solution Mvelopes, which costs a bit month-to-month, but is dead simple to use and encourages the envelope spending approach to budgeting. The web application is high quality, they offer 24×7 live online support, and connect to thousands of financial institutions — probably using the Yodlee backend system — to automatically pull in your transactions for quick categorization.

    There are quite a few up and comers to watch out for as well… Mint for one.

  39. Yoojin says:

    For me buying Quicken was one the best investments I made. Yes, I took me half a day to set up everything, but since then it takes me just a few minutes to download everything. I used to have my own excel file but I think Quicken saves me a lot of time and visualize my expenses very easy. And I like playing with spreadsheets and these kind of softwares, so it’s fun time for me.

    Most of all, my finance is in a much better shape after tracking my expenses with it.

  40. JoshH says:

    If banks were smart they’d incorporate Quicken, Money, X OSS, etc into their online banking format. We already trust them with our online banking and bill pay, it seems a natural extension to add the budgeting and tracking slices of the pie. Does anyone have a bank doing that now? Mine (usbank) doesn’t.

    Of course the banks that sign agreements with Quicken and Microsoft wouldn’t get their kickbacks then??

    Hard to say.

  41. crankywench says:

    Agreeing with @Wendy with regards to Moneydance. It’s a Java-based application, and can be used on Windows, Macs and Linux/Unix operating systems. Love it!

  42. lillith says:

    this post was so validating to me! i’ve also gone the spreadsheet route after many frustrating attempts to get things to reconcile using money and quicken. i am much happier, and know where my finances are instead of pulling my hair out over things that didn’t download right, duplicates, etc.

    i was using excel, but now use google documents (so much better, as it is right there online able to be accessed anywhere, and integrated right with my mail, calander, etc, where i do all my daily stuff).

    i just keep the same constant expenses every month, and make a “copied” spreadsheet each month in advance, so that i can see my projected budget. i add in anything unexpected, or that i need to save for in increments, as i go along monthly. i can make notes as well, and if something clears the bank i just go in and write “cleared” instead of having to download my bank file, and hope it matches. of course i do have the extra step of having to go back and forth between my bank and the doc, but the accuracy is worth it compared to the financial software experiences i have had.

    it is also helpful to write your expected balance available for spending on a white-board or some are where you see it every day, so you know where you are.

  43. Crys says:

    I have to disagree. Simply because I use a copy of MS Money 2001 that came with an old Dell I had bought back then. I’ve used it for the past 2 years, maybe spend 5 minutes top entering in transactions for that week and giving a glance at this months spendings to keep myself update and aware. And I’ve never updated nor had ads pop up. It lets me know when I have a bill due, which works great for me, and is still very compatible with my new home-built system with Win XP.

    I don’t know about the newer versions. But I like my old version because it’s simple, straight-forward, and not convoluted :)

  44. Jim Kane says:

    I’ll throw in my vote for MoneyDance. We just switched to it from Quicken 2003 (on VirtualPC, blech) and so far it’s fine. Once I figured out how to use subaccounts as a replacement for savings goals, I was golden. It’s $30 and they have a free trial.

  45. acwang says:

    t was the opposite experience for me. I initially used the spreadsheet to maintain my accounts. but it became too much work where I have to spend 2 hours per week. Plus the work where I keep all my receipts and review it.

    Now, I use my credit card (which I pay off every month) to pay for all my purchase. This way, I have instant “spending” trail. I dont need to keep the receipts anymore and enter the transaction manually. And I link all my online accounts to Quicken. It now only takes me 30 minutes to download the transactions and monitor my expenses.

    Regarding the “cost” of the constant upgrade cycle… 30 dollars (for basic version) every 3 years. Cmon, it cost less than than a video game or 2 fastfood meals. Quicken or Money are great tools and could help tremendously in organizing your finances.

  46. Katie says:

    I’m one of those who inquired about using Excel. I know how to use Excel-from Chart to Pivot Tables. But there’s a reason that personal finance programs have developed–entering every transaction by hand on Excel would be a lot of work. Tracking net worth, not that bad, but really I can add up the 5 main accounts (Spending Account, Vanguard, 401k, mortgage and Student loans) that constitute net worth in my head quickly and daily if I want, so I don’t really need Excel for it.

  47. Joanne Reed says:

    Katie, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner about how I budget with EXCEL.
    My budget is divided into fixed and variable expenses. I set the budget yearly based on last years fixed bill and the set amounts I wish to spend on variables (ie 150.00 per week on food, cleaning products and personal hygiene products). After all bills are divided by 52, I have a set amount that has to be transferred weekly from my business account to ING so these expenses are covered. From ING I withdraw and pay these bills on line. I charge everything possible on credit cards which I pay every month on time in full so I receive cash back (1.5 – 3%). My savings and investments are regarded as fixed expenses and are automatically withdrawn monthly by the mutual fund companies. This all works for me because my income flow fluxuates wildly but at any point I can look at my account and know how many weeks worths of expenses I have. If the account builds up too much (it is no fee but no interest) then I take an extra draw and regard it as savings.
    I think the confusion is that these programs track money flow and checking etc…(I used quickpro for awhile) but a my budget lets me know I am covered weekly for expenses that may only actually occur bi annually.

  48. Bob T says:

    I used to be a Quicken user and got a lot out of it. When I switched to Linux, I continued to use it with Wine and Win4Lin. Then I upgraded my system and couldn’t reinstall it – my license key no longer worked. No help from Intuit. I will never let my data be held hostage by a software company again.

    I’ve been using spreadsheets and recently tried GnuCash again. I’ve found it does everything I need and am making greater progress since I started with it.

  49. lorax says:

    re: spreadsheet vs Quicken/Moneydance

    1) spreadsheets don’t download financial data
    2) spreadsheets don’t have charts that drill into transactions
    3) spreadsheets don’t create a wide variety of rollups or reports

  50. I found the same things you did Trent.. I didn’t like using Money or Quicken (It’s not very accomodating to Canadians), and it didn’t offer me the level of detail I needed (separating personal/business).

    Lorax: You can make Excel do anything (except automatically download financial data), if you know how. It’s just more complicated and time consuming to set it up.

    Me, I just stick to my 5 excel sheets that show me exactly what I need to know on a regular basis.

  51. mw says:

    Neither Quicken or Money are my ideals for budget tracking. The best for that, that I’ve used, was the old Managing your Money which treated budgeted money cumulatively, just like you would in the envelope system. There are now some interesting looking free/shareware programs that do that.

    However, I still use Quicken, but because it has the best investment tracking software I’ve seen in an integrated finance package. That is, there is good investment tracking software and good banking/budgeting software, but rarely do the twain meet.

    Once you get out of the paying off debts stage, and into the building up assets stage, this becomes more critical. Just having something that can handle a partial sale on a taxable mutual fund account that uses the average cost basis method, then remembers that you have to use the same method for any future sales, is worth gold.

  52. thomas says:

    I bought quicken 2008 deluxe 3 weeks ago and I am fed up with it. For one I can’t download my bank info onto quicken and when I try tech support for solutions nothing gets solved. So tonight I tried MS Money Plus trial version and right off the bat my bank account was downloaded and all the info was there. I owned MS Money about 10 years ago and loved it…..so now I will try the trial period and see what happens. But for now i’m happy with it……time will tell.

  53. L. Rosado says:

    I like the layout of Quicken, the vibrant colors, you can add post it notes to calendar and register, multiple attachments vs. 1 in Money, but I use Acrobat to turn all the multiple attachments to 1 file. The password vault needs work on Quicken, it dumps them on me from time to time. Setting up online payees takes more time and repetition than Money. Quicken has too many places that seem out of line with the rest, legacy from prior versions. With Money I can use any type of Pocket pc software and update my accounts on the go, then when I get back home I just connect my pc and my desktop is updated without having to open up money, money also autodownloads and reconciles automatically. With qucken I can’t change data once uploaded from my pocket pc. I also have to open Quicken to accept the online downloads, pocket pc uploads then close quicken and update my ppc, too much work. I’m staying with money. The bills is way much better than quicken. I’m not rich, I might fall behind on my bills, with money I can insert the amount due for any month without disturbing the rest, not with quicken you change 1, you’ve change them all. Too many other things to mention, Quicken might be the de-facto standard, but with Money I can worry less about my finances, it’s automated with my pocket pc.

  54. R.W.K. says:

    A late reply to an old biased article. I have used Money for years, and am angry at Microsoft for the new reason of them not continuing it. I have no idea what the author of this article is talking about as far as having to put up with ads. In Money, I have not had any problems. Then again, I have always paid for mine, and not just tried to get around things by using a free copy. In the real version, you don’t have to put up with ads. All those comments were was another way to rail against microsoft and put things in a negative light.

    The program is/was very easy to use. And for all those that complain that it takes too much of their time, then they are using it wrong. If I had to add it up, the total could still be expressed in minutes for the time I spend downloading/updating accounts. And don’t be a smartbut about it — Well, 5 wasted hours is 300 minutes!!!! — no dummy, I mean I spend less than 15 minutes a month with updates, and I update Money almost every day.

    Everyone likes to talk bad about the big machine that microsoft is.

    Money worked, and it did the job PERFECTLY for me. I have used it since it first came out. I am very upset to see it discontinued.

  55. Alex says:

    Yes, spending time with the family is much better ;)

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