Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Review: Real Success Without a Job by Ernie Zelinski | Main | The Best Cost-of-Living Calculator »

October 24, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Have you tried Moneydance? What do you think of it? There seems to be so many different opinions of Quicken that it's hard to decide whether it's a good product or not. The opinions even vary between different versions. I tried the demo version of Money, but I didn't really care for it. I didn't like the web browser like interface and some of the features I clicked on led me to sections with advertisements. I don't want to see ads in a product I pay for.

I still haven't decided which version is best for me. For now I'm using the demo version of Moneydance and I may end of buying it. But I worry that it won't have all the features I might need.

Give me Excel any day. The other products are too feature rich and it makes it complicated. Using Excel, you can start off simple and the calculations evolve as your finances become more complicated.

This was my comment highlighted by FMF. I'm able to get away with this approach because (1) I've developed spending control habits in the past using a system to closely track my spending (although still spreadsheet based) and (2) my income relative to my spending habits is high enough. Also I'm a bachelor so there's no one to coordinate spending with.

If my circumstances changed, such as a reduction of income or I got married, I probably would return to tracking expenses more closely. And I'd probably use a spreadsheet to do it.

It probably depends more on what was available when you started managing your finances than the attributes of any particular software. People develop processes and procedures that work so modifying them becomes undesirable unless demonstrable improvement can be seen. For example, I still balance my checkbook by hand and four utilities, four credit cards, and one other check a month isn't enough to justify a more complex approach. My brother swears by Quicken, but I keep my finances extremely simple and this works for me.

Keeping a full set of personal financial statements including assets and expenses in Excel for decades has made me reticient to change. I track to the dollar but while investments are monitored monthly, expenses are sufficiently uniform to only be monitored yearly. The long range perspective is more important to me.

I am just starting out my Excel spreadsheet to track my finances. I think I prefer the excel spread sheet cause I am in full control of it.

One things I was thinking about is that everyone always talks about their own Excel spread sheets that they have developed. There should be something on this site where people can post ideas or there own Excel docs up so people can see them and get ideas for their own.

Just a thought.

I can highly recommend taking some time and setting up Quicken. I've been using it for about a year now and am still discovering new (and useful) functions. It's incredible! You can also start small in Quicken - no need to configure everything from the start. It saves me so much time I used to waste manually updating my spreadsheets.

Excel-lovers, you don't know what you're missing!

I, too, was taken by surprise by the fee for downloading data from my bank into Quicken/MSMoney and that promptly ended it for me. Now I use and I'm very enthusiastic about it. It basically runs on autopilot -- downloading transactions from every bank account/credit card/loan/investment, categorizing, budgeting etc. My favorite part are the alerts. It will email or text me for just about anything I want.

It's probably not going to work quite as well if you feel the need to build your own complex category system, although it supports it, because then it might have a harder time automatically categorizing transactions. It also is still in it's infancy when it comes to features. I would use GnuCash if I had the discipline, but I like Mint because it just works for me and I barely have to touch it anymore and it's free -- even to download data.

Oh, and the part about giving them ALL of my bank account numbers, user names, passwords, security questions and answers doesn't really spook me too much. That could be a sticking point for some people.

Oops... necropost. Oh well.

I believe there will be a better solution soon.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.