Super UserNow that Microsoft Money is going away, what are the best competitive options?
[+84] [25] anonymous coward
[2009-07-15 16:33:26]
[ software-rec finance microsoft-money ]

Now that Microsoft Money [1] will be discontinuing, what are the other options if one should have to switch? And why do you prefer a given option over the others?

Discontinuing? My father's not going to like that. However, this is the last 'holdover' program preventing him from switching to OSX/Linux, so this could be a net positive... - Kyle Cronin
Two comments, first thanks for posting this, I need to start looking for a similar program, though I used GnuCash instead of MSMoney (wife is annoyed with GnuCash). Second, please to be making a community wiki for the 'poll-like' nature. - jtimberman
I have, and been very satisfied with, MS Money 98, but, it doesn't work at all with Wine. Still works with Win7 but that might be a problem as I'm mostly converting to Ubuntu. I'm going to give MoneyDance a go and see how well it does. - Skizz
Microsoft Money Sunset means that you don't need to switch! Its a free download: - Ben Page
[+66] [2009-07-16 17:28:37] JCarterRN [ACCEPTED]

I've been budgeting with MS Money since 2004 and was pretty disappointed to hear it's being discontinued. Budgeting is actually a stress-relieving hobby for me, and I can be a bit of a control-freak when it comes to finances, so I decided to start early looking for a replacement rather than waiting until MS Money can no longer download transactions.

Here are the pros and cons of the ones I've tried (updated 10/2010):

You Need A Budget Pro (YNAB) [1] - Based on the old envelopes system [2], YNAB has you allot money from each paycheck to a specific budget category (envelope). It encourages you to live on last money's income, and if you have trouble with overspending, that can be a great plan. Personally, I'm a big believer in the envelope concept, so that's the biggest pro I found. Also, it's a downloaded software, so once I've bought it (for about $50) it's mine, without forced upgrades as far as I've seen. The big con for me was that it does not automatically download transactions. I would have to sign on to each institution's website and manually download to the program. Also, coming from Money, I'm used to having features that YNAB doesn't offer, like the ability to store information about my accounts. Overall, it's forward-thinking and a good budgeting system, but will take some extra time to download transactions and isn't really a comprehensive management tool for all my financial needs. You can try it out with their free trial.

Mint [3] - This is a free online program. The free part was a major pro. It also looks pretty, if that's important to you. Updating is automatic, once you've got it all set up, so that's a pro. Mint's budgeting tools are so-so. Basically, you choose a category and tell it your limit. It yells at you (by text or email) when you cross the line, but doesn't seem to offer any other incentive to stay on budget. When I first looked at Mint, it did not connect with my credit union, but it currently connects to all my banks and all but one of my student loan institutions. Another recent improvement is that Mint now allows you to manually add transactions, including pending checks and cash transactions. The cons for me are that it does not give me a good end-of-the-month report, doesn't allow me to enter details of my paychecks, and doesn't give me any cash-flow forecasting. Overall, Mint is a good casual, retrospective, free online tool, but doesn't allow for much planning ahead.

Mvelopes [4] - Here's another online option, but this one is subscription-based. Again, we find the old envelopes system, which I think is smart, so that's a pro for me. It's online, so it downloads transactions automatically, but also allows you to manually add transactions, so another pro. The big con on this one is the cost. Depending on how you far ahead you choose to pay (quarterly, yearly or biannually), you're paying $7.60 to $12 per month. They do offer a free trial for 14 days (plus another 14 days offered when you try to cancel). Another con is that they don't provide meaningful reports. Overall, a good concept, but not worth the cost for me.

Quicken [5] - I hadn't tried Quicken earlier because they don't offer a free trial, but after the last few fell short, I landed with Quicken 2009. Pro for Quicken, as an MS Money user is that it is remarkably similar in format and options. The registers and reports are nearly identical. One frustration I'd had with Money was that it was ridiculously slow at start-up, and after a year or so of entering data, Quicken is dragging. Con for Quicken, again as an MS Money user, is that it's budgeting is not as detailed as I would like. Also, it does not download transactions smoothly now that my banks all ask security questions as part of sign-in. I have to sign in to my bank's website and manually download. Quicken 2011 is out now, but I haven't tried it yet. Hopefully they've solved the problem of security questions. Quicken 2011 promises an improved cash-flow forecast, which sounds promising, and was a feature of MS Money that I have very much missed. Haven't decided yet if it's worth the $50 to upgrade to 2011. (EDIT: Mike Pennington -> The biggest problem with Quicken is their annoying policy of obsoleting old Quicken versions that work perfectly well; IIRC they do this every two years. This drives expenditures of approx $50 every time that happens)


Beware of Mint's support. I know it's free, but once you've gotten used to the centralized management it's hard to go back for few weeks to a month while they think about fixing a problem that's keeping your bank account information from updating. I switched to Quicken online and it's so much easier. They have responded quickly to the few incidents I've filed and their upcoming register is really nice to enter transactions you know you've made and it hasn't gotten yet. - jasonh
(5) +1 for a thorough answer. I went through the same process and decided on Quicken also (MS Money user for 8 years). - dlux
I want to use Mint, but am using Quicken Online because they DO support my local credit union. My brother requested Mint add his CU, and they did within a few months. No such luck for me yet, though - prestomation
@JCarterRN - Are you aware of Quicken's "calendar view" that shows projected balances as a bar graph on a timeline? It does take into consideration one-time expenses as long as they're scheduled. - Joshua Carmody
+1 for formating and reviews. - Dan
You can add transactions manually to Mint - JC.
[+17] [2009-07-15 16:36:50] Jon Erickson

I've never used MS Money at all.. but i really like using Mint [1]

Wesabe [2] is a Mint competitor1 that you could also check out, but I haven't used it myself

1 Wesabe discontinued their support for financial tools as of July 31, 2010


I used to use MS Money before Mint came along. I switched to Mint and haven't looked back - It is pretty much all MS Money had to offer, plus a lot more. - BrianH
(2) Mint needs to step up their game in Canada. - Kells
(2) For me, what is missing in Mint that Money had was the ability to manually enter a transaction (like writing a big check) so that the balance reflects that big check being withdrawn before it actually happens and is available from my bank. - slolife
I've tried Wesabe and Mint. Wesabe requires like trust than Mint, but requires more maintenance. - Brett Veenstra
(9) Mint is US only (their sign in form accepts US zipcodes only) - svandragt
I wish we had a version of Mint for the UK... - Shevek
Updating for accuracy: is now available in Canada. - Graeme Perrow
[+9] [2010-04-26 09:19:19] Shevek

Having had too many issues with GNUCash on windows (specifically the import from my bank's download of QIF files) I switched to HomeBank [1]. It is open source and cross platform.

alt text

Specific features

Here is why HomeBank is... different:

  • transaction import in CSV format (homebank specific format)
  • QIF file format import and export
  • OFX file format import
  • direct add of payee and categories from the register dialog
  • autocompletion whenever possible
  • tag feature for transactions
  • pre-defined transactions, which can be automated
  • pre-filling of transactions from a bookmark
  • dual pad of cheque and automated cheque number increment
  • add transactions by inherit from existing ones
  • multiple transactions edit for each columns at once
  • easy transfert between accounts, which can be automated
  • dynamic transactions filter everywhere
  • visual paymode and additional info text field
  • visual status of transactions
  • transaction remind (kind of 'post-it')
  • dynamic minor currency display toggle for Euro countries

Analysis features

Dynamic, easy and powerful reports with graphical charts (Using Cairo) :

  • complete filter for every transaction fields
  • easy period change with some useful presets
  • 'Statictics' is the main report and show results computed by: Payee, Categories, Months, Years
  • 'Budget' track the decay from what was normaly planned
  • 'Overdrawn' focuses on the balance and point transactions in the 'red zone'
  • 'Car cost' analyze your car specific costs and consumption of fuel

Common features

  • multi-accounts
  • payee assign to transactions
  • categories and subcategories assign to transactions
  • simple annual budget

+1, this looks promising - Mike Pennington
[+8] [2010-04-26 20:11:22] zildjohn01

According the the Microsoft Money site [1]:

Update (11/02/09): Microsoft has announced plans to release versions of Money Plus Deluxe and Money Plus Home & Business that will not require online activation. This version will allow you to keep your Money files and transactional history but will not allow access to online services or premium services. Availability is expected prior to the end of online activation on Jan. 31, 2011. Check back here for additional information or look for future announcements in Money Plus

Another update:

Update (6/17/10): Microsoft has released 'Sunset' versions of Money Plus Deluxe and Money Plus Home & Business that do not require online activation. This version will allow you to keep your Money files and transactional history (on current and future machines) but will not allow access to online services or premium services. Full details and links to the Download Center can be found here [2].

I like the name (Sunset). These versions appear to be available for free.


"Sunset" is a standard euphemism for "we're discontinuing this product and you're **** out of luck". - Adrien
[+6] [2009-07-15 16:45:24] Greg

After having a nightmare setting GnuCash up on Mac OS, I've started using (and quite like) Moneydance [1]. It's java so will run anywhere, and whilst it doesn't look amazing, it does seem snappier than you'd expect Java to be.

It is not free, but $40 isn't too expensive.

Apparently it's got all downloady from your bank stuff in it, but none of that (in any money software) works in the UK...

I've just figured out how to make it portable too, which is really nice.


+1: I've used MoneyDance for about a year now and really like it. - Jon Tackabury
It is Moneydance -- lowercase d. - g .
In the UK I can download from both Barclays and Alliance and Leicester in to my MS Money... - Christopher Edwards
@Christopher: Interesting. I wonder if that uses established channels or if it scrapes the site. I guess with things like yodlee around now it's clearly possible to do it properly. - Greg
[+6] [2009-07-16 18:09:08] spoulson

I can't make any positive recommendations, but I can give a quick review of what I've tried. I haven't had luck finding anything really good. For one reason or another, I find quirks or inconsistencies that break my efforts to balance my budget.

Money 2004/2005: Pretty UI, easy to get started, online banking easy. However, it plays mastermind in matching up downloaded transactions with existing uncleared entries. So if you happened to have taken $100 out of the ATM the same day you paid a bill that was exactly $100, it'll match them up and you have no choice.

Quicken 2006: The crappy transaction mapping had me try Quicken. It's little better with the matching in that you have options, but it still plays the guessing game on you. Once you accept an incorrect match, you can't undo it completely. You can fix it manually, but redownloading transactions doesn't always work. The UI is kinda quirky, but it doesn't really stop you from doing what you need.

Despite this shortcoming, it fit me well for years until last April, when they terminated online banking functionality, forcing me to buy new to keep using it. NO THANKS, jerk.

Mint: It won't hook into my primary ING Direct accounts, so I can only see what's going on in a secondary account I don't use heavily. Also, I can't find a way to make register entries. I don't see the value in this site, unless I'm just doing it wrong.

GnuCash: I'm a fan of open source, and I've evaluated GnuCash before but it didn't work with my credit union for online banking. But, I use a different bank now (ING Direct), so I migrated over. They don't do true online banking; you have to download the OFX file and manually import it. So, I didn't have to deal with the kludgy online OFX/QFX components. Basically, your install experience could vary between quick and simple to configuration hell.

I really like the organization of the double-entry accounting. It takes the complexity away from having to maintain separate categories and accounts.

Transaction mapping is a little bit better than Quicken, but there is still guesswork and sometimes makes it difficult to make corrections when it maps the wrong things.

But, I'm still not really happy, so thankfully someone asked this question. I have some new things to try out.

[+4] [2009-07-15 16:37:52] Gary.Ray

Obviously Quicken/QuickBooks - stable products, integration with many financial institutions, decent support (email at least). The only drawback is the cost - which may get worse with the demise of a decent competitor.

[+4] [2009-07-15 16:50:01] kpoehls

Quicken for sure. I've spent hours looking at all the others & it seems the most complete. Been using it for appx 6yrs

no good if you are in the uk - Ian Ringrose
[+3] [2009-07-15 16:37:06] roe

GnuCash [1] is pretty good, I hear it's difficult to get to run on Windows though.

I stand corrected, there's a windows binary up on their site. Neat. :)


I used it on Ubuntu and XP on a dual boot system pointing to the same account files, which worked well. I've since moved onto the online thing, but I can see where some people would like to use it. - prestomation
I've been using it for 2 years now. It's decent, but the project lacks a good user interface expert and it shows. I also miss some good reporting (charts). - Igor Brejc
@prestomation: What online thing are you referring to? - Lèse majesté
@Lèsemajesté, I personally am using Mint. - prestomation
[+2] [2009-07-15 16:36:05] Russell Heilling - because you can't beat the price ;)

[+2] [2009-07-15 17:00:53] Joe Schmoe

I've been a bit of a fan of YouNeedABudget [1] in the past, though it does take a bit of effort (not much) to get it going and keep it going and I've lapsed recently.

The unique thing about this software is that, unlike MS Money, it doesn't just track what you are spending but gives you a proactive picture of what you can safely spend in future.

It's a form of Envelope Budgeting [2] where you save first and spend later.


[+2] [2009-09-28 13:56:21] harrymc

I like Money Manager Ex [1]:

Money Manager Ex is a free, open-source, cross-platform, easy-to-use personal finance software. It primarily helps organize one's finances and keeps track of where, when and how the money goes. It is also a great tool to get a bird's eye view of your financial worth.

Money Manager includes all the basic features that 90% of users would want to see in a personal finance application. The design goals are to concentrate on simplicity and user-friendliness - something one can use everyday.

Money Manager Ex runs on Windows and Linux and an experimental build is now available for Mac OS X.



I couldn't find license info for this on the site. - Broam
@Broam, it's free software. - Sam
[+2] [2011-12-29 09:53:28] Aitch

I know this q is very old but it popped up on the weekly mailout and piqued my interest, I enjoyed reading the responses.

Don't dismiss the idea of running Money in a Virtual Machine, ad inifinitum

Both the wife and I run a "clean", untainted (legal!) WinXP instance on our macs, that is there solely for the purpose of running Money. We have so much data and have been so underwhelmed by the alternatives that we chose this as a route. Most of the VM providers (parallels, vmware, virtualbox) support a "seamless" mode and the money icon becomes just another app to be clicked.

The other side benefit is the ability to snapshot the VM periodically for backup. We have MS money save our data files in the host machine file system directly, not the VM. Hence TimeMachine then looks after our backups.

Typically, we manually update stock prices about every 1-2 weeks which is sufficient. Weirdly, even now as we approach 2012, some regular stock prices still update contrary to previous MS statements, but not investment fund prices, which rarely have even back when it was supposedly supported.

We are in the UK so online support was always very limited from the banks. As a result, we have never had transaction download, so we are used to entering transactions throughout the month and reconciling with a statement at the end of the month, this works very well for us.

We're very happy and won't be changing any time soon.

[+1] [2009-07-15 16:46:49] user1596

Piggy bank.

[+1] [2009-07-16 18:09:02] Nosredna

Obviously, MSFT Money was never able to take down Quicken.

Quicken has some special offers [1] for Money users to their website.


[+1] [2009-08-20 14:55:47] jacobsee

I've been using MS Money 2002 for years and have never seen a need to upgrade. I don't download anything, just enter in every transaction manually, and the cash-flow forecast is key. I was surprised to read JCarterRN note that none of the other options offer a cash-flow forecast. The main reason I'm hesitant to use anything that downloads transactions automatically is that manually entering everything, then reconciling with your bank account periodically gives you a way to double-check for mistakes.

(1) In your same boat, but needed to upgrade, because 2002 raised the UAC on Windows 7. Now using the "Sunset" version. - Eduardo Molteni
[0] [2009-07-15 16:36:20] Russ Warren

I use and it seems to do a pretty good job at setting budgets and keeping track of everything. I don't really use it to manage my funds (that's what account managers are for at your banking / investment firm), but I do use it to keep up on my portfolio, cash, and checking accounts.

As a bonus, it's free. They have offer credit card and investment offers tailored to your portfolio, apparently, but I've never taken advantage of them.

[0] [2009-07-15 19:46:11] Sanjay Sheth

Yodlee MoneyCenter [1] is the base code for many of the popular sites like Mint. It is updated frequently and is the one I've been using for several years.


[0] [2009-12-02 03:33:36] Soichi Hayashi

I've been working on a project called dsBudget ( and although this tool is as simple as it gets, if you are serious about budgeting and keep your expense under control this tool has helped many people to gain control of their finance.

[0] [2010-04-26 12:01:23] Click Ok

I really like of Personal Finances [1]. And I'm using the free version!


[0] [2010-04-26 21:28:52] Charlino

Keep an eye out for Xero Personal [1] it's only available for New Zealand BNZ customers currently - but once it is released everywhere else, it'll be a game changer.

Ps. There's also a video giving a brief overview here [2]


[0] [2010-06-28 04:35:20] Ian Turner

MoneyWell [1] is a great and well supported solution for Mac OS X users


[0] [2010-07-29 13:18:04] Ian Ringrose

Reconnecting Microsoft Money [1] has some details on how to get stock prices into MS-Money using Python Scripts, but is seems bit ad-hock. Maybe useful if you are a Python programmer.

Another link for this. [2]

(The main issue I have for needing a replacement for MS-Money is the ending on-line surport)


[0] [2011-12-29 10:21:33] tidbeck

I heard a lot of Skrooge [1] when I tried to follow the KDE [2] project. Not sure how well it will run on windows but it should be possible.

According to the website:

A personal finances manager, powered by KDE

Skrooge allows you to manage your personal finances, powered by KDE 4.x. Thanks to its many features, it is one of the most powerful way to enter, follow, and analyze your expenses.

Based on its KDE foundations, Skrooge can run on many platforms, including of course linux, BSD, Solaris, but also on Mac OS, and possibly on Windows.


[0] [2012-06-12 09:44:47] meetpd

Try Ace Money. One of the most comprehensive money management software I have used: