Alternatives to MS Money

Early last week, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Money Plus will no longer be available for purchase after June 30, 2009 and all purchased Money Plus products must be activated before January 31, 2011. The software maker cites the change in the market where banks, brokers, even third parties have started to offer their customers free, mostly web based money management tools as the reason to stop offering Money Plus, the desktop version of MS Money, even though its web version will still be available.

If you are a MS Money user for years, like my fellow blogger 2million, you probably won’t be very happy about Miscosoft’s decision to discontinue Money, especially if you have all your personal finance data stored in Money. At the same time, it may be time for you to start to look for alternatives to replace MS Money before the day when all updates and supports of the software end.

Desktop Software

As far as I know, MS Money is one of the two commercially available desktop personal finance software. The other one, which stands to benefit from the discontinuation of MS Money, is Quicken from Intuit. I have been using Quicken Home & Business to track my investments and credit card and bank accounts for quite some time and like the software quite well, especially its reporting functionality. I also used MS Money before switching to Quicken a few years ago. Now it seems I made the right decision back then :)

Update: If you are considering switching to Quicken, you can take advantage of their special promotion to get up to 50% $30 off some popular Quicken products plus free gift.

While you will have to pay for the software if you want to switch to Quicken, there’s also one free personal finance software available called GnuCash. I have heard about this software for sometime and even installed it on my computer, but I’ve never got a chance to try it myself to see how it works. Maybe it’s time to start working on it. If you want to find out more about GnuCash, About.com has short review of the software.

Web Based Software

Like Microsoft admitted in the announcement, there are plenty of web based personal finance tools available that you don’t really need to pay a penny to use them. One of them is Quicken Online, also from Intuit. Mint.com is another popular website that lets you budget and track your money for free. I have mentioned a few other personal finance tools early and they are all free (if you are comfortable with online tools of course).

Microsoft Money may be gone, but there are many other choices, paid or free, out there that can help you keep your financial records up to date.

Photo credit: zolierdos

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This post was written by Sun You can find out more about Sun and his activities on Facebook , or follow him on Twitter .

8 Responses to “Alternatives to MS Money”

  1. Tom |  Jun 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I am a bit disappointed that there will not be any competition on the desktop for Quicken. And I am even a little bit worried that Quicken desktop will go away in favor of the on-line tools like Mint and Geezeo.

    I am not ready for the on-line tools. For one, I have an ING Direct account and while I can always directly download transactions from their site, Mint and Quicken both have problems downloading them automatically. It’s easier to get those transactions into Quicken as a result.

    I recently wrote an article on the safety of using on-line aggregators such as Mint, Geezeo, etc (http://www.elusivewealth.com/2009/06/15/how-safe-is-using-mintcom-and-other-on-line-account-aggregators/). I think the only thing that really concerns me is the financial institutions not supporting them both from a technology / connection standpoint, and more importantly from a security standpoint.

  2. Lucia @ moneyStrands |  Jun 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Another web-based money management tool to check out is http://www.moneyStrands.com. Like others mentioned, the service is free. We’d love to hear your feedback if you get a chance to check us out.

    Best,
    Lucia @ moneyStrands

  3. Chelsea with Quicken |  Jun 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Sun,

    Thought your readers might be interested in the deal we’re offering on Quicken through the end of July: http://blog.quicken.intuit.com/2009/06/15/quicken-offering-up-financial-freedom-to-money-customers-up-to-50-off-through-july-2009/

    Good luck finding a great replacement for Money.

    - Chelsea, Quicken

  4. Chelsea with Quicken |  Jun 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Chelsea from Quicken. We know more than 12 million households use Quicken products. Not going away – we love you guys! Hope I’ve helped you feel a little better.

    We’ve got a free online product too (quickenonline.com). There is definitely a lot of growth in that area, but with so many people needing a solid desktop solution, we’re committed to both.

    Thanks,

    Chelsea

  5. Sun |  Jun 19, 2009 at 7:49 am

    @Tom I am also a little concerned of having all my financial information on a website. That’s why I prefer to use software installed on my computer. Quicken has been working very well for me, no problem downloading transactions from banks and credit card companies.

    @Lucia I have heard about moneyStrands, but didn’t really know it. Have to check it out.

    @Chelsea Thanks for sharing the promotion. I have updated the post with links to the discount.

  6. Shannon |  Jun 24, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Chelsea, why 2009 is soooo slow and uses sooo much memory? Any plan to fix that?
    Thx

  7. Ed |  Nov 03, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I use money because I download from banks in both countries. Quicken does not allow this to happen. I was a Quicken user for many years but had to change over to Money.
    Does Quicken have any plans to make the software useable in multi currencies on the same computer. I spoke numerous times years ago with Quicken tech & they said they would work on it & get back to me. Never did.

    Tell me its possible for the desktop version & I’ll switch tomorrow.

    Regards

    Ed

  8. Bob |  Feb 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Current Money users may want to look at this:

    http://sites.google.com/site/pocketsense/home/msmoneyfixp1

    Pretty easy (and secure) way to keep getting online statements.