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.
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.
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