MS Money Software

By | September 4, 2007

My MS Money 2004 software has expired and can no longer download transactions from the web. I was not aware that there was a time limit on the download feature. I am planning to purchase the MS Money 2008 version. Has anyone used the MS Money 2008 or the 2007 version yet?

Yahoo Finance recently published an article about the best personal finance software to track your financial accounts. MS Money is listed in the article, along with Quicken. For your convenience, I have copy-pasted the article below along with the link to the actual page.
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The Best Personal-Finance Software

by David Futrelle
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success is just showing up. You could also say that 80 percent of financial success is just keeping track.

Knowing what you have stops you from bouncing checks; knowing how your investments are performing helps you move toward your goals. Trouble is, keeping track can be a royal pain in the posterior. A personal-finance program can ease the ache. Here are our six faves.

Microsoft Money Plus, Windows; $20 to $90, depending on version
Quicken, Windows, Mac; $30 to $100

These two programs dominate for good reason. Both let you download your bank and credit card info and pay bills and manage investments online, creating cool charts and tables along the way.

Both offer everything from a cheap basic version (if you’re looking for little more than a system for balancing your checkbook) to a pricier one with sophisticated tools to help you pay down debt, save for retirement and more.

Both give tax advice and let you transfer your data into tax prep programs like Intuit’s TurboTax and H&R Block’s TaxCut .

The 2008 editions of these programs, out this month, include several new features meant to help you budget and track expenditures more precisely. (The 2008 versions were unavailable at press time; we tested the 2007 versions.)

Bottom line: You can’t go wrong with either program. (If you’re a Mac user, your only option here is Quicken.) Quicken and Money aren’t perfect, though. They’re so big that they can run slowly and be difficult to navigate.

Annoyingly, both try to sell you on other products and services. And they’re not cheap especially if you factor in their monthly fee for online bill paying ($6 with Money; $10 with Quicken).

Simpler (and usually cheaper) alternatives

AceMoney, Windows; $30

AceMoney offers a solid, basic personal-finance package. If you’re a frugal sort with only one bank account to track, you can download AceMoney Lite for free.

While the $30 version doesn’t include online bill paying, it does let you track multiple accounts and entitles you to free upgrades for life – or at least for as long as the small software company behind AceMoney sticks around.

MoneyDance, Windows, Mac, Linux; $30

If you’re a Mac user, this is the only passable alternative to Quicken. It’s sleek and simple to use, and it covers all the basics of personal finance. You can also download an assortment of free “extensions” – useful tools like credit card paydown calculators.

Moneydance doesn’t charge for online bill paying, but your bank may.

Managing your money from the back of a cab

Pocket Quicken, Palm, Pocket PC; $40
Ultrasoft Money, Palm; $40

Attention, handheld-PC addicts: These two very similar programs are the only ones worth bothering with.

After you manage your finances on your handheld, you can transfer the data into your desktop personal-finance program (as long as that program is Quicken or Money, respectively). Because man cannot live by teeny keyboards alone.

4 thoughts on “MS Money Software

  1. pfstock

    A while back, I posted an article about this issue with MS Money 2004 (see http://pfstock.blogspot.com/2007/06/microsoft-money-issues.html ). I have the 2007 version of MS Money, and found it to be generally good, but there are a few features that are missing. For example, you can more easily switch from viewing one investment to another in the 2004 version. There is a drop-down box with the names of all of the securities that you entered into money, but this feature doesn’t exist in the 2007 version. Also, the 2007 version of Money only runs under Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows Vista.

    The 2008 version is now called MS Money Plus. Have you seen the system requirements? Again, you need to have WinXP SP2 or WinVista.

    For PCs running Windows XP, the minimum requirements are a Pentium II 300-MHz or faster processor (or compatible), and 128 MB of RAM. But for PCs running Windows Vista, the requirements are a Pentium 1 gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) processor or 1-GHz 64-bit (x64) processor or faster (or compatible), and a whopping 1 GB of RAM.

    I’m starting to question why the requirements are so drastically different for Windows Vista… Is Vista so phenomenally superior to Windows XP? In any case, my plan is to upgrade my PC to Windows Vista, and buy MS Money Plus (Deluxe Version) at the same time that I buy my tax software (TaxCut). This is usually sometime after Thanksgiving when they start to bundles the software packages. I will usually upgrade my virus scanner at the same time.

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  2. Smarty

    Thanks pfstock for sharing your experience.

    I recently upgraded to the MS Money 2007 version. I notice they have improved the interface a lot, but at the same time taking up a lot of memory space. Fortunately, I have 1.5GB of RAM. I bet MS Money 2008 is going to be a memory hog.

    Also, I notice that once you lose track of updating your transactions it becomes a pain to get back on track. I have several accounts totally out of whack, including a taxable investment account with TD Ameritrade? Any software out there to help you sort out trading transactions, capital gains with ease? The problem with MS Money is that I cannot or don’t know how to import csv files.

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  3. Nate

    Consider also GnuCash – now available for windows. Spartan online offerings but the interface is customizable and has a sensible layout. It uses the double entry accounting format and has a nice tutorial. It’s kind of geeky.

    And yes, Vista is superior to XP! But go with the 64 bit version as opposed to the 32-bit if your processor/mobo support it.
    Best of all it’s free (donation ware) – Open Source software. I have found that the version 2.2.1 doesn’t work on my Vista 64-bit system but the 2.2.0 seems to work fine.

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  4. Lexie Wilkinson

    i am only using free virus scanners like avast and avira but they seem to be great tools though`;.

    Reply

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