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Your Take: Do You Use Money Management Software?

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Pen & Paper is Money Management Too!When I started working five years ago, I tracked my spending down to the penny. I wrote about my “Budget Bible” before when talking about financial leaks. I felt that tracking my spending down to the penny was a great way for me to identify the areas I was spending and gave me an opportunity to review those areas. I didn’t realize it but that Excel spreadsheet was my first foray into money management software!

Back in 2003, there weren’t many personal finance tools out there. The tools that did exist were young and untested. Nowadays, there are plenty of personal finance tools available to help you manage your money! You have the beautiful, feature-rich, venture-backed Mint.com, you have the big branded cash flow focused Quicken Online, and you have the relative gray beard of the bunch, Yodlee, all at your disposal.

Of the three, I’ve played with Mint.com and Quicken Online and use them sparingly. My question for you, on this fine Friday, is – Do you use money management software? Either online or offline? If so, which one? If not, why not?

As for this week’s bribe, I have a copy of Quicken Premier 2009 to give away to one lucky commenter. You don’t have to say you use Quicken or that you’ll try Quicken Online, you just need to leave a comment and share which software you use or if you don’t use any at all! Contest closes in one week, February 27th, and it’s void where prohibited. Good luck!

(Photo: paulworthington)

{ 144 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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144 Responses to “Your Take: Do You Use Money Management Software?”

  1. Amy says:

    I use Yodlee to track all of my accounts online, but I also have a spreadsheet that I’ve developed to track my spending.

  2. Deby says:

    I use Quicken to track my money, and my own spreadsheets for the actual budgeting process. You could say I use Quicken to know where my money went, and Excel to know where it’s going :)

  3. Nadia says:

    I use Quicken — I keep everything in there well managed; I also use Mint, because the graphs and budgeting is so well done. I can never seem to get Quicken to do that well. I’m using Quicken 2007, so I’d love the upgrade : )

  4. Steve says:

    I have used PC versions of Quicken in the passed. One thing I do not like about Quicken is the need to upgrade constantly (every three years if I am not mistaken). Not only does it cost you for the new years software, but you also have to get used to a new interface etc.

  5. Andrew says:

    I switched to MS Money in 2004 after using Quicken since 1996? (the old DOS-like interface!). The differences b/w Money and Quicken aren’t enough to switch back and forth for.

    Recently tried Mint adding a few accounts. Really like the interface and the iPhone app version. Security is a minor concern, but I keep my iPhone password protected. You should, too.

  6. saladdin says:

    Fingers and toes.

    saladdin

  7. amanda says:

    I use money managment softawre to track ALL my expenses when i see it in a qicken chart etc it is a lot harder to lie to myself about my money defects and keeps my budget on track!

  8. Kyle says:

    I have tried Microsoft Money and Quicken in the past, and recently tried signing up for Wesabe, but I can never seem follow through on the committment to get all the detail in the systems! Good intentions, but need a kick in the pants.

  9. Swamproot says:

    I kind of use mint. I like to look at the reports and charts, but it really is not much of a driver in my PF life. I too mostly use spreadsheets of my own design. OpenOffice and GoogleDoc spreadsheets.

    I think the big value of spreadsheets is that you can play things out in the future. My pay can fluctuate so it is a good way to see how next month is going to play out. And whether or not I need to be worried. :-)

  10. AverageJoe says:

    Tried both Quicken and Microsoft Money a few years ago, didn’t like them, seemed like too time consuming. Wondering about Mint, may try it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ….so far i only use quicken,and is ok… i might, and since lots of people say mint is good to so i’m going to give it a try

  12. chris says:

    I use mint.com and i love it for looking at trends and a snapshot of how my finances are with the iphone app. Ive been curious about quicken online.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I tried both Quicken Online and Mint. Thought they were useful at first, but ultimately went back to my original system, a program called iBank on my mac. It’s not as pretty as Mint and doesn’t have the coolest features, but for my purposes it works the best.

  14. Kittyluv says:

    Use Mint.com for a general budget overview. Have not had any problems with security breaches and appreciate the advance notifications built into the system to give reminders about when bills are due, etc. For a free service, I find it easy to compile and with only a few minor tweaks I can be informed about my personal finances by looking at the overview page. The graphics are rather nice too!

  15. Sasha says:

    I’vc been tracking every dollar on MS Money since 2001. I couldn’t live without it now, both from a budgeting standpoint and tracking bill due-dates, expenses for taxes, you name it. Every night I empty out my purse and reconstruct the day’s spending from receipts and notes. Every morning I download information from my banks and credit cards to reconcile my balances. It’s a habit, about 10 minutes a day, that keeps everything in line.

  16. I used Yodlee Money Center for net-worth tracking, but other than that I just use excel.

  17. Lou says:

    I DON’T put personal finanancial information on line, except for banking. I do pay bills online (only at https sites). I feel that there are huge privacy issues, so i use personal software and keep the info on a disk. Maybe a bit paranoid, but better safe than sorry.

  18. headknocker says:

    Excel spreadsheet for me. Simple yet configurable for all my needs.

  19. Michael says:

    Homemade budget/Excel. I use a military theme, as I have aggressive financial goals this year. Categories include:
    “Orders” represent projects that make money but consume time.
    “General Store” represent expenses such as housing, food, gift-buying, etc.
    “Stockpile” represents savings.
    “Arsenal” represents things I need to make money with such as vehicle, software, technology.
    “Bases” represent residual based income initiatives such as selling memberships, businesses that produce steady income, affiliate/referral relationships.
    It’s changed the way I view money. I don’t focus on just making money, but making the right type of money…rather simply trading my time for it.

  20. GreenLava says:

    I’ve been using Acemoney Lite since 2007, it’s free and it works. Previously I used Excel.

  21. landscapeblocc says:

    I use quicken 2005 but have been disappointed with the need to upgrade to communicate with online banking. I have tried quickbooks for my small business but again am disappointed with the complexity and barrage of upgrade requests. So I am in between software and will take a hard look at mint and the others. You would think that there would be tons of freeware options by now.

  22. Maria says:

    I’ve used MS Money for about 12 years.

  23. Yuui says:

    I started using Mint a couple of weeks ago migrating from using a spreadsheet. I have to say that Mint is done really pretty and for right now it’s functional enough for me to stick with it and not go to the trouble of exploring other applications.

  24. I’ve used Quicken for years for cash flow accounts and use Excel to track long-term savings and for some budgeting purposes.

    At one point I tried to switch all my books to Excel, because after buying a Mac I found I didn’t much care for the version of Quicken that runs on the Mac, and, like Steve (above) I highly resent Intuit’s habit to forcing customers to upgrade every couple of years by making old data obsolete, so if you don’t buy new software sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with all your records down the toilet. However, neither my math nor my computer skills were up to a complete conversion, so I’m still using Quicken. I’m way too stodgy keep my books online!

  25. Newbie says:

    I just started an excel spreadsheet last night and recorded my first expense entry! I want to be on the road to financial stability… :) Never too late to start.


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