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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, 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 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. Shahid says:

    When my father purchased my very first PC in 1998 (IBM Aptiva) it came with a copy of Quicken 97 in the bundle. I immediately fell it love with the software, despite the learning curve (which took a while to master). Money management software has come a long way since then.

    I would definately love to have the latest Quicken 2009.

    • yon says:

      I am looking for a money management software that I can use for my Apple. I wonder the Quicken Premier 09 has an Apple version.

  2. Jon says:

    I’ve never used any software to manage money. It might be a good idea to start. 🙂

  3. Ron Hekier says:

    I have used Quicken Home Edition for about 8 years now. It’s nice to review my historical expenses per category. It will be even better in about 10 years, when both of my daughters are teenagers. I can’t wait to show them how much money I spend on them. 🙂

  4. Kenneth Myers says:

    We use Quicken and really enjoy it. I especially like the forecast function.

  5. CDG132 says:

    I use Microsoft Money. It gets the job done, but has some confusing features. The debt reduction planner never works correctly, It is amazing how much money I am saving now that I see where all my money is going, down to the last penny. We have setup budgets and most of the time stick to them. The reoccuring feature is really nice for cash flowing your money. I think I have almost all yearly expenses and deposits accounted for. My wife and I are currently saving 85% of my income and I make about 70% of the total household income.

  6. David says:

    I’m like you in that Excel was my first step into money management software.

    I have my own heavily customized spreadsheet that I use about 95% of the time. I recently started using Mint occasionally for some of the categorization, but it’s really just a short term thing while I improve my electronic checkbook (as I like to call my Excel spreadsheet).

  7. Lu says:

    I’ve used many methods for money management (, Quicken, MS Money, Excel). From those methods, the issue that I run into is that it can be very time consuming and labor intensive (especially when manual data entry is involved).

    I use now. I use credit and debit cards as much as I can when paying for items (no matter how small). Mint automatically pulls the transactions in and categorizes them. It makes keeping track of my budget pretty fast and simple. One drawback with Mint is that it’s not designed (although you can finagle it) to track cash expenditures. has my vote!

  8. Wade says:

    Well, I just want the software. But, what is realistic on how to save money. You cant really cut your utility bills maybe telehone and cable so where can we cut real cost. Cable and dish services are raising prices even in this economy. I would like to know waht are their true cost and how can a network charge since their revenue is coming from ads. Any ideas?

  9. Brian says:

    Been using MS Money since late 90’s. I still use a spreadsheet for exporting reports and then tweaking the transactions.

    I can’t imagine managing monthly finances without some kind of software…

  10. I also started my money management with excel and continue to use it to this day. I do use Quicken Online as a quick way to check my account values, since I have so many. If I ever start diversifying my online income I will probably start using some sort of quicken business product.

  11. linda says:

    i use quickbooks

  12. Scott says:

    I have used in the past and like it except that my wife is self-employed and trying to figure out how to use cash was too time consuming for me. I’ve used Quicken in the past but don’t like some of the features of the automatic synchronizing. So right now I use Quicken and enter everyting by hand. I just started doing that this year and it takes me about an hour or so every Sat. morning. I also have a Scanalizer from Neat Receipts which I take and scan all of my receipts and categorize them which I really like and it saves space. I talked with someone at the IRS and they said that for audit purposes (hopefully never happen) electronic copies are valid.

  13. Eric says:

    I have used Quicken for over 10 years now. I use it to balance my 4 checking accounts and for historical archive. The function I would like to use, but do not trust is investing module.

  14. Mayuresh D says:

    I primarily use to look at the overall net worth, Account Alerts. Use Quicken Premier 2007 totally disconnected for Budgeting using the Dave Ramsey Zero-Based Budgeting method

  15. abe says:

    I’ve never used any software program. Since I turn 60 this week, it would be a good time to start. So this is my try at a free one. By the way, is anyone aware of any free ones out there, other than this contest?

  16. Proud Pappa 2B says:

    I use mint. It is great except for that a lot of smaller community banks that have better products/rates are not supported yet.

  17. Courtney says:

    I use just a plain old notebook and pen. It might not be as easy as a computer, but when I take the time to add up my expenses (which I do on a regular basis) it gives me more time to think about what I am spending and where. It makes the totals more ‘real’ for me when I have to write them out.

  18. Markim says:

    We are in the middle of Dave Ramsey’s FPU & are currently using his Gazelle Budget because it’s free while we are enrolled. We are currently shopping other options.

  19. SarahJane says:

    We use excel spreadsheets that we created ourselves. I pull our data off the internet for all our accounts and imput all the information.

  20. BrewCrewFan says:

    I’ve been using Quicken for about 20 years. I getting more and more frustrated with the interface with my various financial accounts, so I’ve checked out Yodlee and Unfortunately, neither is an option until they support my local bank (I’m getting 5.01% from my rewards checking account, so I’m not leaving that bank anytime soon).

  21. Daniel says:

    I’ve tried, but I think is more feature-rich. The Wesabe community is great, too.

  22. Ariance says:

    Hi there,
    I use bank of america money management tool. I feel much secure than any other free online software.

  23. jimmydageek says:

    I use Money and want to get out of their stranglehold

  24. Garth says:

    I have used Quicken 2007, desktop version, since, well, 2007. At first I used it as a budgeting tool, but I just recently finished _Your Money or Your Life_ and am now using the powerful categorization (sub categorization) tool to track income and expense on very detailed levels that relate to the true reason for the rise of either. I find it a really powerful tool to be able to have a detailed categorization for monthly review. I also like being able to see my net worth every time I log-in simply to pay bills or do a monthly account reconciliation. Plus, I like the fact that it is a hometown software company that I can support (Intuit, Tucson, AZ).

  25. Jen says:

    I use Excel documents to track my spending, savings/investments, and debt repayment. It’s easy, highly versatile, and basically free. The only problem I’ve found is that since I like accessing them using Google Docs, so that I can work on them during my lunch break, or at a coffee shop, I have trouble linking the various spreadsheets, and have to do a lot of things manually that Quicken would do for me automatically.

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