Microsoft Money discussion

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Microsoft Money discussion

Postby sunkenradish » 31 May 2012 22:04

Hey all.

Is anyone else here using Microsoft Money? I've been a Money user since version 2004 and can't say enough good about it.
The Sunset Plus edition is free to download as Microsoft has discontinued actively supporting it; this shouldn't stop you from trying it if you haven't already.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download ... x?id=20738

It's a great program for managing day to day accounts and I can track all of my investment holdings as well.

I just started using the "Lifetime Planner" function which I never noticed in previous versions.

I've found what I consider a "bug" in the planner - if you tag an income source in the planner as a "Defined Benefits Pension", the income from it never shows up, resulting in a pessimistic projection of future cashflow. A workaround appears to be to tag that income as simply "general income" instead of a pension benefit.

So, anyone else a Money user?

By the way, I tried Quicken 2012 and returned it for a refund after a couple of weeks. The cash-flow forecast in Quicken is fundamentally broken, not taking into account budget items, only "bills". Money, on the other hand, properly projects cash flow based on not only scheduled and historical bills but also budgeted amounts.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby flywaysuzy » 08 Jun 2012 11:13

I have just downloaded it and am in the process of setting up all the accounts. Will keep you posted on how it goes...will check out the planning part sometime too!
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Bylo Selhi » 08 Jun 2012 11:19

CJOttawa wrote: I can track all of my investment holdings as well.

[From the linked page] MS-Money's "No online services (no online quotes, no bill payment, no statement downloads initiated by Money, no data sync with MSN Money online services, etc…)" is as much of a show stopper for me as Quicken's lack of "cash-flow forecast"ing is for you.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Insomniac » 08 Jun 2012 11:32

I use GnuCash as I am trying to make my house a Microsoft free zone (yes, I know Microsoft is everywhere and it's basically impossible to free yourself from them, but I do the best I can)
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby deaddog » 08 Jun 2012 13:33

Insomniac wrote:I use GnuCash as I am trying to make my house a Microsoft free zone (yes, I know Microsoft is everywhere and it's basically impossible to free yourself from them, but I do the best I can)

Why is that? Don’t you think the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a worthwhile organization? :wink:
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Insomniac » 08 Jun 2012 14:36

deaddog wrote:
Insomniac wrote:I use GnuCash as I am trying to make my house a Microsoft free zone (yes, I know Microsoft is everywhere and it's basically impossible to free yourself from them, but I do the best I can)

Why is that? Don’t you think the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a worthwhile organization? :wink:


Microsoft and other (Oracle, Adobe, HP, ...) software licensing rules and associated costs have been a royal PITA during my career. I now use open source as much as possible.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby $seeker » 09 Jun 2012 13:37

How would you compare this GnuCash to Quicken or Money.
DO you download from your various accounts?
Will it track dividends etc?
Can you give a bit of a review as to its pros and cons?
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Insomniac » 10 Jun 2012 00:37

$seeker wrote:How would you compare this GnuCash to Quicken or Money.
DO you download from your various accounts?
Will it track dividends etc?
Can you give a bit of a review as to its pros and cons?


There are many reviews of GnuCash on the web. Google "gnucash vs ms money". For example: http://www.suburbandollar.com/2009/02/13/using-gnucash-to-manage-your-personal-finances-part-1/

For several years now, I have used it to maintain the books for a non profit organization (I am Secretary-Treasurer). With it I can produce financial reports very quickly.

Downloads from financial institutions may not work. It uses "Direct OFX Connect" which I don't think is supported by Canadian banks (possible exception is ING Direct and TD). OFX is the "Open Financial Exchange" protocol.

This could be a good retirement project: install it in a Windows VM and report the results in this forum.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby $seeker » 10 Jun 2012 10:21

Thanks for the reply.
I spent the day going over the manual and downloaded the software, but I don' t think I will use it.
I was excited by its potential but I think it is geared more for someone with more ability to "create" solution to roadblocks.
I think I may go back to Quicken and accept the shakedown.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby triker » 10 Jun 2012 13:36

$seeker wrote:How would you compare this GnuCash to Quicken or Money.
DO you download from your various accounts?
I really like GnuCash because of the way it does proper double entry book-keeping. Every expenditure has an expense account associated with it, (even if it's just Misc).

GnuCash can be set up to download prices for mutual funds and stocks. Unlike Quicken, I can actually get prices for preferred shares. Gnucash will download Quicken QFX files from financial institutions to keep your accounts up to date.

I've made several attempts over the years to switch to GnuCash, but am still stuck with frustrating, buggy Quicken. The one thing missing from GnuCash that is a deal-breaker for me is the inability to track ACB according to Canadian rules.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby AltaRed » 10 Jun 2012 17:02

triker wrote:Unlike Quicken, I can actually get prices for preferred shares.

I get prices for preferred shares just like common stocks in Quicken.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby sunkenradish » 11 Jun 2012 10:52

Bylo Selhi wrote:
CJOttawa wrote: I can track all of my investment holdings as well.

[From the linked page] MS-Money's "No online services (no online quotes, no bill payment, no statement downloads initiated by Money, no data sync with MSN Money online services, etc…)" is as much of a show stopper for me as Quicken's lack of "cash-flow forecast"ing is for you.


I can't speak for other brokerages but if you're with TD Waterhouse, you can download the data on your holdings there in one click and Money imports them perfectly.

FYI: older versions of Money (v.2004 and onward) still work with online services.
I tested this the other day by installing Money 2004 and trying an online update. Since it's now free software, I'm happy to share that installer with anyone interested.

I can see where a day trader would hate to use the Sunset edition of Money, not being able to update prices online instantly. For a buy-and-hold indexer like me, it's perfect.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Bylo Selhi » 11 Jun 2012 11:05

CJOttawa wrote:What Money can't do anymore is one-click stock price updates from within the program. I can see where a day trader would hate to use the Sunset edition of Money. For a buy-and-hold indexer like me, it's perfect.

I'm a buy-and-holder as well, but I still like to see updated prices from time to time. I don't want to have to enter them manually and individually.

In addition I use Quicken as a cheque register replacement. I need to be able to download bank transactions because the banks keep transactions online for as little as a few months. That's hardly enough, especially for tax purposes. And if you close an account you lose online access immediately, even just read-only access to archived information. That too is unacceptable.

So for me Money is just as unworkable as Quicken seems to be for you.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Shakespeare » 11 Jun 2012 11:48

I use an ancient 1-2-3 spreadsheet. From Yahoo, I download a csv file. A macro then reads it into the spreadsheet.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby newguy » 11 Jun 2012 12:16

Shakespeare wrote:I use an ancient 1-2-3 spreadsheet. From Yahoo, I download a csv file. A macro then reads it into the spreadsheet.

For quotes or expenses? I use that method for both. I also use it to categorize my visa and bank stmt.
eg.
Code: Select all
Function getCategory(storeName As String) As String
     If storeName Like "*LOBL*" Then getCategory = "Grocery"


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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Shakespeare » 11 Jun 2012 12:26

I use the csv file for quotes. Expenses are manually tracked on another spreadsheet.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby sunkenradish » 11 Jun 2012 15:58

Bylo Selhi wrote:
CJOttawa wrote:What Money can't do anymore is one-click stock price updates from within the program. I can see where a day trader would hate to use the Sunset edition of Money. For a buy-and-hold indexer like me, it's perfect.

I'm a buy-and-holder as well, but I still like to see updated prices from time to time. I don't want to have to enter them manually and individually.

In addition I use Quicken as a cheque register replacement. I need to be able to download bank transactions because the banks keep transactions online for as little as a few months. That's hardly enough, especially for tax purposes. And if you close an account you lose online access immediately, even just read-only access to archived information. That too is unacceptable.

So for me Money is just as unworkable as Quicken seems to be for you.


I agree, I couldn't abide relying solely on a banks online record keeping; it wouldn't go back far enough nor be as easily searchable. I keep records of all my old, closed accounts in Money.

I too use Money as a cheque register. Bank transactions still download fine in MS Money Sunset. (log in to bank, click download since last - automatically opens in Money and places in the appropriate account) It imports standard .OFX files. (versions 2004 and onward)

I'm not saying that to be argumentative, only to point out that Money hasn't stopped working as Microsoft's verbiage suggests. ;)
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby westinvest » 12 Jun 2012 00:27

I use Quicken both as an archive for bank and credit card transactions (downloaded monthly) and to track all investment transactions and valuations since about 2000. Works well, but the downside as Bylo has pointed out upthread is that Quicken uses the entire transaction file to process your investment returns, my .qdf file is about 49MB so some of the reports aren't quite instantaneous.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby HardWorker » 14 Jul 2012 12:16

I'm trying to decide whether to start tracking all of my finances with either Quicken or MS Money. Biggest issue right now is that MS Money won't automatically log into your bank/broker/credit card accounts and download the transactions automatically. But that'll also be the case if I were to buy Quicken, as they seem to stop online support every 3 years or so. So does that mean I'll have to buy a new copy/upgrade every 2 or 3 years?

The automatic transaction downloads are handy no doubt, but I don't feel like buying and installing software on regular basis just to get online access. Any other advantages to Quicken over MS Money?

Edit: I see Quicken has Canadian and US versions, while Money only has a US version. Is this a deciding factor for anyone? I can it see affecting tax and retirement planning.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby Bylo Selhi » 14 Jul 2012 13:47

HardWorker wrote:So does that mean I'll have to buy a new copy/upgrade every 2 or 3 years?
Yes.

I don't feel like buying and installing software on regular basis just to get online access.
I resent it as well, however, the price of Quicken is $100 so that's about $30 a year. Also for the past two years they've had a sale around Christmas that cuts that about in half. I've learned to gringrimace and bear it.

I see Quicken has Canadian and US versions, while Money only has a US version. Is this a deciding factor for anyone? I can it see affecting tax and retirement planning.
The Canadian version of Quicken supports:
• multiple currencies so if you own securities in US$ (et al) it can do FX conversion for computing taxable capital gains
• Canadian capital gains rules, which are more restrictive than in the US
• generally uses Canadian terminology, e.g. RRSP not 401(k), TFSA not Roth IRA, etc.
I have no idea how MS Money compares in these respects. One more difference is that Quicken, at least in theory, remains a supported product that hopefully will be enhanced as tax rules evolved (think TFSAs.) Money is discontinued and will never be enhanced.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby adrian2 » 14 Jul 2012 14:08

Bylo Selhi wrote:Money is discontinued and will never be enhanced.

For a longer time view, think how long the application will run on current PC's (16 bit vs. 32 bit vs. 64 bit vs. ...).

I have started using Quicken (16 bit) since I came to Canada 17 years ago. 16 bit apps are not supported any more beginning with Windows 7, hence I've finally migrated to Quicken 2011. One more future iteration to 128 bit may leave Money (32 bit) not runnable.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby newguy » 14 Jul 2012 15:26

If people don't like spending 5 or 10 seconds every month to download their bank statements then they can always automate it. I use a freeware program called 'Do it again' and I automagically import and categorize my bank and visa statements. It's very easy and the payback time for figuring it out is under 20 years.

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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby like_to_retire » 14 Jul 2012 19:43

If people don't like spending 5 or 10 seconds every month to download their bank statements then they can always automate it.

Yeah, it sure doesn't take long to download the .csv file of my transactions every month and divide the items into categories. This then produces all sorts of lovely bar charts, pie charts, budgets and projections, etc.

Learn Excel and write your own finance software and you won't have to worry what some software company is doing to you every few years.

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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby HardWorker » 14 Jul 2012 22:41

Thanks a bunch guys, it's great help. MS Money is nice, but Quicken it is.

The "life planner" in Money is nice and handy, but dealing with American tax treatments isn't so nice or handy. The help file tells you how to switch between US and Canada, but the program won't do it.

BTW, for anyone thats running older versions of Quicken, there appears to be a bunch of hacks and micro programs that'll allow you to download quotes and possibly download your bank transactions. I can't vouch for any of them, but there are many websites that describe how to do it.
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Re: Microsoft Money discussion

Postby leoc2 » 15 Jul 2012 06:15

like_to_retire wrote:Yeah, it sure doesn't take long to download the .csv file of my transactions every month and divide the items into categories. This then produces all sorts of lovely bar charts, pie charts, budgets and projections, etc.

Learn Excel and write your own finance software and you won't have to worry what some software company is doing to you every few years.

ltr


This is what I do too!
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