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Personal Finance Software

David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Personal Finance Software

Money, as we all know, is something that can generally get away from you if you pop into PC World and see a shiny toy and go "ohh shiny" and splash the plastic (guily  Embarrassed) so I'm looking at Personal Finance Software (PFS) to help me manage my dosh a bit better and I'll post my results here just in case anyone wants to have a whirl, as well as what to avoid.  I'm happy to test others (if there is a free trial or it's free) to compare them!
Quicken Home & Business
First one I tried, big name.... seems to be dedicated totally to the United States, I couldn't even figure out where to change it to £ and it wasn't compatible with the statement (quicken) download from my bank - avoid (unless you're in the US).
Banktree Personal Finance
The interface looks pretty basic but it does seem comprehensive and allows you to make reports, it has categories and payees, even investments, with a schedule you can let it know that every month PlusNet takes out X money and something puts in X amount, I cannot however find any reference to Credit Cards where it can work out the interest due, minimum payments, things like that, it also imported my quicken and put me -£253 which I'm not, that seems to be due to no opening balance, but without the credit card, it's not as useful as I'd hope it would be.
Home Accountz
I really should discount it simply because of the spelling, but I won't.  Interface isn't as friendly looking at Banktree.  Importing seems to be slightly difficult in that it now says I have £1,539 which I don't, probably my fault I need to change out-goings to out-goings!  Reporting looks easy enough, but it is very basic and seems overly complicated for home usage
Money Dashboard
An online application which logs into your bank for you, not for the easily paranoid!  It does combine the bank with the credit card which means it's telling me I've over-spent by £463 (I bought a motorbike).  Would be pretty good for keeping track of your finances but doesn't seem to be able to plan for the future, very useful if you have more than 1 bank account and credit card and want to track all your finances in one place, but unfortunately not for me, which is a shame because the interface is the best yet, even though it's a web application.
You Need A Budget
I'm not holding much promise for this, it seems again to be US centric.  Ok, I'm very pleased, you can select the currency and it imported the Quicken File rather well, you can schedule and it keeps the accounts separate, so far this seems to be the easiest to use and the best of the bunch, although it can be slightly confusing, why is it not applying my income for next month and saying I'm going to over-spend, I think I'm going to play with this one a bit more as it seems easy enough to use, although it has taken into account PlusNet next month (need to add some more DD's) but not money coming in.
Any other suggestions that I've missed?
32 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 27,329
Thanks: 1,892
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

There are some reviewed here...most of which you already have in your list.
I'm also interested as having used MS Money and Quicken.
I'm having a look at Acemoney Lite

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 63.0.3 (64-bit)

Not applicable

Re: Personal Finance Software

My finances probably being a great deal more simple than yours, they are all contained within a single Excel spreadsheet with several sheets therein. 
I like this method because you can set it up just as required with no superfluous bits.  I have it password protected but I suppose that extra security could be provided by TrueCrypt or similar.
Tried MS Money a good while ago and it was way over the top for me. 
barky
Grafter
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎21-01-2009

Re: Personal Finance Software

simpler
http://portableapps.com/apps/office/money_manager_ex_portable
fuller featured
http://portableapps.com/apps/office/gnucash_portable
and kept locked away on a flashdrive (or any other drive)
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

I have been using Quicken for years and have no trouble running Cash account, Card Airmiles and ISA side by side, it allows me to for instance transfer the Card bill from a cash account and asso non money  - Airmiles, and it works in £
I have moved it from a a lot of different machines with not much effort  win 95 Win 98, Win xp and now Win 7, still with the original files from 1995 onwards
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

Same here, still using Quicken 98 after a very brief spelling using MS Money.
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: ‎20-04-2008

Re: Personal Finance Software

Moneydance http://www.moneydance.com/ is missing from your list.  Which? recommend BankTree http://www.banktree.co.uk/
I used to use Quicken 98, but a problem arose with dates after 2000, although I see others are still using this software. I now use MS Money. I believe neither of these packages are any longer available for UK use.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

I'ma try them lot today, Quicken though removed support for £ a couple of years ago so I'd have to grab an old copy from somewhere (does anyone even sell older copies of software anymore?)
Money Dance (bear in mind I'm glancing quickly through menus) doesn't seem to have a future feature where I can say "I get paid X amount every so often" so can budget for the future, incoming, outgoings, will I be short next month.  Credit card, I owe £X, I need to repay either Y% or £5, how much will be taken from my bank account next month.  Simple things to allow me to budget my costs.
Next up, Gnu-cash.
Gnu-Cash, not exactly user friendly, I'm lost in a quagmire of menus.it is too complicated for my needs.  Really I just want software that I can tell "I get paid X on Y, I have these bills I pay monthly, my credit card I owe X, how much do I need to pay, how much money will I have spare next month"?.  I may have to take poppys advice and delve into Excel!
Confused.com seems to be in the midst of creating some free personal finance software, I've signed up to be notified, hopefully it'll be good and easy to use.
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,182
Thanks: 304
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

Sounds like life is to complicated.
Stop using all but one credit card - you will probably find the neglected operators trying to tempt you with special offers.
Cut back to one bank account.
Anything else can be done with a very small spreadsheet.

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

true but on my old Quicken 98 I have three running credit cards, one inactive tied to an active, a current account, an instant access deposit, two Isa's, the Wife current and another Deposit,    I can transfer money between any with no trouble.  I also have a list of regular payment and it gives me a reminder in advance
Plus a tally account of Airmiles and NatWest points
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

I'm using an ancient version of Quicken. Have upgraded my PC to a new one running Windows 7 I need to update. One feature I do use a lot is the ability to enter a transfer transaction and it gets added to the register for both accounts (I use a Nationwide current account with a linked e-Savings account and frequently move money between them). I'd assumed that such a basic feature would be in all these - can anyone confirm.
Also does anyone know if any of these support importing old Quicken files?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Moderator
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Posts: 27,329
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

You can import a QIF file exported from Quicken into Acemoney.

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 63.0.3 (64-bit)

Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

GnuCash has a wizard for importing QIF Files and as it's based on double-entry book-keeping  rules it always creates entries in at least two registers (accounts) for each transaction so transfers between account are automatic.
Also, what has not been mentioned above, there are versions of this for both Windows and Linux and the data files it creates can be read by either version (I'm not certain if this is applicable to the portable version mentioned above however). I run the Windows version on my Windows 7 laptop with data stored only on a removable USB flash drive which I can also plug in and read on another laptop which runs Linux Mint.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

Quote from: Spider
Same here, still using Quicken 98 after a very brief spelling using MS Money.

I really should have added that this is running under Windows 7 64 bit and my wife as the software running on Windows Vista 64 bit. Neither are running Quicken 98 in compatibility mode either.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: Personal Finance Software

Quote from: A
Stop using all but one credit card - you will probably find the neglected operators trying to tempt you with special offers.
Cut back to one bank account.

I only have one bank account (technically two if you consider it switching from A&L to Santander) and three credit cards.  Card one is a "credit builder" which upped my credit rating allowing me to get Card 2 which has 10% less interest and 9 months interest free credit, allowing me to switch my balance from Card 1 to Card 2 with 0% interest, letting me pay it off quicker and saving a fortune in interest.  Card 3 is an emergency card which will be kept at 0% unless I really need money (highly unlikely).
When card 2 arrives I can pay off card 1 in full (hopefully) and pay the minimum on card 2 for 1 month (or 2 months, not sure what I owe on 1 at the moment Shocked) then pay off enough each month on Card 2 to make sure I have paid off (in full) the transfer balance within 9 months.  Though as Card 1 has some cash withdrawals (bought a motorbike, had to pay cash) I may pay off Card 1 with Card 3 which attracts a lower interest rate than the rate for cash withdrawals.  If I do that then I can close down card 1 (which classes it as settled) which then improves my credit rating even more which should in turn allow Card 2 to increase my credit limit but more importantly, drop the interest on the card.
If however I don't manage to pay off the debt in 9 months (I really hope I do) my credit rating should be high enough to get another 0% on transfer saving me the interest which currently is running at around £20 a month (I know, it's horrific!).
I could probably work it all out with a spreadsheet, giving it a few IF THEN (colour) things, and work out a budget, but then it's the calendar thing, does Excel support calendar? I'll have to check.
Using Quicken 2011, if you ignore the $ only and the US date system, it is pretty powerful, you can even do variable payments based on interest so it really is very powerful, I just wish it allowed me to change the settings to British.
/edit - downloading Quicken 98 from Inuit, see if that meets my needs! --- nope, won't install on X64 Windows, maybe they have a 64 bit version?