Home Finance Software?

Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
399
Location
Weaverville, California
I am interested in getting software to help manage my home financing on my iMac 10.5.8. I've searched on line and run into a wall of confusion especially for programs for the Mac (e.g., "Quicken"). I'm looking to do basic things like "where the heck is my money going", and not miss payments, etc. Any informed recommendations? Thank you!
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
Messages
756
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Been using Quicken since it came on the market. Use it for my personal finances and for my business. Easy, intuitive and does the job. It could do a bit better job at managing investments--need work arounds for options and the like.

Bruce
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
1,115
Location
Vegas
+1 on Quicken, although I've only used the windows version, but been using it for many years. Quite happy.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
399
Location
Weaverville, California
Thank You

Thanks for taking the time to respond Bruce, Roscoe, and Marc. Looks like I'll be checking out Quicken. BTW, their website indicates they will be coming out with a new Mac version in 2010.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
6,183
Location
Beautiful Missouri Ozarks
The one thing I don't like about Quicken is that every few years they figure out something to change to force one into an upgrade. I have switched to QuickBooks and do my banking online so I don't need online connection to pay bills, etc. Hoping that this is the last version I have to buy from them.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
Location
Westchester County, NY
Just confriming that without any doubt, Quicken or Quickbooks are the best software out there for keeping track of your finances. (I might add that I am a CPA in the real world).

As far as required upgrades, it is true that Intuit (which owns both) is most assuredly in business to make money and does pepper you with annual updates, you can actually use older versions of both programs for long periods of time before upgrading is necessary. I have clients using 1999 versions of Quicken and Quickbooks. The underlying basic software almost never changes; it is the tweaks that cost you more.

One other point. Both programs are available in editions with all sorts of bells and whistles. For most people, if you just want to track your ins and outs, you need nothing more than the basic editions. Paying more for "deluxe" and other versions gets you things that you may or may not need. Carefully compare the differences between the versions of the programs and decide what you really want to pay for.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
1,167
Location
Roseville, California
I used Quicken on the PC for years and a search on the web re: Quicken for Mac revealed that it was not very good and outdated. Quicken had been touting a Quicken Financial Life for Mac for release in 2008, then 2009 and now 2010 so who knows. I switched to Moneydance and it serves my needs just fine. All I do is track my accounts and reconcile. I think it has some more advanced features, but I have no need for them. There is a free demo (up to 100 entries) to try.

http://moneydance.com/
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
Location
Westchester County, NY
Regarding Ron's comment about the Mac/Quicken deficiency, I must admit that the Mac versions of Inuit software are indeed less spectacular than the similar programs for the PC. I almost added that comment in my reply, but decided that it might just reignite the Mac v. PC argument.

Apple is great for photo and other art work, but the Apple versions of many business programs are not up to the standard set by the PC versions.

That said, I have at least a dozen clients that successfully run Intuit on Mac. If the software that Ron recommends is available on a trial basis and does the trick, then it cannot hurt to try it out.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
399
Location
Weaverville, California
I mentioned in my OP that I ran into a "wall of confusion especially for programs for the Mac" and it seems that my love affair with Mac--started for photographic processing reasons--is not going to be without its bumps. I will try Quicken seein' as I'm just looking for basic functions that will enlighten me as to where my money is going (I purchase basically all day-to-day things with my debit card which I value right up there with sliced bread in the 'best-things-since' category; all 'major' purchases are on my credit card; very few 'cash' transactions). I anticipate the hardest thing will be linking to my credit union account etc. With these kinds of tasks I often fall into a love/hate relationship with my dear computer:biggrin:
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,582
Location
Shanghai
Excel for Mac (or the free numbers.app, which is included) + ical.app for reminders on payments.

I don't get the fuzz about "specific" programs for managing as small financial apparatus like a private house hold other than not being able or wanting, to make their own spreadsheets.

I manage a 100+ person company and all software, that is needed (including the financial department = 2 persons) is Excel.

I cannot stress, how rewarding a simple Excel course and a little practice can be.
In no time, you will use it as others use a simple calculator.
One more plus is, that today the *xls format has grown into somethign like a standard, that works almost for any platform on any computer.

Free software, that will process Excel files are also available for the different platforms. I work on a Mac, while the rest of the company uses PCs - everything works great. We use the same files.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
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Location
Westchester County, NY
Delighted that you are successful with an Excel spreadsheet. As you might imagine, as a CPA, I am quite comfortable with Excel. I stipulate that Quciken is fundamentally nothing more than a sophisticated spread sheet in a convenient form. Have you considered though that the average person is not as competent with Excel as you and I are?

Do you really think that a short course in Excel will allow the average businessman/homeowner to construct a sophisticated spreadsheet that will allow him to handle his finances, have one button comparisons for virtually any period of time, memorize payees, account distributions and auto complete entries? How about sophisticated "find" functions that allow searching using any number of specific parameters?

Or automatically generate a paper check with one keystoke that will include the payees address and a memorized account number?


Sorry, but while Excel in the hands of a skilled user may be capable of replicating the functionality of the Intuit software, I suggest that most folks would rather pay $39 for Quicken or $100 for Quickbooks than spend endless hours developing and tweaking and most importantly beta testing such a spreadsheet. I can probably produce the same results using Excel; question is why would I bother?
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,582
Location
Shanghai
Delighted that you are successful with an Excel spreadsheet. As you might imagine, as a CPA, I am quite comfortable with Excel. I stipulate that Quciken is fundamentally nothing more than a sophisticated spread sheet in a convenient form. Have you considered though that the average person is not as competent with Excel as you and I are?

Do you really think that a short course in Excel will allow the average businessman/homeowner to construct a sophisticated spreadsheet that will allow him to handle his finances, have one button comparisons for virtually any period of time, memorize payees, account distributions and auto complete entries? How about sophisticated "find" functions that allow searching using any number of specific parameters?

Or automatically generate a paper check with one keystoke that will include the payees address and a memorized account number?


Sorry, but while Excel in the hands of a skilled user may be capable of replicating the functionality of the Intuit software, I suggest that most folks would rather pay $39 for Quicken or $100 for Quickbooks than spend endless hours developing and tweaking and most importantly beta testing such a spreadsheet. I can probably produce the same results using Excel; question is why would I bother?
Point taken - I have a take on Excel work like the mechanical design, you learn as an engineer. The people, who learned it by the basics, using pen and ruler are able to design the same product as the kids, who learned everything just by CAD and can't imagine, how complicated constructs like automobiles where designed by hand just 20 years ago (Adrian Newey, the genius race car designer still does his job by hand and designed winning cars like the McLaren Mercedes or the Red Bull F1).

Excel does everything, with the knowledge and experience, how to do.
My parents, not really into numbers and computers do their house hold just by Excel and self developed spreadsheets. They had their time though:smile:.

I for my self prefer to learn things from scratch - it's a character thing, that helped me through my entire professional life. I never have no diploma, nor any certificates, but I learned my way around my business from using simple tools over machines to mechanical engineering in prototyping and casting to managing a company just by my natural curiousity and will to learn.

Excel is a really small stone in the way and a powerful and necessary tool, to come around in working life.

Other tools (quicken or whatnot) give instant gratification, but do not teach a process. Pull the plug out of the computer and the experienced Quicken user is toast - the Excel guy takes out a pen, a sheet of paper and a calculator and just works. (In Shanghai, there are a few days in the year, where the officials shut down electricity - no reason, to stop working in our company :smile:).

Sorry for the lamentating - hope, it helps some young guys, who still pick their path and my bad English (which I learned by watching movies and reading books :wink:).
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
Location
Westchester County, NY
I completely understand your points about learning how to do something from scratch. Certainly a good trait. And I am especially in agreement with your thoughts that if a power failure occurred, most bookkeepers would have no idea what to do without relying on the software. In practice, we routinely have people apply for bookkeeping positions who are in no way bookkeepers. they are simply Quicken operators and frankly, not as valuable as a "real" bookkeeper.

The only point I was trying to make is that for someone who does not desire to become an expert in bookkeeping or xls, the sofware is a very inexpensive way to simplify a tedious procedure.

Oh - and one more thing. You need never apologize for your English skills. I daresay that your English skills are far more advanced than my ability to speak any other language.

Best regards.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
399
Location
Weaverville, California
I'm no wiz, but I use Excel quite a bit at work. I'm thinking that what makes a Quicken-like product worthwhile is that it is set up to link to my electronic banking for the preponderance of data input, and then I can query individual stores, gas stations etc. Doing the same with Excel would require much more of my brain/time than I am prepared to put forth:eek:
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
83
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I've used Quicken, it more than meets the needs of most household budgets. I currently use Excel as it more than meets my needs but I don't care about all the report generating and printing checks and all that other junk, I pay the vast majority of my bills with my online banking. My main use for the software is keeping track of where my money comes from and what general categories I'm spending it on and keeping track of my investments including options which unless they've fixed it since I've changed Quicken seems to lack the ability to do well.
 

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