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Author Topic: Looking for finance app  (Read 21358 times)
moerl
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2005, 01:43:51 PM »

Quicken, I'd say, is the best of the bunch... but they're all overwhelming. Well, except Moneydance and Acemoney. I prefer Acemoney over Moneydance, but I think they're both lacking, especially compared to something like Quicken.

I still have no idea whether Quicken offers educational discounts. Thanks mouser for that great idea. I don't know if they'd give the discount to us simply because it's a site asking for one. If we had a review of finance apps up it would be a different story...

I still have Quicken installed but haven't opened it in a while. It's intimidating.. I only have one account and just want to track my expenses effectively. It comes with so many features! I'll have to find some time to check it out again.
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m_s
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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2005, 02:28:27 PM »

Am playing with Money 2004 right now and, you know, I rather like it...  Nice interface, pretty straightforward for a complete money no-nothing like me.  A big pity, though, that it doesn't work with the Co-Operative Bank, Smile, or Egg.

I've really got to do something about my money - more about my attitude to money than my actualy money...  Just starting to re-train as a psychotherapist, and boy is money coming up as an issue!  Went out and bought an introductory book this afternoon - Alvin Hall, 'Money for Life'.  That could become another aspect of this thread: anybody know any good introductory books, that are accessible and plain-speaking and even - gosh! - fun?
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m_s
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2005, 02:53:41 PM »

Hey, Carol: I found this list of supported institutions, and it now includes HSBC: http://money.msn.co.uk/My...nline/fininst/default.asp
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2005, 03:05:43 PM »

Yes that's the way it used to work - you download your statement data from the HSBC web-based banking.

I may be wrong but as I understand in US banks actually interact with MS Money directly - if you look at the list there you can see that none of the UK banks do!

Pity really - 'cos one really excellent thing Money could do with is a way to automatically synchronise your accounts with various institutions.
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m_s
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2005, 03:12:29 PM »

Oh, it's synchronising with Nationwide, I think.  I can certainly see all my data automatically...  Ah, but you mean being able to do things like change a standing order from within Money?  Yeah, that would be cool.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2005, 03:31:57 PM »

No just automatically updating transactions would be great !!!
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m_s
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2005, 03:37:28 PM »

I think it's doing that for me... Or if it's not automatic, it's just a matter of pressing a button and it downloads and imports.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2005, 03:40:43 PM »

If you look at the list you quoted above, it looks like Nationwide is the ONLY UK institution offering background bacnking in MS Money !!

Says it all really, well done for choosing Nationwide - maybe we should all move there to prove a point ...

Now where is my nearest 'Nationwide' branch ..... er, about 40 miles away I think ... bit of a trek for the hole in the wall ...
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m_s
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« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2005, 01:43:53 PM »

So I ran Money 2004 for a few days, and was quite impressed by it, and then decided to buy 2005 (which I found on ebay for £17).  If you bank with Nationwide in the UK, and so have access to background banking, I think Money is really very good.  It certainly meets my needs, and I'm finding that using it is giving me a much clearer ongoing sense of what I have in the bank and what I owe - I guess that's another form of background banking. 

I also got hold of quite a good introductory book on money, Alvin Hall's 'Money for Life', which I found a good and simple read, and it's helped me to understand money matters a bit more.  I would recommend that to others who're as naive as I am about money.  I wrote to 'Dear Lifehacker' to see what advice they might come up with, and I received two very helpful personal responses, and then a topic on the website: http://www.lifehacker.com...lars-and-sense-132814.php

(I love Lifehacker! - thanks for introducing me to it, Mouser!  smiley )
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mouser
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« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2005, 02:59:07 PM »

great thread.
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moerl
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« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2005, 08:58:05 PM »

great thread.


Agreed, even though it got WAY off topic.
I still have Quicken installed but haven't touched it in quite a while. I should buy it, I suppose, because it seems autoupdates of banking data is not supported unless you've purchased a copy and have signed up with Quicken's online services.
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moerl
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« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2005, 12:51:01 PM »

Last night I went ahead and bought Quicken 2006 Deluxe. I just found the feature I've been looking for all along... and it's blowing me away!! Quicken has a very powerful find&replace feature.. it lets you search for a certain payee through your entire list of transactions and then lets you edit any field you want (amount, cleared status, memo, date, category/class, check number, payee) IN ONE SINGLE STEP. That's precisely the feature I was looking for and I'm extremely happy I found it smiley. Now I can categorize my spendings with blazing speed. Without this feature you have to go through the entire list.. of possibly years of (in my case, just over one year), spending records.. assigning a category to each payee manually, ONE BY ONE. Just imagine that.. and that's what I've attempted to do a few times before, before I got frustrated and gave up.

This feature rocks! smiley /me is loving Quicken. I also signed up with my bank for Quicken access online last night and today I can already access the account through Quicken's one-step update without any problems. It's rather amazing. I'm never seeing that online banking page again cheesy
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skywalka
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2006, 04:16:57 PM »

Bump!

Does anybody know of a small application for budgeting purposes only?  My Australian banks don't seem to support interaction with finance programs.

I've tried MoneyDance which didn't even have an option to edit a budget.
AceMoney isn't too bad but the budget doesn't support durations of 29 days (the maximum period I can rollover credits with my prepaid mobile.
Microsoft Money was absolutely pathetic for budgeting.  It doesn't even support fortnightly periods.  You have to select "Twice a Month".  This means 24 periods a year instead of the more accurate 26!  I still can't believe it.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2006, 10:59:21 AM »

hmm, I wonder if it's worth changing to nationwide just for the convenience of using money 2006...
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momonan
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« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2006, 11:45:06 AM »

Quicken, Quicken, Quicken. Thmbsup  Quicken will support bi-weekly (or any other period) budgeting and much much more.  It is totally user-friendly and configurable.  Stay away from Microsoft money (it's a cheap imitation and, like other ms products, thinks it knows what you MUST want to do, even if it's way off the mark)> tongue
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masu
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« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2006, 11:57:09 AM »

Do you need to buy a new version of Quicken each year?
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momonan
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« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2006, 12:34:30 PM »

Absolutely not.  I do, just because I love it so much and want to see what improvements they have added (mostly better interface with the web, internet banking, etc).  I use the business pro version, so I can track vehicle mileage, etc., but it is totally unnecessary for most uses.  You can use it for checking, savings, credit cards, mortgage, budgeting, savings goals, investments, tracking expenses (and income) by categories, scheduling recurring payments to you don't miss them, etc.

Maybe there's something free that will do most of what you need, but I've never explored them because I have more than gotten my money's worth, in peace of mind, from Quicken.

If you do decide to go with Quicken, I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have while you're setting it up.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2006, 02:20:03 PM »

Would it be possible to have a discount for quicken? Or large companies like that systematically ignore donation coder's requests?
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Josh
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« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2006, 03:03:25 PM »

http://www.pricegrabber.c...Product,__10234201/qlty=o

There is the links for it, OEM Versions, meaning you wont get the box, just a cd, which is all you need and all I ever purchase.
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moerl
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« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2006, 02:01:14 PM »

After using Quicken 2006 Deluxe for a while.. I find myself more and more confused as time goes by. It's a very powerful application and certainly an invaluable tool in the right thands.. I'm just afraid that mine aren't the right hands :/. What's the whole deal with categories vs. classes? In Quicken's help files classes are described as the latest way of organizing expenses and how they are much more flexible than categories.. and yet in the main UI of Quicken it's all categories! All over the place.. I see no easy way to work with collections. Quicken could really benefit from using something like Microsoft's ribbon.. the awesome feature from Office 2007. Why? Because Quicken's UI simply is too busy for my taste.. for example.. why should I have to look at the tax features on top all the time? The investment features? Those are things I NEVER use. It should all be context sensitive, a la ribbon smiley

Anyway.. Quicken still is the most powerful and probably best money managing app out there, despite its shortcomings.
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moerl
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« Reply #45 on: May 29, 2006, 02:02:09 PM »

Oh yeah.. one thing that keeps driving me nuts are the columns when looking at reports. There is no way to auto-size them and every time I open a new report I always manually have to resize the columns to make the data look good in the display... it's SO annoying and yet it would be such an easy fix...
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skywalka
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« Reply #46 on: May 29, 2006, 02:24:16 PM »

I haven't used Quicken so don't know if this will be of any use to you.

The Windows shortcut for autosizing columns is"Ctrl" and the (number pad) "+" key.  It won't work for the main "+" key.
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superboyac
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« Reply #47 on: May 29, 2006, 04:01:18 PM »

So...is Quicken better than Money?  I'm thinking of switching after using Money for a couple of years.  I have a couple of issues with Money:

--WHen transferring money from one bank account to another, there's no "good" way for Money to detect the transfer.  If I say it's a transfer, it automatically adds an entry to the account I'm transferring to, even though the transaction already appears there because money was added.  It just doesn't know it's a transfer yet.  WHat I'm saying is that it's difficult to synchronize multiple accounts with it.  Does Quicken do it better?

--I find the categories are very restrictive, especially when you're trying to customize them.  How is the custom categorizing in Quicken?

THanks.
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momonan
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« Reply #48 on: May 29, 2006, 07:30:33 PM »

Okay, I'm glad you asked more about quicken.  I don't own any stock in the company (although I want to), but used it so long (and so much) that I think you could say that we are intimate.

First, let me say that I do much of my banking on line (you know, paying bills, transferring from checking acount to savings account), but I do all transactions manually in Quicken, rather than downloading them (I would do the same thing if I had Money, but we're talking about Quicken here).

One reason is that I have complete control over it and am not subject to the whims of how the bank (or credit card company) thinks I should keep the information or categorize the expenses.

Even more importantly with bank accounts, however, is that the bank has the information on checks I have written ONLY AFTER THEY CLEAR THE ACCOUNT.  It's more important to know how much I have left AS I WRITE THE CHECKS, so I don't bounce any checks.  If I rely on what the bank says has happened, I could have one or more large checks outstanding and think I have plenty left in the account, when much more must be accounted for -- the same as you would do when you keep a handwritten check stub and note how much you have left in the account.  You can see why it would not be a good idea to take your information about a checking account by downloading it from the bank.
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momonan
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« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2006, 07:46:15 PM »

Let me get to the categories now.  I can only imagine that Money (like other ms software) decides what you must want to do and leaves it at that.  With Quicken, you can have as many categories (and subcategories) as you want.

Let's say, for example, that you have professional expenses.  The category would be "professional."  You can then divide your expenses into sub-categories of "professional," like "membership dues," "books," "education," etc.

Or you have expenses for your home.  The category would be "home."  Sub-categories might be things like "insurance," "heat," "electric," "property taxes," "repairs."  Or your car, with sub-categories for gas, maintenance, insurance, repairs, etc.

Or you want to keep track of your computer expenses with subcategories for hardware, software, service, repair, supplies, etc.

You can split transactions, too.  Let's say you bought several things at a store, such as envelopes, a new thingy to replace the one that is leaking on the toilet, and a printer.  You can split the expenses into your favorite categories, so you can retrieve the information later.

All these go into reports that you might want to generate.  Such as your net worth huh, how much you spend on dining out, heating the house, repairing the car, etc.  Also, you can generate an income and expense report which will let you know if you have made more than you spent this month/year, or the reverse.

You can set a savings goal and see how you're doing.
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