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Old Mar 13, 2013, 06:08 PM   #1
Ledgem
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Personal finance applications?

I'm looking for a personal finance application. I found a thread on replacements for Quicken and I've also come across brief reviews for finance applications, but I find them to be a bit confusing. I have not used Quicken or other finance software before, so I'm not sure what features are standard.

The biggest feature that I need is automatic synchronization with my bank (for deposits and expenditures). If I have to enter that sort of data manually then I feel that I might as well just keep a spreadsheet. I've seen some programs claim that they can import monthly bank statements, but I'd prefer it if this happened automatically and if it could be updated more frequently than monthly. For what it's worth, my bank supports Quicken access.

Being able to group expenditures by category and graphically represent them, as well as managing some accounts manually, are features that I'd also like. Those seem to be supported by nearly every program I've looked at, though. Something like Dropbox syncing might be nice (so that my wife and I can both work on the same file), but I don't care about iOS partner applications.

Does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts? As long as it does what I need and works well then I don't mind paying for a pricier application, although cheaper applications with the same functionality are always welcomed!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give - I appreciate it.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 09:12 AM   #2
Fishrrman
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I don't use any of them, but some alternatives to Quicken are
- iBank
- MoneyDance
- SE Finance.

A LONG-RUNNING and EXTENSIVE thread on the experiences of other users who have sought out replacements for Quicken can be found here:
http://www.macintouch.com/readerrepo...topic4065.html
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 11:24 AM   #3
Oldmanmac
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I have Moneybags. It was to replace Quicken. They haven't done anything with it, just vapor promises.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 11:27 AM   #4
GGJstudios
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You may find some useful information in some of the many existing threads on this, found by searching the forum, such as these:

finance software
what personal finance software app should I buy?
Best Finance App? (W/ iPod & iPad Apps Too)
Best personal finance software?
Etc., etc., etc.

While some are older threads, many of the apps mentioned have newer versions.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 12:28 PM   #5
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You may find some useful information in some of the many existing threads on this, found by searching the forum, such as these:
Thanks for that. I did a search of the forum before creating this thread but only seemed to get a bunch of non-pertinent results (aside from the forum thread that I linked to). I'll read through those threads when I get a chance and hopefully my answer will be somewhere in there.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 12:31 PM   #6
oldhifi
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I use IBank, very nice,
easy app
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 02:32 PM   #7
Weaselboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Thanks for that. I did a search of the forum before creating this thread but only seemed to get a bunch of non-pertinent results (aside from the forum thread that I linked to). I'll read through those threads when I get a chance and hopefully my answer will be somewhere in there.
I also use iBank and it works well for my needs. They have a free trial you can DL from their web site if you want to try it out.

It does automatically DL transactions from both banks I use.

If you want to PM me the name of your bank, I can check the list of online banks supported in the app for you.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 06:19 PM   #8
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
I also use iBank and it works well for my needs. They have a free trial you can DL from their web site if you want to try it out.

It does automatically DL transactions from both banks I use.

If you want to PM me the name of your bank, I can check the list of online banks supported in the app for you.
Thanks, I appreciate the offer. I went ahead and downloaded the trial and set it up. It looks nice, and as you said, it can automatically download transactions (I use a major bank, so it's supported). There's still some manual aspects involved to it; it doesn't seem to synchronize with the bank on its own, you need to press a button to have it perform the synchronization - not that it's a huge deal. Having that control is probably for the better.

I also tried Moneydance, which was also able to synchronize with my bank in a similar manner. I prefer iBank over Moneydance in part because Moneydance is a Java application, whereas iBank seems to be native. I've had bad experiences with performance of java applications that dealt with large amount of data.

Moneywiz is a newer finance program that received a lot of attention (and is a fair bit cheaper than either iBank or Moneydance), but their website states that they don't have any direct synchronization capabilities at the moment. They also don't have any trial available, although they're working on it.

Even though it's the most expensive of the bunch, iBank will probably be what I end up with. I'll keep looking around for programs that can do direct connections to the bank like iBank and Moneydance for further evaluation.
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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Ledgem,
Since you seem to be settling in on iBank, thought I'd share my views since I've had my iBank now for about a year. Prior to iBank, I had been using Quicken on PC for about 15 years. Probably one of the best softwares I've ever come across. When my PC died, I bought an iMac and searched for 3 years before settling on iBank. My views may be tainted because of my history with Quicken, but I definitely would not recommend iBank. I wanted a financial software because I do alot of analysis on my spending and investing due to my tight budget. iBank really falls short. If you just want one stop tracking of all your accounts, you might consider Mint. I did use it for a while but I really needed the reporting analysis that Quicken had. I finally broke down and bought iBank. Ever since then, I've regretted my purchase. You can do simple budgets and total expense tracking but none of it ties together so you end up jumping from screen to screen. The last straw was just recently when iBank just stopped syncing with my T Rowe accounts. When I contacted their customer support, I got alot of run around. They kept having me try and link to the account over and over. After I started getting angry, they finally sent it to a specialist who finally fixed the link 0after about two days.

In summary, if you want just want a one stop shop for tracking your accounts, go Mint. It's free. If you want a more detailed reporting capabilities, create your own spreadsheets. That's what I'm going to do.
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by leeltd View Post
In summary, if you want just want a one stop shop for tracking your accounts, go Mint. It's free. If you want a more detailed reporting capabilities, create your own spreadsheets. That's what I'm going to do.
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with iBank. I'm still not 100% sold on it and am working with the trial version. Much of what I want to do is money tracking (loans, money in accounts with different banks, credit card expenditures). It sounds like Mint might be all that I need but I'm nervous about it being all web-based, both in terms of security (having my details and banking credentials stolen) and longevity (if Mint.com ever shuts down). I'll read up on their security practices and check a few more reviews.

I'll have to think on it some more... I definitely appreciate your advice!
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 11:50 PM   #11
NorCalLights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It sounds like Mint might be all that I need but I'm nervous about it being all web-based, both in terms of security (having my details and banking credentials stolen) and longevity (if Mint.com ever shuts down). I'll read up on their security practices and check a few more reviews.
I had Mint for a while, but I shut it down. Giving a company (any company) full, automated access to every one of my bank accounts and credit cards made me nervous. I don't need a single company tracking my spending that closely.
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