Personal Finance Apps - TODAY!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by eclipse525, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    I've seen numerous posts about the "the best personal financial" application for the Mac. Unfortunately, many of them are close to a year old and many of these applications have been updated. I'm in the process of trying to select a real solid personal finance application for my Mac. Ultimately, it would be great to have one that works with my iPhone, so I can enter expense on the road and then just sync up to the desktop app when I get home. That would be the best solution BUT ultimately I would like a solid desktop application, even if it means non-iPhone support. Below are a list of recommended contenders. I would love to hear about others experiences with any of these applications and why you think it's great. A simple "I use XYZ and it's great" doesn't really help me determine anything. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!!

    Here's the list:
    • Moneydance
    • Checkbook Pro
    • iBank
    • SplashMoney
    • Cha-Ching 2.0
    • Moneywell


    Big Thanks again!
    ~e
     
  2. UngratefulNinja macrumors 68000

    UngratefulNinja

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #2
    Cha ching 2.0 is STILL in beta after a year, and with the last update, they "broke" it for Leopard so I really wouldn't bother with it. It's a shame since I use the iphone app, but I think their company is crap. Hopefully that helps, to cross one off your list.
     
  3. Razeus macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
  4. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #4
    I use Moneydance which was updated in June, 2009.

    SeeFinance looks good, too, & was recently updated.
     
  5. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

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    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #5
    I ditched mint once they got bought by Intuit. That's a killing blow, imho. If you think you'd be satisfied with a web-only solution, I suggest yodlee.com instead of mint.com.

    I've been giving it a shot for a few months now and I don't think it's going to stick, though. I just haven't found a web solution that really lets me track things the way an actual application can. The web solutions are fine for balancing your checkbook but are woefully inadequate for actual financial planning and forecasting. mint/yodlee/wesabe/et al are tactical but not strategic.
     
  6. pasipple macrumors 6502a

    pasipple

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #6
    I've been downloading and evaluating all of these finance programs (and others) over the last few days. I think I have looked at them all!

    I've decided on MoneyWell. I really like the "bucket" concept they have developed for their income and expenses. Makes it very easy to identify where your money is going without having to run a report.

    Anyway...highly recommended!

    http://www.nothirst.com/moneywell/
     
  7. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    I finally went with Fortora Finance as it was the only one that reminded me of MS Money, which I had been using (but with it being discontinued, I finally had to migrate to a Mac option).
     
  8. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    Location:
    USA, New York
    #8
    Do any of these generate detailed reports for accounting purposes?
     
  9. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    I've been meaning to give MoneyWell a try, ... their online videos made it look pretty cool. Thanks for the reminder. :)
     
  10. DaveF macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #10
    It wholly depends on your interests and needs.

    My observation is that most people want a simple way to watch the account balances and see the credit card bills when they come in. And they don't stick with it for the long term. If this is you, it seems any of these programs are just fine.

    But if you want to seriously track your finances for the next decade or two, with multiple accounts, entering individual receipts, entering payments before they hit your actual accounts, tracking mortgages, car loans, 401k, etc....life is tough. There is no good Mac program for this. The best choice currently is run Quicken or MS Money in BootCamp or Parallels / Fusion.
     
  11. iggypop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #11
    As I work for the developer of iBank, I apologize for being nakedly promotional here. But to respond to the original poster: iBank is frequently updated (most recently in August, with another update in the wings), and offers excellent QIF conversion from Quicken for Mac or PC, direct connect with most online accounts, and fast, reliable sync from the iBank Mobile iPhone/iPod app. You can download a free trial of the desktop version (http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibank) or purchase with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Questions? Check with our US-based support team, even if you're a trial user. I don't mean to make this a sales pitch - just want to say you have every opportunity to try iBank (or other apps that are out there) and see how it suits your needs.
     
  12. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA, New York
    #12
    @PeggyD: Moneydance looks promising as well. I also like the fact that they've updated recently.

    @pasipple: MoneyWell is interesting with the whole bucket system they got going on but I don't know if that will translate well for me. I suppose if more people give it the thumbs up, I might have to give it a go.

    @Nugget: Ditching "Mint" just based on Intuit acquiring it, is a bit premature. You don't even know what direction they are going to take it. Apparently, from what I read they are allowing the company to run independently under the intuit umbrella as not to ruin the good that Mint.com has done. I'm sure eventually they will incorporate more and more Quicken type functionality but Mint is probably going to remain in tack for the most part. That is the main reason they bought Mint. They knew they had a better online product.

    @DaveF: I currently use an Excel spread sheet all done up with formulas to track income/expenses but I don't have it setup for my investments. To be honest, I've been at it for a while using this method and I just find it cumbersome. I really want an application that automates the processes. I know you still have to keep on top of it and I don't expect it to automate everything but just want to make it easier. Having it sync with my iPhone could be an example of easing the time spent entering expense. Being able to enter all my expense that I've entered through the course of a week just by syncing is invaluable. Time better spent doing other things. I know there isn't that one magic bullet application but something somewhat close with good support and updates on a regular would be a breath of fresh air right now.


    @iggypop: Thank you for the thumbs up on iBank. I fully intend on trying out a few of these applications but I just wanted to narrow down the field by getting peoples real world experiences. I felt this is a good way to weed out the bad ones and just focus on trying out the ones that are highly recommended.
     
  13. rowsdower macrumors 6502

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  14. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #14
    I've been doing personal finance on the computer since there were finance programs, and using MS Money for 10 years. :) I have a strong attachment to my historical records and need to enter receipts and log bill payments before they actually happen. And I have loans to track. Many of these programs, the last time I checked, were frankly too small-fry or ill-suited to this type of long-term use. MoneyWell can't do mortgages. Mint seems to be "read only", you can pre-plan bill payments and do look ahead. And many other apps, like iBank, were too young and indie to try and move my data to and hope they were good for the next decade.

    So that's where I'm coming from. If you don't have legacy data. If you don't have a mortgage. If you want something easier than Excel and aren't worried yet about whether the app will be supported ten years from now, these are all interesting. MoneyWell, if you think about money the way it does, is nice looking. iBank is looking much more robust than the last time I checked it out; I'm going to see if it can import my finance data and re-evaluate it. Mint.com has many fans and seems like the easiest to use, as it taps into your actual account data and shows you what's happening with little effort on your part.

    Good luck!
     
  15. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    Location:
    USA, New York
    #15
    @DaveF: Thank you so much for your input. I would love to know your findings if you do indeed explore iBank or Moneywell. With your experience, it would be interesting to find out if any of these fit the bill.


    ~e
     
  16. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #16
    I can appreciate your sentiment, but I spent the last 20 years being disappointed by Intuit and I've decided that I'm going to stop giving them the opportunity to do so in the future. I see no cause for optimism in their absorption of mint.com. I switched to mint specifically to get away from Intuit, and when they bought mint I switched to yodlee.
     
  17. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I do the same and found that Fortora Fresh Finance could handle both. You can have it automatically deduct automated bill payments on their due date or you can manually enter them ahead of time.
     
  18. DaveF macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #18
    I explored Moneywell. It can't do mortgages yet, and I don't think in "buckets", so it's not the right solution for me.

    I won't be able to seriously look at iBank for a while.

    I'm currently waiting on Quicken Financial Life for Mac, which is due out sometime next year. But it's already about 18 months overdue, so I'm not holding my breath.

    Interesting...Quick browse of the website: the trial is limited to 100 transactions. That means I can't test it by importing my current finance data to see how it works. So I can't consider it. Bummer.
     
  19. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #19
    As a nearly 20 year quicken user, I would LOVE to find a mac program that would let me ditch intuit for good. I'm still using quicken in parallels (and that is the only reason I still run parallels) because the mac version sucks so bad.

    the problem I've had when looking at every other mac option is that I absolutely need to have interface with my bank to pay electronically through the program (with quicken, I have scheduled transactions monthly for gas bill, mortgage, etc and can send "checks" electronically whenever I want, WITHOUT having to use my bank website).

    I also download and track investments using the program.

    I've not found any program that can do both of those things on the mac side reliably. If that has changed, I'd sure love to check my options.

    I personally find it remarkable that there hasn't been more development in competition to quicken on the mac side.
     
  20. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #20
    I tried a couple of the betas of Quicken Financial Life & decided to go with Moneydance. Quicken has met my needs for many years & if they had made an update to 2005 (the last version I used) or 2007 a universal binary or Intel only, I would be using that. In the rewrite to QFL they seem to have lost the simplicity that has been Quicken.
     
  21. michael.eckley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    #21
    I had never tried Mint.com until reading your post. I have to admit it is the best money management tool I have ever used!! I have used Checkbook pro, Cha Ching, Money Box and a few others, but mint.com is really all you need for everything you have.
     
  22. taps-1975 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #22
    SEE Finance

    I have been trying out a new application called SEE Finance. It is still in development but has a ton of features including investment tracking and loans. The developer is extremely responsive (usually gets back within one day). I like the interface better than many of the other finance programs on the Mac and the QIF import was among the best I've used.

    website:
    http://scimonocesoftware.com/seefinance/index.html
     
  23. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #23
    Does Mint let you enter upcoming bills?
    Does it let you enter itemized and categorized purchases?
    Can you split purchases into multiple categories?
    Can you balance credit card bills against manually entered purchases?
    Balance bank accounts?
    Does it let you enter deposits before you actually put the money in the bank?
    Does it have a budgeting tool?

    I looked at Mint briefly and didn't understand it. So if you can shed some light on it, that help :)
     
  24. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #24
    Doesn't it make folks the least bit nervous to have all your financial records out there "in the cloud"? Is stuff backed up to your machine in case mint.com decides to close up shop unexpectedly one day - or they lose data like the Sprint/Microsoft fiasco?
     
  25. DaveF macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 29, 2007
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    NoVA
    #25
    Your banking stuff is already in the "cloud": it's called the banks' websites. Mint is build on Yodlee, which is a relatively long-lived system for getting direct access to your banks' website.

    If mint closes shop, you've seemingly lost nothing: it's all being pulled from your bank directly.

    And this is what I don't understand about Mint: it seems to be read only. It's an interface, a window, into your bank accounts. You can see what's happening but can't actually create any new data from Mint. You can't pre-plan, or enter financial transactions ahead of time. And as such, I don't understand how it's helpful. It's only backwards looking; not realtime or forward looking, like is necessary to me.

    Or I grossly misunderstand Mint. That's certainly possible. :)
     

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