Personal Finance Software Comparable to MS Money

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by chon, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. chon macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009
    Hi Mac Experts,

    I'm a new mac user looking for a personal finance application.
    I'm currently using MS Money Plus on my old PC. I'd like to get something on my new fancy mac.

    My requirements:
    - download transactions from my banks (both are US based banks - and I'm currently downloading with MS Money)
    - download transactions from my brokerages (all are US based brokerages - and like my banks, no issues with downloading with MS Money)
    - bill pay (I currently pay a lot of bills directly from MS Money)
    - online banking transfers (to transfer funds between accounts at the same bank)
    - bill calendar / reminders -- with both income and bills
    -- income 'bill' split into paycheck categories (taxes, pretax transfer to 401k, etc)
    - investment tracking - overall gain/loss, YTD gain/loss
    - employee stock options tracking
    - ESPP (employee stock purchase program) tracking
    - easy to use register to input transactions (click, tab, type payee, tab, type date, tab, type category, tab, type amount, enter)
    - ability to split transactions
    - budget -- income / expenses and some way to see how I'm doing on my budget with savings prediction
    - net worth calculation

    I've poked around and it looks like my best solution today is VMWare Fusion2, XP, and MS Money! I'd rather go whole hog in to OSX - and have found an app for everything else that I used on my PC.

    Thanks for your ideas!

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    There are a lot of folks running Fusion and Quicken for Windows or some other financial package. This seems to be one area that the Mac software is not as robust as it could be. Quicken's latest iteration for the Mac has suffered numerous delays and rumors are that it will be a bust and disappointment.

    There are some Apps available, and you can check on Version Tracker or MacUpdate to find some, but you are likely to be disappointed.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  3. RainMeister macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2008
    MS Money is Dead

    In case you hadn't heard, MS Money is dead:

    So you can forget about running Money on your Mac since it'll be useless in another year and a half.

    Time to ditch Money and start over. At least I can now ditch Windows, since the only reason I had it on my Mac was to run Money.

    Someone suggested Mint ( It's apparently an on-line equivalent. I'm going to give it a try, because I hate the alternative (Quicken).

    Update: I tried Mint, and it is completely overrated. Incredibly, it doesn't allow the user to manually input transactions or reconcile accounts. In other words, you can't use it to do any financial planning. Will try Buxfer next.
  4. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    I'm a possible Mac switcher, current avid MS Money user. I too was disappointed to hear that Money was dead. I looked into, but like a previous poster said, there is no reconciliation of transactions. Mint is more of a view into your accounts - there is no manipulation of the data.

    That being said, iBank looks to be the most promising MS Money alternative. If I do end up buying a Mac, I will look into iBank.
  5. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2007
    Covington, WA, USA
    A search at MacUpdate for "Quicken" comes up with a lot of choices. Here's the result of my search this morning.

    In looking for a universal binary finance program I tried two version of the Quicken Financial Life beta & decided it's not what I want. I settled on Moneydance as the best option for me.
  6. covertsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
  7. RainMeister macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2008
    The only concern that I would have with any of the alternative software is just how long they are going to survive in an era when applications are increasingly becoming web-based. I would very much like to make my transition from MS Money the last time.
  8. covertsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    I've just tried moneywell and seems very useful. I just wanted a simple income /outcome type app but this is much more and shows me what I am spending. Will play with it some more and also try the others. As much as I use online banking I don't want to put all my details on a third party site such as mint
  9. covertsurfer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    I've also come across this -

    Looks pretty good but I wonder if there are reviews comparing all these somewhere?
  10. DFTU101 macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Financial Software

    In my opinion, the best option (and is what I do) is to use VMware Fusion (or Parallels) to run Quicken for PC

    I have tried the Mac version of Quicken is it's inferior to what you're use to in Quicken for PC
    -It has a lot more bugs...I'm thinking whenever Financial Life for Mac comes out, you'll need to give it at least a year to work out the bugs so in my opinion it's at least 2 years before I would consider that.
    -On Quicken for Mac, every account opens into a new window so you have a bunch of open windows on top of another. In Quicken for PC, the window switches to what account you are working on (may this has changed since I last used Mac version in 2006)
    -It's a pain to switch financial software
    -Less banks allow you to connect via direct connect (you can pay bills and download transaction from Quicken) with the Mac version. So do but others will only allow web connect (you log onto the bank's or credit card's web site to pay bills then you can later have those transactions downloaded into your quicken file). If you are like me, I like to be able to do everything within 1 piece of software and Quicken for PC comes as close as possible.
  11. chon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009
    Oh I heard! And it's why I just bought my first Mac. I figured that I'd just be switching to Quicken for the Mac - or Financial Life...
    Then I read - that Q for the Mac was the not so good. (Echoed here by DFTU101)
    And then I read that Financial life was canceled - and the big Quicken for the Mac update was not due out till Feb 2010 (and with their track record I wouldn't count on that date...)
    So I could move to Quicken for the PC with VMware. But last time I tried Quicken I didn't like it - but mostly because it couldn't convert my mny file. And VMware + WinXP + Quicken is a lot to spend on a finance app!

    Or I can start looking at the small(er) players - where I have a similar concern to RainMeister -- will they last?

    It looks like MoneyDance meets the most of my requirements - but it isn't native mac (cocoa) style. And for some reason this matters to me. (!?) I also like that I can run it on any platform. But my experience with Java apps is that they are slow and have a really clunky UI.

    And I like the looks of iBank - but it (still) doesn't offer an 'online bill pay' solution. And that's how I currently pay all of my bills. That, and they sort of went over the top with their native mac (cocoa) stuff. The 'album cover view' of recent transactions - seriously? why?

    It's sort of funny. I used to think that I didn't like MS Money. Its the only software that I've ever yelled at. (okay - maybe not the only one...)
  12. chon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009

    Installed VMWare fusion, Vista, and MS Money Plus.

    I'm set for just over a year - then MS Money expires.

    Hopefully by then someone will step up with something that compares. Extra points to whoever can directly open / convert my .mny file.

  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use iBank and I've very happy with that. Its much better then the mac version of quicken. I'd recommend that for a mac based finance app.
  14. chon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009
    I quickly looked at iBank a while back and found that it didn't support these key (for me) features:
    - bill pay (I currently pay a lot of bills directly from MS Money)
    - online banking transfers (to transfer funds between accounts at the same bank)

    Have they added these?


  15. Martyimac macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.

    For the info of all concerned, i have been in contact with the makers of iBank and their comment is, "In its present state, iBank is not compatible with Snow Leopard (OS 10.6); however, we are working to develop a version of iBank so it will run in Snow Leopard. We do not, unfortunately, have a time frame on when this may be available."

    Just thought you all might want to know.
  16. soloer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2004
    This is good info, as I was starting to think about iBank. Thank you!
  17. RainMeister macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2008
    So in addition to having worries about the future survivability of these smaller software houses, there is now the added concern about whether they can keep pace with changes to the user's operating system.

    But I've found the on-line services to be not much better, causing security alarms to be raised at 2 of my financial institutions, whereby they frozen on-line access to my account.

    It looks like I'll need to keep using Money up until someone decides they really want my business.
  18. iggypop macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    iBank WILL be Snow Leopard-compatible

    Speaking for IGG Software, the developers of iBank, I'd like to clarify something that's been lost in translation: iBank will, in fact, be Snow Leopard-compatible at the time that 10.6 ships. Any ambiguity about this stems from the usual uncertainties regarding Apple's release date and final state of the OS itself. We are still engaged in testing iBank in 10.6, but don't anticipate any problems with compatibility once iBank users update to a new version of the OS. We've certainly never had difficulties in keeping pace with Apple's development process.

    As always, a free trial of iBank 3 can be downloaded at
  19. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    Mint was never an alternative to Quicken (or MS Money). You cannot clear or reconcile transactions in Mint. Mint was simply a view into your financial life. The inability to clear or reconcile transactions is a complete deal breaker for me and many others.
  20. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    I've found all the mac offerings to be woefully in adequate. I'm still running MS Money 2006 in VMware Fusion. Its the only app I use Fusion for. I've tried just about all the Mac offerings available and can't stand any of them.
  21. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    Hopefully next year Quicken will change all that and Mac users can finally be satisfied with their software.
  22. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I wouldn't hold your breath on that. Inuit has a horrible track record with regards to software for the Mac. Less features, buggy software, vaporware. How long has intuit promised a new version of quicken? 1 year, 2 years?

    As I mentioned in my earlier post. iBank is a great app, much better then then what intuit has offered. They also are pretty quick with updates/bug fixes, something that can't be said for quicken.
  23. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Same here - none of them seem to be a very good fit feature-wise with Money, so I figure I'm stuck with Money and an XP virtual machine for a while yet.
  24. masteroflondon macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2007
    London, UK
    Expires? In what way?

    I use Money (2000, I think) in Parallels as I couldn't find better. iBank is promising, but someone here (thank you) pointed out it is not supporting Snow Leopard.

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