I use Microsoft Money 2006 to track our household finances. There is no particular reason for choosing Money over Quicken, except that I have a friend who works for Mr. Softie and sends me a copy every few years.

Microsoft offers a free download of Money 2007, which can be used for evaluate the software for a period of three months (Note to Intuit marketing folks: If you allow people to try your software before they buy, maybe you will be able to increase your sales). I downloaded and installed the trial version to see if there are any new features worth having. Turns out that apart from a new budget tracker there is absolutely no reason to upgrade.

It also appears that Microsoft still hasn’t gotten the hang of creating user-friendly software. For instance, to try out 2007, Microsoft recommends that users uninstall the earlier installed version from their computer. I didn’t follow their recommendation and of course, when I removed the trial version, 2006 does not work anymore. It was a bit of a nuisance installing 2006 all over again.

Bottom line: If you have an old version of Money, it might make sense to upgrade to the latest version. I used the 2002 version for many years before upgrading to 2006 last year mainly because stock prices were not being updated correctly. Users with newer versions of the software can safely skip the upgrade.

This article has 20 comments

  1. Use to be MS Money user for a couple of years. Last winter found great piece of financial software from Russian folks: AceMoney (
    http://www.mechcad.net/products/acemoney/) . Very straightforward, no fancy additions. Best of all it’s free (the latest version limited to one account, here is last fully functional software:
    http://www.aplusfreeware.com/categories/business/finance.html).

  2. I’m an old school excel girl.
    Yep, back in the dark ages.

  3. Do you use the Canadian version or the US one?

  4. Canadian Capitalist

    DeVirt: I will check out AceMoney. I do have to say that MS Money has great portfolio tracking capability.

    DG: I use the US version. Not sure if the Canadian version is very different. I do use it extensively to track Canadian portfolios and mostly works great.

  5. I’ve got Quicken 2002 deluxe. It does everything I need. Downloads directly from my bank and credit card company to keep my accounts up to date, tracks my investments and updates the prices of my stocks with one click. The only thing I don’t like is that it offers lots of stock funtionality (P/E, P/B, ROE, ROI, dividend rate/yield etc… but it doesn’t update these figures from the web and won’t let me input them myself. Its strange that the features are visible in the program but not useable.

    James

  6. After trying Money, Quicken, Ace Money, and MoneyDance I just went back to Excel. I was just blown away at the sheer UI ugliness of all these packages (though Money is clearly the nicest of the four). Each package provided a different problem with either one of my banks or my brokerage and are so overly complicated for what should be simple tasks. And heaven help you if you get something out of sync.

    I thought one application which was very well executed was mvelopes. But I still wouldn’t use it because it’s $10/month and some random company has ALL of your financial data.

  7. Do any of these tools, Money, Quicken, Ace Money….show your return including dividends
    received to date? Last time I checked neither
    Money or Quicken could do it, so I stuck with Excel.

  8. I’m with #2, 6 & 7. Except in a moment of weakness I chose to wave the Canadian flag and bought the Corel Suite that has Quattro Pro, not Excel.
    I think I’m the only user on the planet of Quattro Pro. I have my doubts that the person who developed it even uses it!

  9. Canadian Capitalist

    I have to say that Money’s portfolio manager is excellent. I use it for tracking our investments and mostly it works great. It has automatic online updates and provides variety of reports (including YTD total return), transaction history etc.

    Award: I don’t use the automatic sync function with banking and checking accounts at all. I just balance all my banking and credit card accounts manually once a month. Only takes me a few minutes. I used Excel before and since I am not an expert user, found it very cumbersome. To each his or her own, I guess :)

  10. How American version of Microsoft Money works with Canadian banks?

  11. Canadian Capitalist

    Alex: Money allows you to set a base currency and you can also set the currency of individual accounts. Foreign currencies are converted to the base currency using the prevailing exchange rates. I used to download transaction from TD Bank and it used to work well. Now, I just balance accounts manually. Takes me less than 1/2 hour per account every month.

  12. I use MS Money and notice when I generate capital gains report it is off. For some reason MS Money converts from USD to CDN when all I really want is the report in the currency the transaction was transacted in. Have you noticed this or is there something wrong with my configuration????

  13. Pingback: Canadian Capitalist » Microsoft Money Quirk

  14. I have used MS Money since 1997. I buy an upgraded version every couple of years and each time it seems to carry a new glitch forward, even when I unistall and then install the new versions. Things like Nte Worth calculations, inaccurate fund updates etc. Is there any way to start fresh without losing all of this valuable historic information?

  15. MSM has some issues with multiple currencies. No currency history is kept. Investment cost on reports is converted from foreign to base currency with purch date fx, then when a report is run, it converts back into the foreign currency at the current fx rate. This makes the reports misleading and essentially useless for investments held in other currencies.
    Quicken apparently attaches fx rates to transactions. Probably a better approach.

  16. Canadian Capitalist

    Dianne: You’re right. I made a post on this very quirk:

    Link

  17. I keep very accurate paper records of my investments and found that Money 2007 is not showing an accurate return YTD when compared to my manual record keeping. When I go back and look at the market values for past dates, they change constantly. I update prices automatically.

    Has anyone else ever seen this fluke?

  18. Jim,

    I also found the same issue with the YTD not being accurate in Money 2007. Email me at bdg25@hotmail.com and we can compare notes.

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  20. Pingback: Free Personal Finance Software: Microsoft Money Sunset Version | MoneySense

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