I use Microsoft Money Deluxe 2006 extensively to track our spending and investments and every year, I check to see if it worth upgrading to the latest version. Microsoft gives users an opportunity to try the full version (download here) of Money for free for 60 days. (If you have already installed an older version of Money, you may want to backup the data and install the trial version on a different computer.)

Breaking with tradition, Microsoft is calling the new versions Money Plus, which is available in three flavours: Essentials, Deluxe and Deluxe Home & Business. Since, I use the portfolio tracking features extensively, I tried out the Deluxe version. A set of desktop widgets called “Insights”, which alerts you to outstanding or overdue bills and a quick peek into your cash flow and spending is the only new feature in this year’s edition.

I looked hard but was unable to find even one feature different from or not found in the 2006 edition that would justify an upgrade. If you already have a recent version of Money, you can safely skip this edition of Money.

This article has 24 comments

  1. Yea, i’m in the same boat. I use an older version of ms money that suits my needs. What I like best about ms money is the portfolio feature and how I can add stocks to the portfolio over the web while @ work.

  2. I currently use Money 2005…good enough for my needs…

    If I recall, these versions are set to stop their online functions after a certain amount of time. Anyone remember how long?

  3. Great timing. I keep track of spending/investments in Excel and have been thinking that I should just buy Quicken or Microsoft Money. Do you have any insight into which is the better package?

  4. To Y HAT… I’m even further behind you as I used to wave the Canadian flag on my home computers with Quattro Pro (Corel’s spreadsheet product). I rarely see any of Corel’s Office Suite anymore on store shelves.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about switching my home computers over to Red Hat Linux in order to squeeze a few more years of life out of my old computers. After all, personal finance is all about saving money, right? At home I really don’t do anything other than surf the web and track my investments, so I don’t do anything that requires high horsepower. So, I should be able to get by with Mozilla on the web surfing side, but I may have a hard time figuring out what I want to use for tracking my investments. I guess I can always use a Windows emulator and continue to use Windows products. The jury is still out whether I prefer a spreadsheet program or some canned product like MS Money.

  5. Phil S, you may want to take a look at Gnu Cash on Linux (it also works on Windows for anyone else that is interested). It is an open source finance tracking application.

  6. Canadian Capitalist

    FT: Which version of Money are you using? I used 2002 for years but ran into problems updating the portfolio, so I upgraded a few years back. I don’t use the online features at all but then I don’t make many stock transactions.

    yhat: I’ve never used Quicken and I use Money only because I got my first copy from a friend who used to work at Microsoft (they offer discounted software to employees). I would think you would be happy with either. I like Money for its portfolio tracking capabilities.

    Phil: You may want to consider Ubuntu for your home machine. I installed it recently and really like it.

  7. Phil: I second CC’s recommendation. I’ve used Red Hat, Debian, Mandrake, Slackware and after recently installing Ubuntu I really like it (it’s my first choice from here on in). It was even VERY easy to set up a Vista / Ubuntu dual-boot system (I had it up and running in 15 minutes on the Dell that came pre-loaded with Vista)

  8. Phil: 0xCC mentioned gnucash… I use it. I find it great for tracking my cashflow, but a little tedious when it comes to tracking my portfolio. At the moment I only have a handful of index funds, and entering purchases into gnucash (weekly) requires a few too many clicks. If I had a large portfolio (in terms of number of stocks, not value) and made frequent trades, I think I’d need something more advanced. But with fewer security or less frequent trading, it’s more than adequate, especially for the price.

  9. Quick Lunar Cop

    I currently use the 2004 Canadian version of Money, which I mostly like, but it sometimes takes several minutes to confirm a transaction (maybe it’s because I have almost 4 years of data into it).

    From what I can see on the MS Website, the “Money Plus Deluxe” version is only for U.S. customers. Is the version you are using the Canadian version or an American one? Do you think it makes much of a difference?

  10. Canadian Capitalist

    Quick Lunar: Do you mean confirming a transaction when balancing an account? I have about 6 years worth of data and it’s hardly noticeable when I confirm, so I wonder what’s going on with 2004.

    I tried the US version of Money Plus and I’ve always used US versions of Money. I can’t imagine it being much different from the Canadian version. I checked amazon.ca and Money Plus isn’t available here yet.

  11. Quick Lunar Cop

    CC: Yes, when I confirm certain transactions, it can take 2-3 minutes for the software to process it (while others take only seconds). The worst is when I need to manually match or un-match transactions. I’ll try the the trial version (and back up my data, of course!) and see if it improves.

  12. Does your version of MS Money allow you to keep track of dividends paid? What was the price of the new version of MS Money? Enjoy your blog. Thanks Doug

  13. I tried MS Money a few years back and I was always annoyed at the US/Canada differences. Do you track everything in the US version without any problem?

    I’d like to get everything set up before 2008 and was leaning more towards Quicken.

  14. Canadian Capitalist

    Warren: I have never tried Quicken, so I don’t know if it would be a better choice for Canadians. With Money, I have a US version but have no problems tracking our income, spending and investments. I don’t recall now (I first set up accounts in Money 2002) but I think you can specify a “home currency” during initial setup. Money automatically converts USD accounts into C$ for reporting purposes (net worth, capital gains etc.) and also updates the prices of every Canadian stock and mutual fund that I currently hold accurately. Why don’t you download the trial version and see if it will be suitable for you?

  15. Canadian Capitalist

    Doug: Yes, Money tracks dividends. The latest version is not available yet in Canada but retails around $50 in the US.

  16. I used to use Microsoft Money and then got a free copy of Quicken from a friend who didn’t want it. Personally, I found Quicken much better than Money. The automatic updates and the home inventory manager were awesome and it was super easy to use. I’d recommend Quicken over Money but I guess it does boil down to personal preference.

  17. I have used Money since 1994, I have updated it about 4 times and I am currently running 2006 Cdn version. I bought Quicken a year ago with the intent of converting everything into it but the job was just too complicated and I gave it away. I think, if you are starting out, in Canada, Quicken is the best answer and I really liked the possibility of attaching a receipt or other documentation to a transaction. It is too bad that Money does not produce a real Canadian version that is not cluttered up with American banks, products, financial entities.

  18. I’m currently using Money 2003 Canadian and this is my third Money program. I used Quicken for a while when I started out and will likely go back to it unless Microsoft gives us a real Canadian version of Money with all the features available in the US. I tried Money 2006 for about one week and sent it back. You can’t even change interest rates on loans using the Canadian version. Money 2003 satisfies all my needs at the moment but Microsoft no longer supports it so I guess it is back to Quicken when Money finally dies!

  19. I have been a dedicated user since ’95 and currently using Canadian ’05. I have been searcing the Web in anticipation of a MS update but the latest Money Essentials states “Microsoft Money Essentials will not be able to open previous Money files”.
    As per Ken above, converting to Quicken seems dangerous!!
    Any suggestions?

  20. Thanks for the opinion on MSMoney Plus. I have used MSM since the 90s with my current version being 2005. I was alarmed when I found that Microsoft is no longer providing access to Canadian customers. (No retail boxed versions and no downloadable versions from the US Microsoft)
    I too bought Quicken but concluded that switching everything over would be too complex. I see that MSM Essentials is now available in Canada from Microsoft.ca. Do you know if plus & plus deluxe will be made available? Also do you know if (a) a shrink wrapped Plus Deluxe is available from US retailers and (b) if they support transaction downloads from Canadian banks?

  21. You can’t import your previous transaction history into MSM Essentials, so it isn’t much use. Money is now only sold online. Essentials is the only version available to Canada; you need a credit card with US address to buy the other versions of Money.

    Basically, Microsoft seems to be abandoning any market share that it had for Microsoft Money from Canadian users.

    I’m no Microsoft fan, but I really like the Microsoft Money product and it seems like Microsoft is abandoning this product.

  22. I tried to transfer from money to quicken only to get garbage, even with the converter to quicken program.
    ! you have to do each account seperately and if you have a couple dozed it is really time consuming.
    Also you have to set the computors short date to 2 didgets or the file will read only the first two didgets and set ecerthing from the 2000 years to 1920 as it used a 2 didget year, quicken didn.t know this and as i am an old systems manager when I looked at everything 1920 I wondered and switched the date format and it worked.
    I did not really care for the new quicken as when I see my register, I want to see the register, not a bunch of goblygook.

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