Alternatives to Quicken?

yadax3February 2, 2010

Hi, I'm new to this forum but a semi-regular on many others and I'm hoping someone here knows something I'm not finding in my internet searches.

I've been using Quicken software since its inception - about 15 years or so, I think - and I've been frustrated with Intuit's buggy upgrades for many years now.

I'm currently using the 2007 version and recently received an alert telling me Intuit won't be supporting my version after April 2010 and I need to buy the 2010 version. My first thought was to finally switch over to Microsoft Money but then I discovered its no longer sold. Does anyone know of any other personal finance software options?

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hendricus

And why do you need the support?

I used Money Counts for many years and then they sold out to Intuit. Never went with their stupid programs and just kept using the old version. In fact I still use it at times, ten yrs old and still works on the old computer.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:31PM
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dadoes

There's nothing wrong with using old versions if they still meet the need. I've been using MS Money 2000 version since its release, never upgraded, and it still works perfectly fine for my needs.

Depends on whether there's anything in the program, such as tax tables, that can't be manually updated, requiring updates from the software vendor. From brief exposure to QuickBooks a few years ago, I recall the payroll tax tables in it require support from Intuit ... unless the bookkeeper in that instance just didn't want to do it manually.

The business where I do bookkeeping, I'm using an MS-DOS accounting package that hasn't been updated since 1998 (yes, it's Y2K-compliant and runs in Windows at least up to XP). Payroll tax tables can be manually updated, but it hasn't been able to print W2 forms for years since the formatting is hard-wired into the program. There are only 20 to 26 per year and I can easily do them by manually entering the data into Word or Notepad or whatever -- once a file in the proper format is set up, it's just a matter of updating the employee names and numbers each year, and the formatting if the forms change again.

So anyway, the point is that unless your Quicken 2007 will cease to function after 4/2010, why not keep using it?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 2:31AM
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qdwag

I have used Quicken since 1993, and on occassion "upgrade' to the newest versions..Perhaps every 3-5 years..honestly, i currently use Quicken 2008, and hate it..Prior versions were much better in their layout,etc..Just because they won't "support" 2007 in the future doesn't mean it won't work...I guess it depends what you use Quicken for, mine is solely household,not business...I'll bet Quicken 95 would still work for me, as i don't use any online features the current versions allow,i manually input ALL data...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:18AM
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annie1956

If you don't need all of the important accounting features that come along with Quickbooks for business minded [been there done that] and don't need the lesser version in Quicken. (Basically I didn't want to have to pay again when I bought a new computer-vista). Intuit has "Quicken Simple Start" - to download for free. Lighter than Quicken but for personal use it definately works for me. I just keep all of our banking on there so I can't really tell you much more than that but it's worth a look. But it does have online backup and upgrade features.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 3:36PM
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mariend

I update Quicken every year without a problem, but I DO NOT update on line. I buy the disk, then if I have to reinstall it and yes I have had to do this a couple of times, I can do it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 7:00PM
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joann23456

As others have mentioned, it's not that your software will become inoperable in April, just that Intuit will stop supporting it. (As far as that goes, I always go to the Intuit forums for support, not directly to Intuit.)

So I'd do nothing, at least for awhile. Eventually, your banks will stop supporting data downloads with your version of Quicken and then you'll need to do something, at least if you use that feature.

At that point, with the demise of MS Money, I believe the only other game in town is MoneyDance, which has some good reviews.

Personally, despite all Quicken's bugs, I use it because it's by far the market leader in personal finance software, so everybody supports it. I take all the free updates they offer, and when my bank stops supporting one version of Quicken is when I buy the next one.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:34PM
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hilltop_gw

I'm with you on wishing there were another product. We've used Quicken since '97, updating every 2-3 years. I currently use Quicken 2009 and absolutely DO NOT like it. I had to upgrade when my computer crashed and I couldn't find the CD. I don't need most of the features although I do download bank transactions which is nice. A person upgrades for support purposes(which I never use) but also because after a period of time the old program may not automatically upgrade to the new program. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Accountants like Quicken and Quickbooks because they understand the program and reports and can work more easily with clients.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 9:25AM
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gibby2015

I don't know - I've used it since 1991 and I think it works pretty well. I don't care for or use most of the new stuff they keep adding and I don't upgrade until I absolutely have to. The only time I've done it is when they said downloading my transactions from the bank wasn't going to work any more or if I've gotten a new computer and the old version wouldn't work with the new operating system. I don't care if it's not "supported" because I never use their support.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 12:49AM
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yadax3

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Actually, the message I received from Intuit said I wouldn't be able to download transactions from financial institutions after April 2010, which is something I do all the time.

No matter now. I bit the bullet and bought the 2010 version for $20 at Costco this weekend. When loading it I noticed the box mentions it's only good through 2013. I sure hope a competitor's product is available by then.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 8:00PM
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kframe19

Here's an interesting punch chart that reviews 10 separate financial software packages.

http://personal-finance-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

Looks like Money Dance and Quicken come out about the same.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:27AM
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dadoes

yadax3,

Consider the possibility of using Quicken without making use of the transaction download feature. For all the years I've been using MS Money, I've never used that feature. The only "download" feature I use is updating stockmarket/fund prices, but that can also be done manually.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 5:15PM
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twothumbz

I've used HR Block's site but its harder to use than Quicken.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 3:30PM
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hrajotte

I've used Quicken since I got my first computer, 20 years ago, updating versions 3 or 4 times over the years. I've never had any troubles with "buggy upgrades." I used Quicken 99 until last year, when I bought a new computer with Windows Vista, and the 99 version did not work properly. So I updated to 2009, which works with Vista. Just because they stop "supporting" it does not mean you have to upgrade.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 3:01PM
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gina_in_fl

Quicken was a great tool way before Internet Banking became the norm. We used it to override the usual banking fees. Nowadays, most all banks have free online bill pay.

Do you need to have Quicken to consolidate your banking stuff, or can you not use Excel to do the same thing?

Or do you even care? If you have a pretty good idea of your bank account, even you could 'wing it'

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 6:34AM
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lostinit

Mint is a great site for watching and planning your finances and it's free! www.mint.com

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:49PM
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jkom51

WSJournal just ran this article today (excerpted). Mint.com is a free site created by Intuit, ironically enough:

Goalkeeping Gets Easier in the Finances Arena
New Mint.com Feature Offers User-Friendly Options That Help Savers Set Up Budget Objectives and Stick to Them
WSJournal June 30, 2010

"When most people hear the word "budget," they groan about all the numbers and spreadsheets involved in setting financial goals. Instead they procrastinate and continue spending without any specific savings goals.

...Now Mint.com, a website that already offers user-friendly options for studying how one's money is spent, has introduced an easy way to set budget objectives, link them to accounts and learn specific steps on how to reach those goals. The goals can even be personalized with digital photos, like an image of the car you're saving up to buy. And this service, which launched Tuesday, doesn't cost a cent.

Mint.com has been around for almost three years and is already used by millions of people. Its proprietary algorithms encrypt data so people will feel confident enough to input their usernames and passwords for their online financial accounts, allowing them to see all of their financial activity in one place. These accounts include those tied to credit cards, banks, retirement savings and others. Mint is known for displaying colorful visuals like pie charts and graphs, so it's easy for people to see where they're spending their money or how it's being invested.

Mint Goals is a new tab on the Mint.com site, and clicking on it directs users to a group of eight popular goals and one that can be customized (more will be added over time). The preset list includes goals to get out of debt, buy a home, buy a car, save for college, take a trip or save for retirement. A digital checklist in each goal called "Next Steps" gives people serious, doable tasks to complete, so they can actually make progress toward a goal in ways other than just putting money aside. This instant gratification saved me from doing a lot of calculating."

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:16PM
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