Personal Finance

Software for managing personal finance (budgeting, net worth, investments, etc.)

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  • Mar 2nd, 2020 11:41 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
112 upvotes

Software for managing personal finance (budgeting, net worth, investments, etc.)

I would be grateful if anyone could share their experiences with paid and free software for personal finance. This includes pros/cons, capabilities, pricing (for paid software), etc.

I myself mostly used spreadsheets. I am getting to the point where this becomes cumbersome.

Are there any all-in-one solution that would allow one:

1) track spendings using credit / debit account statements from major Canadian banks;
2) develop day-to-day budgets as well as budgets for special occasions;
3) manage investments (tracking multiples portfolios, live quotes);
4) track networth;
5) estimate taxes.

Your input is appreciated. I hope this thread will be useful to the community.
Last edited by stanleyinfrared on Dec 20th, 2019 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
22 replies
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
8091 posts
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I believe this has been discussed at some length in another thread on RFD in case you wish to research further.

I have been using a desktop version of Quicken Home & Business for 20+ years and it has served me well. I have been able to use it for budgeting, tracking my mortgage, tracking my expenses, looking up warranty items, etc. Combined with a good filing system, you can totally organize your finances to serve your needs.
Newbie
Aug 15, 2018
76 posts
78 upvotes
I like mint.com. It works on both your phone and computer (website). You can connect it to your online banking and credit cards and it does all the math for you.
Bonus: its free.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
112 upvotes
choclover wrote: I believe this has been discussed at some length in another thread on RFD in case you wish to research further.

I have been using a desktop version of Quicken Home & Business for 20+ years and it has served me well. I have been able to use it for budgeting, tracking my mortgage, tracking my expenses, looking up warranty items, etc. Combined with a good filing system, you can totally organize your finances to serve your needs.
Thanks so much for your reply. Is it possible to backup your data without syncing it to their cloud? Do you know if they collect your data in any way?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
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Ofirsc wrote: I like mint.com. It works on both your phone and computer (website). You can connect it to your online banking and credit cards and it does all the math for you.
Bonus: its free.
Thanks. Do you know if they reserve the right to share your data? It is possible to export data as text files?
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Feb 1, 2012
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stanleyinfrared wrote: Thanks so much for your reply. Is it possible to backup your data without syncing it to their [Quicken's] cloud? Do you know if they collect your data in any way?
Quicken stores its data on your local computer. It has the capability to enable web and mobile access, and doing so requires a copy of your data in Quicken's cloud, but that capability is turned off by default. Quicken offers free Dropbox storage to back up your local file, but that capability Is also turned off by default. If you want, you can keep your Quicken date file exclusively on your local computer.

You would have to check Quicken's terms of use and privacy policy to know if and how they may use your data.
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
112 upvotes
Deepwater wrote: Quicken stores its data on your local computer. It has the capability to enable web and mobile access, and doing so requires a copy of your data in Quicken's cloud, but that capability is turned off by default. Quicken offers free Dropbox storage to back up your local file, but that capability Is also turned off by default. If you want, you can keep your Quicken date file exclusively on your local computer.

You would have to check Quicken's terms of use and privacy policy to know if and how they may use your data.
Do you personally use Quicken? If yes, how is your experience?
Member
Mar 7, 2008
496 posts
128 upvotes
I use gnucash. free, open source, and saving your data local.
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Jul 4, 2005
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Are quicken and gnucash useful for churners too? I have a lot in flux all the time!
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Feb 1, 2012
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stanleyinfrared wrote: Do you personally use Quicken? If yes, how is your experience?
Yes, I have used it for over 20 years. It's one of those things you don't see a need for until you try it, then you don't know how you lived without it. I use it to track bank accounts, credit cards and investments. It's great to project cashflow so I know how much cash to keep available, budgeting, tracking expenses, reminds me of when bills are due, checking when I bought something, how much my charitable donations, utilities, insurance costs were etc. I use it to track my investments, it tracks cost base for investments, reports on investment returns & investment income and I can update my stock prices and portfolio value in 2 mouse clicks.

Likes: Good income and expense tracking, lots of reports and charts, simple view of all finances and investments across multiple banks, reminds me of upcoming bills. One place to see all assets and liabilities. One place to see all investments and return across all accounts. Resides on my PC... I don't want to use things like Mint that potentially violate the privacy agreement with my banks.

Dislikes: Expensive, subscription basis means paying every year. You used to be able to use one version for several years. I resisted the subscription model for a couple of years, but other than a web browser this is my most used software. Slow to open (about a minute) and slow to enter transactions (about 1-2 seconds) maybe because I have 20 years of data. Hard to archive old transactions. Over the years It has added a lot of features I don't use.

It has optional web/mobile access but I have not enabled it. I don't need to see my financial transactions when I am on the go.

Other software like Gnucash, Moneydance etc do some of what Quicken does, but not all.

There is a good thread on Financial Wisdom Forum if you are interested: https://www.financialwisdomforum.org/fo ... 5&t=105760
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
8091 posts
4065 upvotes
Deepwater wrote: Yes, I have used it for over 20 years. It's one of those things you don't see a need for until you try it, then you don't know how you lived without it. I use it to track bank accounts, credit cards and investments. It's great to project cashflow so I know how much cash to keep available, budgeting, tracking expenses, reminds me of when bills are due, checking when I bought something, how much my charitable donations, utilities, insurance costs were etc. I use it to track my investments, it tracks cost base for investments, reports on investment returns & investment income and I can update my stock prices and portfolio value in 2 mouse clicks.

Likes: Good income and expense tracking, lots of reports and charts, simple view of all finances and investments across multiple banks, reminds me of upcoming bills. One place to see all assets and liabilities. One place to see all investments and return across all accounts. Resides on my PC... I don't want to use things like Mint that potentially violate the privacy agreement with my banks.

Dislikes: Expensive, subscription basis means paying every year. You used to be able to use one version for several years. I resisted the subscription model for a couple of years, but other than a web browser this is my most used software. Slow to open (about a minute) and slow to enter transactions (about 1-2 seconds) maybe because I have 20 years of data. Hard to archive old transactions. Over the years It has added a lot of features I don't use.

It has optional web/mobile access but I have not enabled it. I don't need to see my financial transactions when I am on the go.

Other software like Gnucash, Moneydance etc do some of what Quicken does, but not all.

There is a good thread on Financial Wisdom Forum if you are interested: https://www.financialwisdomforum.org/fo ... 5&t=105760
This!

I am happy to use the desktop version and would dread having to pay for the online subscription. Hopefully, I will not have to deal with that eventuality.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
112 upvotes
mouseswimming wrote: I use gnucash. free, open source, and saving your data local.
Can you expand on your experience with gnucash? What sort of tasks do you use gnucash for? I will be doing some research on gnucash in the meantime.
Member
Mar 7, 2008
496 posts
128 upvotes
stanleyinfrared wrote: Can you expand on your experience with gnucash? What sort of tasks do you use gnucash for? I will be doing some research on gnucash in the meantime.
It's little bit hard to start. When you get use to it, you will like it. I use it track all my financial data (both CAD and USD) include: cheque/saving accounts, credit cards, stock/etf/mutual fund.
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2018
180 posts
112 upvotes
mouseswimming wrote: It's little bit hard to start. When you get use to it, you will like it. I use it track all my financial data (both CAD and USD) include: cheque/saving accounts, credit cards, stock/etf/mutual fund.
Is it possible to import credit card statements? I doubt it is possible to track information from banks directly in gnucash.
Member
Mar 7, 2008
496 posts
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stanleyinfrared wrote: Is it possible to import credit card statements? I doubt it is possible to track information from banks directly in gnucash.
gnucash do have "online banking setup". I did not use this function. every week, I spend some time to manually go through the transactions.
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Mar 23, 2004
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stanleyinfrared wrote:
Can you expand on your experience with gnucash? What sort of tasks do you use gnucash for? I will be doing some research on gnucash in the meantime.
mouseswimming wrote: It's little bit hard to start. When you get use to it, you will like it. I use it track all my financial data (both CAD and USD) include: cheque/saving accounts, credit cards, stock/etf/mutual fund.
GNUcash is a real accounting software so if you don't know anything about accounting (you need to build your own GL structure, financial statements, debit/credits, account codes, account category, etc etc), it will be a little bit hard to start. I use it (note: I am a designated accountant) and tbh, I prefer it way more than Quickbooks, which is what a lot of small business use nowadays.

Only thing that is missing imo is attaching back up to each transaction, especially for meal receipts. That will be much more easier to find than having to locate each receipt off somewhere else.
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2003
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angel_wing0 wrote: GNUcash is a real accounting software so if you don't know anything about accounting (you need to build your own GL structure, financial statements, debit/credits, account codes, account category, etc etc), it will be a little bit hard to start. I use it (note: I am a designated accountant) and tbh, I prefer it way more than Quickbooks, which is what a lot of small business use nowadays.

Only thing that is missing imo is attaching back up to each transaction, especially for meal receipts. That will be much more easier to find than having to locate each receipt off somewhere else.
Angelwing, how do you find the investment portion of GNU, I find Quicken does investments well.

I have many years of Quicken data and I am stuck with an expired version (manually entering right now). I am thinking to just pay the $60 a yr (can probably write it off, so $40 net of tax shield).

I tried GNU last year, but setup was a pain (because quicken is all there). By the time I got to investments, I just gave up.
Sr. Member
May 5, 2006
748 posts
213 upvotes
Wayyyy back I started with MSMoney. Later I tried online stuff like Wesabe. They went under and released their source code (advantage: full access to the database!), so I ran it on a Linux VM for a while until I broke it. Finally, I took the database and wrote a simple application around it in MS Access. The advantage is that when banks f up their transaction files (hello PCF, Rogers Bank!) I can adjust a custom import routine.
Newbie
Aug 10, 2006
34 posts
19 upvotes
Mississauga
Phoenix88 wrote: ...(manually entering right now)...
Try ImportQIF. I also use an expired version of Quicken and this utility allows me to download transactions and import to Quicken without manual entry.
Banned
Jan 1, 2020
39 posts
23 upvotes
Edmonton
We use Excel and manually enter all our expenses.

I tried gnucash not too long ago and it looked like garbage. It crashed twice and I couldn't figure out how to set it up to connect to tangerine.

No thanks to any cloud service or anything that harvests my data.

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