I have used Microsoft Money to manage my finances for coming up 6 years now and still find it the best personal finance app around. The last version in the UK was 2005 after Microsoft cancelled the product and let Quicken take the market. Microsoft then discontinued the international versions in the wake of Mint.com and other Yodlee-based web applications. Mint.com appears to be the most successful of the bunch and was bought by Quicken to replace their terrible Quicken Online.
Microsoft Money was fantastic because it:
- Supported multiple currencies properly (I need GBP, USD and JPY with the ability to transfer between accounts)
- Had seperate business accounts and expense tracking
- Amazing reporting features
- The invaluable cashflow graph which I still have not found in any competing product, web or client based
The last version was released in 2008 and this was the first version to contain product activation. Thanks to the product’s cancellation, Microsoft has quietly released a “Sunset” edition of Microsoft Money – a full copy of Microsoft Money Plus without the product activation entirely for free so users won’t have to worry about installing Money after the activation servers have gone down. The bank synchronisation is not included but this was only supported for US bank accounts anyway.
With the fantastic Dropbox, you can sync your Money data file between all the computers you use (even Mac OSX running Money under Parallels). The Money data file is very small (6 years of transactions here total 10MB).
The combination of MS Money and Dropbox gives you the best of both worlds:
- Cloud storage and backup
- Nobody snooping on your data, datamining your purchase habits (see Mint, Wesabe etc)
- Instant UI response times because Money is a local app
- Access your data from multiple locations – just install the free Money edition and Dropbox
Need mobile access? Just add LogMeIn to your iPad or iPhone.