Easy Money Management
January 15, 2004 9:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm a college student, and I was looking for a (cheap) money management software package to manage my loans, credit card, and income from work. Does anyone know of a cheap one that works well? I was looking at Quicken, but that's 80 bucks and seems like overkill.
posted by jare2003 to Work & Money (13 answers total)
Not sure about any cheap ones -- I went for Quicken and am glad I did. It's got some very slick features for budgeting, automating data entry (e.g., pulling directly from your bank account), etc.
posted by oissubke at 9:36 AM on January 15, 2004

I got a free version of Quicken last year when I purchased Turbo Tax. With all the rebates on Turbo Tax, that only ended up costing around $30. Some people buy new money management software each year. Maybe you could find someone selling their 2003 CDs as they get ready to install 2004?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:50 AM on January 15, 2004

Quicken and/or Microsoft Money can usually be had for free through various rebates offered at office stores such as Office Depot and Staples.
posted by reverendX at 10:02 AM on January 15, 2004

I've used Quicken for the past few years, but I switched to Microsoft Money 2004 last year. Microsoft Money is hands-down the better product. The UI is much more consistent across the board (no confusing "is this a check? is this a pre-pay? is this a line-item?" screens), and the online banking integration is excellent (I bank with BankOne and Citibank). I highly recommend it.
posted by eamondaly at 10:02 AM on January 15, 2004

Since you're talking about Quicken you might be only looking for Windows software, but gnucash is what you use if you aren't. As for options on Windows: jGnash is Java, so it presumably runs on just about everything. eurobudget seems to be similar.
posted by majick at 10:19 AM on January 15, 2004

I'd suggest thinking longer-term: the deeper features of Quicken would make themselves useful to you in a few years, and you might benefit from easy access to all that previous financial history, such as for a seriously targeted budget.
posted by clever sheep at 10:46 AM on January 15, 2004

Another vote for biting the bullet and integrating Quicken into your life. It will pay for itself.
posted by rushmc at 10:58 AM on January 15, 2004

Consider my vote against Quicken -- if you need its features down the line, buy it when the need arises. Everything reads and writes Quicken's QIF ledger file format these days, so you'll lose nothing by buying features only when you need them.
posted by majick at 11:34 AM on January 15, 2004

I used Quicken for Mac and feel alright about it. It has a few bells and whistles that I wish I had the money to use [like investments etc] but once you have it set up and if your banks work in Quicken to autodownload your info it is great. It is amazing to look back at the previous year and see where the money went. I buy most stuff with my debit card so all the checking account information is entered and automatically categorizes the spending.

I actually liked MS Money from my Windows days. I would get the refreshed version every year and take advantage of the free tax filing and credit monitoring so I was almost breaking even.
posted by birdherder at 11:45 AM on January 15, 2004

Download Quicken/MS Money, see which one you prefer. Using either of them, you you'll soon save more than enough money to buy a legit copy.
posted by Jairus at 12:44 PM on January 15, 2004

Quicken Basic is $30 at Staples, etc. You do not need the features in the $80 one.

And you can get that $30 back if you buy TurboTax (which is usually only $20). But that involves a rebate, so you end up $50 out-of-pocket for a while.
posted by smackfu at 1:02 PM on January 15, 2004

I use a spreadsheet. If you're at all comfortable setting up a spreadsheet (I use Excel), you can do what you need there.
posted by rocketman at 2:43 PM on January 15, 2004

NOt sure what OS you're using, but I like iBank for the Mac.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 5:01 PM on January 15, 2004

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