Trying to learn how to spend for free
October 15, 2006 10:49 PM   Subscribe

Any recs on freeware/shareware financial software, along the lines of Quicken or MS Money?

I'm trying to track expenses, control spending, and pay off debt- and, later, save money, set aside an emergency fund, and start making some wise, long term investments. Any good experiences with user-friendly programs that will grow with me as I finally become a grown up and learn to plan ahead? (Sorry, Alt F4, I tried downloading Pear Budget and found it unreadable). I'll break and spend the money if that's what it takes to get the right tools, but am interested to see if there might be alternatives.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Work & Money (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Since you didn't specify platform, I assume Gnucash is not going to help you, but I'll hype it anyway since it's free and great.
posted by themel at 10:54 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'll second Gnucash, if you have access to a linux box. I hear they're working on a windows port, but it's not due out for a while.

There are also good Excel templates out there that use all kinds of macro tricks to make them work almost like a program would.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:13 PM on October 15, 2006

I use Quicken 2004 (came with my Mac), although I've had success with the freeware/open source Cashbox (Mac only). But, it looks like you probably have a PC.

Quicken is kind of clunky, and has lots of features that I don't need, but it's pretty simple to use, and integrates with my online banking (Bank of America) moderately well.
posted by rossination at 11:15 PM on October 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

The last time one of these threads came up, Cocoa Account Plus (Mac only) was recommended. I started using it based upon MeFi members' recommendations...and it's been excellent. It's very no-frills, so it may not be as fully featured as you might like, but it's solid and works for basic personal accounting.
posted by limeonaire at 5:13 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

check out Moneydance
posted by MzB at 6:08 AM on October 16, 2006

There is always the Jave Gnu Cash version called JGnash
posted by ptm at 8:33 AM on October 16, 2006

Why not MS Money or Quicken? The basic versions don't cost more then a shareware product.

MS Money Essentials 19.95
90 Trial

Quicken Basic 2007 29.99
60 Day Money back Guarantee
posted by bigmusic at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2006

I've been using Adarian Money to track expenses for almost two years. It's got everything you need to keep track of expenses and cash flow, plus it's got as both a windows and a palm version that talk to each other. The Windows version is under 20 bucks. I'm an evangelist.
posted by PaulieK at 11:50 AM on October 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Neither MS Money or Quicken are that expensive, especially if you get an old version, which will generally do everything you need. Whatever you do, however, don't get MS Money. It's a total bag of shite.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:33 PM on October 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to all of you financial planners for your helpful answers!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:44 PM on October 16, 2006

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