Quicken vs Money

Lisa and I have been using Quicken since at least 1999. This includes the time before we met. Once we got married, we combined our finances, and I went through the pain to include her accounts in Quicken. Since the time of that combination, we have upgraded Quicken a couple of times. The latest upgrade was to Quicken 2004. I keep a lot of data in Quicken. Our data file is over 20MB. Quicken has always worked well for me up to list latest version. At various random times, the data seems to get corrupted. I did validate, super-validate, and everything I could think of to fix the problems. Every time a problem cropped up, and the validate “fixed” something, it would end up dropping various legitimate transactions from years ago.

Recently, when we purchased our tax software at one of the local sales, we also bought Microsoft Money 2005 which we will get mostly free after rebates. I started on what I envisioned to be a painful journey of switching from Quicken to Money. Initially I tried importing our 20MB database into Money. I didn’t really like the result, and was having difficulty linking in the online behaviors I wanted. I discussed it with Lisa and chose to start a new database given the balances as of 12/31/04. This seemed to work fairly well, although the online accounts ended up downloading more transactions than I wanted. It took me the better part of 6 hours to get it all straight, but all of our accounts are balanced, and seemed to be linked properly.

I must say there are things I like a lot better in Money, and things I like a lot better in Quicken. In money, loans are handled much better. It actually keeps track of payment numbers. This is important when trying to link transactions downloaded with actual payments after they have occurred. For example, when I downloaded our checking information, it included payments for the mortgage. When I set up the mortgage, it covered all the payments up to the most recent. This meant that when I was fixing the categories for the transactions in the checking account, I had to somehow link the transfer to the payment. I did this by changing the transfer to point to the mortgage account, and then went in to the mortgage account and deleted the auto generated payment. I fixed the payment number (it is a field in the database), and Money recalculated the interest and principal amounts for the payments past that point. It was a good thing. Loans never seemed to work right in Quicken.

I do like parts of the Quicken user interface better. Money seems to waste a lot of screen realestate in the registers. Quicken seemed to pack more information into the same space.

So far, my reaction to Money is a positive one.

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  1. #1 by Betty U on January 25, 2005 - 8:19 am

    I used Quicken years ago on the Mac and never really warmed up to it. I use Money now as it was installed on this computer when I bought it. We also talk about it quite a bit on the Frugals. We say it is THE video game for frugal women.

    I mainly use the check register and run some reports. The budgeting function is way too inflexible for me. I also don’t download my data from my checking account. I may do that if I ever set up a new version. Right now I am running Money 2000. And the stock market stuff seems more trouble that it’s worth. I can get daily updated information elsewhere and I don’t have to in put divdends etc… But for what I do with it it is useful and easy to use.

  2. #2 by Jon on January 25, 2005 - 9:42 am

    We have several accounts that allow online downloads of account activity. This is very handy as it saves me a lot of manual entry. I can understand if someone doesn’t use the online stuff that the level of functionality in Money 2005 may be overkill.

    I don’t really use the budgeting features yet. I do like the ease of generating certain types of reports — it is as simple as right clicking on an entry to generate a category report. This wasn’t nearly as easy in Quicken.

  3. #3 by *rachel* on February 5, 2005 - 12:14 am

    I use money exclusively. It came with our craptop (dell). I am a former Quicken user.

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