It’s always a good idea to track your cashflow — where’s does your money come from and where does it go. It’s something I “try to do” on a daily basis. I keep a notepad in my pocket so I can write down where and on what I spend my money. Then at the end of the day “I try” to enter it into my computer, and categorize my expenditures (ie gas, office supplies, groceries, newspapers, cellphone bill, etc.).
For the last 13 years (Ooo, I hate that number) I’ve been using Microsoft Money to track my cash. I could track my cash, credit cards, savings and checking accounts, and PayPal all with that one program. There were better know programs, like Quicken and Quickbooks, but I found MS Money did everything I needed to do, and it was easy to use — just as familiar as Microsoft Word. Go figure (no pun intended).
Money in Decline. Just about 2 years ago, August 2008, with Money Plus and Money Plus Deluxe, Microsoft announced there would be no new version of Money in 2009, and that you would only be able to get MS Money via online downloads. There would be no more copies on the store shelves.
Then back in June 2009, Microsoft announced they would be stopping sales on Microsoft Money altogether since there were so many other ways to track one’s money online.
Money Resurfaces — and its Free! Hurray for Free Money! Now, well, just this past June 2010, Microsoft released Money Plus Sunset, as a free download. Yep, Microsoft is giving ‘Money’ away *. Click here to download your free copy of Microsoft Money Plus Sunset edition direct from Microsoft. And there’s no strings attached. they don’t ask for any personal information whatsoever, not even your email address. Just click and download.
Alternatives. As I started writing and researching this post I fully had it in mind to switch to Intuit’s Quicken Starter Edition before moving onto Quicken for Home and Business. Along the way I discovered Money Plus Sunset edition was free, so I’ll be sticking with Microsoft Money a little longer.
If you’re looking to track your expenses and you’d like to try some of these other programs, here are some good prices I found online. Please use my links so they’ll know Skylarking: The Tech Tip Blog sent you.
You can still buy Intuit Quicken 2008 Starter Edition Financial Management – PC for less than $21 including shipping. Or you can get the latest version, Intuit Quicken 2010 Starter Edition for $29.99 plus shipping etc. That’s a picture of the box at left.
Business User? If you run a business, then you might consider Intuit Quicken Home and Business 2010 for $100. This is a great program for checking things such as your credit cards, 401(k), and other investments. You can also distinguish between business and personal accounts as well as business expenses paid for on a personal account. when tax time comes ’round you’ll also be able to print out Schedule C reports and export your data to TurboTax. You can even try Quicken Picks, for online coupons and discounts, using this version.
Going All Out? Quicken is the kid brother to Quickbooks. This is the program used by many accounting firms and businesses. You can get started with Quickbooks Pro 2010 for Windows for $120 or Quickbooks Pro 2010 for Mac for $180. If you’re already a Quickbooks user, or you want to know more about the program, then you might need a copy of Quickbooks 2010 All-in-One for Dummies. It’s no secret that I have a shelf full of Dummies books.