Technology Toolbox

Your technology Sherpa for the Microsoft platform

Jeremy Jameson - Founder and Principal



You'll Have to Pry That Money from My Cold Dead Hands

This post originally appeared on my MSDN blog:

Since I no longer work for Microsoft, I have copied it here in case that blog ever goes away.

I've been using Microsoft Money for as long as I can remember.

Well, actually I can remember using Quicken at some point before switching to Money. Heck, I even remember tracking my finances in an Excel workbook before that.

I just checked my Money file (which is currently a little over 51 MB) and found that my earliest transactions date back to the end of 1993. I have quite a few "Opening Balance" transactions dated December 31, 1993 (for my checking account and some credit cards that I had at the time), as well as one transaction from September 9, 1993 that tracked the $1,900 "loan" I got from my parents (interest-free) in order to buy my father's 1981 Datsun 280ZX. Fortunately the loan has long since been paid off, but the car didn't survive past 1994 (I got rear-ended on I-25 and the 'Z' was subsequently "totaled" by the insurance company).

With this extensive history in Microsoft Money, you can imagine that I wasn't very happy last year when Microsoft announced that Money was getting scrapped -- along with the official recommendation to switch to Quicken.

I have to admit, there has always been some naive part of me that thought there might be the slightest chance -- no matter how small -- that when the economy turned around, Microsoft would reassemble the Money product team (or at least a minimal subset of the support team) and reverse the decision to discontinue the online features of Money. I think it's fairly safe to bet that won't happen.

Honestly, the current Money 2008 version that I'm using does just about everything I can imagine I'll ever need in a personal finance software package. [I say that knowing -- as a software guy myself -- there will always be some future feature that we might not even imagine today that would warrant an upgrade. However, I can honestly say that if I were forced to use Microsoft Money 2008 for the rest of my natural life, that wouldn't be a bad thing at all -- provided I could continue downloading statements and stock quotes.]

This morning, I was doing some research again about what I should do when Money stops downloading bank statements and stock quotes -- essentially the same activity I attempted last summer, but proved essentially pointless, since at that time everyone was still getting used to the shock of losing Microsoft Money. Fortunately, this morning I stumbled upon a couple of interesting sites.

The first was a series of posts comparing the most popular alternatives to Microsoft Money:

Replacing Microsoft Money, Part 1: Requirements. 2009-08-24.

Things start to get really interesting in Part 4 of that series. One of the comments in Part 5 led me to the Microsoft Money Offline Weblog.

If, like me, you are struggling with the mere thought of losing Microsoft Money, I recommend you take a look at these sites.

For all I know, the majority of the population currently using Microsoft Money might very well be quite satisfied switching to Quicken. Personally, I doubt I'll be making that transition any time soon.

[Although it applies to each and every post you read on my blog, it's probably worth explicitly mentioning again that the opinions expressed herein are obviously my own and do not reflect those of my employer ;-) ]


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