Money management software

Richard Esplin richard-lists at
Wed Aug 22 16:13:10 MDT 2012

What do you use to record, budget, and manage your personal finances?

* Gnucash: I've been using it for years, but I'm tired of manually entering data and the online banking is too manual, fiddly, and error prone to be useful.

* KMyMoney, Grisbi: The user community is a lot smaller than GnuCash, so they are missing features and I worry about moving my data into a product that doesn't have a strong enough following to be around in 10 years.

* MoneyDance: Has promise. I don't see any way to get my money out. 2nd tier mobile access. No sync across devices. But probably cheaper than a web-based subscription service.

* Mint: Looks really cool, but if I'm not paying, I'm the product. And how do I get my data out? I can see CSV downloads, but I worry about that being enough.

* Mvelopes: I think I like their approach to budgeting the best, but the software looks like it was last innovative in 2009. Flash on Linux isn't going to work much longer. When I couldn't find their pricing in five minutes of looking, I started wondering what they have to hide.

* HelloWallet: Has promise. Similar concerns about getting my money out if I ever need to stop paying $9/mo.

* Yodlee Money Center: Their web site tells me nothing.

One other thought:

Every money management system I have seen that synchronizes with online banking treats the bank's records as the authoritative source of transaction data. I have seen enough bank errors and mistaken charges that I want my receipts to be the authoritative transaction data. My software needs to document my view of truth.

Picture this work flow: my software downloads the bank record, and then allows me to mark each transaction as correct when I compare it with either a receipt or my memory. Instead of reconciling my printed bank statement, the system would monitor for post-facto changes to the bank's account history. This allows the software to highlight places where someone is tampering with my account.

Does anything work like this?



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