Money management software

Chris Wood chris at
Wed Aug 22 16:28:21 MDT 2012

On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM, Richard Esplin
<richard-lists at>wrote:

> What do you use to record, budget, and manage your personal finances?
> * 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.
> * Yodlee Money Center: Their web site tells me nothing.
I glanced at these three recently and actually created accounts with Mint
and Yodlee.  The budgeting stinks.  I also didn't like my data being on
their servers -- something about that just bugged me.  Plus, they just
weren't very good. has an awesome tool from a usage stand point.  The
software runs on your local machine, but you can sync your data via dropbox
to other machines.  You can also set it up on your phone for entry of
receipts.  All can be live and do entry at the same time.  I've become a
huge fan quickly even with its weaknesses.  (I had to write a CVS converter
for Zionsbank data download to work well with YNAB.)  If you're serious
about budgeting and hate every other tool out there, this may be nirvana.

YNAB allows you to do things that the other tools don't do.  My biggest
complaint about the way most budgeting tools out there is that it just
shows you what happened after the fact.  It doesn't let you plan for the
next month and say what the budget should be.  Also, the biggest issue is
that if you have saving goals they don't handle it well.  If you wanted to
save money for a new car and for a vacation AND save the money in the same
actual bank account, it gets messy.  I think it was Yodlee or Mint that
said to go create a separate bank account for every savings goal.  YNAB
handles all of this correctly.

Chris Wood

More information about the PLUG mailing list