The full version of Microsoft Money personal finance software was discontinued in 2009, replaced by a free download called Money Plus Sunset Deluxe. While this replacement software works for basic money management tasks, it does not include tech support nor any features that require internet connectivity.
If you're looking to replace Microsoft Money with something that has more features and flexibility than Money Plus Sunset Deluxe, here are some options.
Option 1: Desktop Software
If you like using desktop software to manage your finances, you'll have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Most of them come with a free trial, so it will cost nothing to experiment to find what works best for you. Here are a few choices:
- Moneydance: You can download a version of this software for Mac, Windows, or Linux operating systems. An app version is also available for iOS and Android devices.
- Quicken: This program offers more power and flexibility for personal finance software users. A much-improved budget feature and easier loan tracking are two of the improvements. You can download it for Windows or Mac, and there's a mobile app for both iOS and Android.
- AceMoney: Claiming it's the best alternative to Quicken, AceMoney is a strong alternative, although it doesn't offer online bill payment or transaction downloads.
- Moneyspire: Personal finance data in Moneyspire can be shared among multiple users on one computer or over a network, and data works with both the Mac and Windows versions of the software.
- GnuCash: Thanks to the open-source software movement, GnuCash is free. This financial software can be used to track personal finances and also works nicely as small business accounting software. GnuCash tracks a variety of account types, stocks, income, and expenses.
Option 2: Online Financial Software
If you're already switching personal finance software, you could switch to an online program. With online software, you never have to install anything on your hard drive or wait for updates.
Online financial software is generally just as secure as your bank's online banking website and uses data encryption and other methods to keep data safe.
Here some online software alternatives:
- You Need a Budget: Also known as YNAB, this is online personal finance software with strong budgeting features. You can use YNAB on Windows or Mac computers; with iPad, iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire apps; and via an app for the Apple Watch. View accounts, check your budget and enter transactions when you're not at your computer.
- Personal Capital: In addition to showing you all your accounts in one dashboard, Personal Capital also puts a special focus on helping you plan your investments and check whether you're on track for retirement.
Option 3: Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe
If you can do without automatic transaction downloads and a few other features that require internet access, Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is still an option. Although it doesn't have all the features that you enjoyed in Money, Sunset Deluxe is free. There's no Mac version, so those users will have to choose a different alternative.
Is Quicken the Best Microsoft Money Replacement?
Many replacing Microsoft Money first turn to Quicken. It is very robust personal finance software and it works well. However, Quicken costs between $35 and $90, depending on the version.
Before you switch, consider that you might not be able to successfully import your old Money data. In fact, Quicken strongly recommends against the process. Quicken also does not offer a free trial (though the mobile apps have free versions to try). However, it does offer a money-back guarantee, so if you decide it won't work for you, you'll need to request a refund within 30 days of purchase.
Learning to Use the New Personal Finance Software
You will have a slight learning curve when navigating any new personal finance software that replaces Microsoft Money. Some aspects of the new personal finance software will be easy to use for former Microsoft Money users, but be patient as you learn how to get around in the software.
Remember to use the Help menu in the new software to learn how to use features that work a bit differently than in Microsoft Money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's the best free budget software?
There are many free budget software options, and they vary in terms of features, so the best depends on your needs and preferences. Mint can help you budget and set goals, and it's available on the web or by downloading the Mint app. GnuCash is more complex and uses double-entry accounting. Personal Capital offers tools for retirement planning as well as budgeting and spending.
What is Intuit Mint?
Mint is a free budgeting app from Intuit, which is the company behind TurboTax and QuickBooks. You can connect all your financial accounts to Mint and use it to budget and track your cash flow. It also gives you access to your credit score.