For years, I used Quicken. It worked well on the Macintosh, and had a ledger-looking interface that I loved. When I bought a computer in 2008, it came, pre-installed, with Quicken 2005 for the Mac. Awesome. However, when I bought my latest computer a couple of months ago, I discovered that Quicken 2005 was no longer being supported. I was discouraged with the Quicken Essentials for Mac.
So I started looking for a replacement. After poking around, I found Moneydance. I am fairly satisfied with Moneydance, and while it isn’t as awesome as Quicken 2005, it is the closest thing I’ve found to it.
Features of Moneydance
Moneydance looks like a ledger, and that’s one of my favorite things about it. I enter my transactions manually, but it’s also possible to update with transactions from your bank, but you have to download them and import them to Moneydance using OFX, QIF, or QFX files). For someone used to Mint, using Moneydance might be a little overwhelming, and too hands on. But I like the hands on aspect. Other features of Moneydance include:
- Create a Budget: You can create a budget with the help of Moneydance. When you approach the limit in your categories, they show up orange to warn you that you are close.
- Bill Reminders: Schedule reminders to pay your bills. I also use the feature that allows you to automatically enter transactions. That way, my automatic debit transactions are accounted for without a lot of thought from me. Moneydance also offers free billpay.
- Graphs and Reports: Generate a number of reports that can help you keep track of your spending in certain categories. You can also generate graphs and charts that let you see your entire financial picture. While Moneydance doesn’t have tax integration, it’s still possible to sort things by category. This is what I did in Quicken anyway, breaking out business expenses and other deduction categories.
- Extensions: Interestingly, Moneydance has a public API. You can use various extensions to further customize your experience.
- Investment Support: You can also track your investment portfolio with Moneydance. Customize your options, and take advantage of the possibility of specific ID of shares so you can track tax lots.
- Mobile: An iPhone app that syncs up with your desktop (via Dropbox) and allows you to enter transactions while on the go!
Moneydance works in multiple currencies, and has international support. It also offers the option to password protect your information. You can try Moneydance free for the first 100 transactions, and after that you need to pay $49.99 if you want to keep using Moneydance.
One of the biggest complaints about Moneydance is that the transfer from Quicken isn’t all that smooth. I converted my Quicken data to a QIF, and then followed the prompts to “Import File,” and selected “From Another Program.” Most of my data transferred, along with most of my categories. I did have some duplicate transactions to fiddle with, and for a couple months I had to make adjustments as I reconciled my account statements, but things seem to be running smoothly now.
Overall, I really like Moneydance. It’s a great alternative for Quicken lovers, especially those who are disappointed with Intuit’s Quicken for Mac.