- Detailed dashboard
- Supports multiple currencies, including cryptocurrencies
- Excellent security
- Capable transaction management, budgeting
- Online bill pay
- Handles investment tracking and reports
- Dated user interface
- Weak mobile apps
- Requires workaround to connect some financial accounts
Bottom LineMoneydance is a desktop-based personal finance manager that boasts strong security, online bill pay, and support for multiple currencies (including cryptocurrencies). A dated interface and limited mobile apps prevent it from competing with the best software in its category.
Quickenfor Windows had competition not long after its 1991 launch. One ofthose rivals was Moneydance, a free, open-source app released in 1998. That personal finance software has been updated substantially over theyears. Today, it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux, with a $49.99 price tag (after 100 free manual transactions). Moneydance offers much of the same functionality as Quicken, including income and expense management, online banking and bill pay, investment tracking, budgeting, and reports. It supports multiple international currencies and cryptocurrencies, features that are foreign to the other personal finance apps we reviewed. In addition, Moneydance safeguards user data by communicating directly with financial institutions.
Still, Moneydance lags behindEditors’ Choice winner Quicken Deluxe in many ways, primarilydue to a dated, sometimes clunky user interface and substandard mobile apps. By contrast, our other Editors' Choice, Mint, bundles its budgeting and credit-reporting features into top-notch web and mobile apps. For those reasons, we can’t recommend Moneydance as wholeheartedly as those services, though it still has a place amongthe many recommended personal finance solutions available today.
May 10, 2018 Turn on multicurrency support if you plan to work with more than one currency in Quicken. If at any time you no longer need multicurrency support, you can disable it from the same location where you turned it on. Choose Edit menu Preferences. In the left pane, select Calendar and currency.Personal finance management solutions generally don’t require a lot of time to set up. Moneydance outlines the steps on its Welcome screen.
Moneydancedoesn’t offer much in the way of setup, but neither do its competitors. All thatyou really need to do to get started is to set up connections to your onlinefinancial accounts—checking and savings, credit card, investment, and loans. There’sa Welcome to Moneydance window, but it basically just tells you to do justthat. You can also specify which file should open when you launch the software(Moneydance supports multiple files), and you can see when you last logged into all of them. Think of files as sets of accounts belonging to different individuals.
Moneydancecan download account data from a generous number of major and minor financialinstitutions. For most of these, you create the connections to your online banksby entering your username and password for each. This involves following asimple set of steps. You create new accounts (like checking and credit cards)and then highlight one of them in the left vertical navigation bar (theSidebar) and select Set Up Online Banking from the Online menu. A wizard-liketool walks you through the process.
Itdoes the same for online bill pay. Moneydance lets you connect to yourbank’s online bill pay system and authorize payments from within Moneydanceitself. Quicken Deluxe currently offers Quicken Bill Pay to existing QuickenDeluxe customers, but that service is being discontinued effective Aug. 31,2020. The new Quicken Bill Manager is only available to users of QuickenPremier and Quicken Home & Business, so you have to upgrade to use it.Mint supported bill pay for a while, but it no longer does.
Occasionally, when you’re setting up online banking, you have to use a workaround, as I hadto do with two credit card accounts. It’s similar to the process you sometimeshave to employ to import Quicken or QuickBooks data from a bank. Moneydancewalks you through the steps required, which involves going to the financialinstitution’s website and authorizing the connection, then returning toMoneydance to download the transactions. This process worked fine for me, but it’s aninconvenience.
Ifyou’re worried about the security, here’s what you need to know. Moneydance communicatesdirectly with financial institutions rather than going through a third party(like Yodlee), as most personal finance programs and sites do. So theconnections you make occur strictly between you and your bank. Moneydance's staffdoesn’t have access to your data, and no other provider gets your usernamesand passwords.
Moneydance has online banking and bill payment options.
Moneydancedoesn’t offer the fresh, state-of-the-art user experience that sites likeCredit Sesame do. It still uses standard Windows menus in addition to theSidebar, which shows your list of accounts and their balances. Below that,you see links to the software’s many graphs and reports. Photos app for mac pro. Quicken Deluxe offersmany more, though, and both its reports and graphs look smoother and moreelegant. They’re also more customizable. You can, though, memorize and run customized reports inboth.
Atthe top of the toolbar, there are two additional links. One takes you to Summary, which most personal finance sites call Dashboard. This is anoverview of some of the most important numbers in your financial file—andit’s a good one, one of the best I’ve seen. All of your accounts are displayedin the left vertical pane, along with their balances. A table ofcommon exchange rates sits below that; you can click a link to open a box that allows you toset your base rate.
Theright vertical pane contains overdue and upcoming reminders. Underneath that is acalendar showing the current month’s transaction reminders and generalreminders, as well as a color-coded list of current expenses in text andgraph form (you can change the date range for them). There’s also a link toupdates and extensions. In the box that opens, you can see whether you have themost recent version of Moneydance. You can also see the list of extensions(add-ons) that work with Moneydance, like Balance Predictor, PayPal Importer,and Debt Insights.
TheSummary page is customizable. Click Preferences in the File menu, and youroptions for adding, removing, and moving items appear in a new window. ThePreferences window also offers settings for printing, backups, your online connections, and the interface. You have tremendous control over the software’saesthetic; you can choose from six themes, and further adjust fonts and colorsfor each.
Moneydance offers good transaction management tools via its right-click menus.
Directlybelow the link to your Summary in the upper left of the screen is a link thatopens your main Reminders screen. To create a new Transaction Reminder orGeneral Reminder (to-do list items), you can either right-click on a date toopen a data entry window (Moneydance makes good use of local menus) or clickthe plus sign in the lower right corner. If you want to remind yourself to payrent every first day of the month, for example, you open the Transaction Reminderwindow and enter the details of the expense.
Moneydancesupports recurring reminders using an unusually flexible scheduling tool; youcan create daily, weekly, monthly, or annual calendar entries, and requestadvance notice a specified number of days before the actual reminder issupposed to occur. You can also define reminders from account registers. Youright-click on a transaction and select Create Reminder from Transaction in themenu of options to open the Transaction Reminder screen. This method creates a reminder with an entry's details; you don't need to fill it out manually.
Whenyou click an account name in the Sidebar, the register for that accountopens in the middle of the screen. Registers in Moneydance resemble papercheckbook registers, though they’re not as elegant looking as those somecompetitors have designed. Click a recently downloaded transaction, and asmall box opens in the upper right corner containing its date, description,category, and amount. You can edit the description to make the bank text thatcame in more understandable there. You can also change the category, though ifyou need to create a new one, you have to go back out to the Tools menu todo so. After you make a change, click Confirm to update theregister with the transaction.
There’smore you can do with individual transactions in the register. Right-click one, and a local menu opens displaying your many options. For example, you can add anattachment; duplicate it; or mark it as uncleared, cleared, orreconciling. If you need to edit one or a group of transactions, the BatchChange option in the transaction menu lets you make changes toindividual fields (it would be nice if you could do this without the extrastep). There are some other options here, like single-line vs two-line mode,delete, and sort filters, but the really unusual one reads Show Other Side.Accounting websites, for the most part, try to steer clear of the nuts and boltsof double-entry accounting, so I was surprised to see a reference to what areessentially debits and credits. It’s nothing the average user needs to know,but it’s there if for some reason you want to see it.
Thereare other ways you can work with transactions. For example, you can split theirtotals among categories, if an expense needs to be broken up andassigned to different ones. I didn’t know this was possible until I clicked a small arrow in the transaction register out of curiosity; I’d have thought thistool would be better marked. Only Quicken Deluxe offers better transactionmanagement.
List Of Currencies
You can run numerous reports and create graphs, but they’re not as polished as Quicken Deluxe’s offerings.
QuickenDeluxe and Moneydance are fairly evenly matched when it comes to investmenttracking. You can create multipleinvestment accounts and set up securities (like stocks, bonds, and mutualfunds), recording your holdings for each. The software can downloadmarket prices from multiple online sources to keep your portfolio updated, andit handles stock splits and cost basis calculations capably. Once youentered all the data required, you can view your investments in any of fourdifferent views: portfolio, investment register, bank register, and securitiesdetail.
Thislast view is the one you’ll probably consult most frequently. You can add,edit, and remove securities, see their histories, and record stock splits.There’s also a price graph here. I’m a little surprised that there isn’t a linkhere to additional investment graphs and reports; you have to go to theSidebar to access them. They include Asset Allocation, Investment Performance,and Capital Gains.
Moneydance’sBudget Manager lets you create budgets of varying frequencies. One, MixedIntervals, is a powerful, flexible budget type that lets you set your ownstart and end dates and create each budget item on a repeating interval. It also displays a color-coded graph to gauge your budget adherencequickly.
All the ones on this list are worth taking a look. Video download software for mac.
Anyonewho’s ever worked on a budget will be more familiar with the other, morestandard budget types: Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly, and Annually. When you createa new standard budget, a sizeable table opens with income and expense typesalready labeled. This list is more comprehensive than what you’ll find in most competitors’budgets—so comprehensive, in fact, that it can be unwieldy. You can, though,edit the category list to meet your specific needs, and the budget will changeto reflect your modifications. You can also click the Budgeted tab to see onlyrows that have numbers in them.
TheBudget Manager is easy enough to use. You enter your projected budget amountsnext to any income or expense items that apply to your situation, such as Salary,Bills, and Healthcare. Because these labeled rows match the software’scategories, Moneydance enters a number in the correct row every time youenter a transaction that uses a specific category. So, you can see at a glancehow you’re doing as you go through the budget period. You can also run the Budgetreport, which compares budgeted expenses to actual expenses and shows the difference.
Onceyou completed one budget period, like a week or a month, you have threeoptions for creating the next period’s budget: Copy androllover previous period; Copy previous period; or Use actual spending fromprevious period. Quicken Deluxe offers more flexible budget tools, includingthe option to view your budget as a color-coded graph. It’s easier to use, andmuch more aesthetically pleasing, like most of Quicken’s features are incomparison to Moneydance's features.
Moneydance offers capable investment tracking and reports.
Moneydancedoes offer iOS and Android apps, but they haven’t been updated recently. Allyou can do is view and edit your transaction registers, and manually add new transactions. Additionally, setup is a two-step process. You must first do a one-time sync thatmoves your Moneydance file from desktop to mobile through Dropbox. It’s notdifficult to do using Moneydance’s tools, and the sync is only needed duringsetup, but no other personal finance service we've tested requires that. Plus, rival services' apps boast superior features and interfaces.
Onthe other hand, this use of Dropbox as a go-between means you could share yourMoneydance file with other users, no matter what operating system they use.That’s unique in this group of personal finance solutions.
ACapable Old Timer
Moneydanceis closer to Quicken Deluxe than any other competitors we've reviewed. It’salso the oldest next to Quicken. That maturity is on display in features liketransaction management, investment tracking, and online bill pay. No other personal finance service supports multiple currencies, either. Moneydance’s user data care is commendable, too.
Still, Quicken is stronger in several areas, including budgeting, reports, and planning. It alsooffers a service that lets you use the cloud to set up a connection to apassword-protected website where you can view much of your Quicken data and entertransactions. And Quicken’s user experience is far superior to what’s offeredby Moneydance. Unless you need support for multiple currencies and online bill pay, werecommend you look at Quicken Deluxe or our other Editors’ Choice winner, Mint,first.
Taxes are a major part of your financial situation. If you haven't filed your taxes yet, take a look at our roundup of the best online tax services. You still have some time to file your federal taxes, since the federal deadline has been pushed to July 15.
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