Moneydance is still the best.


Categories: Personal

A while back, I wrote about switching to Moneydance. Moneydance is a shareware home finance program.

It’s been over a year and a half. I’m still using Moneydance. I still love it. My upgrades are still free or cheap. I just got the update to “Moneydance 2005”, which appears to have been free with the last upgrade I paid for; I don’t even remember when that was. It’s been a while. Meanwhile, Quicken found an utterly dishonest loophole, and sent me spam. They said “we know you said you never wanted marketing email, but we have to tell you that we’re discontinuing the online services for Quicken 2002”.

Do they have to tell me, when they know damn well I’ve never used those services? No. They just want more of my money. They want me to upgrade to Quicken 2005. I’ve got news for you, guys. Quicken 98 crashed. Quicken 2002 crashed. Quicken 2002 eventually got its reconcile database so fucked up it took me two days just to find out I would never be able to reconcile an account in Quicken again.

Moneydance, by contrast, imported Quicken’s data – the same data that Quicken couldn’t reconcile, I might add! – and just worked.

I’ve been using Moneydance for a year and a half. I copy my Moneydance data file around freely. I mostly run it on my Mac, but it works fine on NetBSD; it’s a Java program, and very portable. I’ll bundle a copy of the database and the current version of Moneydance up on my laptop before going on a trip. No problem.

I’m not Intuit’s customer, and thanks to their hostile attitude, I never will be again. They know I’m not using their “online services”; it’s dishonest of them to use that as an excuse to send me promotional email, a promotional letter, and whatever else they may have sent that got caught by filters.

So… Anyone out there thinking about upgrading to Quicken 2005, consider Moneydance. It’s cheaper than Quicken, it does everything I’ve ever wanted from a home finance program… Oh, I should be harsher. Maybe it could use more graphing features. But it does well enough.

In the year and a half I’ve been using it, it’s never crashed when I was working. It used to be, if I left it up overnight for a few days, the Mac Java machine would eventually crash, but that’s Apple’s problem.

In short… This is a program which does the stuff for which people get, say, Quicken, or Microsoft Money. Only, it’s better-maintained, cheaper, and portable. You don’t have to buy two copies to share data between a PC and a Mac. Tech support is incredibly responsive, and you can just send in an email if you want; you don’t have to fill out an elaborate web form just to get ignored. (None of my tech support requests to Intuit got answered in any meaningful way.)

And, since it’s shareware… You can download it, play around a bit, and see what you make of it. No risk. Just export your old data, import it into Moneydance… And see how you like it. Not sure about something? Send in a request, and watch the speedy, helpful, response.

Then pay the money. Shareware is the best chance you have at a vendor actually caring what you think, or whether the program sucks too much to ever be used again. And this is a great example of Shareware working out really well.

Comments [archived]

From: seebs_lawyer
Date: 2005-02-18 17:20:53 -0600

Sorry, but I can’t do it.

The EULA contains an arbitration provision that requires any disputes to be resolved by arbitration in NYC.

From: Tina Miller
Date: 2005-04-02 02:20:43 -0600

Thanks to seebs for the VERY informative review! That’s very helpful; I just downloaded moneydance tonight. I’m taking a serious look at it.

Thanks! You did a great service…

From: John
Date: 2005-08-24 23:49:38 -0500

Review seemed just right. I used quicken from DOS days until my Windows 2004 version suddenly became corrupt for no apparent reason. Used a clean backup QIF file to import to MD and have never looked back. Is MD as pretty or ‘slick’ as quicken? No. BUT, it is simple, effective, and stable. I’ll leave slick to my playtime- for my money I NEED stable. Also, MD doesn’t bug me every few minutes to use a tie-in profit motivataed service (billpay, quicken credit card, etc). With no intention of ever returning to quicken, I am now a moneydance guy.