Author Topic: Recommendations for financial software?  (Read 2676 times)

chschen

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Recommendations for financial software?
« on: November 25, 2021, 05:50:17 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I've been using Quicken for a loooong time now, but I'm so fed up with its bugs that I really want to look elsewhere. What do people use to track their finances? I don't mind using different apps/software for investments versus expenses, but on the investment side I'm not seeing anything with the same robustness as Quicken that will keep track of my cost basis, etc. Personal Capital seems really high level. I don't need a planning tool, just a tracking tool so that I can accurately do tax planning, among other things.

Thanks for reading!

cool7hand

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2021, 09:44:56 AM »
We used Mint for the last few years before FIRE.

solon

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 10:01:43 AM »
GNUCash is a good Quicken replacement. www.gnucash.org

reeshau

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2021, 07:11:31 AM »
What version of Quicken are you using?  I remember the long death March to Quicken 2017, where my high-end gaming machine would slow to a crawl to do basic operations in Quicken.

I waited for some time to switch to subscription Quicken after the spinoff from Intuit, but have been using it for 2 years or so.  I can report that, at least in my experience, the software runs smoothly and does what I need.  I do wish they would re-architect their budgeting functionality, but I do use it for tracking investments.  I do not use their online/ mobile functionality at all.

If you are really looking only for managing investments, several people I know use Investment Account Manager.
https://www.investmentaccountmanager.com/

RWD

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2021, 07:43:49 AM »
GNUCash is a good Quicken replacement. www.gnucash.org

I've used GnuCash for a decade continuously now and have been very happy with it. I haven't had to look up cost basis with it though. Should be pretty easy though, just look at the old transactions. Though if you're doing SpecID I'm not sure it will be sufficient on it's own. I've just relied on Vanguard to track that for me.

Queen Frugal

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2021, 07:51:47 AM »
I like YNAB and I have been using it for about 5 years. 

mspym

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2021, 05:48:31 PM »
I'm onto my 3rd or 4th year of gnucash and really like it (once I got past the set-up learning curve).

FLBiker

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2021, 12:32:11 PM »
Another vote for Gnucash.  I only use it in a limited way (tracking spending) but I like it.  I like the idea of using it to track cost basis, so I may start doing that as well.  Thanks!

goodmoneygoodlife

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2021, 11:53:06 AM »
I just use Mint for rapid net worth and spending analysis.

I'm not too anal about every last dime of my spending though and really only use it to look at trends.

But for business accounting I use Xero -- I personally enjoy it more than QBO or freshbooks.

But now that people keep talking about Gnucash, I'm quite curious to try that out as well, because free > not free.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2021, 01:12:08 PM »
Another vote for YNAB.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2022, 01:07:30 PM »
I used GnuCash for my books for my eBay reselling business -- reselling of used items I purchased at flea market primarily.  It's superb software.

Never thought to use it for personal finances though.  Been looking for some software.  Perhaps I should check out GnuCash.

mspym

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2022, 02:07:04 PM »
I got started using gnucash because there wasn't a decent equivalent of personal capital or mint in the Australian market and I wanted to track both spending and investments in the same place. Plus the off line, mostly manual, set up was refreshingly old school and not subsidising the development costs by selling my data.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2022, 02:31:33 PM »
I've been thinking about installing dosbox on my mac m1 mini and run old quicken for dos.  I remember using it back then. It worked great.

bill1827

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2022, 02:50:31 PM »
I'm still using Quicken 6 - didn't even do the year 2000 update. They moved to a subscription model soon after that and I don't use subscription software. It still does enough for my uses, unfortunately the calender runs out on 31st December 2027, so I'm going to have to move to something else by then. I've tried GnuCash a couple of times, but it looks a lot of work to import the old data into it, and the way it translates categories to accounts is a bit of a culture shock.

After 25 years of use it doesn't owe me anything.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2022, 04:06:46 PM »
I'm still using Quicken 6 - didn't even do the year 2000 update. They moved to a subscription model soon after that and I don't use subscription software. It still does enough for my uses, unfortunately the calender runs out on 31st December 2027, so I'm going to have to move to something else by then. I've tried GnuCash a couple of times, but it looks a lot of work to import the old data into it, and the way it translates categories to accounts is a bit of a culture shock.

After 25 years of use it doesn't owe me anything.

Hah, that's great love it!:)   Yeah GnuCash is for bookkeeping primarily and I had to get used to expense accounts etc instead of categories.  I learned all about bookkeeping using that software, it's great.  I can't recall but it might have some advantages over quicken for personal finance since it is in this bookkeeping structure.   I was considering it before but haven't used the software in a few years to recall what the benefits were for personal finance.

RWD

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2022, 06:02:03 PM »
I'm still using Quicken 6 - didn't even do the year 2000 update. They moved to a subscription model soon after that and I don't use subscription software. It still does enough for my uses, unfortunately the calender runs out on 31st December 2027, so I'm going to have to move to something else by then. I've tried GnuCash a couple of times, but it looks a lot of work to import the old data into it, and the way it translates categories to accounts is a bit of a culture shock.

After 25 years of use it doesn't owe me anything.

Hah, that's great love it!:)   Yeah GnuCash is for bookkeeping primarily and I had to get used to expense accounts etc instead of categories.  I learned all about bookkeeping using that software, it's great.  I can't recall but it might have some advantages over quicken for personal finance since it is in this bookkeeping structure.   I was considering it before but haven't used the software in a few years to recall what the benefits were for personal finance.

It helps for catching errors in your accounting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-entry_bookkeeping

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2022, 07:19:47 AM »
I setup Gnucash for personal finance yesterday.  Spent about 8 hours in it.  Loving it.  Got all my accounts entered in.. all my Current Assets  and Investments, along with Liabilities (including credit cards and mortgage loan).   Made the Expense and Income categories (accounts) suit me.

Under Assets I have "Fixed Assets" just for home and vehicle.  I plan on reserving "Fixed Assets" for large assets which I will not part with in the foreseeable future.   I also created another account called "Discretionary Assets".  These are assets which I can quickly sale for cash which I absolutely do not need but like to have around for hobbies etc.   These Discretionary Assets are fully depreciated to current easy sell value.   This allows me to see how much of an emergency fund I have in addition to my cash emergency fund in bank.   Right now I have like $8k for emergency fund in bank and $7k of Discretionary Assets.

For example some of my discretionary assets are Electronic Music Gear, which I buy used and fully depreciated, use for a while and sell for almost the same money as I paid.  So it's like I get to use the gear for (almost) free and can sell whenever for an emergency.

When I buy something now which is a Discretionary Asset, such as a few synthesizer modules I have bought this month, I credit my particular credit card account and debit my "Discretionary Assets:Electronic Music Gear" account with the instant depreciated value, with any remainder of the purchase price being expensed as "Expenses:Hobbies:Electronic Music:Depreciation".   So when I generate an expense (Profit & Loss) report for the month it only shows my actual expense for the hobby as the instant depreciation of the items I just bought.   This is great because I can see the actual expense of hobby as well as know my actual Net Worth by having the depreciated item in the Discretionary Assets account.

I also have another Expense sub-account under Expenses:Hobbies:Electronic Music called Accessories.  These are for things like cables and what not, which I expense outright since they are of such little value they aren't worth my time to sell.. So cables don't go in my Discretionary Assets account.

I couldn't think of a better name than "Discretionary Assets" ... just made it up myself.  Wanted those fixed assets subtotaled separate from home/vehicle, since I am treating them like cash -- sort of analogous to the "Inventory" business account under Assets:Current Assets account, which is the same sub-account cash is in.

When I go to sell an item and it's different from the depreciated value I put in Discretionary Assets, I adjust the Depreciation and Appreciation sub accounts.   Very accurately keeping a record of how much the hobby costs me, to the penny :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2022, 12:24:46 PM by JenniferW »

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2022, 08:43:23 AM »
Here is a screenshot of a few entries into "Assets:Discretionary Assets:Electronic Music Gear".  This shows how I go about depreciating the asset and expensing the depreciated amount to the hobby category.

http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18agicrmCroUAi_pUIeFmwF0moevlKA_t

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2022, 12:06:35 PM »
I really like Gnucash and other manual entry financial packages.   It's more work to enter them in yourself, but at least they are 100% accurate and don't have to re-authenticate a dozen accounts every day like you often have to do on Personal Capital and the like.  No connection issues either which I often have with Personal Capital.

Also online services which attempt to automate things are often not very customizable (like Personal Capital for example with its limitations on categories).   I love Gnucash.. I can create as many categories/sub-catogories I want -- called "accounts" and "sub-accounts" in Gnush cash since it's double entry bookkeeping software.

Another huge advantage of Gnucash (and other manual entry financial software packages), is that you can create accounts for all your assets, cash, gift cards, etc..  And do all the bookkeeping for these same as any other account.  Online services don't know about your cash transactions, your assets (including tracking appreciation and depreciation), your gift card balances etc.   So you still have to manually enter those in, assuming the service offers that -- Personal Capital does not from my experience; and even if they do offer it, from what I have seen it's sloppy implementation, not clean accounting like Gnucash.   So with manual entry software packages such as Gnucash, you get a fully accurate accounting of all your accounts and know exactly where everything is going and have more accurate up-to-date balances -- e.g. not having to wait a couple days for transactions to post to see what your current balance is.

I don't know about tracking investments in Gnucash yet.  I just am keeping those balances up to date and doing simple debits and credits to them from time to time.  I have to see how good Gnucash is tracking funds and stocks etc.. and getting up to date quotes etc.  So Personal Capital is still really useful to me in this regard, until I figure this out in Gnucash.

I also do really like the idea of not having all my accounts linked to mint and the like. These for profit companies having access to a record of how much money you having incoming and going out.. what stores you shop at etc.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2022, 12:18:45 PM by JenniferW »

mspym

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2022, 12:22:21 PM »
@JenniferW are you using setting up the stocks/funds as that asset type and then updating the price database to record price changes? https://code.gnucash.org/docs/C/gnucash-guide/invest-stockprice1.html

I know there some sort of integration with online prices available but I don't know if it works for Australia so never bothered to get through the set-up process, plus updating the price database happens infrequently enough that doing it manually is fine.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2022, 12:30:22 PM »
@JenniferW are you using setting up the stocks/funds as that asset type and then updating the price database to record price changes? https://code.gnucash.org/docs/C/gnucash-guide/invest-stockprice1.html

I know there some sort of integration with online prices available but I don't know if it works for Australia so never bothered to get through the set-up process, plus updating the price database happens infrequently enough that doing it manually is fine.

No I am not, just treating it like a cash account until I figure it out. I just need to know that Gnucash can do this well and I'll invest my time into researching how to set it up.    I know the rest of Gnucash is superb for everything else since I used it for a couple years already for my ebay reselling business.   Turns out it's just as superb for personal finance tracking; I just don't know yet about tracking stock/fund/etc  investments.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2022, 12:37:40 PM by JenniferW »

RWD

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2022, 12:36:20 PM »
@JenniferW are you using setting up the stocks/funds as that asset type and then updating the price database to record price changes? https://code.gnucash.org/docs/C/gnucash-guide/invest-stockprice1.html

I know there some sort of integration with online prices available but I don't know if it works for Australia so never bothered to get through the set-up process, plus updating the price database happens infrequently enough that doing it manually is fine.

No I am not, just treating it like a cash account until I figure it out. I just need to know that Gnucash can do this well and I'll invest my time into researching how to set it up.    I know the rest of Gnucash is superb for everything else since I used it for a couple years already for my ebay reselling business.   Turns out it's just as superb for personal finance tracking.. just don't know yet about tracking stock/fund/etc  investments.

The setup can be a bit finicky but once that's done it's very easy to update all stock price quotes at once. I click the Get Quotes button on the 1st of each month (and sometimes more often). One thing to be aware of is when you generate reports in GnuCash you'll want to go into the options for that report and make sure it's choosing the nearest in time quotes instead of average price or something, otherwise your historical graphs will be quite wrong.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2022, 12:37:53 PM »
Actually, to be honest, all my investments are currently in cash accounts at the brokers, both Vanguard and TD Ameritrade -- around $10k; I'm new to FI and still paying off mortage.  I don't have a lot in retirement right now and can't afford if the stock market crashes 50% in the next year or two, which I believe is highly likely due to the current Schiller P/E ratio far exceeding Black Tuesday and approaching the dot.com bubble P/E ratio.  My mortage is a guaranteed 4.63% return since that is my interest rate, so for the time being cash is king to me since I can get a guaranteed return of 4.63%; while with stock market I could potentially lose up to 50%.

JenniferW

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Re: Recommendations for financial software?
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2022, 12:39:13 PM »
The setup can be a bit finicky but once that's done it's very easy to update all stock price quotes at once. I click the Get Quotes button on the 1st of each month (and sometimes more often). One thing to be aware of is when you generate reports in GnuCash you'll want to go into the options for that report and make sure it's choosing the nearest in time quotes instead of average price or something, otherwise your historical graphs will be quite wrong.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.  I will look into this and thanks for the cautionary note.