Money management software review: Microsoft Money

Published: 19 January 2008 By MoneyhighStreet Staff 13 Comments
Updated: 20 August 2011

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When it comes to keeping our finances in check and budgeting effectively we need all the help we can get.

It can be struggle to juggle mortgage payments, bills, day-to-day expenses and keep track of all your incomings and investments.

However, there is some excellent software available that will help to take the pain out of managing your finances.

Here we review Microsoft Money, one of the most popular personal finance applications.

Other money management applications we’ve reviewed which you might find useful are Personal Accountz, now called Home Accountz, Quicken and Moneydance.

Microsoft Money is one of the most popular money management applications, and as you would expect from Microsoft it doesn’t do things by halves. This application is rich in features that will help you to synch with your online banking accounts, manage your debts, take care of investments and much, much more.

One of the biggest criticisms is that if you are new to this kind of software the learning curve can be fairly steep. You will probably need to sit down with the manual for a few hours if you want to get the most from this application, but it is well worth the effort.

Online banking

If you really want to get the most from Microsoft Money you need to synch it with your online bank and credit card accounts. Be sure to check with your bank first to make sure that it supports Microsoft Money, most of the major UK banks do. If so, you will be able to download statements directly into Microsoft Money with the click of a button. If not, Microsoft Money probably isn’t worth your while.

Debt management

Microsoft Money’s debt management feature is definitely one of its strong points. Credit Centre will help you to track loans, credit card debts and overdrafts, and will even help you come up with a workable plan for clearing these debts.

Budgeting

If you’re willing to take the time to sit down and enter exactly how you spend your cash, Microsoft Money can be an excellent aid when it comes to budgeting effectively. To get the most from it you need to enter everything you spend your money on down to the smallest details. So don’t forget to include your daily newspaper, or your trip to Starbucks every morning as these all add up. Once you can clearly see how your money is spent you would be surprised at how much money you could save by making a few small changes.

Investments

It is nice to keep track of where your money is invested and how much it is earning for you. Microsoft Money allows you to manage your stocks, savings and ISAs from one convenient location.

These are just some of the features that will help you manage your finances. One important feature that is missing from the latest UK version of Microsoft Money is a tax manager to help you make your annual returns. If you are self-employed you will miss this feature. However, there are plenty of good tax-management applications out there, many of them free.

Our biggest criticism of Microsoft Money is that the UK version hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. Microsoft Money 2007 was conspicuous in its absence in the UK and now there is no sign of a 2008 update on this side of the Atlantic either. This means it can be had for the relatively low price of around £20. Microsoft Money is an impressive piece of software that is rich in features, however we can not be quick to recommend any money management application that hasn’t received an update for over two years. Our advice: Wait for an update before buying.

Come back again next week when we take a look at Microsoft Money’s chief rival, Quicken.

Comments

13 Responses to “Money management software review: Microsoft Money”
  1. Deltadave says:

    So what is the latest UK supported release? When is the next UK supported release of Quicken or MS Money expected? What is the reason for these products not having UK support? What is your recommendation today for a UK supported Home Money Management Software?

  2. AndyMac says:

    Neither Intuit or Microsoft appear to be releasing UK versions of their personal finance applications any more; looks like we’re just not a big enough market.

  3. James says:

    “This means it can be had for the relatively low price of around £20″

    It seems to cost a fortune on Amazon. Any idea where I can get it for £20?

  4. Sonnyt says:

    Surely we have sufficient skill in UK to develop suitable accounting software along with other products. Why must everything be done in other countries, we are in need of useful and constructive employment here!

  5. jeza says:

    For the past few months I have been using a personal finance package from a UK company Banktree http://www.banktree.co.uk seems to do the job, its good value for money and you get free support.

  6. GavinP says:

    I’m using http://www.whostolemymoney.co.uk for my personal budgeting and managing my property. Well worth a look.

  7. Terry Lyddon says:

    I haave been using a quicken accounts programme for some years and
    I am thinking of changing to a new product. Is it possible to transfer my existing data.
    If so is it difficult?

  8. GaryR says:

    Microsoft have announced that they are withdrawing their personal finance application, Microsoft Money Plus (previously known as Microsoft Money). No explanation other than “the market has changed”. You won’t even be able to register the software on their website soon.

    Further details on Microsoft’s own site here: http://www.microsoft.com/MONEY/default.mspx

    Why not try the British product “Personal Accountz” (full review elsewhere on this site)

  9. Call me old fashioned, but does one really need a computer program to keep track of one’s personal finances. Pencil and paper work just fine for most folk I know, and if your affairs get really complex beyond what you could manage on an excell type spreadsheet, perhaps it might be time to consider taking on an accountant

  10. Maj says:

    with all this rich software around it will easily beat pen and paper.
    I have used banktree for a number of years now. Its rich in features and has grown into a very popular easy to use tool for personal. Put it this its not the all singing and dancing software like microsofts products but it does exactly what it says on the tin. Manages your money. The good thing is it works for windows7 and so easy to migrate from quicken or any other products that are now becoming unsupported in the uk. Would recommend banktree to anyone.

  11. Tony Dickinson says:

    I have been using Microsoft Money program for about 15 years – the latest version that I have being “Microsoft Money 2005”

    I have had to change to a new computer which has “Windows 7” operating system. (my old computer ran on “Windows XP”). I have now discovered that Microsoft discontinued the Money programs in 2009?

    I have tried to transfer the Money program along with all historical data on to my new computer but it appears that it is not compatible with Windows 7.

    Can you please advise if there is a way to transfer Microsoft Money (or an alternative) on to my new computer in order that I can retain all historical data?

    Many thanks

    TD

    • Dan Bailey says:

      Hi Tony,

      I have been using Money for many years. Just because it is labelled 2005 doesn’t mean that its dated. Its still the best as far as I am concerned.

      I am using windows 7 and Money 2005 and it works fine. I have it installed the software on a 64 bit laptop (windows 7 pre) and also a 32 bit desktop (windows ultimate) and they both access my money file.

      Has MS Money installed on your PC and allowed you to open it to the first opening screen asking you to either open an account or make a new file?

      I am going to try and explain this so I hope it makes sense.

      Do not try to open your existing money data file with the newly installed MS Money. Start by opening the MS Money and open a new file with a fictitious account, don’t worry you will not be using this file it is purely to allow you to update Money. Money should at some point say that there is an update available or click on the update in help menu. The software usually finds the update itself.

      Let the software update and then restart. Now select your existing file which you wanted to open and hopefully it will work.

      Money had an update applied a long time ago which also converted your data file to work with the update applied to Money. You are basically trying to open your updated data file with a new install of Money which as yet has not been updated.

      Hope that makes sense and it works for you.

      Regards

      Dan

  12. Steve says:

    I used Microsoft Money Manager for a long time but was forced to move to a different package. I’ve been using Finance Plus for nearly 10 years now and it’s by the fair the best program I’ve found. I manage 12 bank accounts, including 3 credit cards and 1 business bank account. What I love most about the software, a part from the integrated budget is that it takes less than an hour to reconcile all the accounts. It also links the banks together so you can project what your bank balance will be. Amazing bit of software and compatible with Windows 7.

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