Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I'm making the leap.

I'm tired of Quicken.  I'm also tired of using Quicken plus two spreadsheets to keep track of money.  It's time to put my money where my mouth is and start using a different money management system.

I've spent a couple of hours messing around with MoneyWell.  Why MoneyWell?  Couple of reasons:
  1. It does the envelope method.  (MoneyWell calls them buckets instead of envelopes)
  2. It has a free trial, and the license costs $40 if I decide it's worth it (vs $60 for Quicken)
  3. It looks like they've got nice support (including video tutorials)
Even with the video tutorials, MoneyWell has taken some work getting started.  I've got a savings account where I keep money I'm accumulating for future expenses (everything from the cell phone bill to property tax), and it took some figuring to get that all set up with the proper amounts in each bucket.  I'll post more thoughts as I go along.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Suckage is Official!

I just got this email from Quicken:
We expect to release Quicken Financial Life for Mac in summer 2009. If you have an immediate need for a Quicken product for the Mac, we would encourage you to check out our current Mac offering, Quicken for Mac 2007.
Given that it was supposed to ship in Fall 2008, and it didn't, should anyone hold their breath for Summer 2009? I for one, won't - I've gotta find something more usable before then.

And just to pile-on the complaints, their email contained this bit:
Due to overwhelming interest in the beta, at this time we cannot accommodate your request to participate. We’re sorry that we are not able to accommodate everyone who was interested in joining.
That's a fine sentiment, but why did they send this four months after I signed up? Why couldn't they send that out sooner, even if the didn't know their release date? IMHO they seem to have some serious problems with time and schedules, which is all the more reason why I doubt Summer 2009.

Update: AppleInsider posted release notes from the current beta software. Not much to see there - just one screen shot.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Here's another Quicken alternative: iCash. As usual, I have no experience with it - yet, but one thing that's interesting is that it's cross-platform: it supports Mac and Windows. And it looks like that cross-platform support is real in the sense that it's the same program running on both platforms rather than distant bastard cousins.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No Extended Validation Certificate Support

Here's a story that's been buzzing on the Interweb, especially after it was linked to from Slashdot: Quicken for Mac Lacks Extended Validation Certificate Support. The short story is that many banks are adding extra security to their web sites (extended validation certificates) and Quicken for Mac doesn't support it, nor is it planned until Quicken Financial Life for Mac.

One interesting tidbit from the article: "This new package [QFLM] is due in mid-2009; it's in beta testing now." First of all, I didn't know the date had been slipped to mid-2009. Secondly, if it's in beta, why hasn't anyone I know who registered for the beta gotten it yet? Alternatives to Quicken are sounding better and better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I just stumbled across MoneyWell in a story on Ars Technica reminding us that Quicken Financial Life for Mac still hasn't shipped. I watched their introduction video, and from what I can tell, the program is centered around a modern, electronic version of the envelope system from tracking expenses - i.e., budgeting made easy. There is a free trial, it might be worth checking out soon - I'd like to switch off Quicken Mac 2006 at the end of the year.