Moneydance Review: A Worthy Quicken Alternative

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Read the latest review on iTMunch titled 'Moneydance Review: A Worthy Quicken Alternative'

Why Use Budgeting Tools?

Budgeting is not fun. Everyone wants an unlimited supply of funds so they never have to worry about the future. As a word, ‘budget’ has a negative connotation to it. It is easier to think of it as financial mapping or planning for your future. There are many benefits of planning your finances in advance, which everyone is well aware of. Some of the reasons why you need a budget are as follows:
 
  • Planning for your retirement so that you do not have to worry about the future when you won’t have any inflow of cash.
  • Preparing for an emergency situation so that in case a scenario does arrive, you are not helpless.
  • Creating a budget (financial map) helps you curb your bad spending habits such as impulsive buying.
  • When you plan your finances in advance, you can work towards saving money for that vacation you never had enough money for, or buying that car, or put that down payment down for the house you want to buy. It helps you create and achieve a realistic set of goals to improve your future.
  • Credit cards are every budget’s nightmare. If you create a budget and stick to it, you will never be in a position where you will have to use one. A successful budget plan will make sure you never spend money you do not have.
  • Managing your money will not seem that daunting with a good financial plan for the future. If your goals are aligned with your budget and your requirements are met, then you will also end up saving a lot more.

The best personal finance software acts as a helpful assistant that will track all your finances such as your income, investments, expenses, savings, etc. for you. It is integrated with your bank account, making handling your finances an easy task.

What is Moneydance?

Moneydance is a user-friendly personal finance software with multiple tools to help you budget your money. The application comes with online banking features, bill payment options, bank account management, budgeting as well as investment tracking. It is a convenient and easy-to-use software.

It effortlessly tracks your income and expenses. This way your checkbook is always balanced. It is an automated application created to assist you in your future planning. All you have to do to use the software is to download it and link it to your bank account. All the transactions get saved automatically and you can set up your profile for use.

Vendor Details for Moneydance

  • App name: Moneydance
  • Website URL: http://moneydance.com/
  • Platforms available for download: Mac, Windows, Linux + iOS and Android quick entry app
  • Initial release: 1997
  • Stable release: 2017
  • Developers: The Infinite Kind, formerly known as Reilly Technologies
  • Developed in: United States of America

Who can use Moneydance?

The personal finance software can be used by everybody. It is most beneficial to the following:

  • Investors
  • Smartphone Users
  • Desktop Users
  • Budgeters
  • Bill Payers
  • Expenses Trackers
  • People who require the support of multiple currencies
  • People who need synchronization for investment portfolios

Getting Started with Moneydance

It is easy to download Moneydance on a platform of your choice; the application is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Moneydance, unlike other personal finance software, does not ask for personal information for their trial period. A lot of people are not comfortable giving out their details online, so this is a preferred Quicken alternative.

If you already have an existing Quicken membership and want to import your data, the process is not too difficult. Create a QIF file for export on Quicken and use the import function on Moneydance. The categories that you may have on Quicken get imported with your transaction data on Moneydance.

Moneydance Key Metrics and Applications

Connectivity and Synchronization

The synchronization options for various types of account makes Moneydance a very convenient option. You can sync your credit cards, savings and checking accounts, loans, and other financial institutions accounts. You can also sync investment and asset accounts to your Moneydance.

The loan accounts synchronization option includes peer-to-peer lending accounts. This is something not many applications offer. All your balances and transactions are now consolidated, which means you do not miss a single entry. You can also track missing checks with Moneydance. All the information is done through private syncing.

Create and Manage Your Budget

The process of creating, editing and managing your budget is pretty straightforward. You can adjust your budget limit and Moneydance offers you color-coding to track your spending. Green means you have more funds in a particular category available. Yellow means you are either reaching the spending limit or have reached it. Red means you have exceeded the budget you had set for yourself. Moneydance does not give you alerts via text if you have exceeded the limit in a particular category though.

To create a budget, all you have to do is go to the Budget tab and click on it. Then your spending categories are shown, including the ones that already have balances present. This helps you see how much you have already spent in a particular category.

Moneydance also allows you to copy your budget from the previous month to the next. This makes creating a budget a lot easier, especially if you have similar spending habits every month. The application allows the user to carry forward the unspent amount from the previous month to the next month as well.

Create Accurate Reports and Graphs

Moneydance is one of the best personal financial software available to create reports. You have a lot of options as a user. You can create simple data reports like budget reports, cash flow reports, income vs. expense reports, and so on.
 
There are more complicated reports with graphs and charts to make the data more visual. These reports are easily customizable as well. There are options available to adjust the date range, how you want to save the report, and so on. If Moneydance does not have the option to create the report you need, you can create your own if you know programming.
 
Moneydance offers scripting support with Python. This allows you to create your report by writing your own script and analyze your data. This creates a custom report that will best suit your needs.

Track Your Investments

It is easy to keep track of your investment portfolio with Moneydance with the option to sync your brokerage account, transferring balance and trades. The overview of your portfolio shows the value, the change in percentage and cost basis. You can track your trades with the register. This includes stock prices, security, date, fees, and balance. The security details allow you to keep track of your stocks. With investment tracking, you can also create investment reports in Moneydance to help you analyze your investment performance and transactions.

Accessible On-the-Go

The Moneydance desktop application is accessible through various mobile platforms. It is available for download on iOS as well as Android. The mobile app can be synchronized with the desktop app so you can enter your transactions on-the-go and they will always stay updated. This reduces the time spent in adding your transactions to your desktop after making an expense or receiving an income when you are away from your computer.

The mobile application also allows you to access your statements wherever you are. You can also make adjustments to your budget, check your transactions, and make changes when needed. The requirement is that you need to have Dropbox downloaded to synchronize your desktop application with the mobile one.

Schedule Reminders

You can schedule reminders to pay your bills with Moneydance. You can also automatically enter the transactions, which makes it convenient to record transactions that take place each month without having to manually enter them every single time. Moneydance also has free bill pay. This helps you keep track of your debts and the dates for payment.

Upcoming bills are showcased when you open Moneydance on the homepage. The interface also gives you a handy list of bills to refer to in case you need to browse through the payments you need to make.

Moneydance also gives you alerts to make sure you are never late for any payment or dues.

Avail Extensions

Moneydance has a public API, which means that you can use different extensions to further customize your experience.

Read the latest review on iTMunch titled 'Moneydance Review: A Worthy Quicken Alternative'

Features of Moneydance

  • You can sync bank and credit union accounts
  • Credit card accounts synchronization
  • Investment and retirement accounts can also be synced with Moneydance
  • Works on PC and Mac
  • Mobile application available
  • You can view your net worth overview
  • You can create and access spending reports
  • You can also create cash flow reports
  • You can create personal investment reports
  • You can create tax reports
  • You can view your investment portfolio
  • You can track your investment performance
  • Display asset allocation
  • You can track fund fees
  • Online bill pay option available
  • You can keep track of your remaining budget
  • You also have the option to copy the budget to next month
  • Moneydance supports multiple currencies
  • You can create custom categories for budgeting
  • You have the option to import QFX and QIF files
  • Online synchronization is available
  • General ledger available
  • You can create a balance sheet
  • Forecasting
  • You can plan your capital assets
  • Run rate tracking available

Pricing Plans for Moneydance

Moneydance has international support. It works in multiple currencies. The first 100 transactions on Moneydance are free, but after that, it is a paid subscription. You have to pay $49.99 for the license to keep using the application. It is not subscription based, you can use Moneydance for however long you want to after paying the initial amount. 

A lot of the times Moneydance offers on upgrades, like a 50% discount for example, if you are a current customer.

Pros and Cons of Moneydance

Pros

  • Moneydance is a user-friendly application. The ledger on the application looks like a checkbook register, so it is easy to adapt. You do not have to do any calculations and the automatic addition of repetitive transactions makes it very easy to use.
  • Once you link your bank account to Moneydance, you never have to input the transactions made from that account. Convenience is a big factor in choosing a personal finance software, and Moneydance is nothing if not convenient. All your transactions are linked, resulting in the elimination of human error.
  • Customized categories help you create your personalized budget, which makes it easier for you to track your transactions.
  • All your financial records are visible on one dashboard on the homepage. You can view all your account summaries, checking balance, savings, mutual funds, stocks, etc. all in one place at a glance.
  • The synchronization of the desktop application with the mobile app ensures your transaction history is always up-to-date. It allows you to make manual changes which automatically get updated in the other application. For example, if you increase your budget on your mobile app, it will automatically get updated on the desktop app as well.
  • Moneydance makes it possible for you to track your investments along with your budget side by side. Moneydance can download prices, compute cost basis, and give you a summary for your investments if you need.
  • Moneydance allows the user to set up as many accounts as they wish to. You can create separate budgets for your business and personal use as well. You can merge all your finances in one budget.
  • You can completely customize your reports based on your requirements with Moneydance. The application gives you total freedom to create your budget and reports the way you wish.
  • People process visual content faster than they do textual. The visual reports feature with color-coded graphs and easy-to-read visuals make it easier for a lot of people to understand their finances.

Cons

  • Many personal finance software offer goal-setting features to encourage savings for users. You may want to save for a vacation or a new phone, and setting that as a goal will help you work towards it. Moneydance does not come with that option.
  • The list of bills consists of all the bills, both current and past. It could take you some time to find a specific bill if you are looking for it.
  • If you are using Moneydance as a business budgeting tool, you will have to purchase a license for each system that will use the application.

Top Customer Reviews for Moneydance

“Viable alternative to Quicken”

Moneydance is…fast, well-designed, regularly updated, and well supported, and which seems to have a very satisfied user base—superlatives not often used in conjunction with Quicken, the major player in the Macintosh personal finance market.
— Macworld review

“A much more solid contender”

Moneydance…is a much more solid contender. This program manages to replicate much of Quicken’s functionality — but in some cases a bit more elegantly…On a Windows PC with a moderately new processor it was strikingly fast.
— Washington Post – Challenging the Finance Software Giants

“The one I’ll be sticking with”

The online banking type of person will love Moneydance. It was the first one I reviewed, and it’s the one I’ll be sticking with… The functionality and usefulness of it is just awesome.
— The Apple Blog

Top Moneydance Alternatives

CountAbout vs Moneydance

  • You can get CountAbout for $9.99 – $39.99/year. Moneydance is available for $49.99 for a lifetime purchase
  • Both Moneydance and CountAbout have budgeting options within their applications.
  • Neither CountAbout nor Moneydance offer bill paying options
  • Moneydance is relatively easier to use whereas CountAbout provides better synchronization
  • Moneydance offers a hundred free transactions before purchase and CountAbout has a fifteen-day free trial
  • Moneydance supports multiple currencies whereas CountAbout is only for USD.
  • Both import QIF and QFX files
  • CountAbout is available for web usage and for download on Android and iOS. Moneydance can be installed onto Windows and Macintosh desktops and is available for download on both Android and iOS

Moneydance vs Quicken

  • Moneydance costs $49.99 for lifetime use and Quicken comes up to $34.99-$99.99 for use annually
  • Both Moneydance and Quicken provide budgeting facilities on their application.
  • Quicken is more user-friendly when compared to Moneydance
  • The refund policy for Quicken is for 30 days and Moneydance offers a 90 day refund
  • Quicken offers retirement planning options, whereas Moneydance does not
  • Quicken also tracks your credit score and has two-factor authorization, something Moneydance lacks

Moneydance vs Mint

  • Mint is a free personal finance software, giving it an edge over Moneydance, which is available at $49.99 for download
  • Both Moneydance and Mint offer budgeting services on their application
  • Mint has a better user interface than Moneydance
  • The account synchronization for Moneydance is better than that of Mint
  • Moneydance can import QFX and QIF files whereas Mint cannot