Jan 13, 2008

Too Many Tools

A good chunk of my Sunday was spent trying out different personal finance tools available to Mac. Some I liked, some I dumped straightaway. We currently use a spreadsheet that is on Google Docs so that we could access it from anywhere and to enable us to update it even at work.

I created that spreadsheet after trying a $10-worth one. The spreadsheet I bought is actually simple to use and is quite good, but I’m really simpler than that. I decided to give it to my siblings who seem to be happy about using it. After some hours trying on different softwares, I told J that I thought I’d stick to our spreadsheet. We were considering purchasing software that would really work for us. I’ve still not tried Quicken but we’ll see… so far I’ve read good reviews about their online version.

Any recommendations?


  1. Before paying for Quicken, I might give Mint.com's software a try. Here's their post about it: Mint Budgeting.

    On the minus side you apparently have to use their preset categories.

    Or you could use the information from Mint if you have it track your purchasing and fill in your own Google Docs budget.

  2. Hi Mrs. Micah,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I already signed up for Mint but it only has US banks listed. I'm from New Zealand. That's why I need a tool that's not location-specific.

    Thanks again!

  3. I use Quicken Home & Business on my Intel Mac (using Parallels--this version is PC-only). It's definitely not the cheapest option, but I wouldn't give it up for the world.

    It took me a couple months to really customize it and get it going, but it was the catalyst for a huge shift in my attitude toward my money. All my transactions are in my face every day, for one thing. No more conveniently forgetting my transgressions.

    But it's also impacted my debt reduction in a way I didn't foresee. Since I'm a freelancer, it's hard to know how much money I'm going to have at any time in the future. But I can use Quicken's calendar, with my future bills and invoices inputted, to see how much will be in my accounts each day from here to eternity. That's helped me send bigger chunks of money to my credit cards and equity loan without worrying that I'll get stuck.

    Also, when I first got it it literally saved me money because I noticed inaccurate credit card charges that I wouldn't have paid attention to otherwise. So I figure that knocked about $26 off the price.

    (Sheesh, I've become a real Quicken groupie. This is the third time this week I've gushed about it to people. But I really, really love it.)

  4. Hi some girl,

    Thanks for the comment. That was helpful. I think I'd want to try Quicken at some point in the future :)

  5. Since you just bought a Mac, you might want to give Cha-Ching a try? I haven't used it personally but it's featured among the bundled apps this year for MacHeist, which is saying something.

  6. Hi dnp9529,

    I think I remember reading about Cha-Ching in the past. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

    Have you checked out whostolemymoney.com? It's NZ-based (maybe owned too) and I find it interesting.