Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Microsoft Money leaves me no choice.

One of the lesser considered problems with living in a smaller town is that all the banks may still be locally or regionally owned. As a result the technological advancements of the internet as they pertain to banking are basically unknown to Pastoral Urbania. Most banks don’t reconcile with any desktop financial application in less than 15 steps. Those steps make sense to me as an amateur geek, but for the average Joe its a bit daunting. Local bank’s websites are either draconian or contracted out to some one size fits none third party provider.

All of these reasons and a few dozen more have long made me think about moving my accounts to some national provider that allows me to bank over the internet. The idea of my bank data and my financial records reconciling seamlessly is more than enough to get me to sign the dotted line.

One and only one thing has stopped me. I’ve used Microsoft Money for years. I don’t have to think to use it. I don’t remember ever having to think to use it. It isn’t ugly like Quicken. It doesn’t try to cute or upbeat. It just does it’s job. The clincher however is that its the only app I’ve ever found that produce a real cash flow chart over multiple accounts and forecast that cash flow for any amount of time I choose. (Knowing MS there is some arbitrary date in the future at which time stops but I haven’t found it.) So for that reason I’ve been comfortable enough where I was.

As of today, however, Microsoft Money is no longer available for purchase and support will be phased out over the next 18 months. So some bank and financial software needs to right a thank you note to Microsoft because that’s all the reason I needed.

I’m pretty sure who’s going to get my business but that’s another post. Get Rich Slowly has a great list of possibilities here.

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