Mission Impossible: Personal Finance Apps

Why is it so hard to find a half-way decent personal finance app, that works on your platform of choice and doesn’t cost the earth??

If you’re a windows user then no-probs, Quicken have a nice product for the home user Personal Plus, you can also use Microsoft’s personal finance product Microsoft Money 2005.

For those of us anarchist non-windows types we can use Quicken 2005 for Mac if we own a mac AND are in the United States, no localised Australian version for us even though all the Quicken windows products are available here.

If you run Linux then you’re buggered, there are many Open source products in this category but few are more then toys and none fully replicates the feature sets of the low-end windows products.

Probably the best bet is GnuCash which does most of what you need for a Personal Finance App, but is missing two of the most useful features

GnuCash Runs on Linux and Mac OSX, there are no plans for it to be ported to Windows but you never now.

1) Budgeting – Allow you to set spending limits on categories and track your spending against these limits.

2) Debt Reduction Scenarios – The ability to determine the best way to allocate extra money to your current debts and prepare a plan to get out of debt. From memory this is handled very well in Quicken’s products.

Maybe I should go back to a spreadsheet, but it’s such a pain in the ass that it won’t get done, oh well, back to the salt mine….

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