I’m a big proponent of tracking my money. Each month I document and review my spending, investments, and credit scores. Until about two years ago, I used Quicken, one of the most popular desktop money management software programs.
Quicken is powerful and has many excellent features. Unfortunately, I began having problems syncing all of my financial accounts, including my primary bank account. I could have continued making manual entries into my Quick app. But that is time intensive and can lead to tracking errors. Instead, I used this as an opportunity to reevaluate how I was using Quicken, and whether or not I could find an alternative to Quicken that would meet all my needs.
Deciding to Replace Quicken
After reviewing how I was using Quicken and what I needed to accomplish, I realized I didn’t need all the Quicken features, such as check printing and bill pay. My primary objective was to track my investments (primary) and my spending (secondary). I wanted something that was fast and easy to use and automatically synced with my financial accounts.
I also realized there were several downsides to Quicken that hindered the way I wanted to use the app:
- Desktop only. Quicken Online was shuttered years ago in favor or Mint.com (at the time Intuit owned both apps). So you are locked into using Quicken on one computer.
- Different Mac and Windows versions. The Windows version is more powerful, however, I use a Mac.
- Annual membership fee. This is new. Intuit, the former Quicken owner, supported the software for 3 years after it was released. The last version of Quicken I owned was Quicken 2015. Support for Quicken 2015 ended on April 30, 2018, meaning I would need to upgrade to the latest version to continue using many features. Unfortunately, Quicken was recently sold and the new ownership group now requires an annual membership fee.
So I decided to try some Quicken alternatives. I opened accounts with several different money management apps. I discovered there are many competent competitors to Quicken, and we’ll look at a few in this overview.
Criteria for Our Ratings
Below are our favorite Quicken alternatives. Several of these budgeting apps are free, while others may have a one-time purchase fee, or may have a subscription model, similar to Quicken. Price was a consideration in our ratings. Free, obviously, is a selling point. But the price is not the only selling point. We also considered which features each of the apps included, such as the ability to sync with financial institutions, whether or not the app supports investment accounts and budgeting, or if the app only offered one or the other.
8 Best Quicken Replacements:
- Personal Capital – Best App for Tracking and Investments and Spending
- Mint – Best Free App for Budgeting
- Status Money – Full Featured & Free
- CountAbout – Best Piad Quicken Alternative
- Moneyspire – Best App for Multiple Currencies
- You Need a Budget (YNAB) – Best Premium Budgeting App
- QuickBooks Online – Best Business Money Management App
- Custom Spreadsheet – Best Low Tech Solution
1. Personal Capital – Best App for Tracking and Investments and Spending
Personal Capital is a free online investment management app. It’s easy to open an account and start tracking your money. Simply open an account with Personal Capital, link your financial accounts, and start digging in.
Personal Capital is my favorite Quicken alternative because it offers so many complimentary features, including the ability to view and track all of your investments in one place, as well as track and manage your spending. Quicken has a few additional features, such as bill pay. But I use my bank to handle those needs.
My favorite feature at Personal Capital is being able to quickly and easily view my asset allocation across multiple investments accounts. This makes it incredibly easy to rebalance my asset allocation or decide which asset classes I need to purchase when I make my next 401k contributions.
Additional Personal Capital Features:
- Online access, so it can be used on any computer (bank-level security)
- Manage investments
- Track spending by expense category
- Retirement planning tools
- Analyze your investment fees
- Free online account
Learn More or Sign up for a Free Account:
- Learn More – Personal Capital Review
- Open Free Account – Join Personal Capital for Free.
2. Mint – Best Free Budgeting App
Mint is our runner-up. That doesn’t mean Mint isn’t a great product – it is. However, the target audience is geared more toward those who simply want to track budgeting and spending. It does not have the full-features to track investments like those offered by Personal Capital.
Mint also has a long legacy in the financial space. It was purchased in 2010 by Intuit, which is the company that brought Quicken to the world. Quicken Online was launched when it because apparent how popular online apps were becoming. However, Mint proved to be more popular than Quicken Online. Intuit read the writing on the wall, purchased Mint, and deprecated Quicken Online. They later sold Quicken to an investment capital company.
Like Personal Capital, Mint is free, and will easily sync with most financial accounts. You can also set up budgeting categories, spending alerts, and view your credit score. The primary downside is that Mint makes money by recommending financial products and services. So be prepared for some internal advertising. Other than that, and the lack of investment tracking, there are few downsides.
Comparing Personal Capital and Mint: My two favorite money management apps are Personal Capital and Mint. However, they each have different target audiences. In short, Personal Capital is an investing app that offers good budgeting tools. Mint is a budgeting app with very limited investment tools. If you have any investments, I recommend Personal Capital over Mint. We wrote this Personal Capital and Mint comparison to help you understand the benefits of each of these free money management apps.
3. Status Money – Full Featured & Free
Status Money is a new, full-featured money management app. It is free, which is a nice selling point. You can quickly and easily connect your banking and other financial accounts to your Status Money account and gain actionable insights into your finances.
Status Money also offers several features you won’t find elsewhere. The goal of Status Money is to give you actionable information you can use to improve your finances. This includes customized recommendations on ways to save you money. For example, alerting members that their credit card interest rate is higher than their peers – or if they’re spending more than their peers on restaurants. This informs members to reach out to their credit card company to request a lower interest rate and to better manage their finances by reducing spending in specific categories.
Another way Status Money sets itself apart is by allowing you to anonymously compare your finances with other people. Status Money assigns you to a peer group based on your age range, income range, credit score range, location, and housing status (rent or own). However, you can create custom peer groups or compare yourself to everyone in the U.S.
Like most apps on this page, Status Money uses bank-level encryption for your data. They also require Multi-Factor Authentication when logging in from a new device.
4. CountAbout – Best Paid Quicken Alternative
CountAbout was created specifically to be a Quicken alternative. It is also one of the few apps that allows users to import data directly from Quicken (it also allows users to import data from Mint).
CountAbout is only available online or via an iOS or Android app, so there is no software to download or install. This also makes it easy to manage your money on the go.
Users can connect multiple banking, credit cards, and investment accounts, and automatically download data when they log in. CountAbout also features Multi-factor login protection and excellent security.
- Imports data from Quicken and Mint
- Connect to thousands of financial institutions (over 12,500 financial institutions, including banking, investing, credit cards)
- Budgeting – Customize spending categories, Customizable tags
- Multiple reporting features / Graphs
CountAbout is not a free app, but it is very affordable. It offers two plans – Basic ($9.99/yr) and Premium ($39.99/yr). There is a 15-day free trial.
- Learn More – Visit the CountAbout website.
5. Moneyspire- Best App for Multiple Currencies
Moneyspire is a desktop app, available for both Windows and Mac computers. You can use the app on all the computers in your household and even share between Mac and Windows versions. Moneyspire features optional cloud support, so you can upload your data to the cloud and work on the go if you desire.
Moneyspire also supports all world currencies, including transfers between accounts with different currencies. You can download current exchange rates for calculations or for your convenience.
- Track financial accounts – including banking, credit cards, and investments
- Budgeting and spending details with customizable categories and tags
- Bill reminders
- Detailed charts and other reporting
- Ability to reconcile financial statements
- Investment Account Support
- Check Printing
- Mobile iOS app
- Import OFX, QFX, QIF, and CSV file formats
Moneyspire is available for a one-time purchase for $44.99 (though check to see if there are any current discounts). The purchase price includes a Lifetime License – the Software (and online features) will never expire. While Moneyspire isn’t the least expensive option on this page, it comes with many features that make it an attractive replacement for Quicken. So it’s worth looking into as a viable alternative.
- Free Trial – You can download a free 15-day Moneyspire trial.
6. You Need a Budget (YNAB) – Best Premium Budgeting App
YNAB is great at doing one thing – setting up and tracking a zero-based budget (a budget in which every dollar is assigned a task, even if that means anything remaining at the end of the month goes into savings). You Need a Budget does not track investments.
You Need a Budget is not free; it costs $6.99 per month, billed annually at $83.99. It syncs with over 12,000 bank accounts. YNAB also syncs between devices, making it easier to manage your household budget when you have more than one person using it. YNAB also features goal-tracking and progress reports. Being able to keep track of your progress is motivating.
There is a free 34-day trial, so you can test YNAB before purchasing.
- Learn More – Learn more or open an account at YNAB.
7. QuickBooks Online – Best Business Money Management App
Many people still use Quicken Home and Business to manage their business finances. I tried this route several years ago, but I found a dedicated business accounting program preferable and more able to handle my business. I previously used the QuickBooks desktop app, which works for many small businesses. I later migrated to QuickBooks Online, which I prefer over the desktop app.
QuickBooks Online gives me the ability to allow other people access, such as a bookkeeper and accountant. I can also quickly and easily sync my accounts, send invoices directly from the app, and create business rules to automatically assign categories to income and spending. And I find the reporting features more than adequate for my needs.
There are many other small business accounting apps. QuickBooks, however, is very affordable and has an extensive community and online knowledge base. This makes it easy to get answers to technical questions or hire someone to help with your bookkeeping or business taxes.
- Learn More – QuickBooks Online review, or
- Free Trial – visit the QuickBooks Online website to start a free 30-day trial.
8. Custom Spreadsheet – Best Low Tech Solution
I use Personal Capital to track my investments and spending patterns. Personal Capital is much more powerful than anything I can create in Excel or Google Sheets. And the automatic syncing features make updates a breeze.
But I also use a customized spreadsheet to track other aspects of my finances. My custom spreadsheet makes it easy to track my finances as I go and provides quick access to historical data.
You can create a spreadsheet to track just about any aspect of your finances, including budgeting, spending, investments, projected income or expenses, lists of accounts or insurance policies, and much more.
My spreadsheet has multiple tabs which I use to track:
- My Net Worth (updated monthly)
- Credit Scores from each credit bureau, updated monthly (I get free credit scores each month from Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and my bank).
- Basic Investment Calculator (useful for making quick projections)
- List of Credit Cards and Auto payments (used when updating expiration dates, or if the credit card number changes)
- Contribution Ledger (used to track contributions throughout the year for IRAs, 401k, 529 plans, estimated taxes, Health Savings Accounts, etc.).
- Tax information
My customized spreadsheet helps me stay organized throughout the year. Updating my spreadsheet each month also ensures that I frequently log into each account. This helps me review my finances, make sure there are no unauthorized changes, and help me stay up to date on the risk of identity theft.
I could probably do everything in a customized spreadsheet, but it would take a lot more work. So I view it as a supplement to Personal Capital, not a replacement.
That said, someone who enjoys tinkering with spreadsheets should be able to whip something together that will meet their needs. They may miss out on some of the features found in some of the above tools. But that just might be a good thing if you prefer to keep things as simple as possible.
Do you still use Quicken, or have you found a Quicken replacement?
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I am the opposite and want to track my bank accounts and spending with no use for check printing nor bill paying. And I would prefer to do it on a single PC rather than online. I was less than impressed with CountAbout while they were initially helpful I have more than one checking account and it always seems to be a problem downloading correctly. I am still stuck with quicken 2017 and am holding out for something to take it’s place that actually works. Even though I usually upgraded every year or 2 I refuse to be forced to pay an annual fee for quicken …
Correction, YNAB has been syncing transactions for some time now.
Ryan Guina says
Thank you, Patrick. I previously used their older version. I stopped using YNAB because I had a handle on my budgeting, and was more focused on tracking my investments. I appreciate the note and I will update it accordingly!