When people are looking for a way to keep track of personal finances, Intuit’s Quicken and Quickbooks applications are generally the go-to software. Whether you’re keeping track of your own finances, those of your home business or even finances for a local small business, Intuit’s products are a great choice. However, they’re not for everybody and, depending on the type of Quicken software you have to pick up, it can be quite pricey, too.
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives out there that are perhaps better than Quicken (depending on your situation), cheaper and perhaps even free of charge. Follow along below and we’ll show you some alternatives that’ll make managing your finances so much easier (and cheaper)!
Editor’s Note: This is a new update to an article originally published in 2013.
Moneydance is a great alternative to Quicken with a ton of different features — online banking (there’s even an app for Android and iOS), bill payment and account management. You can track your investments with the software as well. It has support for stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds and much more. With Moneydance, you can view the value of all of your investment accounts and even the performance of how individual stocks and mutual funds are doing.
On top of being great personal finance software, it has a robust budgeting system as well, as you can easily track income and individual expenses with Moneydance. The software also makes it easy to track your credit cards and loans, too. There are reminders built into the software that even show you past due bills and bills that are upcoming — you’ll never miss a payment again out of forgetfulness!
Moneydance lets you track your bank accounts as well — you can even create one for cash on hand. But, you can link both your checking and savings accounts to Moneydance and even create subaccounts (e.g. an emergency fund account or an account for long-term saving).
Additionally, you’re able to create graphs and reports with Moneydance. This gives you a detailed look into all of your finances, whether it be your personal income and expenses or your investment funds.
Moneydance is really nice because its one of the few pieces of personal finance software that isn’t tied to the Cloud in anyway — it’s largely all based offline.
Moneydance does cost a little bit. It’ll run you about $50, which is around the same price as Quicken. However, the biggest thing Moneydance has going for it is reliable customer support and more stable software, which are two of the biggest complaints that come with Quicken.
Get it now: Infinite Kind
Mint is offered by Intuit, but is entirely free personal finance software. One of the major things that Mint has going for it is its budgeting features. Create a budget based off of your income and expenses and Mint will offer suggestions to you based on how you spend money. In addition, Mint makes it easy to pay your bills with its online bill pay feature — you can get alerts and schedule payments in the snap of a finger.
The biggest thing that users coming to Mint might find useful is the user interface. It’s laid out in a way that everything is very quick and easy to access. Quicken and Monydance might feel a little clunky as far as the interface goes, but Mint has a modern UI that makes everything easy to access.
Mint brings together everything in one spot — you can see your income, bills and other expenses all in one space. The software will even keep an eye on unusual account charges and alert you accordingly. Mint keeps things very secure as well — all your data is encrypted with 256-bit encryption and then data exchanged with Mint is encrypted in 128-bit SSL.
The neat thing about Mint is that it helps keep money in your pocket. If you use Mint as your go-to personal finance software, you won’t miss a payment ever again thanks to its bill alerts and bill pay features. And, with tracking your spending, Mint will provide you with insightful suggestions to perhaps cut back on certain aspects of spending, keeping more money in your account for a rainy day (or even an emergency).
Mint, just like Moneydane, makes it easy to keep track of all your investment accounts as well — CDs, stocks, mutual funds, you name it.
Intuit might own Mint, but unlike Quicken and Quickbooks, you won’t be charged a penny for using it. However, Mint does have to make its money from somewhere, and that’s often through advertisements and recommending select products to you.
Get it now: Intuit
Personal Capital is another decent option, but may not meet all the features you’ve been using over on Quicken — it’s more geared toward investments, investment tracking and investment growth. So, if you’re more worried about investment portfolio than your outgoing expenses per month, Personal Capital is a great option.
There’s some decent support for Personal Capital, too. The software is regularly updated and has a lot of tools to help you with your investment and retirement tracking. Personal Capital isn’t all about your investment portfolio though — there are some features for tracking your budget and expenses as well, but it’s not nearly as expansive as Quicken.
On the flip side, Personal Capital is a piece of software you can use free of charge. There’s no cost involved here. But, you can choose to have Personal Capital manage your wealth for you, which is where cost comes in. However, if you opt to do it yourself, you can use Personal Capital free of charge.
Get it now: Personal Capital
CountAbout launched in mid-2012 and was designed to be a Quicken alternative. One great thing it has going for it is that it’s able to import data from both Quicken and Mint, so you don’t have to worry about starting from scratch.
It has a lot of features going for it — it has support for over 12,000 financial institutions, mobile apps, multi-factor authentication, plenty of financial analysis features for generating reports, budgeting, account reconciliation, investment tracking and so much more. It really is a Quicken clone, but with better customer support.
As we mentioned, CountAbout offers mobile apps as well — for Android and iOS. They’re actually fairly quality applications and tie-in well with the main software. They’re not nearly as clunky as the Quicken options for Android and iOS.
CountAbout certainly isn’t free, but it is a whole lot less expensive than Quicken. CountAbout will cost you $10 for the Basic version and just $40 for the Premium software — certain versions of Quicken can cost you upwards of $80.
Get it now: CountAbout
Which is right for you?
So, we’ve showed you some of the best Quicken alternatives out there, but which one is right for you? If you don’t mind spending some cash, Moneydance or CountAbout are nearly clones of Quicken. Just about everything you can imagine doing in Quicken, you can do in Moneydance and CountAbout. However, both Moneydance and CountAbout have a bit more going for it with better customer support and more stable software. That said, Moneydance and CountAbout are the best Quicken alternatives you can get your hands on.
Don’t got cash to spend? Then Mint will do just fine. With Mint, you’re not getting a Quicken clone. Quicken will offer you detailed financial analysis and is great for bookkeeping, whereas Mint will offer you some of that, but puts a focus on accessibility.
Personal Capital is a decent option, too. However, as we said above, it’s more geared toward investment and retirement tracking. If that’s your primary focus, Personal Capital is the way to go because they do investment and retirement tracking very well. It has a budgeting and expense component, but it’s not nearly as feature-rich as Quicken or Quicken alternatives in that area. So, if you’re more focused on managing your income, expenses, bookkeeping and financial analysis, look elsewhere. But, if you’re looking for something for wealth management and building wealth, Personal Capital is your one stop shop.
When it comes down to it, Quicken is great software to monitor long-term spending trends, keeping an eye on your investments and for detailed financial analysis. Again, if you want a replica of Quicken and have cash to spend, get Moneydance or CountAbout — they’ll serve you just fine and at a lower cost. If you don’t have cash on hand, Mint is a good alternative.
Now, when it comes down to choosing between MoneyDance and CountAbout, it depends on your situation. Honestly, either one will meet your needs. But, if you’re coming from Quicken, CountAbout is the way to go, as it’ll let you import your Quicken data directly into CountAbout.
There’s a good amount of frustration surrounding Quicken, primarily because of a lack of quality customer support and software that sometimes isn’t reliable or responsive. In this day and age, quality customer support alone can make or break a piece of software. Thankfully, Moneydance and CountAbout excels in that area, although you might run into the same problem with Mint, since Intuit — the same company that runs Quicken and Quickbooks — owns that software as well. However, in my experience, Mint customer support has been really helpful and was able to knowledgeably answer any question I had.
If you’re looking to move on from Quicken, Moneydance and CountAbout will serve you well. However, even though Mint is by Intuit, don’t knock it until you try it, it might end up surprising you.