Plus there’s something meditative and satisfying about balancing the books every week.
But again: there’s no overhead involved in continuing to use both of these.
There overhead if I choose to track transactions in Quicken and/or You Need a Budget. As I’ve said repeatedly, the process of entering transactions by hand forces me to confront my spending habits.
Second, Personal Capital also offers investment consultation and portfolio management service. See How do and similar websites avoid storing passwords in plain text? David Michaels, then VP of Engineering at Mint.com, received a patent for the encryption system he set up (US Patent 8,566,952).
I’m only looking at its financial tracking tools, not its investment advice or portfolio management service. Although I don’t use Mint or Personal Capital right now, I would be comfortable with using them.
Welcome to the final day of my mini series exploring popular personal-finance apps.
As I prepare to track my spending in 2017, I have to decide which tool to use. Lately, however, there’s been a boom in personal-finance tools.
Reader Andrew read my series on looking for alternatives to Microsoft Money (I ended up staying with Microsoft Money after all). First of all I want to say desktop versus web or mobile isn’t the critical factor. You need some add-on workarounds to make downloading transactions and security prices work. If you upgrade every three years it’s pretty minimal, and it works out of the box. Mint and Personal Capital on the other hand are always online. You have to give them the passwords to your online banking, credit cards, and investment accounts.
He asked me why I use a desktop application such as Microsoft Money or Quicken as opposed to a new generation web and mobile tool such as Mint or Personal Capital. With the way computer applications are written these days, you can do pretty much the same with a native interface or a web interface. My comments are based on the desktop, web, and mobile financial management applications as they are implemented today, not their theoretical capabilities. Microsoft Money and Quicken keep your data local on the installed computer, which can be a plus or a minus depending on how you see it. They encrypt your passwords and make them secure with special hardware and procedures.
As readers suggest other apps to try, it’ll be easy enough to add them to the mix.