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[Discuss] Personal finance software on Linux

>Daniel Barrett wrote:
>> Having tried all the Linux (and several of the Mac)
>> options, none of them was as capable as Quicken...

On September 21, 2014, Tom Metro wrote:
>Can you elaborate? List a few specifics?
>The places where it fell short for you may be things most people
>consider obscure.

Sure Tom. The main areas were company stock options, back when I was
lucky enough to have some (MoneyDance doesn't model them, and GnuCash
requires hacks with multiple accounts, while Quicken does it
effortlessly), QIF file import (MoneyDance would insert garbage
characters into transactions, and I don't remember how GnuCash did),
and general ease of use. Quicken is quirky sometimes but most of its
features are dead easy. Accounts, transactions, and categories are
intuitive. There's a simple reconciliation tool. Taxable and
retirement accounts are kept separate. Mortgage refinancing is easy to
represent. Wizards help you with tricky transaction types.

I also tried iBank on the Mac and found its implementation of accounts
and transaction categories frustrating. I kept having naming clashes
like "Sorry, you can't create an account called Foo because you
already have a transaction category named Foo."

Bottom line: Quicken has served well for decades so there's been no
compelling reason to switch. Another program would have to be clearly
better, not just "as good."

>One place where I bet the open source tools fall short is in interfacing
>with the online bill paying services provided by banks.

A reasonable guess, but I've never used that feature: I just pay bills
on my bank's web site. (I'd rather not give my bank password to any
application that isn't provided by the bank itself.)

>> Money is kind of important so I recommend throwing FOSS allegiences
>> aside for this one. :-)

>Your "important" language implies FOSS solutions might not be trustworthy.

Sorry, I was too cavalier in my wording.  I certainly trust FOSS to
read and write critical files (emacs), maintain versions of critical
documents (svn), and encrypt my sensitive files (gnupg). What I meant
in my statement was this: where managing money is concerned, I
recommend using the best tool for the job, whether it's FOSS or
commercial. If the commercial tool is better, I personally would not
allow a preference for FOSS to sway me away.

- "Everybody needs money. That's why they call it MONEY." (Danny
DeVito in the movie "Heist")

Dan Barrett
dbarrett at

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