Free Online Finance Trackers, Revisited

Several months ago, I wrote my Free Online Finance Trackers post, and I thought I was time for a followup. After several months, the winner was……

None of them.

But it’s not really their fault. I simply decided I needed a little bit more than any of them could provide. I wanted to track retirement plans, budget, loan payments, and paychecks, and not only find out where my money was going, but predict where it would be in the future. Combine that with the fact that I use small credit unions so I have to manually upload transactions anyway, and none of the options really fit my needs. Besides, I always felt squeemish about putting all my financial data online. Yes, I know these companies are all very sensitive to privacy, and I think they do a good job. I simply decided the risk factor was a bit too high for me after all.

Of all the online finance trackers, the one I used the longest was Wesabe. I spent a few months working with it. I think for a someone whose finances aren’t as complicated as ours, it would be a good fit. The few bugs I encountered the tech support was great and easy to work with. I did hit one bug however that they couldn’t seem to fix, involving their javascript graphs not taking into account all of my data (but only when viewed from my computer, when looked at it locally, it worked fine). They worked on it while, but when they still couldn’t fix it, I eventually gave up.

So what do I do now? I gave KMyMoney another spin, and settled on that. GNUCash is still too complicated for me. KMyMoney is set up to track every penny we spend now, and its working out pretty well. The graphing functions are a little cumbersome, and not as pretty as Mint or Wesabe, but they get the job done. I can import all of our finances, including retirement funds, and use several different algorithms to predict how much money we’ll have in the future. The loan feature keeps track of our monthly payments and how much interest we pay.

Now that I’ve taken the time to use a full financial software package, I can’t ever imagine going back to something like Wesabe. It’s just not powerful enough for what I need, nor is it designed to be. For people who just want to track a few accounts, like checking and credit accounts, it’s great. For someone trying to get a handle on all the complicated finances of the household, take the time to learn a full package.

And before anyone asks, yes you can easily run KMyMoney on a Gnome or XFCE desktop, you just need to install the necessary KDE libraries.