Software for personal finances

I am looking for suggestions on an app to keep track of personal finances for the Mac and probably to be synced to an iPad. Nothing complicated, please. Just something to maintain a checkbook, a regular bank account(s), a small Ebay seller’s account. I am probably going to want to itemize on my taxes.

I use to have Quicken for my Mac and really liked it. Now it is on sale for $30. It doesn’t say but I am assuming it is Mac compatible.

Any recommendation and insight you could share would be greatly appreciated.

If your bank provides transaction exports in CSV (comma-separated values) format, then Numbers is a perfectly adequate transaction tracker. For years I have compiled with Numbers all my income tax work papers that assess income, personal and business expenses, in preparation for my tax filing software. I have about a dozen accounts that to track, and they all support CSV export. I find it a lot easier and faster to do things like this in Numbers than in any finance software I’ve wasted money on in the past.


Thank you, quorm! Do you use any templates?

I didn’t really think of using it. I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

I know somebody that’s run his whole business for…well…as long as computers have been reasonably available and commercially-useful…in Excel. Without anything like pivot tables or any other weird stuff - just straight-up spreadsheet math. I think three spreadsheets basically run the whole thing.

In the case I’m talking about it’s not a template, but just long lists of numbers. Money in (multiple columns for things like sales tax collected), money out, bank account balances, and some sums that total everything up and effectively provide a double-check.

I.e. if “money in” minus “money out” doesn’t basically equal “bank account balance”, there’s a problem somewhere. :slight_smile:

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That is encouraging. Math is not exactly my strong point, Web. I never cared for it. Yuck. But I am considerably better at it than I give myself credit for. (I just round things off and then I can determine how far off the mark any figures might be, prior to doing the actual math.

Right. If the figures are not jiving, there’s a problem.

The only thing is knowing myself I might try to reinvent the wheel.

So one spreadsheet for each account and then one main one wherein all the totals are included?

If I had an example, I could work off of that and not get terribly distracted.

Yes I use templates. Basically, I have master sheet that has rows for all the relevant tax categories for my situation. The sheet has columns for each account – and each account has its own sheet. The master sheet accumulates the relevant totals from the account sheets. In the master sheet I have canned calculations for allocating expenses between tax types, etc. I can accumulate and assess an entire year’s expenses in a day, once a year.

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I run both my business and my personal finances in You Need a Budget.

People are mad about the recent (poorly handled) price increase but I remain happy with the app. It has enabled me to get in control of my finances as I never could before. I only need one account to run both budgets.


That is terrific! I think I could do that. Once I got started and I wouldn’t have to pay fees ad nauseam.

Do you enter the figures on your computer or on paper?

I use MoneyWiz. It can be a paid subscription for syncing, or extra for bank connection. The only ad on their free tier is for their subscription and can be dismissed daily.


I don’t even think there’s a “main” one. Just one spreadsheet for each account. Look at the totals in one, and if they don’t match the totals in the other then something is wrong.

Not saying you couldn’t do it the way you’re talking about - but the person in question isn’t at the point of embedding data across spreadsheets. :slight_smile:

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I second @anon41602260 ‘s Numbers suggestion. It may be all you need. I’ve used a lot of commercial apps over the years and most are overkill for someone needing an electronic checkbook. Today I use my bank’s website or app that has the ability to aggregate multiple accounts. Then I download a .csv report as needed. Numbers does such a good job of formatting the report all I do is file it as is.

If you find you need something more take a look at Moneydance. It’s been a few years since I’ve used it but they still offer a free trial (limited to 100 entries) and have an iOS app.

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… em, in Numbers on a computer

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On the Latest MPU podcast Sean mentioned an app which seems to be US only as I was going to have a look. It’s called Co-Pilot

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Oh I am sure I could do it. I just don’t necessarily know how. And if there is math involved, I would just as soon defer to the easier way. Hmmm… embedding across spreadsheets? Hijole!

You wouldn’t necessarily need the main sheet unless you were going to itemize your taxes or something. Right?

Thanks, guys!!!

You don’t really need a “main sheet” to tie things together.

If you just want to track personal finances in a basic way, something like:

Column 1: Date
Column 2: Name of company or person (“Cable Company”, “WalMart”, etc.)
Column 3: Money “In”
Column 4: Money “Out”
Column 5: Some sort of note.


1/14/2021  Spectrum Internet           116.75  Paid in full
1/15/2021  Sam from Craigslist  450.00         Sold old Mac laptop

That’s your personal expenses. Your bank account is another sheet just like that one. Each sheet should have a row at the bottom to total everything.

You can get as complicated as you want, but that’s the super-simple way to do it.

Just start tracking things. And when you run into things that frustrate you about the setup, that’ll guide either the evolution of the spreadsheet system or the purchase of an appropriate app. :slight_smile:

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I use Moneyspire, straight forward and not pricy (or a subscription)

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You can try It’s an online service not an app, and you can use it for free if you are just tracking and not accepting payments.

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Terrific advice, Web! I certainly appreciate it!

This is what I would say, not that I used it a lot, I just tested it out when I was looking for a Bankitivity replacement (which was a good program but they went to a fairly expensive subscription) and it’s a really solid program.

I am not sure I would recommend Numbers/Excel to someone who doesn’t have spreadsheet experience. A good tracker will do all the bells and whistles without any prior knowledge or setup. I do mine in Excel across four workbooks and 20+ tabs (it covers multiple accounts, investing, mortgage tracking, subscriptions, budgets, etc). It gets complicated quickly and you need to learn so fairly complicated formulas to do things Moneyspire will do automatically.

You know, Leeabe, I do have experience with the Mac version of the spreadsheet software but that was a couple of decades ago. LOL! I don’t recall it being terribly difficult but I didn’t have a lot of experience with it.

I appreciate your recommendation!