For many people, the name Quicken doesn't mean much. Maybe they recognize the name on the Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some even recognize it as the personal finance product that was launched in 1983, when Bill Gates famously (mis)predicted that computers would only ever need more than 640K of memory.
At its peak, Quicken was the most popular and most powerful personal finance management product available. Intuit, now better known as the creator of TurboTax, was built on the back of Quicken.
The reality is that Quicken isn't what it used to be. The reality of innovating on a platform first established in 1983 is rearing its head. While it has been re-written and re-built, it's faced all sorts of technical issues over the years and its standing has eroded.
Intuit tried to compete with fresher online competitors like Mint with Quicken Online. It was released with a subscription fee, later dropped, but that was eventually shuttered in 2010 after Intuit acquired Mint for $170 million. In 2016, Intuit sold Quicken to private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.
If you're tired of Quicken and want to find a suitable alternative or replacement, we have some options.
Here are some of the best Quicken alternatives available:
If you're a long time user of Quicken, you're probably beyond the “help me with my budget” phase. If you're more interested in how your investments are performing and less interested in just knowing how much you're spending on groceries, then Personal Capital is a find Quicken alternative.
Personal Capital is a full featured, and free, personal finance management tool that focuses on helping you with investing. They're free because you can have them manage your wealth too but that's not required. You can see a full review of Personal Capital.
It's better than Quicken because it's frequently updated, has a rich set of tools for investment and retirement, plus it adds a budget and expense tracking component too. The budget and expense tracking is adequate, it isn't as mature as Quicken, but it works well.
One other vote of confidence for this Quicken killer, their CEO is Bill Harris and he was formerly the CEO of Intuit (and PayPal). You know he has the leadership skills to dominate in this space and the ability to lead teams to build systems that are top notch (the rest of the leadership team is very impressive in their own right!).
Here's a brief explainer video from Bill Harris:
You might have heard of these guys since they're now owned by the same company that once made Quicken. Intuit acquired them in 2010 and that's the reason why Quicken Online went away so quickly. It's also why Quicken was sold to H.I.G. Capital — which probably caused you a little bit of a headache from time to time!
Mint is free and very powerful on the budgeting and expense tracking side. They do not have much to help you with investment and retirement savings. The goal of Mint was always to be a budgeting app and with that in mind they do a very good job.
If you are sick of Quicken and focus primarily on expense tracking, Mint is a good Quicken alternative. If you have investments and need that component too, Mint will not be able to adequately fulfill your needs.
YNAB's philosophy revolves around four rules – Give Every Dollar a Job, Embrace Your True Expenses, Roll With The Punches, and Age Your Money. You can read more about them on the YNAB website but those four pillars form the foundation for a budgeting system that has helped many people. If you're looking to transition to a tool that will help you (as in help you make the change, not just record expenses), you should take a look at YNAB.
YNAB made a video showcasing the newest version plus a discussion on their philosophy:
CountAbout was designed specifically to be a Quicken alternative. Founded in mid-2012, it is the only personal finance app that will import data directly from Quicken. As in you feed it your Quicken file and it'll populate itself – that'll make the transition far less painful!
It's not free (neither is Quicken) but costs a mere $9.99 for the Basic and $39.99 for Premium (which includes automatic transaction download). This also means you won't get annoying ads like you do with Mint.
Check out the key features (reminds me a lot of Quicken):
- Imports data from Quicken and Mint
- 12,500+ financial institutions
- Multi-factor login protection
- Android and iOS apps
- Category customization (add, delete, rename)
- Tags (add, delete, rename)
- Reporting for Account balances
- Reporting for Category activity
- Reporting for Tag activity
- Report exporting
- Individual Account QIF importing
- Running register balances
- Account reconciliation
- Graphs for Income & Spending
- Recurring transactions
- Investment balances by Institution
- Memorized transactions
- Split transactions
- Description renaming
MoneyDance is not as well known as some of the other alternatives I've listed but I wanted to mention them because they're one of the few money apps that doesn't rely on the cloud.
You can still link your accounts online, so they pull your transactions in automatically, but they don't store them anywhere except locally. You can always enter transactions manually, in case you didn't want the link to exist.
Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? Many folks swear by his teachings and while I haven't followed them, I can see his appeal. His approach focuses more on human psychology than on math, which is why ideas like the debt snowball work so well; and EveryDollar is a budgeting tool affiliated with his group (Lampo Group).
Much like YNAB, it's a budgeting tool that uses the principles of zero-based budgeting. Every dollar is assigned a role (given a job, in YNAB parlance) and nothing is left to chance. It's a level of rigor that can be refreshing or restricting, depending on your personally. The app itself is beautiful, available on your smartphone, and you there is both a free and paid version. The paid version costs $99 a year.
(paid version offers phone support and automated transaction importing… which is a pretty big deal; otherwise you have to manually enter the data)
Here's a tutorial video on how to build a budget:
One of these will make a fine replacement for Quicken.