Personal Finance Software or Excel Spreadsheets?

There is a good Q and A regarding financial software over at the Chicago Tribune website. Unfortunately there is a registration required, so let me piece this together for you...

A reader asked the following, "You're always recommending that people track their expenses, but I never seem to be able to keep at it. Is there any software that would make this process less tedious and cumbersome?"

The author, Humberto Cruz, answered the software part of the question by mentioning Quicken and MS Money. Well, of course, those are the leading personal finance software titles. Let me add however, for those Mac users out there, that MoneyDance is an excellent program that is designed for the Mac, unlike Quicken and Money which are converted from the PC platform to Mac.

Mr. Cruz, then stresses the importance of tracking your expenses, stating "before you rush out to buy either, you need to understand what will be required of you, and why." He tells the reader that recording information and tracking your expenses is made easier via Personal Finance software, but you still have to use the software and input your cash purchases and do it regularly. Buying the software can aid in tracking expenses, however you still have to sit at the computer and put some time into it. I couldn't agree more, it's tough work, but software can help.

The most interesting part of the article to me was the last two paragraphs:

Finally, rather than dedicated personal finance programs, the computer-savvy consumer might consider using the versatile Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program, which is often included in the software pre-loaded in many computers when you buy them.

For this group, I recommend the book "Manage Your Money and Investments with Microsoft Excel," by Peter Aitken, which includes a CD-ROM containing all templates covered in the book.

I have discussed before how I like to use Excel spreadsheets for budgeting and expenses. However, I have never heard of this book. Has anyone else used this book to set-up your personal finances in Excel? Do you have any other favorite books on Excel that could be used for Personal Finance purposes?


At 10/15/2005 08:11:00 AM, Anonymous David Porter said...

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