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Microsoft Money Being Discontinued Next Week

I’m heartbroken. Microsoft is pulling the plug [1] on the Microsoft Money product. I’ve been a diehard user for more than a decade! That’s thousands of transactions and details from almost every financial move I’ve ever made.

Microsoft Money Plus Home and Business [2] is the center of my Financial Organization [3] detailing almost 200 accounts in multiple files for all my family members and our business.

Switch to Quicken [4] with us! Since Microsoft Money discontinued their product, we’re converting from Microsoft Money to Quicken [4]. Join us in the switch and let us know how it goes.

Microsoft Money Expiration Date

They didn’t give much notice on the end of the product. The last day to purchase Microsoft Money Plus is June 30, 2009. All purchased Money Plus products must be activated prior to Jan. 31, 2011.

However, even if you already have a version installed, like I do, you may need to act quickly. The online services expire two years after initial activation or Jan. 31, 2011, whichever is earlier.

I checked, and my copy will expire on December 22, 2009, which means I only have six months left. I am purchasing another copy so that I will have service until the end date in January 2011. I’m glad I checked right away since the purchase deadline is Tuesday!

To find your expiration date, look under the help menu in Money Plus, and select About MS Money. The expiration date appears by the serial number.

Expiration Information

If your product is already activated, you don’t have to quit using the product when it expires, however, online services will no longer be available. That means that online quotes won’t work anymore. Neither will direct online banking and bill pay. Microsoft says that Money will “still process bank statements imported from your bank’s Web site (if available), and quotes can be manually updated.”

I ran a version without online quotes when my old version expired two years ago. After 3 weeks, I was more than annoyed. It would take hours to update my portfolio. I won’t do that again. If you are tempted, don’t forget that support will also end. So if you encounter a problem, don’t expect it to be fixed.

More Information

I’m a big fan of the usenet group [5]. Lots of users have very helpful information, including information on the discontinuation from the unofficial microsoft.public.money FAQ [6].

Alternate Tools

Switching to a new product will be the next step. Here are some of the products that people have mentioned that I’ll consider over the next year.

Quicken. Quicken, which used to be the main competitor for Money, is already offering a discount for Microsoft Money users [7] and created a FAQ on discontinuation [8], but they don’t anticipate having a complete solution for a few months. I’ll wait until I see that people are having success transferring all their data; I would hate to lose years of information. (Suggested by a reader, Ross, via Facebook [9].)

Other Personal Finance Applications. In addition, I’ve heard of multiple personal finance applications mentioned by others in the usenet group that I’ll plan to explore. They include GnuCash [10], Moneydance [11], and AceMoney [12]. If you’ve used any of these, I’d love to hear about it!

Online Products. In addition, I’ll see if some of the online products will be able to play a role, like Mint [13] (suggested by reader, Nitin, via Twitter [14]), Quicken Online [15], and the recently reviewed You Need a Budget [16]. However, these applications probably aren’t robust enough yet to manage a complete financial picture, including business and tax data.

Action Plan

I made sure to purchase my next version of MS Money by the June 30 deadline so that I’ll have service until January 2011. That should give me enough time to wait and see how successful people are in migrating gigantic files. In the mean time, I’ll just wait and see how it goes.

Update: I finally switched to Quicken and compiled a Quicken Tip List Former Money Users Will Like [17].

If you use Microsoft Money… what are your plans?