[updated 4/3/2018]

If you agree with me that Microsoft Money is the BEST personal (and small business) financial management software package available, then you’ve come to the right place for improving Money’s OFFLINE capabilities.

  • Even though Microsoft has elected to divorce the program from the MSN Money servers as of January 31st, 2011 (which did much more than just grab statement downloads, including independent stock and fund quotes for ALL of your investments, passing through third-party web-scrapes of your data, supporting Online banking, investment news, tax and exchange rates, LiveID password authentication, etc.), they have made available a **FREE**  legal copy (the SUNSET edition) of the latest updated  OFFLINE  version of  Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe that you can download, even if you’ve never used Money before!  On its own, it will only update via OFX statement files that you download through the websites of your financial institutions.
  • Now by installing Python and downloading Bobby’s PocketSense script package that runs on Python, you will be able to essentially mimic many of the online functions that Microsoft is no longer providing.
  • For those that only need to update quotes (no Account Statement updates) and don’t wish to install Python scripting, Hung Le had written a Java app a year ago that has been recently updated and the link in the original Blog page has been updated with this new version.
  • Another new program is now available for updating quotes from MSN in a very similar fashion to Money’s original online updates.  It is called MSMoneyQuotes and you’ll find links to it in this blog post.
  • I have developed Ameridan’s addon package to PocketSense that allows you to run these scripts (and review your Online investment data) from within your Money program.
All of the known working sites.dat settings that I am aware of are listed (and continuously kept updated) in this
>>>>> blog page <<<<<
Also, make sure you check out the
Look Up Your OFX Settings
portal page, with links to all of the other sources of OFX settings
that I am currently aware of

IMPORTANT!! (Courtesy of Cal Learner)

1. If any Money Plus, 2007, or 2006 users use a Live ID (email address plus password), they should remove that with File-> Password Manager. This can only be done if they can get into the Money file. They could then use a “Money password” if they want a password at all. Money 2005 users don’t have this ability, and must continue to log in offline.

2. Do not attempt to reset your Live ID as the program may suggest. Any attempt to do so will not be effective. Only the credentials in effect at the time that you last successfully got in to your Money file will work.

3. Most users of Money should block all Money access from the Internet to prevent it from trying to access servers that no longer exist. This is a speed issue.  See my article “Eliminating the “online updating”delays and errors when opening Money” for details.

Download links, also courtesy of Cal Learner

US Money Sunset (Works with US and Canadian Files only; others see below)

Self-contained installation files for use (including if the original disk requires activation).   No direct online access works with the Sunset versions. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2118008 for an explanation of the Sunset versions

US Money Plus Deluxe Sunset

Downloadable from http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/5/5/2557D51B-AF4C-4123-8198-563ABA07337B/USMoneyDlxSunset.exe  [static link]
or use http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20738

US Money Plus Home and Business Sunset
Downloadable from http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/1/B/C1BA4FFE-E119-4C19-8BD3-442F0E7E98A0/USMoneyBizSunset.exe  [static link]
or use http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7564

Notes for North America:
1. US and Canadian Money 2005 and Essentials users — as well as other US and usually Canadian users — can use Money Plus Deluxe Sunset if they have to reinstall at some point. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2118008  for information.
2. Some US users of older versions of Money (Money 98 through Money 2003)  may have to use an additional step, described in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919524/en-us  , of first installing a verson of US Money 2004 or 2005 to perform a file conversion before installing Money Plus Sunset. Here is a link to a minimally functional version of US Money 2005 (filename webinst.exe) that can be used for conversions: http://download.microsoft.com/download/D/B/7/DB72D4E0-FBD1-4B76-BFA0-1FF20F6AEC8D/M12USWEB.exe

Money 2005 UK – QFE2
Self-contained UK Money 2005 file including all available patches. Replaces all MS Money UK 2005 installation discs. Usually solves “Money cannot locate the file because it’s a read only file or you do not have permission to change it” error message.
Download from http://moneymvps.org/downloads/files/2005/Money2005-UK-QFE2.exe

Money 2005 International English QFE2
Self-contained Money 2005 International English installation file from Microsoft, including all updates (For Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and all other English versions other than for US, Canada, UK).
Download from http://moneymvps.org/downloads/files/2005/Money2005-IntlEngl-QFE2.exe

Money 2005 French – QFE3
Self-contained French Money 2005 file including all available patches. Replaces all MS Money French 2005 installation disks.
Download from http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/3/1/B31D6140-59FE-4D17-AF82-A2E77D0FCFFF/Money2005-FR-QFE3.exe.exe

Notes for all versions…

It is suggested that all Money users keep a good copy of the installation file, even if the need is not immediate. It will be needed if you reinstall Money in the future. Those links can change, so do a search if you don’t find the file you need. Since we don’t know how long these files will be available, it is best to keep a copy of your appropriate installation file in a safe place.

Regional versions

Money data files are in a different format for each region. The correct regional version of Money must be used or the data file will not open.

It is possible to convert from one region to another only by exporting data as loose qif and importing to the new regional version of Money. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304254  and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178830  .

Old Money versions will run only under 32-bit Windows

Old versions (Money 2000 and earlier) include 16-bit code so they can only run under 32-bit Windows (XP, Vista, 7 and 8).

To be able to use data files from these older versions on a 64-bit PC with Sunset Money:

  • Download m12usweb.exe (Trial edition of Money 2004) to the new computer.
    (MD5 is 1c62413858e2184eb39862f1b2afba44)
  • Put the latest *.mny and *.mbf files into the Documents folder of the new computer
  • Temporarily uninstall Sunset if you had already installed on new computer
  • Disconnect from the Internet (may not be needed, but recommended)
  • Set the computer date to 2004/1/1 (or there about)
  • Install trial Money 2004 by running  m12usweb.exe
  • Let that convert your *.mny file. Check that it seems to work. Save the converted file. Maybe change the name so that you can distinguish the converted file. Close Money 2004
  • Set the date right. Install/reinstall Money Plus Sunset. Let it uninstall Money 2004. Let Sunset convert the Money 2004 *.mbf file to Sunset
  • Make extra copies of Sunset install and data files onto other media

64-bit Windows

The U.S. Sunset versions of Money, downloadable above, run great in Win32 mode of Windows 8 and 10.  It is not a 64-bit program though, so hopefully,  Win32 remains supported within Windows for many years yet.  However because of a bug in the file mnyob99.dll, there may be issues with with certain OS updates.   It is recommended that a patched version of this file be used to resolve these issues and insure compatibility.  Read more (and find a link to the patch) here.

Internet Explorer

Money uses Internet Explorer as the GUI, so do not delete the program from your PC.  If Microsoft ever switches over exclusively to Edge, Money may cease to function, which is the primary reason why I have turned off Windows 10 automatic (and manual) updates, although I do intend to catch-up once in a while to versions that remain Money-friendly.

Money version downloads

The latest Sunset versions are free for anyone to use, but are not supported by Microsoft. The download links above might become unusable at any time.

Remember to keep a secure copy of the downloaded installation file. Your data will be inaccessible if your Money program becomes corrupted and you are unable to reinstall Money, or if you procure a new PC and you are unable to install Money.


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How to handle accrued interest

Accrued interest is interest that has been earned, but not yet paid.  Every day you own a CD or bond, you earn another day’s worth of interest, which accrues to your benefit until you receive your periodic payment, usually every three or six months.

Unless we are purchasing new issue CDs and bonds, or happen to buy on the interest payment date, your purchase will probably include a certain amount of accrued interest that will be added to the purchase price.   This is interest from the last payment date to the day before your purchase, that rightly belongs to the seller, not you.  By paying for the accrued interest in your purchase, you provide the money to pay off the seller’s accrued interest.  On the next payment date, you’ll receive the full interest amount, which makes you whole for the upfront payment of accrued interest.  This accrued interest needs to be accommodated on your tax return, because it is taxable to the seller, not you.

Reporting Accrued Interest

Since most of the CDs I invest in are brokerage CDs, I treat all CDs as bonds in Microsoft Money, which works out well with ofx transaction downloads from my brokerage – other than the accrued interest portion.  If the accrued interest is entered within the purchase transaction , Money seems to ignore it in net income and tax reports…

CD purchase

click to enlarge

yet all is fine, if it entered separately.  Upon closer study of the downloaded brokerage transaction reflecting a CD I purchased 2 days ago  , I see that the accrued interest is reported outside of the  <INVBUY>, so if you go along with Money’s handling of the transactions, it works out well.

<DTTRADE> 20200205120000
<DTSETTLE> 20200207120000
<UNIQUEID> 254673ZG4
<UNITS> xxx
<UNITPRICE> 100.000
<TOTAL> —xxx
<ACCRDINT> 1208.22

Similarly, I recommend creating a separate transaction for accrued interest ,

CD purchase1

click to enlarge

and as a reminder come time to do the taxes, you might include a note in the memo portion, like I do:

accrued interest, to be reported on Schedule B – payer: “Nominee Distribution —- Accrued Interest”

With this method, the accrued interest will properly transfer onto your Schedule B when exporting your tax transactions, to insure that you won’t pay taxes on that interest twice.



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Fixing Missing Business Transactions

[This article is specific to U.S. Money Plus Home & Business Sunset]

For some unknown reason, I recently discovered some Payment for Invoice (a special category unique to the Business version of Money) transactions missing from various Business Income/Expense reports (as well as my Schedule C report), even though the transactions themselves were verified as still existing in the database, and only after some serious digging, was I able to finally resolve the issue.  In case anyone else is ever presented with the same mystery…

  • Under the Business tab, select Products & Services, and for each of the Services, select Details… 
  • Inspect the Category under Select an income category to track sales of this service: to see if it has been either cleared or changed to an incorrect entry
  • If so, restore the Category choice in the relational database, by once again choosing the proper Business Income category
  • As to the root cause as to how/why this occurred however, I come up blank.  Perhaps an overlooked program bug in the Business version, when doing some unusual operation like a quick file repair?


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Discussion: Eliminating price data to reduce file size


I’ve got daily Price data for Ford stock going back to the late 1980s (the stock, which we still own in a DRIP account, was given to my wife after she quit there), that I really don’t find any value in keeping (along with prices for many other investments, at the risk of my file size getting too large), so I backed up my file and proceeded to go to my Portfolio screen and:

  • Highlighted the Ford stock
  • Selected Update Prices
  • Selected Update Prices manually…
  • Moved down from yesterday’s entry
  • and held down the delete key, watching thousands of prices disappear

The process took me about 6 or 7 minutes, and only once, was I prompted as to whether I really wanted to delete a price, for a stock-split price from 19 years ago, to which I answered NO, since it stated that the stock-split transaction would be reversed.  I observed afterwards that investment transactions were not affected, but my ability to bring up a Price History graph for Ford stock was gone (no big deal).

Most of my entries were pre-2013 “Online” quotes, which I assume:

  • also include historical data such as last, change, open, high, low, 52 week high, 52 week low, PE, market cap and volume
  • this quote data consumes much more memory than post-2013 Pocketsense “Update” quotes from Yahoo, along with brokerage statement “Buy/Sell” prices, which are simply that day’s price
  • is the same larger amount of quote data that are in MS Money Quote “Online” quotes
  • the historical data associated with the deleted quote, is also deleted, when the price is manually deleted?

I then exited the program (US Money Plus Home and Business Sunset), selecting Save on the way out, and discovered that my file size went from 66,041 KB down to 63,360 KB.  2.68 MB reduction, and that’s just for one stock!

Before doing the same for other investments, I’m going to insure that the missing price data has no other negative consequences.  For instance, the Capital Gains Estimator seems to be unimpaired.  I have brokerage CDs in my portfolio that also have daily price data (they are treated as bonds), all of which I consider meaningless, since they are purchased, and will be redeemed – at par value.  In fact, I’d give up keeping my Price data for most of my other investments, if I can instead reduce my file size, such that I can continue to reliably use my Money data file for quite some time yet.

By deleting some more price data, I think I might be able to reduce my file size to less than 50 MB.  Does anyone see any cons?

I’m also wondering if Hung Le might develop a Sunriise type tool to clean out price data (perhaps it is capable of doing that already?).

[UPDATE 12/11/2019]
Bob Smiley later pointed out that Money has a tool to clean out prices (I didn’t even realize that option existed), but it only addresses securities that you no longer own.

If you go to the Portfolio, click “More…” on the left in “Other Tasks” you will see an option “Clear Historical Quotes”. This will do what you want – only keep weekly values.

Thanks Bob. I tried it out, and even though I see evidence that daily price data for securities I haven’t owned for years still exists, my file size was reduced further to 59,492 KB; that resulted in another 3.87 MB reduction!

[UPDATE 12/17/2019]
I’m happy to report that by deleting the prices for 3 more stocks that I’ve owned for quite a while, I’ve reduced my file size down to 56,226 KB, which is now 10 MB smaller than 1 week ago!!

My main concern for keeping file size down, is so that I can keep using my primary database for as long as Money works, rather than having to start over, or using an archived database.


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How to handle Roth IRA Conversions


“What you should be doing NOW to avoid the stealth tax increases retirees face but are ignorant of…until it’s too late”

A small plug (even though I have no involvement):

After watching some videos on Josh  Scandlen’s  Heritage Wealth Planning – YouTube channel , I checked out his website  https://heritagewealthplanning.com/, and received a download offer for a FREE digital version of his book  The Tax Bomb In Your Retirement Accounts, in return for my email address.  I am so glad I accepted!  Note: If you exit out of the offer, I’m not sure if it will pop up again, but the site does have several links to purchase his books from a variety of sources.  You can also order the book from Amazon (at a significant discount).

aha4aiconI found it to be very eye-opening, as to how much money can be retained (in total income taxes during your lifespan, and beyond) by “converting” traditional IRA investments into your Roth IRA accounts, rather than letting them remain in “traditional” status. 

You will be mandated to annually withdraw RMDs (required minimum distributions), starting at age 72, in order to eventually deplete all of your traditional IRA account(s), leading to potentially significantly higher:  

  • Medicare Part B (and Part D, if elected) insurance premiums 
  • Taxation on a much greater portion of Social Security benefits
  • Surviving spouse taxes (smaller standard deduction, lower tax bracket thresholds)
  • Estate/legacy taxes for IRA account beneficiaries (for non-spouse beneficiaries, new rules require complete distribution of traditional IRA accounts within 10 years, as ordinary income)
  • State Income taxes (more states could eventually decide to start taxing retirement income, including IRA distributions)

Now I see why Josh states “IRA Distributions [Can Be] A Tax Nightmare!”
I highly recommend reading this book!

Roth conversion background

The money sitting in your traditional IRA is not 100% your money.  The IRS is waiting to get their piece of it, and converting a portion of one’s IRA results in a tax bill that many people would rather delay, which is probably why ROTH conversions are an under-utilized strategy.

Rather than converting in one fell swoop, if the balance in your Traditional IRA account(s) is sizable, it might be best to spread out the conversions (distributions) over a few years.  Also, it turns out that you do not need to sell your investment securities in your Traditional IRA accounts in order to transfer cash; you can transfer your chosen investments directly.  This wasn’t so obvious to me, until watching these videos, which probably explains why I kept putting off the conversion.

Since you do need to pay income taxes on the distributions, choose a group of investments such that, the sum total won’t put you in a tax bracket you’d like to avoid.  With last year’s Tax Reform, from now through 2025, taxes are essentially on sale.  What does this mean for most of us?  Our overall tax liability is probably lower than it has been over the past 20 years or more, which means more money in our pockets.  Unless you are currently high-income earners, a married couple can convert quite a bit of money, and still stay below the 32% tax bracket (at 24%).  By doing the same in following years, you’ll eventually have converted all of your traditional accounts.


Here is how I’ve accounted for Roth conversions in Money

As an example, here is one of the secondary CDs that I chose to convert this year:


In Money, I created a new transaction for this CD, using the “Transfer out” option while in the investment side of my traditional IRA account, and I selected my Roth IRA account as the destination (which reflects what I’d instructed my investment firm to do).  That may be the first time I’ve made use of that option with an investment; we all do it with cash quite often.

aha4aiconWhile thinking about how I was going to remind myself that part of the transactions history of this investment will remain in the Traditional IRA account, I discovered that I can addend a “flag” ( ▓ ) onto the investment name (use the Rename option in Investment Details), which will easily identify those assets that have been transferred for conversions, while viewing my Portfolio screens.

Then in my Roth IRA cash account, I added one additional Split/Multiple Category Deposit transaction (with a net-zero total) that summarizes the total of this years’ transferred investments, to serve as my Tax software export transaction:

  • Category: Retirement Income
  • Subcategory: trad IRA Distributions (Dan)  {each person should have their own subcategory}
  • Tax Form: 1099R
  • Form Line: IRA Taxable Distribution
  • Copy: {each 1099R form should be assigned it’s own copy}

roth conversion

It really is that easy!


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Improving Money’s handling of Investment Account Earnings

It is frustrating when you discover some flaws while using the single-entry “shortcuts” for investment transactions.  For instance,  dividends not showing up  in some reports, when using the “Reinvest Dividend” option or the entire amount of a sold bond being reported as interest in the “Tax Software” report, using the “Redeem CD/Bond” option, yet working properly if input as a “Sell” instead.



If you would like Money to categorize investment account earnings more realistically, I have recently  learned a few tricks for doing so, that will not only result in more thorough and accurate reporting, but those earnings will also finally be reflected on the proper lines in your tax file exports.  This procedural change results in giving you the diverse range of options that you have for transactions in non-investment accounts (like Bank accounts).

  1. Enable Cash transactions in your Investment Accounts, even if there isn’t a Cash account per-se, to allow for using the dual-entry method for recording your transactions.
  2. Rename your category “Dividends” to “Qualified Dividends”, and change the Tax Form (Sch B) Form Line selection from “Total Dividend Income”, to “Qualified Dividends”.
  3. You can create a new “Ordinary Dividends” category, and assign the Tax Form (Sch B) Form Line “Total Dividend Income” to this category instead.
  4. investment activity choicesWhen recording the reinvestment of dividends, rather than using the built-in single-entry activity “Reinvest Dividends” (and this is the non-intuitive part), select “Other Income” as the activity, observe that a new Category field has opened up, where you now have control over assigning which type of dividend this was (hopefully qualified dividends), and transfer the entire amount of the dividend to the Cash side of that account.
  5. Now, in the second half of this dividend accounting, you can record all of the transaction details (quantity, price, fees and memo) as a “Buy”, from the Cash side of the account.

This “Other Income” trick is also useful in other Investment account income situations, such as “Tax-Exempt interest” and “Treasury Bill interest” (state + local tax exempt), which Money doesn’t normally otherwise accommodate.  To be fair, although not very intuitive (see the list of options, as shown above), the programmers have provided for the extended capabilities, even though it seems like it may have been an afterthought.   For more details, and step-by-step instructions for the special-case handling of T-Bills in particular, see my previous article.

Although there may be fewer instances where this may be needed, the same concept applies with “Other Expenses”, as well.

If you are a Trust fiduciary, you’ll also find “Other Income” quite useful in separating investment account earnings related to that Trust.  As an example:

  • create new category “Interest Income (Trust)”
  • assigned to Tax Form “Schedule K-1 Worksheet”
  • assigned to Form Line “Interest Income”

Now your tax file export will reflect that interest as being assigned to the trust beneficiary, who will then be responsible for paying the income tax on that interest.  Note: I use Money Plus Home & Business Sunset, so I’m not sure if the “Schedule K-1 Tax Form” selection is available in Money Plus Deluxe Sunset, or not.


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U.S. Treasury bill transactions

Over the years, a few people have posed the question “How do you record the purchase and redemption of Treasury bills (T-bills), in Microsoft Money?”  Unlike other investments where the interest is posted to your account as interest, T-bill interest is “hidden interest”, and it is the difference between your discounted purchase price at auction, and the sell price @ 100 on the redemption due date.  It is also U.S. Government interest, which shouldn’t show up on your State and Local Tax returns, like regular interest.

Here is how I handle this special case:


Recording the purchase of T-bills is pretty straight forward, and they’ll be designated as bonds, just as I do CDs, with a normal par of 100.  In my case, I’ve set up a TreasuryDirect  investment account to hold all of my transactions with Treasury Direct.gov, but unlike most brokerage investment accounts, the Cash (transfer) portion will be the bank account that I’ve linked up, rather than the in-house brokerage Checking account*.

Example: (new) “BUY” of 100,000  “US TREASURY BILL DUE 6/4/2019”, an 8-week bill @ $99.629778 = $99,629.80


It appears that the redemption is the trickier part.  When a CD is sold @ 100 it doesn’t reflect hidden interest.  The interest is usually recorded separately as either Investment Interest or as Reinvested Interest.

t bill interest

First, I created a unique Investment Income sub-category “Treasury Bill Interest”, which I assigned to:

  • Tax form “Schedule B”
  • Form Line “U.S. government interest”

, so that the Tax transactions are treated as State & local non-taxable income correctly.

On the day of redemption, just like CDs, again two transactions will be needed:

1.  Record the interest as a separate investment activity, selecting “Other Income” as the activity.  I discovered that this allows you to then specify a category (otherwise not possible), which in this case will be “Investment Income : Treasury Bill Interest” (rather than the generic taxable Interest).

Example: (new) “OTHER INCOME” of 100,000  “US TREASURY BILL DUE 6/4/2019” of $370.20, assigned to Category “Treasury Bill Interest”, which for 8 weeks is the equivalent of a 2.429% APY 

2.  Then in the actual redemption transaction, record the actual sale properly at par, but offset the interest as commission, so the total doesn’t reflect that hidden interest.  Today, I discovered a flaw in the “Tax Software” report if “Redeem CD/Bond” is selected, rather than “Sell”, as the entire amount of the bond is reported as interest, so I would stick with “Sell”.

Example: (new) “SELL” of 100,000  “US TREASURY BILL DUE 6/4/2019” @ 100, less Commission of $370.20 = $99,629.80, rather than the actual $100,000 received, so no Capital Gain is invoked.

t bill interest1

click to enlarge

*   Note that if you are reinvesting within the TreasuryDirect account, simply enable “Track Cash transactions” in Settings, so that those bond redemptions and re-purchases are transferred to/from the virtual TreasuryDirect Cash account, rather than the linked Bank account, to avoid confusion and reflect reality.



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How to Use Money to Find Losing Tax Lots to Harvest

authored by Cal Learner  (republished with permission)


courtesy of Cal Learner ~ click image to enlarge

I am using Money Plus.  If you are using an older version, some things may differ…

If you did not do so,  you can enable the Capital Gains shortcut by clicking Shortcuts [ K ].

Click the Capital Gains shortcut [ A ], or alternatively Investing Tools -> Capital Gains Estimator [ J ].

Select Estimate Capital Gains Tax [ B ] in the left column. There will be some delay for the table to be prepared.

The Sale Price column [ C ] will have numbers in it.  I found that the numbers were stale.  I wanted this column to reflect the latest price info that Money knows.  To trigger that, click Update Prices -> Update Prices Manually [ D ]. Then click either X or Close and they should update. Unfortunately this table cannot be sorted.

See the Unrealized Gain column [ E ]. Those with a parenthesis around the number are candidates for sale (losses), but there could be others. The Cost Basis column [ F ] may have “multiple lots” listed for some securities. If for those, you click the + sign to the left, a – sign appears, and the lots will be shown [ G ]. For a stock in the US, you can identify specific lots for your sale. The method for doing that varies with your broker.

So take notes, and enter your sell orders with your broker.  In this example
[ H ], you might enter an order to:

  • sell the 100 Kirby (KEX) shares bought 6/12/2018
  • and keep the 200 shares bought earlier on 1/24/2016

Note: If you want to buy the same stock back later, and still take your tax loss, you will have to do the buy 31 days or more later.

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