OFFLINE intro

[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 those Online functions that Microsoft will no longer be 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 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 for when you need to re-install. Your data will be inaccessible if your Money program becomes corrupted and you cannot reinstall Money or if you procure a new PC and cannot install Money.

-ameridan

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Keeping track of your IRA Cost Basis

I’ve been tracking the cost basis of my traditional IRAs for many years now and thought I would share how and why I do this in Money, in case you might want to add this useful function yourself.  Form 8606 keeps track of your cost basis from year-to-year, but it is only filed in those years that you make a non-deductible contribution, conversion or distribution to/from your IRA accounts, so several years could go before you realize that you need that amount again.  You won’t be done needing your cost basis either, until you’ve drained your last dollar out of all of your traditional IRA accounts, which hopefully will be a few decades later.

I use H&R Block software to do my taxes, and I’m pretty sure it carries over the basis from year-to-year, but Turbo Tax apparently has a flaw in the software, causing it to silently discard the transferred-in basis information if you inadvertently answer NO, when asked if you made any nondeductible traditional IRA contributions.  Once discarded, the historical information is gone.  The only way to recover the information is to either manually re-enter the amount, or to start the tax return over and transfer in the historical information again.

Although you are required to save your most recently filed Form 8606, I find it much more convenient to keep a history of my TradIRA Cost Basis, and refer to that when the need arises.  As to why –  why not?  We track everything else that involves our finances, and Money makes it easy to view everything in our Portfolio review screens.

If you are younger than 59½, you should also keep track of your RothIRA Cost Basis, in case you find it necessary to make a sizable “early” withdrawal from one or more of your Roth accounts.

All you need to do is add the cost basis into your Watch account by creating a dummy transaction with zero shares of your Cost Basis “investment”…

ira cost basis

and then select “Update prices > Manually” (first choice in the left column of the Portfolio manager screen) every year that the amount changes.

ira

This is how it shows up in my Portfolio Manager screen (click image to enlarge)…

ira

-ameridan

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Using the bank’s OFX server to determine your account number(s)

I know this is covered somewhere in my blog, but Harold posted his findings on the Pocketsense forum, and I thought it worthy of republishing his experience, because

  • in his case he didn’t know the account number of a new account his financial institution has created
  • you could know your account number, but not know how many leading zeroes, for instance, that the financial institution is expecting in order to recognize the entry
  • you may want to see a list of all of the accounts which are tied to your sites.dat entry for a particular financial institution

Way back when Money itself did what Pocketsense does, I recall that you set up online banking with an *institution*, and it gave you a list of accounts you had with them. You’d then associate one of their accounts with your Money account. Apparently, Quicken has something like this capability, too.

I was wondering if there were any way to use Pocketsense to get this “list of accounts” for a particular institution.

Background: I use a site for some of retirement funds. For reasons of their own, they set up a second account on their system for me. I don’t know the internal number for that account, and neither do their customer service people (it shows on their screens with only a name, not a number). But in order to use Pocketsense, I need to log on with an account number. So how to get the account number?

It turns out that if you leave the account number blank in the OFX transaction, this site (and I am guessing others) respond with your account number(s). So I set up an entry in Pocketsense for this site and my userid and password with a blank account number and let Pocketsense “test” it [using the Setup routine], and did not send the response to Money. Using Notepad, I then looked at the file I got back, and found my account number.

Everybody probably already knew this, but this capability was news to me.

[UPDATE 5/14/2018] Apparently Harold’s report inspired Robert to incorporate this feature into Pocketsense today:

When adding or updating an account in Setup, it will now query the institution, and give a list of valid accounts.  The user can still enter the account number manually, and will need to do so if/when a bank masks the account number in the reply (e.g., XXXX-XXXX-1234).  Otherwise, the user can select the account number from the list.

[UPDATE 7/27/2018] Be aware however, that just because all your accounts are listed, doesn’t necessarily mean that those sites.dat credentials will always work for every one of those accounts.  I opened up a new account at PNC recently, and during Setup, that new account showed up, yet I was unsuccessful in obtaining downloads.  I then noticed that the routing number was different, so I added an alternate PNC IL ALT entry with the new routing number, and during Setup using that entry, again, all of my PNC accounts showed up, but it only actually worked for my new account linked to that respective routing number.


By the way, if you ever want to see a listing of all of your Accounts in Money along with full account numbers, be aware that you can select “Account balances with details” in the Reports tab.  Unlike the Account List, the numbers won’t be redacted (xxxxx99).

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Alternative OS

reactos_0

I’m publishing this article, on the off-chance that one of my readers might be curious enough to experiment a little with a spare PC, an iMac, etc.  …


For those wanting to run Money in a virtual machine, ReactOS may be worth checking out.  It is an open-source, lightweight and FREE alternative to Windows, and even though it is still in the Alpha stage, if Photoshop installs and runs on it (there is a YouTube video review documenting this), I would hope that Money might also run as well.  The OS is intended to be compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003).

Microsoft Money was developed using IE exclusively as the entire user-interface, and it has never been included in the install media, as IE was always to be integral with the OS.  So, the crucial deciding factor may well be Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) which doesn’t seem likely to be included with ReactOS either.  However, since a good portion of the OS is Wine code, depending on how well Wine Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe, included with the OS, and IE compatible) is patched into the registry as IE (now, or in a future version), there’s still hope for ReactOS to be Money-friendly.

The dll patch that was introduced for Windows 8 and 10 shouldn’t be necessary with this OS, since it is replicating older versions of Windows.

There may be good clues in this article (How to install MS Money on 64-bit Linux) for installing Money with WINE, which is reported to be part of ReactOS.  I see that one of the requirements is installing IE6 (which is the key component needed to run Money):

Visit this page on OldVersion.com and click the button to download IE6, and save the file to “/home/torben/.cache/winetricks/ie6”.

I’ve started a thread on the ReactOS Forum regarding this topic that you can follow the progress on.us

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Disabling Windows Update service to stop Windows 10 updates

Source: https://www.drivereasy.com/knowledge/how-to-stop-windows-10-update/#Way2

Since many of us are concerned that one day, an update to our OS is going to not be Money-friendly, I thought I would share the procedure for turning off manual/automatic updates of our Home edition of Windows 10.  I was always under the impression we couldn’t take control of OS updates unless we had the Pro version, but apparently Microsoft has relented to user’s objections.

To disable Updates, use the following verified procedure:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key img_59b0b16974940+ R at the same time, to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter.

img_5a17e3a2834d6

3) Scroll down to Windows Update, and double click it.

img_5a17ce8b1b89d

4) In Startup type, select Disabled. Then click Apply and OK to save the settings.

img_5a180db8463c4

5) If it’s the first time that you stop the Windows Update service, you may also need to take one more step:

Still on the Windows Update Properties pane, click the Recovery tab, select Take No Action in the First failure section, then click Apply and OK to save the setting.

img_5a6591b48d12c

6) Restart your PC, in order for the changes to take effect.


[UPDATE 6/3/2018]
Am I ever glad I suspended updates, as I avoided Build 1803, which is reported to significantly slow down your PC.  I think I’ll just wait this version out and hopefully, if Microsoft gets their act together, I’ll temporarily allow updates to a more agreeable build (as long as it is also MS Money-friendly).

♦♦♦♦♦

Every now and then while Money continues to work well, I plan to manually re-enable the Windows Update service to “catch up” with everyone, and then disable it once again, after verifying that the recent update has been installed:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key img_59b0b16974940+ R at the same time, to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter.

3) Scroll down to Windows Update, and double click it.

4) In Startup type, select Manual. Then click Apply and under Service Status, select Start and then OK to save the settings.

5) Restart your PC, in order for the changes to take effect.

♦♦♦♦♦

When you wish to invoke the Updates panel to monitor status/progress:

1)  On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key img_59b0b16974940+ R at the same time, to invoke the Run box.

2) Type ms-settings:windowsupdate and press Enter.

♦♦♦♦♦

The quickest method of determining which update version of your Windows OS is installed:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key img_59b0b16974940+ R at the same time, to invoke the Run box.

2) Type winver and press Enter.

winver

 

 

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Chase OFX downloads

Having just set up multiple Chase accounts to work with Pocketsense, here are my findings:

  • Quicken downloads are offered on the web, but only to the primary account holder, and only after you have logged onto the web, click on top left button and then click on Profile & Settings > Manage Account Security > Desktop apps > activate Quicken.  Otherwise, you will only be offered pdf downloads.
  • Then clear you account credentials (if any): Pocketsense > Setup > Delete Account
  • Add your Chase account:  Pocketsense > Setup > Add Account
  • For each account user (sites.dat entry), after running Pocketsense > Setup > Test Account, you will get an error informing you that you have a secure message requiring your verification.  Logon to your web account, click on top left button and then click on Secure Messages and then click on the link within your most recent message to activate downloads.
  • Now you will be able to test once again, and you should have a successful download that you’ll need to Send to Money, so that you can match with the appropriate account in Money.
  • Test each account individually and match to Money accounts before running the regular combined downloads.

sites.dat settings



     SiteName : CHASE 
     AcctType : BASTMT     #bank accounts 
     fiorg    : B1 
     url      : https://ofx.chase.com 
     fid      : 10898 
     bankid   : #use appropriate routing number 
     brokerid : 
     appid    : QWIN
     appver   : 2400
     ofxVer   :    103
     mininterval : 
 

  
     SiteName : CHASE CREDIT CARD  
     AcctType : CCSTMT     #credit card  
     fiorg    : B1 
     url      : https://ofx.chase.com  
     fid      : 10898
     bankid   : 
     brokerid : 
     appid    : QWIN
     appver   : 2400
     ofxver   : 103
     mininterval: 

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SSL exception (Universal AT&T, Citicard, Searscard…)

REMINDER

It’s been a while since I’ve written an article, indicative of how smoothly Money, and our supportive scripts, are running for us on a daily basis.

For those of you that haven’t upgraded Python in a while (I was at version 2.7.6), it appears that the banks are upgrading the security on their OFX servers and we need to be communicating with software that addresses recent security vulnerabilities, to avoid getting errors like the one bounced back to me from Citibank these past few days:

** An ERROR occurred sending POST request to www accountonline com
Exception type :
Exception val : [Errno 1] _ssl.c:507: error:1407742E:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:tlsv1 alert protocol version
An online error occurred while testing the new account.

I posted my issue on the Pocketsense forum and Robert so kindly responded with a reminder that the error above was probably due to an older version of Python.  Apparently last month, Python released 2.7.14, and having just upgraded Python, I’m happy to report that all is good for me again.  For those of you using 2.7.12 or 2.7.13, I don’t know that it is necessary to upgrade already, but I was way behind.  This indicates to me that the banks don’t move too quickly either, as they probably don’t make many changes to their servers, unless (like us 😉 ) they are actually experiencing security or hardware issues.

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Schwab downloads not working

Sometime towards the end of July 2017, access to their OFX server appears to have been tightened down, effecting a large number of users via various access methods – including Pocketsense, Moneydance, Quicken, and others.   The story is that blocks of IP addresses were entered into the firewall (removed from their “white list”?) a little too aggressively, in an attempt to curtail malicious (Bot) attacks on their server.

Several of us have already had success by calling Schwab Tech Support @ (866) 855-9102 option [3], to have our dynamic IP address “range” added to this white list, so hopefully that success will continue, as our IP providers assign us a new IP address whenever they feel like it.  I’m assuming that they guesstimate the dynamic IP address “range” based on a common mask of  255.255.248.0, or perhaps they loosen it up even more.

[Update 9/29/2017]

My IP address has changed many times during the last two months, and yet my Schwab downloads have worked perfectly since being added to their white list, so apparently they have resolved this issue properly.

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