Welcome!

[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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How to handle Roth IRA Conversions

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click image to order from Amazon

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 with a significant discount, by clicking on the image above.

I 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” IRA investments into your Roth IRA accounts, rather than pulling funds, along with mandated RMDs (required minimum distributions) later in retirement, leading to potentially significantly higher:  

  • Medicare insurance premiums
  • Social Security benefits taxation
  • Surviving spouse taxes (smaller standard deduction, lower tax bracket thresholds)
  • Estate/legacy taxes for IRA account beneficiaries (that they will have to pay)
  • State Income taxes (more states could eventually decide to start/increase taxing IRA, and other retirement income)

I highly recommend reading this book!


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

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 investments in your Traditional IRA accounts and 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.   By doing the same in following years, you’ll eventually convert all of your traditional accounts.

4158358dd856092d0654c2f5fd9d5087

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

GOLDMAN SACHS BK 3.3% CD FDIC INS DUE 04/16/2024 ▓

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 Deposit transaction 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}
  • from “IRA ROTH CONVERSION”, with a net-zero total

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.

aha4aicon

 

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 Schedules 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:

BUY

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

SELL

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

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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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Fixing Wells Fargo QFX

Hung Le has written a python script to fix export QFX files from Wells Fargo, since apparently the files are missing carriage return(s) at the end of each line, that Money expects to see for processing the file.  Head over to https://github.com/hleofxquotes/hleofxquotes/blob/master/dist/misc/fixWellsFargo.py  for the fix.

I think the scrubber routines in Pocketsense already address this condition, so those downloads may be handled in Money OK.  I expect Robert will eventually incorporate this into the scrubber routine, as it may help for other financial institutions, since it also rebuilds the header portion of the file.

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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 financial data yourself.  I’m referring to the I.R.S. Form 8606 IRA cost basis, the calculation of which is completely separate from the actual Cost Basis of the individual investments within an investment account (which Money keeps track of on it’s own) and is defined as follows:

Add up all of your nondeductible contributions to all of your traditional IRA accounts to date. Subtract any previous nondeductible contributions that you’ve already removed from those IRA accounts. The result is your IRA basis.

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

ira

and it fluctuates each year in which you file Form 8606, to reflect a non-deductible contribution, conversion or distribution to/from your IRA accounts, so several years of inactivity could go by, before you realize that you’re in need of the current amount once again.  Until you’ve drained your last dollar out of all of your traditional IRA accounts, you won’t be done needing your current calculated cost basis.  This hopefully will be a few retirement decades later (unless you convert do Roth conversions).

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.  As you can see below, I haven’t taken a distribution from (or made an after-tax contribution to) any of my traditional IRA accounts since 2013 (you can’t get thousands of ObamaCare premiums subsidy dollars, if you increase your income with taxable money), so by the time I’ll finally need it again, my Cost Basis might otherwise be difficult to locate.

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

-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.  At this point, the user can either:

  • Enter the account number manually, so that it will be displayed in it’s entirety within account details
  • Select the account from the displayed list, knowing that it may be displayed within account details, in a redacted fashion (e.g., XXXX-XXXX-1234)

[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 ALT entry with the new routing number into sites.dat, and during Setup using that entry, again, all of my PNC accounts showed up, but by using that new entry, my downloads for that new account were finally successful.


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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