Help deciding an app for personal Finance in 2023

Hi there! I haven’t been tracking my finances since a long time and the last time I did it I used YNAB (which is just about budgeting). I have did some research but I’m having like choice paralysis or something because I just can’t find one that clicks.

I’m looking for the following:

  • Track subscriptions and bills that I have to pay each month or each year. This way I can also see how much I’m spending in subscriptions.
  • Add transactions that happened during the day.
  • Lets me add cash :moneybag:, credit and debit cards :credit_card:. I’m from a country where most of the apps don’t support connecting to my bank, so I don’t have a problem with doing things manually.
  • Allows me to create saving goals. Maybe I want to save money for a vacation or my next macbook, or maybe the next birthday of my partner.
  • Preferably don’t be another subscription.

I don’t have money invested in anything, so I don’t need that function. Also, I don’t need an app on my iphone to add things on the go. I usally carry a small notebook to jot things like that.

I made the following map while trying to see what app to use:

Personally I got interested in: Cashculator (liked the spreadsheet UI), iFinance 5 (seems complete and looks nice), MoneyDance (looks complete but there’s not good documentation and I found it unintuitive), Checkbook Pro (I liked the spreadsheet UI).

Apps I didn’t like: MoneyWiz (I didn’t like their UI and the documentation is a nightmare), YNAB (just focused on budgets), MoneyWell (like YNAB but for mac and sub), Finances 2 (no longer maintained)

I also found SEE Finance 2, but haven’t tried it. Also, on this forum I found this post from MacAttorney which was helpful but a lot of apps pointed are dead.

Thanks for your help.


I’ve been using Moneydance for several years. I agree that the documentation is lacking, and the interface is screwy and not very Mac-like. But its features are more complete than most personal finance apps I’ve tried. It does everything I want it to do. I don’t have any reservations about recommending it.


Not sure it will tick all your boxes, but I really like GreenBooks ‎GreenBooks: Checkbook Register on the App Store and on SetApp. Very responsive developer, as well.


I have used Moneydance since 2002, and have got used to its ways. The big limitation for me is that the iOS/iPadOS version is a companion app. It cannot do all that the full version (which is cross platform btw) can do or be used on its own. It is intended to be a convenient way of doing limited actions which sync to the mac. Because of this I had a very serious trial of Moneywiz. Moneywiz on the iPad is fully equivalent to the Mac version. I successfully (but laboriously) migrated 20 years of transactions to Moneywiz and used both apps in parallel for six weeks. In the end I stayed with Moneydance largely because I preferred the interface. If I had started with Moneywiz 20 years ago it would probably be the other way round.

Moneydance is based on java and I am told there is no java in iOS so the programmme would require a complete re-write. In spite of this Moneydance insist it is on the list to do, and has been for some years.

Syncing between all devices (Mac and iPad) was better on Moneywiz. I have got into trouble occasionally with Moneydance with it largely invisible primary and secondary devices.


This article is quite old at this point, but might still have some useful information.


Thanks for your feedback. Indeed I found exploring the knowledgebase to be really hard and unintuitive. Fortunately, I found a video on SCO that teaches you how to use it. Although the UI is not Mac-like I found it to be good. I’ll give it another chance.

Great, I have Setapp, I’ll download it and try it.

Which personal finance program you use depends a lot on exactly how type A you are, and to what extent you want to track (and to what extent you want or need bank feeds.). The common thread in all personal finance software is that generally most of it is not very good at scaling; I eventually switched to Xero and run my finances like a business, which has its tradeoffs but at least scales well and supports bank feeds.

If I wasn’t willing to go that route, the three obvious choices for a Mac user are:

• Gnucash (double-entry, ugly UI, but very mature.)
• Moneydance (more personal-focused, slightly easier to use than GC)
• Finances 2 by Matthias Hochgatterer (double-entry, most Mac-like UI, it’s breathtakingly beautiful, but strictly a cash / bank ledger - you’re not going to find brokerage account/stocks support here.)

There are other choices (SEE Finances, iFinance, Moneyspire, etc). They’re all interchangeable and varying shades of bad. The common thread between them is that you can’t really tell what the bad parts are until you have several months of data in place and only then see the brittle bits. Contrariwise, with GnuCash, Moneydance, and Finances 2, the bad parts will be evident 5 minutes after you start using it, so you can decide if it’s worth the price of admission before having wasted 6 months committing to it.

Tangent: if anyone tells you to use “plain text accounting” software like Beancount or Ledger, run away.

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I switched to SEE from Quicken 2007 in early 2022. I got it at the last update and I don’t think any updates have come through since.

No subscription was a huge plus for me. Being a long time Quicken user it has a few quirks but it was better for me than anything else I tried.

I’m not sure if iBank is still around. I was interested in them about 10 years ago, but they stopped developing my favorite time keeping program and I haven’t forgiven them for that.


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think iBank evolved into Banktivity, which I checked but wasn’t really interested in it, mostly because it has a lot of functions that I don’t mind and I would have to pay a subscription for it. What do you like about SEE? How has it been working for you?


I’ve been eyeing GnuCash for a while now. Why? Well, it’s free, it’s open-source, it’s got updates coming out regularly, and it covers pretty much everything I need. Plus, I run a small business, and they say it’s great for both personal and business use.

I’ve been holding back though, 'cause I reckon it’ll take a chunk of time to get the hang of it. But I’m starting to think that time will pay off in the end.

I did think about using Finances 2 instead, but the developer’s stopped updating it, so it’s only a matter of time before it doesn’t work with the next MacOS update.

So, looks like I’m leaning towards giving GnuCash a whirl.

GnuCash is really solid. The thing that trips people up the most is that they’re not very used to doing double-entry bookkeeping, but once you understand the principles it’s pretty straightforward. Tooting my own horn a bit, this video should give you an introduction to the ideas in a GnuCash context:

The other advice I’ll give you is to tread lightly around the invoicing/billing features in GC: They exist but they’re very brittle, so if you decide you want to use it to generate invoices for clients, go slowly and make sure you understand how the UI works and how it impacts your books.


I have only one subscription, Quicken, and I am more than happy to pay the annual fee for it after having tried SEE, Money Dance and Moneywell years ago. I wouldn’t call myself a sophisticated user but I’ve been managing my finances with software since MacMoney in the 80’s. Hope you find the best fit for you!


Unfortunately I’m not from the US or Canada, which seembs to be the places where Quicken offers its product.

Source: Can I purchase Quicken outside of the U.S. or Canada?

You’re right! I forgot the Banktivity name. It was a long time ago and when I started using iBiz.

SEE is working ok. There are two things I really don’t like about it: I can’t drill down in reports and you can only have one window open at a time.

About half of my accounts download into it, the rest I have to import (mostly Chase due to changes they made last year, and my credit union which doesn’t attach to anything). I can also download stocks and I don’t think Q2007 did that for a long time. It’s pretty easy to move around in, I’m a big keyboard user so I get frustrated when I have to mouse too often or if keystroke that make sense to me didn’t make sense to the developer. It’s hard to make a move after using a piece of software for 30-ish years!

I can’t even count how many apps I downloaded to test - this was the one I liked the most compared to the old Quicken.

I tried a couple of versions of the new Quicken - even signed up to be a beta tester. Could not get into at all an the subscription model killed it for me.

I did try Banktivity 5 but that was in 2017, just a few months before iBiz stopped working for me. I have Moneydance on this hard drive too…. and I’m probably in that big thread from awhile back :)


Thank you, I downloaded SEE Finance and I’m liking the looks of it. I do have to manually import everything, because of my country, and because that’s the case with every app I tried, now I don’t mind it.

I will trial it along MoneyWell (becasue of the envelope method), MoneyDance and GNUCash (which I think I’ll relegate for my small business).

I’m very old school as I still use the late Hardy Macia’s PocketMoney on High Sierra along with Quicken for Mac 2007 (Lion Compatible). In addition I use iFinance 4 (5 won’t work on High Sierra) and iCompta 6. Any subscription software is DOA for me, but I also require an iOS version and local syncing via WiFi. Thus the only newer software that meet my requirements are iFinance & iCompta. The last is from


Yes! Never throw out working machines! I just share screen of the older machine to my main desktop, and I’m still running Q2007!

Why do you use multiple apps for you personal finance? Do you track different things in each one of them?

Have a look at MoneyWorks product range

“MoneyWorks is the standout—designed on a Mac for a Mac (but totally cross-platform), it leverages the power and ease-of-use of your Mac and seamlessly integrates with other Mac apps.”

I started using it 20-odd years ago – started with Cashbook, moved up to Express and have been using MoneyWorks Gold since 2007 for personal, club and business.

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