18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Budget functions are very weak,
This review is from: Microsoft Money 2004 Deluxe (Old Version) (CD-ROM)
No aspect of financial management is more important than budgeting. The flaws in the budgeting features of Money 2004 are severe, and as a result this software is utterly inadequate.
By way of illustration, after spending a couple of hours inputting our basic financial data, I constructed a household budget for the coming year, and a list of our cherished financial goals. Having done so, I discovered, not surprisingly, that the sum total of all the things we'd like to do are beyond our means for the coming year. Clearly, it was time to print out the budget and our goals, so that my wife and I could look at them all together, and make some tough choices. Unfortunately, the program does not provide for this. Our only option is to scroll through the budget looking at the small sliver of it that is visible in the window that Money opens on the laptop screen. Each time we modify the budget or the goals, we have to switch back and forth between screens for the budget and the list of goals. It seems to be possible to print an expense report comparing outlays already made to a predefined budget, but you can't print out budgets in advance of spending. It's amazing to me that a multi-billion dollar industry leader would shortchange such a basic function. You can be sure that Microsoft's financial department prints out budgets for study and modification before spending starts. But MS couldn't be bothered to make that basic planning tool available to the households using its products.
I chose Money because the Amazon reviews were so negative for Quicken. At this point I think I'll go back to using spreadsheets to construct my own budgets and cash flow projections. It's timeconsuming, especially because of error-checking, but at least I can perform this basic task of financial management.