This page offers some resources for using Microsoft Money in Excel, a new financial system announced on 15 June 2020. The system is installed as an interactive template for your existing Excel software.
Money in Excel is available to those who have subscribed to Microsoft 365. So there is no incremental cost to anyone already planning to keep their Microsoft 365 subscription. For someone wanting Money in Excel, but not currently subscribed to Microsoft 365, they will have that additional ongoing renewal cost of $70 to $100 per year.
Some people may remember a personal finance software program called Microsoft Money available for 18 years, from 1991 through 2009. [Learn More] Microsoft later released a Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Edition as a final version for those needing to open old files for export to other systems. That program is still listed on Microsoft’s website, but no longer available for download from Microsoft. [View] As of 7 Oct 2021, it is still available for download from CNET. [View] If you don’t have the software, but need to access some old Money files, you could try the sunset version or, acquire an old copy of the software on eBay. Keep in mind that some version needed to be activated online, and the online activation no longer works.
Follow these steps to get started with Money in Excel.
- Read the product launch announcement from 15 June 2020 for an introduction to Money in Excel. [View]
- Subscribe to Microsoft 365 Personal or Family. The cost is $70 to $100 annually depending on what plan you choose. [More] If you are already subscribed, continue to the next step.
- Go to the Money in Excel download page and login to your Microsoft account if you’re not already logged in. Click the download button to download the template. [View]
- Open the Template using Excel and follow the setup instructions to get started.
How to Import Data from the Original Microsoft Money
Presently, the new Money in Excel system will not let you easily import your data. Maybe someone will develop a utility to accomplish that task, but it’s unlikely since demand for such a capability is in limited demand 12 years after the software was discontinued.
Money in Excel is based on an online financial service that brings your current financial data into the system automatically, and that is how most people will probably have their data imported.
If you are still using the original Microsoft Money, you can apparently export your raw transaction data into files that can be brought into Money in Excel. This is mentioned in the video below. In this way, you could presumably make use of your old data. A Microsoft support forum post offers some additional insights into this issue. [View]
No Mobile App
Not surprisingly, Money in Excel is designed to be run in Microsoft Excel. This means there’s no mobile optimized app or website. There is a web version of Excel that apparently works with the service, but at present a person would want to use the system from a laptop or desktop computer.
The Future of Money in Excel
Because the Money in Excel system is based on Microsoft’s popular spreadsheet, it is likely to have good future support at least for the foundation it is built on. However, initiatives like this are usually evaluated each year by companies to see if the project is worth continuing. Microsoft will consider the cost of supporting the template and responding to user questions.
If Money in Excel becomes very popular, it’s possible that Microsoft will respond to suggestions from the user community to include additional features and enhancements to newer versions of the template. This might be nice. It might also make the system more complicated and not backwards compatible. This is the case for just about any software.
For broad compatibility, long-term support, more features, and a big online user community, one might want to consider a product like Quicken or QuickBooks that have an entire company supporting their use and development.
Customizing Money in Excel
When you use a program like Microsoft PowerPoint, there’s an efficiency in choosing one of the default built-in themes because your content adapts to the layout. You could change the theme later, and your content easily adjusts. If you customize a PowerPoint presentation, significantly departing from theme elements, it may be difficult to switch to another theme later without some manual adjustments.
The same is true for Money in Excel. Future updates to the template will likely be easier to use if you’ve not significantly altered and customized the current version. So, it’s important to know what you can change without negative impact, and what you should stay away from.
The system is designed to easily adapt to adding new bank accounts or expense categories. This shouldn’t impact any future upgrades. Extensively customized systems with advanced macros and interactions can sometimes run into trouble when the foundation they are built on is updated. If you plan to use Money in Excel fora long-term, it’s probably advisable to be reserved with any customizations and instead use the existing portions of the template for your main work.
Using Money in Excel
A benefit of the Money in Excel system is that it’s based on a familiar program that many people already know how to use. It allows customizations and data views not available with other systems. Those experienced with Excel could probably improve the system for their own use.
The video below offers a good introduction describing how to get and use Money in Excel.