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Author Topic: Does Quicken work?  (Read 1409 times)
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Graham
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« on: May 09, 2008, 09:03:39 PM »

I feel that my wife overspends (I haven't spent much on games/movies/DVDs lately, when we just bought a used lawn set, had some bad luck with her car recently, my car needs some work, but she still does manicures/pedicures and massages).  We have been talking about getting Quicken to help us with our finances.  I'm wondering if people have used it here, and if so, which version.  I am seriously almost to the point where I'm ready to take away her credit cards and debit card.
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 09:04:54 PM »

Quote from: Graham on May 09, 2008, 09:03:39 PM

I feel that my wife overspends (I haven't spent much on games/movies/DVDs lately, when we just bought a used lawn set, had some bad luck with her car recently, my car needs some work, but she still does manicures/pedicures and massages).  We have been talking about getting Quicken to help us with our finances.  I'm wondering if people have used it here, and if so, which version.  I am seriously almost to the point where I'm ready to take away her credit cards and debit card.

I just got MS Money 2008, and I'm going to test it out this weekend.  I'll post impressions on Monday...

I know that didn't answer your question...
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disarm
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 09:19:02 PM »

programs like Quicken and Money do a great job of helping you to track your finances.  i've been using Money for a little over seven years now and it's done a great job of keeping all my accounts balanced...information on every significant transaction at my fingertips in an easily searchable database.   both programs are great for keeping you organized, but they don't to anything help you to control your spending...have to do that part on your own...
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 09:33:53 PM »

They work if you are diligent about entering your data. My wife bought a copy of Quicken a couple of years ago and made only the weakest stab at ever using it. It ended up just being another wasted expense.  icon_lol
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 10:52:40 PM »

I've used GnuCash for quite some time. Terrific piece of software: http://www.gnucash.org/. As long as you actually integrate it into your financial tasks, it will tell you where every penny goes.

It does double-entry accounting, you can import your financial statements, has reports, etc. Best of all it's free.
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JohnathanStrange
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 11:13:53 PM »

Quicken workens iffen you use it diligently. I do and it helps me see where it's all going and I've been able to stop most of my impulse purchases. HOWEVER, I can see why some won't want to get into the tediousness of the record keeping but I've found it helpful.

But frankly, it's not that simple a program to use. If you spend some time with it, you'll get the hang of it. However, it's probably easier for most people just to make their own Excel spreadsheet 'cause Quicken has a bit of the overkill in terms of extras.

And you could also just budget using a paper and pencil.

It's best if you're already fond of software programs and are really serious. I bet 90% of the people who get it don't use it that often.

It's particularly awesome (imo) for record keeping going back years. Instead of lost receipts, notes, payment schedules, etc. I've got good records for emergencies and disputes.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 11:15:46 PM by JohnathanStrange » Logged

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disarm
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 11:37:30 PM »

Quote from: JohnathanStrange on May 09, 2008, 11:13:53 PM

But frankly, it's not that simple a program to use. If you spend some time with it, you'll get the hang of it. However, it's probably easier for most people just to make their own Excel spreadsheet 'cause Quicken has a bit of the overkill in terms of extras.

hmm...i've always used Money and never tried Quicken, but i have to say Money is very easy to use for basic account management.  it has a ton of other features lurking below the surface that i'll admit i don't utilize, but the basic functions are very quick and easy.  i enter all of my transactions manually, and it only takes a few seconds (and a minimal number of clicks) for each entry.  you can also easily download and import all of your transactions from your bank if you don't want to take the time to enter them yourself, but i prefer doing it manually so i can categorize everything correctly.  i can't imagine it being much easier though.

has anyone here use both Quicken and Money that could give us a little comparison?  i'm curious now...
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Graham
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2008, 01:21:17 AM »

Quote from: disarm on May 09, 2008, 11:37:30 PM

has anyone here use both Quicken and Money that could give us a little comparison?  i'm curious now...

I'm curious in this as well.
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 02:45:06 AM »

Quote from: Graham on May 09, 2008, 09:03:39 PM

I feel that my wife overspends (I haven't spent much on games/movies/DVDs lately, when we just bought a used lawn set, had some bad luck with her car recently, my car needs some work, but she still does manicures/pedicures and massages).  We have been talking about getting Quicken to help us with our finances.  I'm wondering if people have used it here, and if so, which version.  I am seriously almost to the point where I'm ready to take away her credit cards and debit card.

It works if you want to spend more money $$$ which is probably opposite of what you want to do.  I got it for Christmas, and thought it would be great since it would simplify my budget tracking.  Well it would if I was willing to pay for the extra fees associated with it.  They charge you for automatic bill pay, even though you bank does it for free using it's website.  So if you wanted to have you budget sheet matched up with your account, you can download your activity off of your banks website.  Then I just realized, you might as well stick with the banks website.  You're doing twice the work.
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2008, 04:18:12 PM »

Not sure about Quicken, my brother uses it and loves it.  Wife and I have used Money since the late 90's.  Basically here is our setup:

1.  budget in Excel
2.  Money to handle checking account and savings accounts
3.  Online Banking for bill paying and transferring, plus syncing up with Money

So every Friday night after work when we get home we do bills.  I open our Excel Budget and Money.  Sync up Money with Online Banking through Money.  We enter into the budget any expenses from the week plus any bills that have come in.

We then log back into Online Banking, enter payments into Money, then Online Bill Pay.  After we are done we double check the amount in Money and verify it is same we have in the Budget.

Normally takes about 15 to 20 minutes at the most.  This way we have it nailed to the penny what is in the bank, what expenses are coming up etc.

Before all of this we tried it where she does the money and that didn't work.  Then tried me doing the money and that failed too.  Finally we figured out that both of us together works best for us.

So my advice is to figure out what works best for you both.  My parents are different in that my mom handles it all and my dad doesn't do anything with the bills.  So you have to figure out what works.

As far as her spending on nails, hair, etc.  I have those problems sometimes but also have to remember that this is what girls do and it helps them feel better.  Just like we play games to relax etc.  Not saying they should go crazy spending money on 500 dollar haircuts but at the same time try to compromise.

Regards,
Pig
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2008, 05:28:28 PM »

I primarily find it useful for keeping records of past transactions (i.e. when did I buy that camera?) and quickly running a report to see how much you have spent on various things like gas, dining out, groceries, or whatever.  It can also remind you of things like upcoming bills, but you can do that many other ways.  There's a lot more you can do with it, but I haven't bothered. 

I've used Quicken Ancient, Quicken 99, and am currently using Quicken 2003. 

I also download transactions for most of my accounts, except I have to get the downloads manually (go to account website, download transactions in .QIF format, then import to Quicken) since Quicken will not allow you to automagically get those downloads through Quicken after about 3 years as a way to get you to upgrade to a newer version.  That part is annoying -- since Quicken 2003 suits my needs I'd rather not purchase 2008 just for that.  I may start looking for a cheap copy as they clear those out to make room for 2009.
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2008, 07:43:40 PM »

I have used Quicken for 5+ years.  It works great.  I manually enter everything and do not try the auto download stuff.  I find it very helpful with budget planning and is quite useful for balancing the checkbook.  It is also helpful for tax time to quickly compile your charity contributions.
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2008, 03:56:56 PM »

If you only have one bank to deal with, it's easier to go with the Bank's built-in software, like Ken says.  BUT, it won't do the tracking for you, at least in my experience.

Plus, if you have multiple accounts at different banks, for example, due to a 401k and credit cards and such, Quicken can help you tie everything together and keep track of it. 

The trick is to be diligent about using the categories.  If you don't, might as well just use the bank's online system.

I have used both Money and Quicken and they're pretty much the same, although I can't speak for the automatic bill paying in Money, since it didn't have that feature back when I used it in the late '90s.  I have considered switching a few times, but in the end, for what I need, there really isn't any need to switch over.
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2008, 04:15:37 PM »

I've used both Quicken and MS Money quite a bit, though I haven't used Money in two or three years.


Both programs will do a stellar job of telling you where your money goes. It takes a little bit of an effort initially but if you're like us and your purchasing patterns are predictable then it will be "smart" about assigning categories to new transactions when you've spent money their before. 

I do think MS Money is easier to use in  Quicken.  Too often in Quicken I find myself thinking "I know it should be able to do this but I don't know where it's at" and, sure enough, I'm right- the functionality is there but buried somewhere in a menu.  I though Money was a bit better at getting the basic functionality that everyone would use up front in it's software. 
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 12:36:33 AM »

Don't mean to derail but QuickBooks has a free version of their software called Simple Start

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/free-accounting-software.jhtml

If you're just looking to keep track of your personal expenses, this is a pretty decent tool to use, very limited if you're using it for business though.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 05:27:42 PM »

Just a note to any Canadians that are interested, all of this software is made for our American friends and does not port well (if at all) to Canada.  Which is a polite way of saying the software is useless and pointless for Canadians looking to utilize the features.
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2008, 01:12:33 AM »

Quote from: FishPants on May 13, 2008, 05:27:42 PM

Just a note to any Canadians that are interested, all of this software is made for our American friends and does not port well (if at all) to Canada.  Which is a polite way of saying the software is useless and pointless for Canadians looking to utilize the features.

try GnuCash, mentioned above - it has a more international bent. AND IT'S FREE
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2008, 01:39:00 PM »

I find it ironic that organizational and financial responsibility tools like these are more likely to be used by the more organized and financial responsible who are less likely to need them anyway, while those who can most benefit most from them (like my "make $10, spend $15") cousins. One cousin tells me he just doesn't "know how to budget" but come on if your water/gas/phone bills are $500 past due, you don't buy a new motorcycle. Well, unless you're trying to put some distance between you and your creditors...
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