Quicken? for Financial Online Planning or Another?

Updated on October 20, 2014
M.T. asks from Keller, TX
10 answers

Hello and Happy New year!
I'm trying to fulfill my new year's resolution and get a better handle on my finances this year. I have used Quicken in the past but was wondering if anyone has any other good programs for accounting.


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Wichita Falls on

Like others, we use Quicken, and it works great. Yes, you do have to be diligent about entering info (the pile or receipts on my desk at home indicates that I'm not practicing what I'm preaching right now). I agree with a previous poster that the automatic reconcile from the bank websites is not my favorite. I like to have more control over how things are entered and categorized...but maybe that's just Type-A me. Anyhoo, Quicken is still a great way to go - good luck!

More Answers



answers from Houston on

Dear M.:
If you use Quicken, make sure to set up online banking with your accounts and to autoreconcile. You can do the reconciliation manually, and I think it prompts you to do it automatically later. Once your accounts work and reconcile, you should have a good starting point. Now my trick to keep track is to put items ahead of time when you expect them. You can adjust or delete them later, but that way your bottom line shows you how much you really have available while your online balance shows a (somewhat meaningless) current balance.

For example, you have balance 3,000 and your mortgage of 1,200 is due on the first of next month. By putting in an item dated 1/31/08 for 1,200, you will see a current online balance of 3,000 but a bottom line of 1,800. When the mortgage posts, you can remove it or push it up to the next month (and repeat the game). If you can afford it, you can try to save up the next month's payments, so you never have to worry about having the cash then. It may take a while to get there.

For credit cards, you may put an item for $300. Suppose the bill comes in at $200, then your bottom line actually gains from your projected cost, if it is $350 you will have 50 less than planned. Either way, the bill does not hit you like a ton of bricks. If you get really good at it, you can update that projected cost with a tally of what you actually spent. I am too lazy, so I put an estimated amount.

Do the same with all other big items. My main point is that this shows you the ACTUAL bottom line until your next paycheck, so unless unforeseen things happen, you are not 'blinded' by a higher balance early in the month when you see what will be left at the end. BTW, likewise I put projected savings on my savings account, so I can save up for something and still know how much I have at my disposal. For example, I make a 'pseudo car payment' there where I put a few bucks each months to save for a downpayment when my current car gives up... When my real car payment is over (and if my car still runs), I will continue to 'pay' those payments into that bucket until I need it.

If you write a check, you can track it with the check number (the reconciliation will find it) and the EXACT amount. If you don't remember the number or the exact amount, create an estimated entry. Then after the download delete the entry when the real one posts. Any guess is better than a surprise when a check comes in.

Finally, the benefit of putting those blocks into the future is that you start balancing your bottom line, not a zero balance in the account. You will see that you are less prone to bouncing checks, because you maintain a certain buffer. Financial gurus will point out the low or no interest rate of that buffer and call it a bad way of putting money aside, but for balancing purposes this is easy and works well.

Sorry for the long reply,
P.S.: If this was unclear, send me a personal message.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

We use Quicken for personal records, home and small business accounting and help us to prepare for taxes. Financial planning is quite a bit different.

We created www.eFinPLAN.com in 2007 to provide low cost fully comprehensive financial plans

The other links and resources here are excellent.



answers from Amarillo on

Hi M.,

I use Quicken and it works very well. The key to your success is to be VERY, VERY disciplined in entering transactions into your registers. I usually go no longer than 2-3 days (normally weekends) without accessing Quicken. Try to download from your bank every day, and enter all receipts (especially from the debit card) or checks written BEFORE you download transactions from the bank that way you know how much money you truly have and can spot any errors early. Otherwise, another very good tool that is free is www.clearcheckbook.com I use this in addition to Quicken. Are you familiar with www.crown.org? They have great financial articles, tools, and calculators to help with spending plans, etc. Hope that helps...



answers from Dallas on

I am a "semi-retired" accountant (read:stay at home mom) and have ended up going back to basics with my personal accounting. I used to use Microsoft Money which is a great program, but ended up dropping it because it is time consuming- you have to keep up with your transactions or it becomes overwhelming!

If you are just doing your household finances (no business transactions), you may want to consider to "KISS"-keep it simple stupid:) I no longer use any software for the day to day, I use my check register as a recording book and highlight the tax deductible items as I pay bills. I LOVE Turbo Tax as a guide through the year as to what is deductible, etc. Once you use Tax software, you get to know what items affect your taxes and most of the stuff you pay for day to day is not a consideration for taxes. I f you go the accounting software route, it is beneficial for budgeting and a good way to see where your money is going (a good way to get a handle on your overall finances):)

Long story short: before you get into accountiing software, make sure you have the time to keep up with it. Consider doing your 2007 taxes yourself with a tax software before deciding. Quicken is great becasuse you can roll over the transactions into their tax software next year.

Hope this helps!



answers from Dallas on

I LOOOOVE Dave Ramsey!! We use Microsoft Money, but we also went through FPU--Financial Peace University, which is a 13 week course that you can take either online or within the community. He also has a program that you can purchase for an annual fee that has amazing budgeting tools. You can listen to him on the radio in DFW on 570 am between 1:00 and 4:00. You can even see him on TV on Fox Business:-)

http://www.daveramsey.com/ This is the homepage.

http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/home/ This is where you can learn about FPU. Click on "get started" to find a place that is offering the course.

https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/index.cfm This is the site for My Total Money Make-Over.

You'll love it!!!



answers from Dallas on

M. I have used Quicken for years for my personal books. I have also used Microsoft Money and Quickbooks. the key to using any program is to maintain it. Someone mentioned earlier to enter in all your transactions at least once a week. I know that many of these programs work with your online bank accounts to dowload into your program. The main problem I had with that is how I preferred to categorize expenses. If you have any possible business expenses, you may need to double check that all your transactions are categorized the uniformly so that when it comes time to do your taxes, running reports is a breeze. Entering in deposits and expected recurrent expenses (mortgage, car payment, daycare, etc.) does help you plan your spending for the near future and there are no surprises. Good luck.



answers from Sherman on

If you'd rather have an expert help you out, we have a great financial advisor. My husband was hesitant to go at first because he feels like since he's the man he should be able to control the finances. Well, you don't operate on yourself - you let the person trained to do it handle that. So, we went to a financial advisor and it's been awesome. She thoroughly explained our options to save more money, showed us where we were putting too much money and not getting enough interest, and how to save enough for college, trips, cars, etc. You can find numbers of financial advisors through this site and I'll give you the name of the lady with whom we work. Her name is Ann Miller and her number is ###-###-####.



answers from Dallas on

I have only ever used Quicken (going on ten years). I am looking forward to reading what others say.



answers from Dallas on

Hey M.,
have you heard of primerica.... They help familys make money, save money, and get out of debt. They show you how money works. Save money @ 12%. Go to primerica.com. Not sure were you live, but i know some.... Oh and they go to your house.. No 1-800 rep. They do amazing things for families.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches