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Free one month trial of Quickenonline is pretty nice

January 26th, 2008 at 08:31 pm

It does have some limitations, but if you want to do a quick snapshot of your spending, it works very well. My Credit Union keeps three months worth of online data, so it downloaded that pretty easily. So the bottom line over the last three months is it said we are overspending by a couple of thousand! Sounds about right with Christmas. Frown It only does budgeting very simply by comparing the last month with the four month average. But it did point out that gasoline is killing us!! My wife drives a van that only gets about 17 MPG with her usual driving, so she must be driving a lot more than I thought!

One thing that is misleading is that we often get cash back when using the ATM card at the grocery store, so a lot of cash is lumped in with groceries. Any suggestions on how to handle that? I'm pretty sure I will buy regular Quicken with one of those tax software package deals very soon, maybe with one of my Christmas Gift cards, since I know it lets you split transactions like that and the web version doesn't. By the way, I tried the free equivalent at mint.com, but it didn't accept my credit union accounts.

5 Responses to “Free one month trial of Quickenonline is pretty nice”

  1. scfr Says:

    This may be a bit old school, but I still think the best way to track expenses is to carry a little notepad and pen with you, and write things down immediately as you spend them.

  2. Ralph Says:

    I started using a small notebook to keep track of things and it has been an immense help. But I always loved what slick software Quicken is, so it's fun to play with. BTW, scfr, I didn't realize that scfr stood for that book. I just started reading it based on luxliving's recent recommendation and it is very good!

  3. monkeymama Says:

    I LOVE Quicken.

    It is so much better than pen and paper. There is just so much you can look at and track with such little effort. But that's the accountant in me. I would never do it by hand - way too much time. I just spend minutes a week and know where every penny goes. My 2 cents!

    If you know how much cash back you get you can split the categories when you code them. Say you spent $50 on groceries and $20 on cash back. The charge will be $70. Split it $50 to groceries and $20 to "cash." If you know where the cash went you can split it further. I just have a category for "cash" myself. Since we don't deal much with cash at all.

    I also saw a suggestion to set up an account (like a bank account) called cash/wallet. In this case, in the split, you would have transferred the $20 to this cash/wallet account. Then as you spend it you can post the expenses as you spend down your cash. It's a good idea. (The idea is to essentially track all the cash in your wallet). Does that make sense? I can find a better explanation if I lost you. Wink
    We deal so little in cash I haven't bothered. I pretty much know where the $200 cash we spent last year went. But if you deal in cash a lot I like the "wallet account" idea.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    Bummer the online version is so limited. It seems like most accounting software is going the way of online. But they have a long way to go. Give them a few years I guess.

  5. Ralph Says:

    $200 cash!! You ARE an accountant, aren't you? Good, I need to hang out with accountants more. Smile I think the wallet account would make sense since I like to pay cash for gas, although I guess there's no reason I can't switch to the debit card. It's funny, my wife hasn't made ANY ATM withdrawals this month, so I think it's all in the grocery ATM transactions. Hey monkeymama, any suggestions on how to handle the CC payments that I make every month? They shouldn't really count in the "spending more than you make category that Quickenonline puts them in, although maybe if I just enter the CC accounts that will be better, so I'll try that first. Any suggestions on which version of Quicken to buy? It might make sense to get the more advanced one to try to push myself to grow into it, all the investment stuff. To think of all the time I wasted with MS Money. Grr.

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