Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quicken, Mint, Good ol' Excel?

I got an email from Quicken about them selling their 2013 software at 50% off. Seems I get one (or 10) of those emails per year. But since I'm really looking forward to keeping a closer track on how I spend my money in 2013, and hopefully create some sort of record, I think Quicken provides a very decent model. I have one of Quicken's older versions (I think 2009?) which I think was the better one, compared to all the features they keep removing in the newer versions. I used them for a few months, then got the sample for the following year and they had removed their stronger feature (at-a-view money calendar), and I never looked back to it.


(Screenshot of the new Quicken software)
What I found somewhat burdensome was trying to add all of my accounts to it and have it balance out. The bank transactions never seemed to match, and entering info manually in addition to having it automatically pulled was a nightmare. I sort of know where my money goes... at least everything but the discretionary amount, but that only accounts for 16% of all the moneys.

Regardless, I guess I wanted to ask what do you guys use to keep your finances in place? Mint? Quicken? Do you have your own spreadsheet? (and if so, can I see a screenshot of it to check out how you break the categories?)

If you do use any of those systems, what do you find works best? Input the data once a week, or do it daily or as needed?

14 comments:

  1. I use Google Docs spreadsheets, they work great, saved on the cloud and with auto save I never have to worry about losing the file accidentally. Also free, huge plus...

    HS

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  2. I wish I could say I use the computer but I use paper and pen. I have a complete log book that tracks everything and I update it every weekend.

    I know I am old and boring

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    1. Not old and boring at all. That's how I track all of my current budget, in my blue book. But I don't break it down because I'm not sure how to.

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  3. i have a notebook where i record everything manually, and then i also have a google docs spreadsheet i created. i know that may sound like a lot, but it doesn't really take that long. the notebook is basically so i keep track of our balance. like say we have $500, then i record all stuff we buy and keep deducting, plus checks that take forever to show up at the bank. i like the google docs though because i can see everything at a glance for the year and month. if you want i can email you a copy of our 2013 spreadsheet i created. have you also checked j money spreadsheets? he has a WHOLE bunch to choose from, but i found creating my own was good so that i can work with my own brain.

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    1. I would love to see a sample of yours!

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  4. I'm old-fashioned too :) I use a big notebook. But my hubby uses a program on his iPad when we work on our budget every week.

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  5. I like using the spreadsheet in Google Drive. It saves online so I can access it from work, from home, or when I'm traveling. I have investments in the stock market so I like how you can enter =GoogleFinance("MCD") into any cell for example, and you get the real time price of McDonald's shares. I do my budget and net worth statements all in one spreadsheet that I update about once a week :D

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  6. I use an excel spreadsheet for budgeting. In 2013 I am using Quicken to keep track of the money in all accounts.

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  7. Excel is the tool of choice when working with my clients. After we determine all the line items, we organize it by fixed amount payments, fixed amount transfers and then all variable categories.

    Since we focus on not having to collect receipts we allocate fixed amounts for pocket money, gas and food.

    We update and execute the cash flow plan ever payday.

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    1. I didn't see an email address to send you an example.

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    2. Sorry, it'd be under my profile/contact. workingforagoal[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks!

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  8. Actually keep mine in a written green accounting ledger. I know I know computerize, but I like it this way.

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  9. I use Excel. I like entering the transaction, because I get full control of how they are tagged, & seeing/entering them gives me more accountability. :-)

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  10. I use YNAB- You Need a Budget, but am looking into GNUCash.

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