Chances are you’ve at least heard about Quicken, financial software that helps you manage and take control of your finances and financial future. But purchasing and using software can be intimidating, particularly in a matter which involves your accounts, money, and future goals. Fortunately, it does not have to be. Quicken offers user-friendly software that makes monitoring and improving your financial health simpler.
With different levels of programs, from basic to premier, Quicken offers a workable solution to a variety of people, assisting users in tracking their spending, creating a strategy, and avoiding impulse buying.
A computer program is only as good as the person inputting the information. So long as you put in the right facts, such as using your net pay rather than your gross pay, you will go a long way to making sure that Quicken helps you better handle your finances.
More than just a math program that holds your account information, Quicken also helps you to develop strategies, such as targeting high interest debts and increasing your retirement funds. What all it does depends on what you need, and for most personal requirements, you’ll find a solution here.
The simple report system makes it easy to see where your money is going and whether you are using it wisely. You can also see your own goals, such as living debt free and establishing a comfortable emergency fund. When these goals sit in front of you in black and white on a screen, they suddenly become more important than when they wisp through your subconscious mind. In addition to a printed report, you can also view your spending in a vivid and memorable pie chart, ideal for the visual learner.
To utilize the reports and pie charts, be sure to start with your net spending, rather than your gross. No fudging on expenses unless you estimate that it will cost more than it actually does. And you don’t have to worry about not having the perfect categories for you. Quicken allows you to customize all of the categories and helps you analyze from there.
Rarely do payments come out at the same time. While some payments may be withdrawn or come due at the first of the month, others might not require payment until the fifteenth or the twenty-sixth. And while some companies will allow you to change your date payable to another, others insist that the date they give you is the date it’s due. Even if you are extremely organized, it may be tricky to remember all of these due dates. Recognizing this, Quicken utilizes reminders and payment tools to make sure that you do not have to pay late fees.
The Deluxe version even allows you to track your brokerage accounts as well as your retirement funds. With tools to assist in calculations, you can determine whether you should be increasing or decreasing your investments. It also assists you in finding the extra fluff areas that you can push back to leave more room for what you really need.
Whether you want to express yourself or just want the convenience of printing your own checks, you can do it now from the comfort of your own home. Quicken offers a full program, allowing you to either print blank or completed checks.
The check printing process follows a logical pattern. You can enter in data you commonly use and save it so that it appears on the check with a mere click on the drop down menu. It also allows you to save personal notes about various checks so that you no longer have to wonder what the shorthand in your check register means.
Quicken saves your reports indefinitely, unlike banks and credit card companies which can discard your history after a period of time. While you should not rely only on electronic copies stored in a single place, Quicken does allow you to save and search your history for as long as you have the program. This feature is particularly helpful around tax and mortgage refinancing season.