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Checkbook Program for Windows
Old 06-18-2017, 11:40 PM   #1
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Checkbook Program for Windows

Can anyone recommend a simple checkbook program for Windows? I am NOT looking for a spreadsheet or full financial suite. I just want the computer equivalent of a paper check register. Something simple I can enter transactions (deposits and withdrawals) and have it perform the calculations automatically.

Everything I have seen is overly complex.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
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Once "Checkfree" went away I've been using this checkbook register for many years now:

https://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTempla...checkbook.html

I know you said you don't want a spreadsheet; this one is Excel (sorry) but works great if you're unable to find anything else.

I like that I can customize, enter future expenses and see if/when I might run low on funds. A lot of checkbook programs don't allow for that.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:22 AM   #3
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Like marko, I use an Excel spreadsheet that otherwise seems to fit your criteria. If you Google "excel checkbook register," the first few hits (which include marko's choice) are slightly different so you may like one more than another, but there's nothing particularly complex about any of them.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:05 AM   #4
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Makes me nostalgic for the day when Quicken was pretty much a simple checkbook program with budgeting capabilities.

I use the old pen, register and calculator for recording transactions. For checkbook balancing, I use a spreadsheet.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:26 AM   #5
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I'll check out the excel templates. I looked at a couple earlier (maybe the same ones) and couldn't figure out how to use them.

Traditional paper registers work fine for my own checking account, but I need to manage an account for my mom. For now, I just created a simple Word document to type in the information. It works fine, other than having to manually recalculate as new transactions come in.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
I'll check out the excel templates. I looked at a couple earlier (maybe the same ones) and couldn't figure out how to use them.

Traditional paper registers work fine for my own checking account, but I need to manage an account for my mom. For now, I just created a simple Word document to type in the information. It works fine, other than having to manually recalculate as new transactions come in.
Since you are managing the account for your mom, is she still the one writing the checks or do you do that too?

I help an elder sister manage her checkbook. I make out the checks but have her do the signing. I physically hold onto the checkbook and use the pen, register method along with spreadsheet for balancing.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:54 AM   #7
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Since you are managing the account for your mom, is she still the one writing the checks or do you do that too?
Mom gave me power of attorney after she had her stroke. Right now I'm the only one withdrawing money, except for automatic payments. However, once we get her moved to assisted living, I'm assuming she will want to write her own checks too. She doesn't keep the best records anymore, so I'll have to track the account online to see where the money goes.

Then again, she was feeling rather spunky and independent when we last visited. So, she may want me to butt out and just let her handle everything again.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:59 AM   #8
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Mom gave me power of attorney after she had her stroke. Right now I'm the only one withdrawing money, except for automatic payments. However, once we get her moved to assisted living, I'm assuming she will want to write her own checks too. She doesn't keep the best records anymore, so I'll have to track the account online to see where the money goes.

Then again, she was feeling rather spunky and independent when we last visited. So, she may want me to butt out and just let her handle everything again.
Glad you mom is feeling spunky. In my case, my sister gave me power of attorney but I still prefer to have her sign unless I really have to. In her case, she doesn't want to do any check writing and would get the checkbook all messed up and not balanced properly.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:16 AM   #9
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Glad you mom is feeling spunky.
Yeah, me too, though we did leave our last visit feeling a bit nervous and uncertain. I've spent the last month trying to organize her messy finances, and figure out how we're gonna fund her assisted living in the coming years. Now mom mentioned keeping the house another year, spending large sums of money to fix it up before selling, and even mentioned driving again (yikes).

For now I'm trying not to panic too much. It may just have been her thoughts for the day. Of course, it is HER home and HER money, so she can do whatever she wants with it. But the longer she hangs on to that house, the more work it means for me.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:06 AM   #10
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I still use an old version of Quicken. I don't like having to do all the internet things. I was using 1999 but when I changed computers ~5 or 6 years ago, I couldn't find the CD so I bought an slightly newer version on ebay. I changed computers again but still had the CD so no problem (I'm only at Windows 7, though). I love being about to go way back to look at expenses. And I love not having to share anything on the internet (after making the initial CD purchase).
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:12 AM   #11
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Like marko, I use an Excel spreadsheet that otherwise seems to fit your criteria. If you Google "excel checkbook register," the first few hits (which include marko's choice) are slightly different so you may like one more than another, but there's nothing particularly complex about any of them.
No template really needed with Excel. To equal a register you really need just 4 columns: The check number, the payee, the date and the amount. You then enter the starting balance on a row, add a check/deposit just below and then add/subtract as needed to get the new balance, rinse and repeat.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #12
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Just checked and we are running Quicken 2006. We don't allow it to try and download any transactions or stock stuff, entering all numbers manually. Maybe clunky, but we are used to it. Bought a 2012 Quicken disk and book for $5 at a yard sale a few weeks ago, but after reading reviews on Q2012 I doubt we'll put it on our main computer. Q is real big on changing data files so you can't go back to a previous version.

OTOH, picked up a $50 Gateway 500 running Vista just to get the Boston speakers, so maybe we'll try the Q2012 on that, keeping it separate from our precious data files.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
Can anyone recommend a simple checkbook program for Windows? I am NOT looking for a spreadsheet or full financial suite. I just want the computer equivalent of a paper check register. Something simple I can enter transactions (deposits and withdrawals) and have it perform the calculations automatically.

Everything I have seen is overly complex.
Does the software you are looking for have to be free? Or if you find a good one, would you try and if like, buy?

Here's a link to one (with free trial) I found that might fit what you are looking for:

index

Can't say from personal experience as I haven't tried that program, but the screenshots look like something you are looking for.

I went through a similar route for my budgeting program. Quicken got too big for it's britches, so I ended up buying a less bloated budgeting program and been using that for years.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:21 PM   #14
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I'm curious (nosey) how the program is being used. Do you mostly write checks and does the program handle autopay, etc.? We've discussed before how great many of the online banking programs are except for no capability to add handwritten checks,no sandbox or memo area. Seems like an easy feature to add. I use B of A.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:54 PM   #15
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Does the software you are looking for have to be free?
I don't mind paying for a checkbook program if it was affordable and simple to use.

So far I haven't liked any of the Excel spreadsheet templates, and the dedicated programs were either clunky or way too cluttered with features I'll never use (FYI - I tried that program you linked to and didn't like it).
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:58 PM   #16
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I'm curious (nosey) how the program is being used. Do you mostly write checks and does the program handle autopay, etc.?
All I need is a simple computerized version of a traditional check register. I will enter all transactions by hand (checks, debit, autopay, etc.). I just want it to calculate the ongoing balance automatically.

The one key "feature" I need is a way to print out the register in an easy to read format I can show to my mom.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:55 AM   #17
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Once I/We switched over to keeping all transactions in an Excel sheet, everything else has been much simpler.
1) copy transactions from online checking once or twice a month.
2) add category for specific transactions
3) drink beer and eat pizza

At end of year we have transactions and can make whatever summary we need for taxes, reporting, etc. Since most "checks" are actually online bill pay, it does not make sense for us to re-enter transactions. I do this for 3 accounts, and it takes about 5-10 minutes for each account.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:15 AM   #18
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I handle the checkbook for my Mom but she has a checkbook and writes checks. I just monitor activity and do electronic payments and set up auto-pays. I started doing this since I do her taxes and I can capture all the info on her itemized deductions easily.

I use Quicken for this account since I can import transactions and for those few checks that she writes I can look up the information on the bank's website. Mom always carries an outrageous balance so keeping track of the balance isn't a need in our case... though I do reconcile the account every so often.

I would think that a Quicken file with just a checking account and no categories would be perfect for OP's needs/wants.

I am trying GnuCash for an organization I am Treasurer of as an alternative to Quicken... IME it is a bit klunky and primitive, but that might meet the OP's needs as well... and it is free.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
I don't mind paying for a checkbook program if it was affordable and simple to use.

So far I haven't liked any of the Excel spreadsheet templates, and the dedicated programs were either clunky or way too cluttered with features I'll never use (FYI - I tried that program you linked to and didn't like it).
Agree with you that don't want any overkill with features.

Here's another spreadsheet template worth looking at that really tries to mimic a checkbook register.

From the author about the spreadsheet:

Quote:
What it is not... It won't go online and retrieve bank statements. It won't do automatic payments. It won't remind you to pay the electric bill. It won't chart or graph. It won't print checks. It won't budget and supposedly solve all your financial woes. It won't merge with anything. It won't make coffee and it won't take out the trash. There are enough wŁnderprograms out there for all that. This is just a "Simple Checkbook". There's beauty in simplicity right?
Simple Checkbook
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:35 PM   #20
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Not sure if cost is a main consideration, but we use Quicken and it does exactly what you want. Sure, it does a bunch more, but we've never used any of that. I'm a CPA and my wife is a bookkeeper. We probably use 1/10th if Quickens capabilities, but for the parts we use, it is just as you say, a basic check register. The only thing I don't like about Quicken is that it's integrated into the internet now (we have 2016). Had I known that, I would have never upgraded. But as others have said, you can probably get an older version pretty cheap, ignore the stuff you don't want and just use is as a check register.

What I couldn't get that I wanted was a savings passbook. I wanted to be the "bank" for my grandchildren and teach them about money and interest, but could not locate a paper version of a simple savings passbook. Of course, many ways to make due, but I wanted that little booklet and could not find one.
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