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Financial Software
Old 10-15-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
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Financial Software

I haven't done much in the way of managing my finances, other than tracking my spending online through my bank site (checks, credit card). Now that I'm 62, signing up for SS, and rolling over my 401K, I want to start tracking my expenses using a financial program. I've managed my budget in the past with Excel, but I'm looking for something else (Quicken, MS Money, etc.). I have both a Windows PC and a Mac, so I'm flexibly on what I use. Any suggestions on software?
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Re: Financial Software
Old 10-15-2006, 01:58 PM   #2
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Re: Financial Software

I use Quicken but I'm sure Money also works fine. Several people here do it on Excel which will also do the job.

My advice is that you just pick a way and do it. It's really pretty simple but necessary.
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Re: Financial Software
Old 10-15-2006, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: Financial Software

Quicken works well for me, Money would probably work as well.

My biggest problem has been keeping it easy to use. I do not like entering individual transactions. I like to download credit card activity and some credit cards play nicer with Quicken than others.

I've dropped some cards and bank accounts because they didn't play nice. I've had the best luck with Citibank cards.

I can download activity from my Chase card within days of the charges but some of the latest items don't download. The correct balance does download so I wind up with 'adjustments' that I later have to clean up. I like the Chase card ("Perfect Card" it's called if you want to ask for one) though for the rebates that automatically credit to my account.

I have a CapitalOne card that doesn't allow downloading of any current activity but does allow me to download statements at the end of the cycle. I use that card when out of the country for the better exchange rate.

TSP does not work with Quicken. Vanguard does work. TDWaterhouse worked.

Quicken will try to get you to sign up for their bill pay service which has a cost. You don't need to do it. You can make everything work through your bank if you choose a bank that plays nice with Quicken. Wachovia works well for me and I'm not charged for the service because I have automatic deposit of a paycheck or keep an adequate balance (don't recall which).

I'd be interested in hearing from somebody who has used both to tell which was easier to set up, Money or Quicken. Getting all of the downloads and billpaying to work with Quicken is not the easiest thing I've ever done.

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Re: Financial Software
Old 10-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Financial Software

The one problem I have with Quicken is when I change brokers. Quicken won't let me just change the name on the account. I have to either reenter all of the transactions in the new account or put in a pseudo-start date and effectively lose long term performance.
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Re: Financial Software
Old 10-15-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: Financial Software

John, I've been trying out an interesting web site, yodlee com. Their Money Center section can download transactions for you from bank accounts, credit cards, brokerages etc. and they have a pretty simple process for classifying and tracking expenses.

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