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View Poll Results: How Do You Track Your Personal Spending/Budget
Quicken (or another commercial software package) 85 60.71%
My own spreadsheet or other home-grown solution 37 26.43%
Other, not worried about it, my balances are all positive... 18 12.86%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #61
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The main reason I use Quicken to track expenses was that it requires me to do no manual input, as it downloads all the credit card transactions for me, and even classified them. It knows whether I spent that money at a gas station, or at a grocery store. As stated earlier, the only occasional edit I have to do is to reclassify some transactions into other subcategories. We have been using credit cards (paid in full at month end) as much as possible in lieu of cash, so the auto-download works out well.

And for investments, as I hold many individual stocks as well as MFs and ETFs, they pay dividends at different times through the years, and not having to manually enter these is worth the cost of the software. As some other posters have noted, I find it very useful to see my networth (spread across more than a dozen of accounts) and expenses in one spot. And the ability to drill down to any particular expense item (how much did I spend for electric last July), or when did I buy that stock, or how much a stock has paid me in dividends, gets me hooked.

I am sure that there are other software that will do the above. The point is that the software should cause the user less work, not more, or something is very wrong.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #62
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The drawback is that there is probably some very useful function that I haven't thought to include.
Yeah, like the pop-up window that says "Your ability to use this feature will expire in six months unless you upgrade to our new version!"

Spreadsheets were probably powerful enough for the way we started using Quicken in 1992 (I believe it was v5.0 for DOS) but I wasn't educated enough to make my own. These days I keep wondering when I should cut off my data files and start over with a fresh set of accounts.

Or I could just keep kvetching about this until 2022 when I have 250,000 transactions.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #63
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I periodically go in and delete payees from the memorized list.

Edit --> Preferences --> Data entry and QuickFill


... Remove memorized payees not used in _____ months
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #64
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We used to use quicken. When Intuit decided it could not update my version anymore, I looked for something in the "cloud". I use mint now.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:52 AM   #65
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I selected 'Quicken' although I use Gnucash. At a point in my past I choose to flush Windows and transition to Linux and the Quicken folks refused to provide a Linux version. I also use Gnucash for my wife's business.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:01 PM   #66
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I was looking through the checkbook and noticed stable expenses were kind of high. I asked DW about it and she confessed that they had bought a second horse and not told me about it.
lol! You'll think I'm nuts or something, but I kinda like to spend a couple hours sometimes just running numbers. Quarterly roi can sometimes get tedious if I'm interested in getting off to something else, but other times it's just kinda fun.

--Dale--
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:22 AM   #67
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Thanks for all the responses. It seems the ratio of Quicken et al users has been fairly consistently running about 2:1 over Excel et al. If I didn't have so much experience with Excel (from work days), I'd probably switch to Quicken based on this. Thanks again...
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #68
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YNAB (You Need A Budget), best software I've used to date. I've used spreadsheets for years because Quicken or MS Money just showed me where my money went. My spreadsheets took a while to develop and maintain and only I could use them, sure I could graph whatever I wanted to but that was the only upside. Every year we define our budget for the year, and we look at it in detail every quarter and make adjustments as needed. YNAB is great for us, there are iphone apps that syncs your phone to your home computer that way you have your budget right in front of you and you can record transactions on your phone if you want too.

I paid $39 at the end of last year during one of their sales, black Friday or cyber Monday. If you download their trial you'll be added to their email list and then they will send you promotions.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by LuckyRugger View Post
YNAB (You Need A Budget), best software I've used to date. I've used spreadsheets for years because Quicken or MS Money just showed me where my money went. My spreadsheets took a while to develop and maintain and only I could use them, sure I could graph whatever I wanted to but that was the only upside. Every year we define our budget for the year, and we look at it in detail every quarter and make adjustments as needed. YNAB is great for us, there are iphone apps that syncs your phone to your home computer that way you have your budget right in front of you and you can record transactions on your phone if you want too.

I paid $39 at the end of last year during one of their sales, black Friday or cyber Monday. If you download their trial you'll be added to their email list and then they will send you promotions.
Quicken (2012) will allow me to input recurring transactions up to one year in advance or one time transactions through the year 2099. I think that will do me.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:36 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by LuckyRugger View Post
YNAB (You Need A Budget), best software I've used to date. I've used spreadsheets for years because Quicken or MS Money just showed me where my money went. My spreadsheets took a while to develop and maintain and only I could use them, sure I could graph whatever I wanted to but that was the only upside. Every year we define our budget for the year, and we look at it in detail every quarter and make adjustments as needed. YNAB is great for us, there are iphone apps that syncs your phone to your home computer that way you have your budget right in front of you and you can record transactions on your phone if you want too.

I paid $39 at the end of last year during one of their sales, black Friday or cyber Monday. If you download their trial you'll be added to their email list and then they will send you promotions.
I downloaded the free trial of YNAB a few months ago, but decided it doesn't meet my needs. As I recall, it wants an actual budget (such as, $50/month for clothing, $300/month for groceries, etc) and then tells you how you are doing relative to that budget. It looks like a terrific software package for that task. That is not what I want, though. I just want to see how much I am spending and where my money went. So, I deleted it after a couple of days. To YNAB's credit, they do not send me promotions (I think you can opt out and if so, I did).

You're right - - budgeting and recording spending are two very different functions.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #71
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I use a very old copy of Quicken, and input all my transactions manually.

We're a "mostly cash" household, so auto downloads don't save much time. I like the fact that I see each item as I enter it.

I only use Quicken as a payment register. All my analysis is done by downloading Quicken reports to Excel, then using pivot tables.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:52 PM   #72
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i use a free software called spending viewer Personal finance expense budget spending tracker its free upto 2 accounts. easy to upload transactions, it assigns categories
automatically based on your settings, lots of reports to track (Report by category, by month, by year, by payees, by budget).
Setup budget by weekly/monthly. It is really fast, shows years worth of data in less than a second, and all in a single screen with single click.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:58 PM   #73
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We use a highly developed index card system for our budget/bills. It's kind of a redneck cash flow system that no matter what, you save out of every income source. I have found it helps immensely if you have no mortgage, car payment or credit card balance.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:14 PM   #74
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Another YNAB user here. For years I used Quicken to record and track spending. I also used a simple excel spreadsheet to forecast and budget. I switched to ynab a few months ago because I wanted to get better at actually budgeting (Quicken's budget feature was too buggy).

I really like ynab as a budgeting tool. It does not have the whistles and bells of Quicken (esp reports), but it really is great for budgeting.

I still use a simple excel spradsheet for forecasting and for tracking our investments (it helps that our IRA accounts are in just four VG funds)
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #75
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Mint does a great job of tracking spending w/o purchasing any software. All automated- Works great for me.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #76
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I started using Quicken 1n 1992 and periodically updated until Quicken 2004 when I decided to get off the merry go round of updates. I really like the 2004 version as it allows to do all the tracking and drill down on reports that I could want. Of course, it no longer supports downloads but I find that entering everything manually really doesn't take that long and it allows me to zero in on anything that looks unusual. When it was doing automatic updates my tendency was to look over entries and say to myself "looks about right" without really being sure. With manual entry I pay attention!. I suppose Excel would work just as well but after so many years of using Quicken I think I'll stick to it. I do wonder if it has an upper limit as to file size currently at about 100 MB
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Quicken file size
Old 03-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #77
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Quicken file size

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I do wonder if it has an upper limit as to file size currently at about 100 MB
Programmers always have a nice round number for a limit.

I don't want to find out by crashing, so I do Year-end-operation to keep the size down and store the files by Year. I seldom use info from more then 2 or 3 years ago, since I use spreadsheet as my budget guide.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:57 PM   #78
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Programmers always have a nice round number for a limit.

I don't want to find out by crashing, so I do Year-end-operation to keep the size down and store the files by Year. I seldom use info from more then 2 or 3 years ago, since I use spreadsheet as my budget guide.
I hope 100 MB is not the number. I've considered doing the year end closing but I do like the ability to do multi year reports for trend and comparison purposes.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #79
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We've been using Quicken forever but it seems to be getting buggier. It's hard to rely on software for financial planning when it doesn't display accurate information.

We're currently looking at a combination of Mint.com and Excel to move our finances out of Quicken.

Cheri
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:20 PM   #80
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We've been using Quicken forever but it seems to be getting buggier. It's hard to rely on software for financial planning when it doesn't display accurate information.


Cheri
That's a lot of the reason I've kept using Quicken 2004 and decided not to "upgrade". I haven't really encountered any bugs in what I do with i and does what I need it to do.
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