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Using Quicken question
Old 07-23-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Using Quicken question

I think I want to start using Quicken, primarily so that I can download the bank info. I tried keeping spreadsheets for expense data and that didn't last too long. What's the best plan? Should I just pay for the Quicken download or buy it at Costco or what? I need just the very basic set-up. Thanks in advance for any advise.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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I'm going to try to wean myself OFF of Quicken. The mandatory expense for periodic upgrades and some of the quirkiness has begun to erode my tolerance for being abused. I guess I'm saying that I wish I had never started using it. I'll be setting up spreadsheets.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:29 PM   #3
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I use Quicken extensively, and have for close to ten years now. It's fine; I upgrade it every three or four years. It still can't help me figure out whether to buy the new bike or not, but it is still useful.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:48 PM   #4
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I also use Quicken a lot and have for almost 3 years. I use it everyday and rarely have a problem with it. I upgrade only every three years, so if, like me you buy the premier version, it costs about $30 a year to run Quicken, a very good value for the service it provides in my opinion.

Staples seems to have a good deal right now on Quicken products with a $50 mail-in-rebate on the $89.99 Quicken premier 2008. For the basic edition, you have a $10 mail-in-rebate on the $29.99 Quicken Starter Edition.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:40 PM   #5
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Buy it wherever you get the best deal. I've been using it about 8 years now. No big problems. I download bank, credit card, and brokerage data. Make sure your financial institutions are supported, hopefully in Direct Connect, not just by download.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lifeisgood View Post
I use Quicken extensively, and have for close to ten years now. It's fine; I upgrade it every three or four years. It still can't help me figure out whether to buy the new bike or not, but it is still useful.
Same here. Using it since 1994. It greatly simplified my life and made investment tracking so easy. I like being about to download prices daily and compute net worth instantly etc. The reports you can customize are really great.

I only upgrade about every 4 years.

The basic version is good enough. Just figure out which is cheapest or who has the best rebate.

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Old 07-24-2008, 07:48 AM   #7
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I've used Quicken religiously since 1993. I use the premier version and upgrade every other year. I think you get out of it what you put into it. I have put in every financial transaction I have had since 1993, from buying a stick of gum for cash to buying homes.
One of the biggest benefits is the records that can be kept. For example, I know how much I have spent for everything and when. I know when I had my last teeth cleaning and when I renewed my magazine subscriptions. I know when my extended warranties will expire. I know when I need to change the filters in my air conditioner. I know when was my last oil change.
You can put all this in the memo field of each transaction and do searches for it.
It sure make life easier than having to use spreadsheets or balancing your credit card bills and bank statements by hand.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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I use a Quicken-like product called Moneydance. It's $40 and you can download a trial for free. From their user message boards, it sounds like a lot of people switched from Quicken to Moneydance to avoid the continuous upgrade frees that you have with Quicken. Never used Quicken myself, but I'm happy with Moneydance.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:00 AM   #9
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I've been using it since about 1992 but still run Quicken '99 since the newer versions don't do anything I need. The main use is balancing statements and keeping track of net worth.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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We have used Quicken for many years w/upgrading only every few. We never download from our financial institutions as I am a bit paranoid about that (we do online banking and with vanguard but feel those are secure). Don't need the whole universe knowing our finances. For checking and budgeting it is great. I manually load my portfolio NAV's and transactions and despite a few quirks, gives me the investment info I need.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:36 AM   #11
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I love Quicken. I'm using the version that came with my MAC. I manually enter my data, but that's not a problem for me - I like doing it. I guess it's sort of like my "job" in retirement. I also keep track of many things that I do besides just monthly type bills on the calendar - haircut, pet groomer, lawn care, weekly grocery trip,etc. It's a great way to forecast your future cash flow. I only use Quicken for my accounts that are NOT in my brokerage accounts. I prefer to keep those separate. I prefer not having too much info in my computer...that's just me tho.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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I love Quicken. I'm using the version that came with my MAC.
If you like the Mac version of Quicken, you'd love the PC version. The Mac version of Quicken is crappy, buggy crippleware compared to the PC version. And they charge you more for it while fixing fewer bugs and adding fewer features.

I use Quicken but I also keep up in Moneydance 2008. It's not as full-featured and is rough around the edges, but it shows potential and I hope by encouraging further development by licensing it, it can eventually be full featured and Quicken-compatible enough that I can give Intuit, its indifference to Mac users and intentional breaking of online features after three years the boot.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:06 AM   #13
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If you like the Mac version of Quicken, you'd love the PC version. The Mac version of Quicken is crappy, buggy crippleware compared to the PC version. And they charge you more for it while fixing fewer bugs and adding fewer features.
I used to have a PC (many PCs over time) and used Quicken then too. I quit using Quicken for quite a few years during the transition of when I wrote all checks and using a debit card. I just gave up for awhile...it was driving me batty.

Then I bought a Mac...(an older Mac - iBookG4) and picked up with Quicken again. Maybe I just got used to it, but, I'm doing fine with it. I probably don't use the more complicated features and I do most of my work manually. Besides, I like a good puzzle once in a while.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:19 PM   #14
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I've been using Quicken for over 10 years, and couldn't do without it. I download from my bank 3-4 times a week to keep current. Takes me about 30 seconds to balance every month. As to the upgrades, I never upgrade when they announce a new version, but wait until they tell me that the new version is mandatory to continue to use the system. that's about every 3 - 4 years, and I've found that if you ignore all thier warnings, and wait until the last month before the cutoff date, they'll send you a complemantary download of the new version. Probably don't want to lose a good customer.....
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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Should I just pay for the Quicken download or buy it at Costco or what?
I think you'll find it cheaper at Costco or other discount retailer.

I use it regularly and find it very helpful. I find 2 annoyances.

The periodic requirement to upgrade in order to continue downloading data is most bothersome and controlled by Intuit. I try to look at it as a subscription fee but it still annoys me.

I'm also annoyed by banks and other financial companies that make it impossible to directly and simply download data to Quicken. So, I avoid those companies.

Quicken will try to have you sign up for Intuit services but there is no real need to do so.
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:18 PM   #16
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I too am a satisfied Quicken user for nearly ten years. It has many features I never use; I use it mainly for the electronic checkbook, and run my tax reports and sometimes do budgeting using the figures. An option no one mentioned: if you are cheap like I am, no law says you need the latest version. Maybe someone has an old one they'd give you for free. (Online features may not work). On the other hand, if you end up liking it, you should be able to import your data to the new version should you end up buying it.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:46 PM   #17
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I've used Quicken for very long time and am a satisfied user. I use it to track my banking, loans and investments. It also works great if you use TurboTax for your taxes.

I have wanted to try out some of the freeware packages, but haven't gotten around to doing so yet.
See Open source financial apps offer alternatives to Quicken, Money

Edited to add:

Investigate your options well because you'll quickly have a LOT of data in the program, and then migrating to a new program will be a big headache.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:09 PM   #18
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I think I want to start using Quicken, primarily so that I can download the bank info. I tried keeping spreadsheets for expense data and that didn't last too long. What's the best plan? Should I just pay for the Quicken download or buy it at Costco or what? I need just the very basic set-up. Thanks in advance for any advise.
I'm another 16-year Quicken hostage, with over 130,000 transactions dating back to 1992.

Downloading is overrated. It takes me less time to switch back & forth from my credit union's website to Quicken while reconciling my checkbook register than it does to fiddle with the download settings. Presumably Quicken et al can download checkbook data without errors these days, but that's certainly not the case for brokerage statements and for importing tax data into TurboTax. So don't expect that downloading will make your life easier or more enjoyable.

My advice would be to devote about $200 to trying every financial-management program you can get your hands on-- Quicken, Money, and shareware. Decide which user interface you like before you become assimilated. Because after that, resistance to upgrades is futile.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:42 PM   #19
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I use Quicken for Mac now- downloaded it a few years ago after using an older pc version for years. I download about 75% of my data, and manually enter the rest. It does most everything I need to do, but I sometimes export to an excel file to do some calculations.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:37 PM   #20
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I'm a Quicken fan. In my third year with version 2006. I'd used home grown spread sheets for 15 years before that. I VASTLY prefer Quicken!

I don't use it for expense tracking (yet) -- just for investment accounts, credit card accounts, and bank accounts. One push of a button and everything is downloaded automatically. I believe you must have the Premier version in order to do all that. I also use it to manage the investment accounts for each of my two sons. Very easy to do.

My only complaint is that it doesn't recognize small, blend, and growth styles -- just US large, US small, and International. That makes me use a spreadsheet for finer-grain re-balancing amongst those styles.
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