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Keep your finances under control easily and cheaply
Intuit Quicken Deluxe 2000
Member Name: jopassmore
Intuit Quicken Deluxe 2000
Date: 04/09/01, updated on 04/09/01 (51 review reads)
Advantages: easy to use, lots of features, valuable resource
Since I have been earning money, I have always been slightly obsessed about keeping it under control (far too obsessed if you ask my husband!). In the early days, before I discovered computers, I would write down everything we spent or committed and try to keep tags on all our direct debits and standing orders. From there I moved on to a spreadsheet and then a simple database. That was when I discovered Quicken.
Quicken has enabled me to feel in control of our finances. What I particularly like about it, is the ability to plan ahead. The 'forecasting' option allows you to enter details of all of your future income and expenses and then using information from your accounts, it will show you how this spending/income will effect your finances in the future. This is very useful if you want to take out a loan or set up a savings plan, because you can then accurately calculate how much you can afford. It also shows you how your spending actions of today may affect your finances in a few months/years.
Another useful feature is the 'savings goals'. You can use this feature to 'hide' money in one of your accounts so that it does not show up on your accounts as money available. That way, you can save money whilst it is still really in your main account. The only problem with this is that you may forget you have hidden it! It is always nice to find money you have hidden though, when you are short!
The 'scheduled transactions' section is handy as well, because it allows you to set up your standing orders and other regular commitments or income, so that it is automatically entered in the register on a specific date. This way you do not forget that a bill has been paid.
I also like the 'reconciliation' section, which allows you to reconcile your accounts against your bank statements easily. That way your Quicken accounts are always nearly completely up to date.
I wondered if the introduction
of Internet Banking might make Quicken an unnecessary tool, but the financial modelling tools available within Quicken could and would never be reproduced by the banks on the web. Also, I always find it useful to have my own record of transactions because you can't always trust the banks to get it right all of the time!
This tool can be extremely useful, but it needs to be kept up to date to be of any use. As they say (not sure who they are!), 'put rubbish in, get rubbish out'. If you are diligent in entering the information, you will find this software invaluable.