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Quicken Review: A Look at the Software’s Features
Why am I writing a Quicken Review? There is a simple answer for this.
One of the things that many people often struggle with is keeping track of their finances. I myself have had my share of trying to maintain a budgeting system only to find my efforts going to waste after some time. The whole thing was just too much work.
No matter how hard I tried, I found it difficult to keep up with all the details about my income, expenses, bills, loans to pay, and other financial information. Week after week and month after month, I would look at my bank account balance and think to myself, “Where did my money go?”
So I’ve decided to check out this personal accounting software called Quicken. I have heard about it before and how it could supposedly change your life, but of course I had to see it for myself. And I was pleased to discover its wonderful features.
- A program for easy budget keeping.
- A user-friendly dashboard.
- A convenient reminder system.
- An automatic updating of your credit card, savings account, checking account, and others.
- An automatic categorization of entries.
- An efficient help support system.
- Access to an online community where you can learn and exchange ideas with other Quicken users.
After looking over its features, I am so happy to say that I finally see hope in ending my longtime struggle with managing my finances. Here is my Quicken Review, which highlights only some of the many great features of this personal accounting software.
Easy Budget Keeping
If you are like me, and have not been able to keep a decent budgeting system even though you have tried many times to do so, then you will love Quicken’s Spending Goals feature. Spending Goals will help you monitor your spending and see if you are staying within the budget that you have set for yourself.
You can set an amount that you intend to spend for the month, and you can break down this amount for specific needs. For example, you can set a monthly spending goal of $750. For your groceries, you can set a spending goal of $70. If you exceed that amount, Quicken will notify you. This way, it is easy to see if you have exceeded your budget, how much you have overspent, and what you spent it for. As you begin to see the pattern of your spending, you can set a more realistic budget or you can adjust the amounts for certain expenses so you can stick to your budget.
Aside from the Spending Goals feature, your income and spending information can be displayed in neat graphs and charts. This helps you to see more clearly where the bulk of your spending goes. Among all the features mentioned in this Quicken Review, the Spending Goals is, I think, the best.
One of the things that immediately captivated me upon my first encounter with this software is its user-friendly dashboard. The layout is clean and uncomplicated, making it very easy for not-so-techy users like me to follow.
The dashboard gives you a quick summary overview of important information such as how much you have spent within a particular time frame, what your spending goals are, and what monthly bills you have to pay. Just one glance at the dashboard and you will be instantly updated of your finances.
Quicken provides convenient reminders for expected income, such as your salary, and bills to pay like credit card payments, apartment rental, cable TV subscription, and utilities. The Bill and Income Reminders can help you keep track of income that comes in and monthly bills that need to be paid. It can even alert you of payables that are overdue.
Another thing worth mentioning in this Quicken Review is its Direct Connect feature. This feature allows automatic updating of your accounts, such as credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, 401(k), and even PayPal. Quicken gets the most recent information on these accounts and updates your data automatically so you can stay on top of your financial needs. Quicken is presently linked to more than 12,000 institutions, which gives you better chances that most, if not all, of your accounts can be included in the update.
When you enter a transaction in Quicken, it is automatically placed in a category. The categories include Bills and Utilities, Food and Dining, Personal Care, Health and Fitness, Travel, Auto and Transport, Entertainment, and others. For example, when I enter an expense for the water bill, the entry is automatically placed under Bills and Utilities. An entry for the amount spent in watching a movie goes to Entertainment.
Because of automatic categorization, you no longer have to manually put each entry under its own category. The automatic categorization feature is accurate; however, you cannot expect it to be 100% accurate. There are some entries that the program cannot recognize so you have to categorize them manually.
The automatic categorization feature shows you where your money goes. How much of your money is eaten up by bills and utilities? How much do you spend for entertainment? How much do your transportation expenses in a month cost? You can view the information either in tabular form or as a chart.
Efficient Help Support System
Quicken has a very efficient Help function. The Help topics are searchable. You can either enter a search word or type your question. First time Quicken users need not worry about groping their way through the program because included in the Help function are step by step guides on how to use each feature.
The program gives you access to an online community of Quicken users where you can glean a lot of information about the program just by reading the community members’ posts. Learn from what other users have to say as they use Quicken. The online community is a rich resource of tips you can use. Do you have questions about the program but cannot seem to find the answer in Help? Join the online community and post your questions. Other Quicken users will be more than eager to help you out.
The features mentioned in this Quicken review are just seven of the program’s amazing capabilities. With the help of this wonderful personal accounting software, anyone can manage and keep track of his or her finances without difficulty.