I have never really gotten into budget software packages; I think it is stems from my original feelings that I didn’t want nor need a Budget. After starting this blog and getting my finances in order, my feelings about the subject changed and The Wife and I created a Plan.
Despite the change in feelings,I never picked up on a piece of budget software. Since my only experience with budget/money management systems was a very brief attempt with a paid version of Quicken 2007 I thought I should stick with one of the free options first.
So, if I thought if I am going to use a free option, I might as well go with the name that created this genre of software so I went with Quicken Online.
Signing up with Quicken Online
Sign up was really easy, and that might have been because I previously used a Quicken Product (Turbo Tax). So it recognized my personal e-mail address right away.
I am not sure what would have happened if I tried to use an e-mail that was not previously registered in the system, however, I can only assume I would have had to answer a few more easy questions.
After creating your Quicken Account (or using a previously registered e-mail address) you have to choose your bank from their list, and then sign into your bank using your bank’s login information.
I almost stopped at this point, having to put my bank’s login and password seemed a tad questionable, but after thinking about it – this is Quicken!. I am sure a lot of people have this concern and Quicken Online attempts to lower that concern with outstanding security:
Quicken Online is made by the folks who bring you TurboTax, America’s #1 rated, best-selling tax software. 2 We protect your data using 128-bit encryption, the same technology used by most major financial institutions
Once I jumped into the water and put my bank’s login and password, it pulled all my accounts in a matter of moments!
Using Quicken Online’s Features
Quicken Online* has some really cool features that I applied to the circled account above. I thought one of the most useful features is the fact that it scans your past 90 days worth of history and tells you about upcoming bills. As you can see by the red – My wife’s Sprint Bill better be paid.
While I like the bill reminder, I think the following feature is how most people will use Quicken Online. As seen in the picture below, Quicken attempts to categorize all my spending. Granted some of it was incorrect, and some just remained uncategorized, I think it did a pretty good job.
The reason I eventually left Quicken 2007 – failing to properly sync between what was actually in the bank and what Quicken thought was in my bank account- does not seem to be a problem with Quicken Online!
Negatives of Quicken Online
The only problem I have with Quicken Online is that it fails to have an option to upload data from my bank. However, I know that is an option in the more sophisticated versions of quicken.
*denotes an affiliate link.