Quicken and Banking Online

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:51 PM
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Default Quicken and Banking Online

We had a friend, a CPA, who encouraged me to use Quicken to track my checking account. I resisted the suggestion for the longest time because it seemed like duplicate work. My wife would go shopping, write checks, and then I have to reenter the check info into Quicken. Well to make it short, I've been using Quicken now for more then ten years and wouldn't fly without it. The program will remind you if you're missing a regular bill (which is easy if it's lost in the mail). It's instantaneous if you want to look for a particular payment over the last ten years, and of course, it makes balancing the checkbook a no-brainer. If you bank on-line, it's indispensable. Don't know what it costs these days because I ususally get it free each year when I buy Turbo Tax but whatever the price, I'd pay it, and I'm probably using ten percent of its function.
  #2  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Good info. I would love to use it as I do all my banking on line (thank goodness, cause with my addiction, I'd be in foreclosure now for sure.)

Maybe you could give me some helpful advice if I PM you? First I need to get the program. Thanks, Kath :redface:
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking On-line

Quicken Deluxe is what I use and have been since 2003.I know have 2006 and don't like the 07 or 08 versions as they added color and make it difficult to see.

It does so much for us that we right checks off it, pay bills both with bank withdrawals and by checks, and download our credit card charges every month. It will allow you to categorize each item you buy by allowing you to input dining, taxes, clothing, etc for those items.

At tax time it's so easy to give to your accountant the exact numbers of items you are permitted to deduct.

It's very no I should say most important that if you have a PC or laptop with a USB slot to buy a gig flash drive for around $ 20 and back up every time to it before shutting down Quicken. If your computer crashes you will always have the backup. It only takes about 30 seconds to backup so either get one or use a rewritable CD that takes longer.

Also we don't use the same checking account to write outside checks since for us they are rarely needed. We just use our CC or debit cards and pay them in full by or b/f the next due date.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2007, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Barb, Online banking is the future and I would never revert back to traditional banking. Online banking allows you to pay bills without the cost of stamps, and always on time. The only checks we write are the copays when we visit doctors, church, and the supermarket which could easily be done by direct debit. Paper checks are indeed a part of history. If you don't keep a check register, however, you'd have to rely upon your memory to reconcile your monthly statement--unless you just accept your bank statement as the current state of affairs. Bubbalarry mentioned that Quicken makes it easier to prepare for tax prep. I like the database part of Quicken, where I can instantly search for a payment and the date. Yeah, I could search online for the last 90 days or through past bank statements. Keep in mind that Quicken is more than a checking account register, and allows people to keep track of several accounts. Of course it's not for everyone. We all have different needs and sometimes habits which have served us well and maybe hard to break. Compared to a paper check register, Quicken wins hands down. By the way, where do you get Turbo Tax for free?
  #5  
Old 12-31-2007, 04:46 AM
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Default Quicken and Banking Online

Barb, I've had several friends inquire whether they should buy and learn Quicken or just use their bank's website to manage their banking. While I have been a Quicken user for more than ten years, I tried to explain that using a bank's website is certainly an alternative to Quicken. Some banks are better than others of course. I have accounts at JPMorganChase as well as Citizens First. The big bank's website is far more sophisticated than our friendly local bank by several orders of magnitude. So the bank one might choose is quite important. The other factor that might cause one to use Quicken is the ability to do far more manipulation of accounts, balances, budges, spending patterns, etc. than even the best bank website is capable of. And I differ that there's a lot more entry work needed with Quicken compared to a bank website. I think they're very comparable.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2007, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

You should review and understand the capability of your banks on-line system. I looked at several and selected my bank based on this service. Check things like how far back you can search checks, how there summary of expenses work, can you select and print check images, can you pay ALL bills, (I can send a check to anyone using my on-line service) or only those that have account numbers, can you export the data, and any other service you wont. I do 100% of all my banking on-line. Pay all bills, track all data, and export all info for taxes. I can't do everything that Quicken provides, but enough that I was able to give it up and I only have single entries. The only thing I do for duplicate work is keep a check register in an XL spread sheet with just the amounts and a date twice a month. Only to reconcile with. But banking on-line is VERY dependant on the bank. Not all on-line banking services are equal. Get one that works for you.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2007, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Let's not overlook the obvious. Many people do not bank online. Many people have never used an ATM and will never do so. There only involvement in electronic banking is the monthly EFT which Social Security forced them into. Otherwise, they'd be standing on line the third of each month depositing there check.
  #8  
Old 12-31-2007, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

I have been using Bank America on-line bill paying for the past few years and have found it to be easy to use and accurate. Most of my bills are sent to me electronically which cuts down on the mail. I now pay just about everything with their electronic bill pay. Writing checks to pay bills and buying stamps to post them has now gone the way of the "buggy whip."
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Quote:
Originally Posted by barb1191
Don't understand why one would need Quicken when banking online has all the bells and whistles one needs and eliminates the need to make a data entry on every check written. I have direct deposits, my Payees that are the same every month are paid automatically by the bank as "Recurring Payments." Such utilities/other payees that vary, I just need to plug in the amount and pay date and, voila, they send the checks. I have set up all of my Payees with the proper info for the bank, i.e., payee name, address, account number, etc.

I use one charge card and buy EVERYTHING on that card, even groceries, and pay in full every month. With this charge account I receive a check from them for about $180 every few months for bonus dollars which is made up of an accrued percentage of purchases, i.e., gas, food, scripts, etc etc. The point of charging everything on the credit card is that your money stays in the bank thirty days longer collecting interest and MUST be paid in full each month, otherwise it would be digging yourself a deep, dark hole that would be impossible to climb out.

This has worked for me and I hardly ever write checks, use USPS stamps, and the credit card company sends me an end-of-year accounting of my spending categorized (gas, food, pharmacy, etc). With online banking I have full control of my funds and can print a cancelled check, print any statements, make recurring transfers; been doing this for about ten years and find it most effective.

I'm under the impression that with Quicken you must enter all the transactions and that software doesn't send the payment out to the payee, yes? If you're using online banking, why would you need Quicken? Online banking does it all and no monthly charges and TurboTax is free.

barb1191
No not all transactions are done manually only those you write checks from your program. Once you setup a payment Quicken remembers the payee and the address so typeing is minimal. With the program I download from the bank every deposit, check, withdrawals from payees that are Direct Pay by my bank, and all credit card purchases. It works for me since we own several properties and have many bills to pay from them. Quicken allows me to add each property and when the checks clear from the main checking account confirm the deductions were correct and then make sure it's added to the appropriate account by using C&P. It also alerts me when a bill or a property tax payment is due. I've seen online banking and yaes it's OK, but for us it isn't enough.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2008, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

I've used BofA since 1973. I came here and was stunned when I discovered my California BofA account was much different than the Florida account. To get online bill pay and the bells and whistles I get free in California, BofA was going to charge me here. So, I have a very basic account here, deposit funds in it as needed and immediately transfer them to my California account. Then, I have all the bells and whistles I need to do my taxes.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2008, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

I've been wondering whether or not I should get up to speed with Quicken. I do online bill pay with HSBC and have no complaints. I download everything into Excel -- both bank and credit card -- and do all sorts of manipulations there. I used to teach Excel so it is easy for me to add all sorts of bells and whistles. But what can Quicken do that I can't do now? Not sure. Keep thinking I should learn but have always spent the time doing other things (like TOTV!)
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2008, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I started this thread. As you say, Excel is a terrific program but it's a multi-purpose spreadsheet application which I wouldn't live without either. I use both Excel and Access everyday for one thing or another. I've taught both basic and advanced Excel at work and it's truly in a class by itself for general business activity. Quicken on the other hand was designed to manage your personal financial health. So it's scope and function is more limited than Excel. But we're talking $29.99 retail here for Quicken Basic which is what I use.

In Quicken, it's all about the user interface. See where your money is going Check in anytime to see exactly where your personal finances are at for the month or year. Quicken shows you what you have coming in, going out, and most importantly, what's left over each month to spend or save. My real estate taxes are paid in four (but not quarterly) installments. So I can plug in the dates, approx amounts and it helps remind me that I've got big bills on the horizon. (We also have a home in NY with high taxes.)

Quicken behaves very well with online banking. It brings your online accounts -- including checking, savings and credit cards-- together in one place. Although I don't use this function, you can avoid the hassle of going to multiple web sites and remembering multiple passwords. With Quicken, you can access them all in one place and you need just ONE password.

It's a great complement to online banking. You're using Excel to keep records but what does someone without your computer skills use? As I mentioned, I have excellent Excel skills and would be able to duplicate most of Quicken but for the price, why would I want to.

I guess in answer to my first question, I started this thread because like a reformed drunk, I was extremely reluctant to get started with it 12 years ago. But when I look back, it was the best thing I ever did for controlling my spending. BTW, you can export quite easily from Quicken into Excel which I do sometimes. I also have to confess that I was very reluctant to start banking online but now I'd never go back to traditional banking.

George

  #13  
Old 01-07-2008, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Thanks, George. guess I should stop being lazy and just do it. Funny how I always find other things more pressing.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

I charge nearly everyting these days and still write a few checks. By downloading my statements from the bank directly into Quicken the only thing I need to do is put in the category. At the end of the year I know were every dollar other than a little cash has gone. This makes tax time significantly easier. Also makes forward planning / budgeting easy. Yes you can do it in MS Excel or MS Access but the time spent using Quicken is way less creating reports and doing backups. I've never used the investment features -- still do that in MS Excel Maybe one of these day will try that.

Wouldn't be without Quicken at twice the (free) price.
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Quicken and Banking Online

Barb, you disappoint me! If banks never made mistakes, why should any of us keep our own records? I have many relatives who have a half-dozen bills each month. As they get closer to the end of the month, they'll call the bank to check their balance before writing a check. Balancing their monthly statement consists of verifying their SS deposit.

My bank JP Morgan Chase keeps stuff online for 90 days. Then you're on your own. Of course they still mail monthly statements, including photocopies of both sides of the cancelled check. This is not a solution for everyone and there's no one-size solution for everyone. George
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