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Quicken Home and Business 2009 Review and Giveaway

This article was written by in Software. 60 comments.


As of Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 am ET, the giveaway of the free Quicken Home and Business 2009 is closed and no more entrants will be accepted.

I’ve been using Intuit Quicken for the last few years to keep track of my savings, investments and expenses. After trying Moneydance, GNU Cash, and Microsoft Money throughout the past ten years, I’ve settled on Quicken Home and Business edition. It’s not a perfect piece of software, but it’s more complete than any other package.

Today, I upgraded my installation to Quicken Home and Business 2009, the latest version. After separately backing up the financial data files I have been using with Quicken 2008, the installation of the new software removed Quicken 2008, installed Quicken 2009, and download the latest patches and bug-fixes.

The new interface shows there is more to explore. As always, a list of accounts sits on the left. On the right, there a new section which can be toggled between a number of new sidebars. The “To Do” tab displays your outstanding bills, predicted income, and a reminder to download the latest transactions from your banks to reconcile your entries. The other tabs contains hints, help, and advertisements.

Between the two side columns, the main window offers many more options for viewing your data. The program opens up by showing an overflow of your cash flow by default. Here is an example.

Quicken Home and Business 2009

The views are customizable, so you can create new views and include the data you would like to see on one screen.

There are several issues with Quicken that haven’t been resolved. When you download transactions from banks, you are prevented from using the software fully. Updates should happen completely in the background, but I find that the screen continually refreshes and Quicken has problems accepting new transactions I enter. Screen refreshes are a problem on its own. I have a fairly quick computer, but if I resize the application window, Quicken continually redraws the screen. This and other processes are slow, and make the software feel sluggish.

Another trend that bothers me is the addition of more advertising to the software interface. Perhaps I erroneously believe that free software can be supported by advertising while software you pay for should be free from commercial interruption, but I may be in the minority. I thank Quicken for providing the option for hiding most of the advertising. On the setup screen, hide the Quicken Tab called, “Quicken Picks.” More advertising is included in the “Services” tab along the right sidebar. This cannot be hidden from view, but you should be able to avoid clicking on the tab by accident. If you want to find out which credit cards Quicken suggests, you can always take a look.

Latest prices for Quicken 2009 software

Here are some of the discounts available to Consumerism Commentary readers. Many of these discounts are better than those shared when Quicken 2009 first became available in August 2008.

Quicken 2009 Home & Business $69.99 ($30 discount)
Quicken 2009 Premier $59.99 ($30 discount)
Quicken 2009 Deluxe $39.99 ($20 discount)
Quicken 2009 Rental Property Manager $99.99 ($50 discount)
Quicken Medical Expense Manager $49.99 ($20 discount)
Quicken Home Inventory Manager $29.99
Quicken Online Edition Free

Quicken Home and Business 2009 Giveaway

If you would like to receive a free copy of Quicken Home and Business 2009, you have a few options. Leave a comment here with an interesting tip for using Quicken or other financial software such as Microsoft Money Plus, Mint.com, or GNU Cash. If you don’t have any tips, feel free to leave a comment about tracking your own money. By leaving a comment, you will receive one chance in the drawing for Quicken Home and Business 2009.

For a second chance to win, share this article using one or more of the tools listed below, like Twitter or Facebook. I will leave the giveaway open for one week and announce a random winner once I close the giveaway. Thanks and good luck!

As of Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 am ET, the giveaway of the free Quicken Home and Business 2009 is closed and no more entrants will be accepted.

Intuit provided Consumerism Commentary with a copy of Quicken for this review. Consumerism Commentary is an authorized affiliate of Quicken.

Updated March 21, 2011 and originally published March 2, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Joe

If you’re working to track your expenses, perhaps to the penny, I find it handy to keep my cash-withdrawal receipts in my carry-along notebook and noting cash expenses on them.
As I’m reconciling my receipts, I can split out the single transaction of the withdrawal into whatever categories are necessary.

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avatar ghina

Android has a great app called receipt filer where instead of carrying around your receipts, you use the built-in camera to take a picture of them. Save them to your SD Card and move them to your laptop for reference.

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avatar Jason

I haven’t tried Quicken yet, but have been using Mint for about a month now. I like how it updates your accounts as soon as you sign on. Helps me keep track of expenses and so far hasn’t let me down!

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avatar Gus

When purchasing a CD, you can treat it in the same way that you treat a bond purchase. Therefore, when recorded via Money or Quicken, CDs are just bonds issued by banks or financial institutions often for a shorter period of time (e.g. one-year CD = one-year bond).

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Gus: That’s a good tip, Thanks! I don’t understand why Quicken and Money never had an inherent way to track CDs.

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avatar Valerie

I find it easier to enter CD’s as a bank account (SAvings) and just enter the interest monthly or quarterly, as paid. If the bank issuing the CD is one that allows downloads to Quicken, it’s much simpler to enter the interest than as a Bond and Investment Account.

I name the account “CD-BankName apy% maturity date”
Then all my CD’s will appear together alphabetically in the account list at side of screen. Then I can eyeball the maturity dates easily to watch for them.

When one matures, I change the name to YXX (the year of maturity)-Rest of Name above. I move it down to bottom of list of active accounts. At the end of the year I quickly know that if the CD matured in the tax year, I should include it in accounts for an interest report.

I too am surprised the Quicken hasn’t shown CD’s as one of the types of accounts from which you can choose when you open a new one.

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avatar Ben

My tip is to not get complacent with your money management software. Don’t just assume that everything is fine since it is updating automatically. Make sure all those charges are legit.

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avatar JoeInAZ

Mint is a great site and really makes a lot of sense! I really like Quicken, but haven’t seen much new in years.

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avatar unimax

Lot of times quicken messes up tallying withdrawal/deposit to/from accounts. Mostly because when a CC recognizes it as a payment and when it is actually debited from your bank account. Is there way to pick a transaction (withdrawal) in one account and say that it same as the deposit in another? So I have to go and delete one of them as it appears twice once in each account. It is annoying but wondering if there is a better way.

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avatar Peterz

If you are tracking both the bank account and CC in quicken and you are downloading the transactions for each there is an easy way to track payments. When you make a payment simply enter it as a Transfer from the bank account to the CC. When the transactions are downloaded, Quicken will match them up in each account separately but they will be “connected” because they are a transfer from one account to another. I have been entering payments like this for years without issue.

FYI, I handle all my payments electronically and seldom write checks. This method doesn’t allow you to track check numbers but I don’t see why you couldn’t select “Next Check Num” and then in the Category drop-down you could scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Transfer to/from…”. That should also record it as a transfer in both accounts.

Finally, don’t forget Quicken does allow you to manually match downloaded transactions to the register. I have not had many issues with Quicken’s automatic transaction matching so I can’t comment on that. When entering transactions I would verify that the payments are described as “Match” and not “New” before I accept them.

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avatar Miki

I actually use Quicken to track my reward program balances (frequent flyer, etc). I open a separate Quicken file just for rewards programs. It helps me keep track of how much I’ve redeemed in rewards, and how many more points I need to get to the next level.

By rewards programs, I mean all rewards programs – credit cards, frequent flyer, favorite shopper, etc.

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avatar Patrick

I like the tip for tracking CDs. As advanced as Quicken and MS Money are, there are some inexplicable oversights.

My best tip is to stay on top of things – it can be a bear to try and catch up a month or two later.

Also, for those who are in the military or government service, there is no inherent way to track the Thrift Savings Plan (govt. version of a 401k). This is problematic, but a reader shared with me how to track it in Quicken: How to Update TSP in Quicken. You have to manually create share prices, purchase prices, etc. It adds a couple extra steps, but is worth it if you want to track your cost basis and how well your investments have done.

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avatar mga

I’m 4 days new to Mint.com, so maybe I haven’t discovered everything… but here is my tip based off my current understanding of it.

If you live paycheck to paycheck, with little money in your checking account, you might be able to better track your daily balance with Quicken or Microsoft Money. Both of those allow you to manually enter checks you write, and track your balance with each transaction. Mint.com periodically goes out to your bank’s online records to get a balance, so it won’t reflect a check that you wrote and is still in the mail.

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avatar Eric

There are some mobile apps that let you keep track on the fly :)

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avatar John

I’ve used Quicken for years. Automatic update is a great time saver, but make sure you review those transactions to make sure they are legitimate and properly categorized.

The real power of Quicken is in the reporting. The reporting helps you review and analyze your financial history and hence plan accordingly. Explore the reporting!

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avatar dreamer

I’ve been using Microsoft Money a lot in the past, and I always found it difficult to track TSP (government and military employees 401(k)). Since it doesn’t use anything with a stock symbol, MM wouldn’t know the price. So, I would go to the TSP site, which has the daily share prices available, and update the price every night. It would ensure that I spend at least 5 minutes with the program open, and reconciling transactions. Now, it’s looking like other programs, such as quicken and mint, can actually get the price on their own.

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avatar savvy

I currently use Microsoft Money. However, I’d love to give Quicken a spin.

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avatar Badaah

I have been using GNU Cash for around 2 years now, to track my expenses and found it very user friendly.
Double entry is very useful as it helps to balance the accounts.
However, I would love to give a free and fair trial to Quicken also :)

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avatar jnwcmr

A few tips:

I use the “Savings Goal” feature to “hide” cash in my savings account. My goal is called “Escrow 2009″ and I put money from each paycheck into this goal. The escrow is for annual expenses, like auto/home insurance, and real estate taxes. Then when a bill comes due, I remove money from the goal. The cash is there when I need it.

Other commenters have praised Quicken’s reporting. I find it lacking, and I don’t understand how it calculates ROR. When I call up a report, I select “Export to Clipboard”, then paste it into my own spreadsheet, and work the data to my liking.

I also use Quicken to track the value of non-financial assets like my cars and house. On a quarterly basis, I update the values from kbb.com, and zillow.com

I’m still on Q2008, so a free upgrade would be nice! :)

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avatar PJ

I still use Quicken 2001, I need that upgrade. Although it still does everything I need it to do. Great blog.

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avatar JohnN

I have used Quicken since the DOS days of 1990. In 1999 I switched platforms to Mac and have never looked back but for many years maintained a Windows PC because I found Quicken for the Mac to be a sub-par solution. Now Parallels provides a quick, intuitive, well integrated way to run Quicken for Windows as just another application on my Macbook. Peace at last.

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avatar Emily Lauren

My biggest tip for Mint is that I check the transactions every work day!
It’s quick to take 3 minutes or so to check that everything is categorized properly and is a legit transaction, but letting things slip a few weeks means that I can’t remember what my charges were.

Hope I win Quicken! I’d like to transition to more powerful financial tracking.

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avatar Marjorie

I’m currently using Quicken Online, and while it’s useful if you don’t want anything more complicated than balancing your checkbook, it has some serious limitations if you want a more robust personal finance tool. It doesn’t sync up well with Wells Fargo and can take a few days to get Transactions up to date. Plus, features that should have been included from the beginning (how long has Quicken Online been available? Two years?) take too long to implement. For example, if you want to create a Custom Category (say, Dental as opposed to the standard “Medical”), until a week or so ago any custom categories didn’t show up in the Trends page. So it apparently takes awhile for Intuit to upgrade the features, even though people had been complaining about this problem for months.

Still, for those people new to personal finance software, it’s pretty easy to set up, easy to understand, and most importantly, it’s FREE. Since I own my own business and also have several accounts (savings, checking, etc.) and want more than just an online check register, I would definitely consider it a good investment to purchase a full-service software program.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway!

Cheers,
Marjorie

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avatar Stacy

I’m currently using Mint, but have realized I need a more powerful solution that will allow me to create reports. Hope I win!

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avatar Todd

I just recently received my tax refund. I go to input into Quicken and it shows up as income. Clearly, it is not income, it is monies that I have overpaid which should go against Fed taxes paid in. Why it shows up as income, I do not understand.

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avatar Valerie

A deposit is income in the Quicken sense that it is money that came into your account, not an expense payment OUT of the account.

Assuming you got a check and deposited it, or the IRS electronically sent it to your bank and it shows on the statement as a deposit, use the Category to indicate that it was a tax refund for the year 08.

e.g., I have a category for FED TAX 08. In it I have entries for each payment made. (This could be monthly from your paycheck or estimates if you are self-employed. In the former case, my sub-category would be “With Held”, in the latter case, “EST”

Once I get a refund, I make a new subcategory for FED TAX 08, and it’s an “income” item in the New Category widnow, called 08 REFUND. Then in the account where the refund is deposited, I use the category “08 REFUND”.

That way, you can run a report showing how much you paid and how much you got back.

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avatar Kimberly

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t formally tracked in years – I used to use Quicken many years ago, and I too found the reporting features to be really useful. I’m looking to get back to it, maybe the new Quicken is the way to go.

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avatar Jeff S

I use Microsoft Money right now, but I’m not completely content with it. I am thinking of trying Mint. Would love to try Quicken also.

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avatar Jimmy

I have used Mint for about a year. I really like the interface on mint. Ive never tried Quicken but could see how it would be very useful for alot of poeple. Id love to give it a try!!

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avatar Michael

I have been using Quicken for a couple of years. I am really interested in the new version. One thing about downloading all your transactions and adding in your pay cheque is that you can use the information on your taxes which really helps if some of your yearly forms are slow in arriving.

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avatar Eric

I love Quicken. It has helped me manage my personal finances for the past 5 years. Now I am trying to go into business for myself and I am finding that it gets a little bit more complicated. Home and Business is great for starting out being self-employed as a sole proprietor. It lets you “mix” your finances while still keeping it separate for legal reasons. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

Thanks for the opprotunity to upgrade for free.

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avatar Stephen

I think the Goals function in Quicken is one of the best features. I use it to allocate funds in my savings account for various future purchases (car, vacation, whatever) and then not only can I track the progress towards my goal, but Quicken earmarks the funds so they show up as “spent” in the account’s balance. That way I know how much I have in the account after my purchase has been taken into account.

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avatar Stephen

I’ve never been able to get Quicken to generate an “envelope-style” report based on the budget I set, so if anyone has figured this out, please let me know how you did it :).

I have found that it’s really quite easy to bring up Quicken’s monthly spending report and copy (manually) that data into a Google spreadsheet in which I do maintain an envelope-style budget report.

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avatar Jason

This looks to be about the only way to maintain an envelope-style budget in quicken. http://financialsoft.about.com/b/2009/04/09/from-the-forum-envelope-budgeting-with-quicken.htm

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avatar Rob W

I like to make a rough draft of my expenses for the upcoming month on a calender. This gives me a framework to base my monthly purchases.

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avatar Myles Bostwick

On mint.com I found a neat trick. If you’re looking for a particular date range of transactions, go to the trends page, select the date range you’re interested in, then click “Search All Transactions.” You can then refine your search further from the search bar, but it’s still restricted to that date range. It’d be nice if they just added that to the transaction page to begin, but this is an easy hack to get around that.

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avatar Shauna

The new Quicken software looks great. I have tried Quicken in the past (at least 8 years ago). It seemed useful enough, but I wasn’t amazed with the options. The new Quicken looks great in comparison and I’m planning on getting it soon. My husband has a business we run out of our house so doing things “the old way” is getting to be a headache. I’ve been really impressed with the Quick Books software. I work in a family business and am in the process of changing to Quick Books from an old DOS point of sale/accounting software. My tip: Don’t be afraid of trying Quicken or Quick Books software. It’s extremely user friendly (even for my mother who know very little about computers) and it sure beats the old way (papers everywhere!) way of doing things. Just be happy your not still stuck in DOS land. ; )

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avatar Glblguy

I used You Need a Budget and Mint.com. No real tips beyond just using the budgeting features, and Mint.com’s is excellent especially since they’ve added the ability to create custom budget categories.

Of to Tweet this now. Thanks Flexo!

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avatar Michele

I have used Quicken for years and love it. I wish the budgeting tool would work a little different/better, seems I can’t get it to do what I dream it should. I love the new look and can’t wait to upgrade!

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avatar Sara

This is probably a good opportunity to share some of my recent frustrations with mint.com and why I’m moving to Quicken online (although Home & Business would be even better). Prior to using mint the only financial software I’d used was MSMoney, years ago. The first few months on Mint were great and I decided I didn’t need to buy software if I had access to Mint.

Mint is free so I suppose you get what you pay for. Although I like the user interface and a lot of their new features, its the poor and unresponsive support at Mint that’s convinced me to leave.

I appreciate the fact that I will encounter frequent problems accessing some of my accounts – for a number of reasons – security setting changes at the institutions’ websites, technical glitches. I’m willing to have to manually deal with these issues every couple of months. But I can’t resolve all of them myself – a lot of the problems can only be resolved with some assistance from Mint – assistance which I have yet to receive.

The only response to my support requests that i have ever received (other than confirmation emails) are form emails with instructions that can easily be found in the support forums. I visit support forums first and attempt the suggested instructions before I send support requests. I even explain that I have done so in the emails. Everytime I’ve responded to one of the form emails, to say that I have already followed their instructions and have not yet resolved my issue, I’ve never heard back from anyone. When I private message Mint personell in the forums, they simply direct me to the same information on the support forum and instruct me to submit a support request. I currently cannot access 3 of my 7 accounts through Mint.

Sorry to be long winded, but I’m frustrated. Mint would be a GREAT tool if they were able to devote more resources to technical support. Here’s hoping Quicken online is better.

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avatar Sally Sundeen

Thanks for this great giveaway, I would love to win this, it would help me get organized with my business that I run through my home. Thanks so much for this! I’ve heard such good things about Quicken and am in desperate need of getting organized!

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avatar Clever Dude

I was actually looking to upgrade to this version so I’ll hold off till the winner is announced :)

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avatar Brian

I like to use Mint and Quicken Deluxe (2007) both on a daily basis. I use Mint mainly to keep of track of balances when I’m away from home and for budgeting. One thing Quicken Deluxe does, that Mint doesn’t, is keeping track of future transactions. Quicken online does this, but I can’t get it to work properly. I’d love a new version of Quicken, I can’t load data from TurboTax into my older version of Quicken.

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avatar Nandan

I haven’t used Quicken or Microsoft money yet – I use my own custom Excel worksheets to track my person expenses, bank balances, etc. and online systems such as BillMonk and Buxfer for expenses shared with roommate/friends.
One area in which this got a bit complicated was when I started tracking my stock investments – for employer granted stocks (vesting periodically), I wanted to track the lot from which stocks were sold (calculating cost basis for tax purposes).

I’d love to try out Quicken / hear other suggestions on tools that are good at that. (My brokerage account doesn’t do a good job with that)

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avatar B.B.

I’m curious, how does Quicken H&B compare to MSN Money Small Business? I’ve been using a copy of MSN Money smb 2008, but can’t say that I’m all that impressed with it. I use Quickbooks for my business stuff, so I have some experience with Intuit software. Just wondering if it would make any sense to give Quicken a try.

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avatar Elizabeth

In the “Net Worth” section of Quicken 2007 I hit “Customize” and this allows me to track the balance account by account. You can also sort by type of transaction, which comes in useful for some situations — for example, I recently used it to subtract the interest from my RRSP contributions from this year so I could see how much I deposited. Really handy for tax purposes.

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avatar Vailbeartrap[

Quicken is fantastic! I’ve been able to reconcile my accounts instantly. It catches mistakes before they become problems.

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avatar Aliotsy Andrianarivo

Right now I have a budget set up in Google Documents, and also track spending via Wesabe. I would love to try out Quicken’s fuller feature set.

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avatar JBP

I don’t actually use any of the finance programs, though I’m thinking more and more I should give them a try. I’ve been using an ever-evolving excel spreadsheet that I started back when I only had 4 expense categories and a bank account. Now that I’ve taken on online savings accounts and started investing, things get a little more time-intensive to track. All the same, it’s worth it to know where I stand at any given time!

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avatar Brian

2009 looks like a good app. I may have to upgrade from v2004.

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avatar Lolita

I haven’t used Quicken but am looking for a simple accounting software as my boyfriend and I are considering starting up a business in the next year. I’ve been considering Quick Books Pro but this gives me another option to explore. The user interface looks relatively simple but I’d like to do more research on the business options.

Personally, I have been using Mint simply to track my spending and really only look at it once per week when it sends me my weekly update on how I’ve done. Everything(almost) I do financially, is electronic so I do not spend much time tracking every little thing. I do a quick check once every two months to be sure that everything is still falling into place where it should and make adjustments where I need to.

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avatar Jon

I can’t believe so many people still use the spreadsheet method. Quicken is a powerful program. I have years of credit card transactions that I could never imagine keeping in a spreadsheet. How much did I pay for dinner at place X in 2002? Using Quicken I can find the answer. One of the most powerful tools I’ve found is the monthly reports, particular Income/Expense comparison. I customize it to “Exclude Transfers” as transferring money to my investing account is not really an expense. It’s great to compare your month to month variations in spending by category.

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avatar ib

sorry, i don’t have any tips. don’t feel qualified to give any since sadly my spending has been bad lately which makes me seriously consider obtaining this software or similar.

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avatar PuzzlePiece

I have been using excel for the past few years to track finances. It would be great to finally have a program that can pull data from the web and update my accounts. Plus those personal financial statements would be really handy for tracking improvement.

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avatar Jewel

I’ve just started a home business and would love to have Quicken for it!

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avatar Victoria Lentini

My husband has his own business and I had the pleasure of sorting through his receipts and invoices for his tax accountant. It was an all day job. How can he know if he is claiming all the deductions he is entitled to? His lack of organization is surprising since he is so organized in other areas. I think he doesn’t realize that there is a much easier way to keep track of his bills and cash accounts. He really needs this program!

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avatar Valerie

The most important thing, whether you are tracking personal or business expenses is to make sure you use a CATEGORY for each transactions – income or expense. Then you can prepare end of year or monthly reports by category.

When you install Quicken Home and Business, it will ask you if you have a business, if so, it will set up categories most commonly used by moist small businesses, and the appropriate tax line items will be attached to them. You can see all this in the Category List screen.

Take last year’s Tax return and see what was deducted for business expenses then and make sure you’ve got a category for it. Also, check with your accountant or on the IRS web site to get a list of all possible deductions.

Then as he enters ALL expense transactions, he can select the appropriate category for each one. If there is something not already on the Category List, you can add it, being sure to indicate that it is tax related and selecting the correct tax return line item for it.

Home and Business also has a mileage feature that allows you to enter business mileage as you go, and get totals for the month or year.

The old computer adage of “garbage in, garbage out” applies to Quicken…if you don’t make the entries, you won’t have the data!

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avatar Carolyn G

My tip is to keep all receipts and immediately enter them into QUicken or whatever program you use. I find that this saves me time and if I ever lose a receipt, I can go on the computer and see what’s missing.

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avatar Carla G

For years I have put off investing in a software program to keep track of our home and business expenses, but after once again spending 2 days organizing receipts, bank statements, etc prior to doing our taxes, the time has come. At first I was leaning toward Quickbooks, but after much research and talking to other users, I’ve decided that Quicken Home and Business is exactly what we need. I’m looking forward to putting this program to use so as to simplify my files!

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avatar Ivy

I have always used TurboTax and have been curious about Quicken. Currently I use YNAB Pro for my budgeting/cashflow and Mint for my overall account view. I appreciate the review since I am currently looking to install a PC version money management software that I can also sync to my PDA. I am also looking to start a business and have not done any budgeting for business purposes yet. Quicken seems to be able to do the trick for both personal and business.

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