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Quicken Online Adds New Cash Tracking Feature

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This week, Quicken Online (reviewed here), a free service, has added a few new features to help you more accurately and efficiently track your spending and manage your finances.

As credit card offer increasingly unfavorable terms and abandon rewards, and as fewer people qualify for credit cards, more are turning to spending using cold hard cash. Until now, Quicken Online has only tracked spending for accounts where transaction information can be directly downloaded from a bank, limited to credit cards, debit cards, and checks. Although users could enter future transactions for these accounts, spending analysis was never complete; even the most dedicated credit card users still use cash once in a while.

To fill in this hole, Quicken Online has added the facility for users to manually enter and categorize cash transactions. Unlike automatic downloads, this relies on the user’s honesty and accuracy. Here’s the cash entry form you will see as you enter a new transaction. Click on the thumbnail to see the full-size screen.

Quicken Cash Account Tracking

Remembering your cash transactions where you don’t take a receipt can be difficult, so that accuracy may be in question. Quicken Online offers a companion interface for mobile phones at http://m.quicken.com — and soon, a unique application for the iPhone — to allow you to record your transactions while away from your computer. This integration is key. While it may be somewhat inconvenient to stop whenever you use cash and access a mobile application, it will help improve accuracy of your reports.

You want your spending analysis to be as accurate as possible because this is where Quicken Online really shines. The software now forecasts your future spending and indicates your level of overdraft risk based on your recent transactions and account balances.

Another small but worthwhile improvement is the account bar. Quicken Online has improved the way it lists accounts to be grouped by type. For example, credit cards are grouped together, as are savings accounts and loans.

These new features start to roll out to all Quicken Online customers today. Quicken Online is free, so there’s no financial risk to try it out.

Updated July 16, 2009 and originally published February 18, 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 .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Scott

This is a feature that is missing from Mint. I enjoy using it, but without this feature I have to get creative with cash transactions. It makes it difficult when you withdrawal more than $20 from an ATM as you have to override transactions.

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avatar Wojciech

This is certainly a neat feature, and I’m glad that Quicken is putting effort into making the online product more comprehensive and useful, which is why I think to this point, I have continued using the desktop version.

However, I have stayed away from tracking cash transactions over the last few years, as I have tried to simplify my financial systems. I simply set a limit for total cash for the month, and stick to that limit, regardless of what I spend on. In the end, does it really matter? The primary goal is to finish the month with more money than I started with. I admit, though, this gives me less insight on spending trends. Once in a while, I will use the “notebook” method and write everything down so that I have an idea of how spending is changing long-term.

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avatar Chelsea

Hi Wojciech & Scott,

Thanks for the comments! Scott, your method for tracking cash sounds fully implemented. We’re hoping this will help consumers who have a harder time keeping track of cash do so. Personally I will take out cash for discretionary spending, but not keep track of where it went, for example (100% entertainment? Uh oh.).

Here is the Quicken blog post too, a little late:
http://www.quickencommunity.com/quickenOnlineBlog/Cash-Tracking-and-Other-Updates-to-Quicken-Online-Now-Live

Chelsea, Quicken Online

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