(Update: I discovered my bank and credit card accounts have alerts I could select to notify me by email of expenditures and other information. Click Here for how I’m handling this.)
I’m down to the last page of my checkbook register. Went by the bank for a new register. The clerk at the drive-through window said they had just run out of registers so I’d have to come back for one later. Perhaps it’s time for me to move from a paper register to something done with software or a mobile application.
I’ve not completely moved to paperless banking such as receiving statements online. I do however pay bills online but still receive those bills in the mail. I may never make use of automatic bill payments because it’s so easy to pay them online and I don’t want to give anyone, especially someone collecting a bill, access to my bank account. I’m planning to move as close to paperless during the year prior to our departure. That way I’ll be using the most current technology.
My first stop when looking for financial software to replace my paper check register was Quicken. My part-time job is office work for a company I once owned. I’ve been using QuickBooks for years and really trust Intuit who are the makers of both Quicken and QuickBooks along with some well known personal tax software. I had also decided to not spend much on the software. I’d rather save the money for retirement! Quicken has products between basic bank registers with budgeting all the way up to allowing information downloads from accounts. These information downloads can include data such as 401k and other portfolios. The most advanced version, called Premier, is linked to Morningstar which I’ve used to evaluate mutual funds. Quicken Premier downloads your portfolio information and has a few tools which, using Morningstar data, helps with decisions such as balancing a portfolio. Pricing for the basic versions, which includes budgeting, to the more advanced are around $30 to $70. Some reviews of the current Quicken versions are not that good. The 2016 versions are expected to be out next month.
I next looked into online or mobile applications. One of the top applications appears to be Mint. I was excited to see Mint.com is an Intuit company. I also liked the way they handle data security which is another consideration one has to make. I’m comfortable with online banking and Mint appears to have the same security features. Check out the website for more information such as receiving account alerts. And there is a free version!
I’m passing on the advanced options for Quicken but am still considering their Started Addition. For now I’ll let my finance guy worry about balancing the portfolio. Our investments are presently targeted at long term growth. I’ve learned from experience tracking portfolio balances on a daily basis can lead to problems or worries. I’ve not started a Mint.com account as of yet.
One last note I should add. My current bank (Bank of America) has online reconciliation of the account so I really don’t need that in an application or software. I also signed up for USAA but do not use their banking services. I’m hoping one of these banks will be usable once we go fulltime in an RV.
What are you using for personal finance software?