My Net Worth for June ended up in the red. I managed to spend less than I earned and increase my cash position but due to a drop in the market, I had an overall decrease for the month. I don't expect the market to experience any huge gains anytime soon so I need to take steps to save as much cash as possible to try and makeup for any losses in my investments.

I usually manage my monthly budget and cash flow using a self-created Excel spreadsheet. This method works great but I am a reports and graphs kind of guy. The biggest drawback of using my spreadsheets is that I'm not been able to create detailed reports in just a few clicks as I would with a financial software program. I heard about Quicken Online and decided it to give it a try.

What do I like about the program so far?
  • Brand Name. No offense to the other online financial programs out there but Quicken has certainly been around awhile. This is certainly important for a program that will be downloading transactions from your bank account. Quickens maintains your financial data in-house and does not subcontract aggregation to a third party.
  • Automatic Downloads. Once you input all of your banking information, all of your transactions are downloaded automatically. Quicken Online is connected with over 5,000 banks and credit unions so there's a good chance your bank is connected.
  • Ease of Use. If you are new to financial software programs, the program is pretty self explanatory. If you want to see where your income came from for the month, just click on the Income box. You are also able to view your checking, savings and credit card accounts all on one screen.
  • Security. Quicken Online uses 128-bit encryption to protect your privacy. This is the same technology used by most major financial institutions in the world.
  • Bill Alerts and Reminders. The service offers bill reminders via text message or via email to help you remember your bill due dates.
What don't I like about the program so far?
  • Fees. Quicken Online is free for 60 days and then $2.99 thereafter. I haven't used the service long enough to determine if I am willing to pay the fee but even so, $36 a year is not outrageous. These days, most people spend alot more than that on just a tank of gas. You are required to enter your credit card information during the free trial sign-up but you are not billed until after the trial period ends. Once you sign up, your trial end date is displayed. Make sure you make a note of this date if you plan to cancel after the trial period ends.
Here are a couple of screenshots from the program (click picture to see them bigger):

Here is the main screen once you log in:















Bill Reminder Screen:












If you are looking to get better control over your cash flow and your finances overall, consider signing up for Quicken Online. If anything, take advantage of the free trial to see where your money goes.

Reminder: If you haven't done so already, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney.

4 comments

  1. lowman25 // July 8, 2008 at 1:44 AM  

    "I need to take steps to save as much cash as possible to try and makeup for any losses in my investments."

    In my opinion, this is the exact opposite of what you should do. Ever heard the saying 'buy low, sell high'? Seems pretty simple, but most people do the opposite. They wait until after the market has boomed to buy, and wait until after a downturn to sell. Why not index or buy some blue chips if you have time? It's an easy way to buy 'stock on sale'. I'm not sure where you stash your cash, but if it's earning around 2.75% you are barely keeping up with inflation.

    good luck and thanks for the blog.

    lowman

  2. Philip // July 8, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

    I have used Quicken Desktop for over a year now and enjoy its capabilities. I was excited to try out the quicken online thinking it would be similar in capabilities. However, after setting up my free trial I quickly found that it was seriously lacking in the power available in the desktop version. All quicken online really did was track spending by downloading stuff, it was very difficult in my opinion to cover other spending that was upcoming.

    I quit using it after about 2 weeks into my trial.

    Just my opinion if it works for you then great. I also do not use Mint or any other online financial organizers, they have not done what I want either.

  3. MITBeta // July 11, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

    @Iowman25: In many cases "saving" and "investing" are synonymous. When I save I do so by putting my money into the market. So I'm accomplishing all the goals: saving more, buying low, etc.

  4. rei // July 11, 2008 at 2:23 PM  

    One Intuit's website, they're actually offering a 60-day free trial.