The Reason Behind My Purchase
My husband has been a painter for many years - and a great one at that (plug...), therefore it was imperative for us to have an invoicing/accounting software that would represent him professionally.
Gone are the days of paper estimates and invoices that are handwritten! I had a version on Intuit Quickbooks Pro installed on my computer, and, although the basics were still useable, the tax info was very much outdated. Inevitably I had to upgrade this software. I wasn't looking forward to the challenge as I remembered how expensive these programs usually are, so I was quite pleased when I found Quicken Deluxe at the affordable price of $32.99.
Problem - Not For Business!
I was too hasty in purchasing this product as I found out to my dismay that it does not offer invoices, statements, estimates or payroll. It is not for business use!! Boy did feel stupid.... I used it anyway!
Rather than return the product, I kept my original invoicing software (I didn't really use if for taxes anyway) and decided to use this software as it was meant to be used tracking household expenses and managing our bills.
After inputting some information about your monthly income, expenses etc., this software offers a money management tool that will automatically inform and show you how your money is working for you. It will track incoming funds and balance it with outgoing expenses, informing you of how much money you need each month and how much you will have left to save. It's pretty much what all of us do weekly (or daily) with a pen and paper, but this is easier and more accurate.
I don't think my software is working because it constantly shows a negative before my monetary balance, lol....
A bill payment program helps you to never miss another bill payment. Enter your mortgage/rent payments, car payments etc., and their due dates and this software will be happy to remind you on the date you set. It also stores all past payments so that you can look back and verify, should you have any unusual charges or unexpected fees.
My favorite feature allows me to store ALL my banking and financial information from the web. Instead of looking for 4 or 5 websites to manage my accounts, I can go straight to my Quicken software (providing I am online, of course), and see real-time statements of my banking, credit cards etc., It even stores Pay-Pal info, which could be helpful to people like me who use Paypal regularly! One password, one time, all access, all accounts... (I like that, and I made it up on the spot, lol).
There are several other features included in this package, most of which I don't need nor use, but for your info, I will mention them briefly.
Portfolio management helps you watch over your investments with reposrts and alerts to keep you up to date as to how your money is working for you.
Quicken Picks is a service where, based on your personal criteria, coupons are organized for you to print when needed. Just enter your shopping preferences and habits and it'll do the rest.
Savings Plan is an automated service that "intuitively" (per Quicken themselves) forecasts your savings and spending habits, thus showing you if you should be able to meet your pre-recorded financial goals.
It's not what I wanted - it has more than I need, but for the price, it's a great tool to have. It hasn't helped me save and it hasn't allowed me more spending money, but it tells me in a timely manner what I owe, and, should I be late in paying, I have no one to blame but myself - oh, and the ridiculously low paying teaching job I love so much!!!!