Before the advent of online platforms like Mint.com (now owned by the makers of Quicken), personal finance management software was limited to a handful of options: Excel, Money, or Quicken. Even after more choices emerged, the capabilities of these new program were mediocre compared to those offered by Quicken.
Since I’d established a history with Quicken and was dubious of entrusting ALL of my financial information to any one online service, I stuck with what I knew.
Because Quicken did all of the grunt work, more time could be dedicated to: scrutinizing inflows and outflows, creating budgeting plans or savings goals, reviewing investment performance, and so on.
But… it seems once flaws are noticed, more begin to emerge.
Starting with a few accounts, those little red exclamation points began popping up in the update summary. Before I knew it, more time was spent finding workarounds and “duct-tape” solutions to these issues than on reviewing the information itself!
Accounts which used to be Direct Connect switched to Web Connect. What’s the difference? Instead of clicking the magic “One-Step Update” button, here are the new steps to get the same information:
- Log in to institution’s website
- Go to transaction history, statements, or similar page
- Specify download range (if necessary)
- Find the download transactions icon
- Download transactions to Quicken
- Go back into Quicken under File -> Import
- Find downloaded file & import
- Review & Accept Transactions
Another example is the hassle of dealing with unsupported institutions. Both my 401k and my wife’s TSP require manual input into Quicken. About 30 minutes every other week is spent simply updating these accounts. And it becomes more tedious every quarter with dividends, capital gains, and expenses.
Due to shear frustration, my Paypal account has sat stagnant for several months now. It updated nicely for about 1 year, and then decided to make my life difficult. Reading how it needs to be set up as a Cash Account, this switchover was (unsuccessfully) attempted once already. Because of previous transactions and transfers between accounts, it affected more than just Paypal.
Ironically enough, each time I try to hold our “Family Finance Forum” with my wife, she always wiggles out of it claiming her accounts aren’t right and we can’t talk about it if it’s not true! Rightfully so, I want us to work together on the future of our finances, not whether this transaction from 4 days ago is correct!
I will continue to remain with Quicken and can only hope that these “minor” issues don’t swell into larger ones in the future.
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