I twitch when I talk about money. It's odd.
So I gave up on MSMoney after much tearing hair and dramatic gestures.
I did like it a lot, and when it worked, it was amazing, but the lack of the most rudimentary ability to edit was driving me nuts, and having to recorrect the balances every day to compensate for the time delay between when something posted to my bank and when something posted to my cards was kind of--crazy inducing.
It also wasn't terribly intuitive. Honestly, my finances are relatively simple; I do no dramatic trading nor rapid changes in accounts. It should not be that hard to get it right. But it was nice (and deeply depressing) to look at the total balances in a glance and actually see where my money was going. It was also nice to have the advice thing; I'll be honest. I like having an explanation and a pie chart on what I'm seeing. Looking at numbers helps, but the program showing proportion was a lot better at striking home on the amounts I'm spending.
So Quicken! Except I'm running into the same problem.
1.) I have two retirement accounts; one is state funded and state matched and is proportional to my income and is mandatory. The other is a 457K I just started playing with, and whose basic value to me is in entertainment, because God knows I'm losing money on it. How can I explain to Quicken how to configure both? They're autodeduct, so it's not like I do anything with them, but I cannot convince it to just go with it and download it correctly. There's also this: the 457K money is removed from my check before taxes, but deposits to the 457K on the third or fourth; for some reason, neither program can comprehend a delay between payment and posting.
2.) Related to one; I keep running into a problem with transactions; when I pay from my bank account and when it posts to my credit card can be two dffernet days. Neither program seems to understand how to reconcile this. This could be my fault in how I originally entered them, but seriously, this is driving me crazy.
3.) On both programs, it's hard to edit if I made a mistake early on when entering information or I misinterpreted what I was asking for. This was *bad* in MSMoney, where it took forever to make it stop counting my check twice and when I downloaded in all my 457K information and then made a mistake while setting up categories. I ended up having to give up and delete all information, and even that didnt' stop the problems.
Hmm. The other part is that my tax refund, probably my last big one I'm ever going to get, is coming in, and I want to use it wisely. I also want a 42inch plasma TV. Now imagine which one is going to win if left to my own devices.
If anyone out there would be willing to walk me through the intial setup of Quicken, I'd be deeply grateful. I'm actively worried about doing March, because pretty much everything is going to change with the new job and the change in income, and at least half the reason I want a program is that I can likely clear all my debt but student loans (God. *twitch*) fairly quickly if I can see everything at once. I admit it; I am not good at this sort of thing, and I'm probably going to need an accountant myself in a few years to help me handle this correctly.
Granted, normal adults should be able to handle their finances, but I really can't afford to keep trying to raise my learning curve and fail miserably. I'm not near a desperate debt situation, but I can see very clearly that the way I go about this is going to put me in it very quickly, and I really do want to try actual investment in the next few years. And just my background reading tells me that this isn't something I can learn on the side and do well at.
Short version: anyone who uses Quicken, would you be willing to walk me through initial set up so I don't make stupid mistakes?
...I have never felt more boring in my life. I don't sound like my parents. I sound like my grandparents. But considering how well they have taken care of themselves, I can't consider this a bad thing. Merely a depressing one.
Right. Carry on. *sad*
But I'm curious; for anyone who does 401K or 457--do you get the same glee watching them slowly depreciate no matter how much you will them not to? Granted, there's not much there, but it's weirdly addictive.