MS Money for budget/tracking
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  1. #1
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    Default MS Money for budget/tracking

    Does anyone else use MS Money for budgeting and tracking. I tried it last year and frankly gave up as I got busy. I was working 60 hours/week then though and am now PT, giving me more time to do it and honestly more incentive also since my income is 1/3 of what it used to be.

    Any tips on staying motivated on tracking or tips on the software for users?

    Anyone use other computer software for tracking? What benefits have you found to computerized versus paper tracking (or no tracking)?

    I like the feature in MS Money where I can set up budgets by category and it gives a warning if you are getting close to your limit that month. The charts at the end also show where we overspent (oops so need to watch more carefully there) and where we continually underspend budget and can lower limits there.

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Tanya I used to use MS Money but when we took on a business that I had to do payroll for I chose QuickBooks and have never looked back. MS Money was fine when it was just out household bookkeeping though. I have a few complaints about Q.B.'s like how they are forcing me to upgrade to a newer version instead of continuing to get the quarterly updates, etc... .

    I love keeping my books on the computer b/c it helps me actually see, without so much more work on my part, where the money is going, how we're doing in certain areas, etc. . I think it an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to track those pennies. Also you don't have to enter everything twice, like with paper bookkeeping.

    My system is this: Once every 3-4 days or after a big spending spree (for whatever reasons) I sit down and bring my checkbook up to date. I reconcile at the first of the month when I get my bank statements and I update my deposits when I'm doing my checkbook. It makes my life so much easier to know exactly where I am on things as opposed to guestimating. I've woken up in the middle of the night before thinking "OMG I'm overdrawn!" before I started being so diligent. I say go for it, don't put it off one more day. It will make your life feel more in control and help you to see how much closer you are to your goals.

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    I also use MS Money to keep track of my finances. I used to use Quicken, but switched to MS Money for various reasons - I liked Quicken a little bit better, but I'm going to stay with Money.

    I think it becomes very easy with the reports to see exactly how much you spend on little things, and I also use mine to track my IRA and the one stock we own. I know DH uses it to track his debts, and I tried putting my car loan in there at one point, but that was just too confusing for me.

    My tip for using it is to open it every day - right before you check your email. Then I can put in any receipts or deposits, and if I have nothing to enter I go and update my portfolio to get the current value (at least I feel like I have the pulse on my investments).

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    We use Microsoft Money and our system is to update it as soon as any statements come in. We tracked everything except cash spending. So, when the bank statement came in, we reconciled our checkbook with it and then Money with it. When the American Express bill came in, we updated Microsoft Money with it. It was seriously the beginning of our really controlling our money. It was so great to be able to see all the different reports and see where our money was actually going.

    Good luck to you!
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