Brigitte Fires (brigittefires) wrote in personalfinance,
Brigitte Fires

Personal Finance Software--Quicken, specifically

I've been using Quicken 2005 for the last 6 months to track my finances. It's been great. The program, however, has quite a few, shall we say, "quirks" that are mildly annoying to downright frustrating.

I've been told that of the Quicken programs, 2005 is the least intuitive and least logical version of all of them. Great! So if I upgrade it will solve most of my problems, right? (I'm under no dilusion that all my problems will be solved because I am not an accountant and I'm still learning how all this personal finance stuff works so some of my "issues" could be me, but the few people I've talked to about them have said that's a program issue, not me being dumb. Plus the upgraded versions may not actually change all those problems.)

Specifically, my grandmother who used to do payroll and accounting for a school district for 30+ years (and retired a very long time ago, like 10+ years?--so not a lot of computer work there), now wants to start tracking her finances on her computer. Except she's not very computer-savvy, so it also needs to be a program I am familiar with and can help her with, and that is intuitive and logical to both an amateur/layperson (me) and someone who knows the ins and outs of business and personal accounting (her).

Well now we get to what I want to ask. Does anyone have experience with Quicken 2007 for Mac? Bonus if you have experience with Quicken 2005, and can tell me any specific differences. Any specific quirks you've noticed in the 2007 that may make the program difficult to use? Any tips you'd like to suggest about upgrading?

I was planning on going into the Apple store because then at least I can sort of look over the interface since I know they have Quicken 2007 on some of their tester computers. But some of the quirks I've found I'm only just now noticing, or just not understanding what I want to do and how the interface is keeping me from doing it. After 6 months. So I'm afraid that testing it for a few minutes without my own data to understand will mean I might miss something that could be a deal-breaker of the program that might make me want to switch to something else.

Caveat: I've used or at least checked out most of the programs that have been suggested here that were free or really cheap, and I haven't been too impressed with them. Plus my grandma has some more complicated finances to track with her 401k and such that many of them don't even address. She's paying for it, so I get a free upgrade personally, and I'd rather her pay $34 for this once than try a few different program and get annoyed and frustrated and possibly lose money by not tracking her finances better. If you have any useful suggestions for personal finance programs, great, but please no bashing me for using Quicken since it's OMG so (not very) expensive. As it is, the 2005 version I got for free.
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