September 15, 2018

Quicken Review: Is It Good?

Read more about Quicken vs YNAB
This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

When it comes to personal budgeting software, Quicken tends to be a household name. But just because it's the best known, does that make it the best to use? Keep reading to find out.

© CreditDonkey

Quicken has been around since the 1980s and has continually improved to help users manage their finances. Quicken likes to claim they are the "complete financial solution." They offer more than just budgeting software. They help you track your spending, create plans to reduce debt, and even help you track your investments and business income.

Quicken offers robust visuals that detail your whole financial picture and then break it down by spending, bills, income, investments, and debt reduction. You can use its features at their basics or really dig into the platform and create budgets, savings goals, and tax planning.

The 2018 version has seen quite a few changes, some of which users love and others which leave a little to be desired. We help you see both sides of the equation below so you can make a decision for yourself.

How Does It Work?

First, let's look at how Quicken works.

What used to be a software-based program is now subscription-based. You buy the product, download it on your computer, and pay an annual subscription fee to keep using it. Quicken still offers several versions of its software, helping anyone from the most basic user to the more involved investor and business owner track their finances.

The available programs include:

  • Starter: A barebones budgeting tool that tracks spending, imports bank account transactions, and exports data to Excel

  • Deluxe: A step up from the Starter program, you can set up savings goals, customize your budget, or start a plan to reduce debt

  • Premier: Everything that the Deluxe program includes plus online bill pay, investment tracking, market comparisons, and use of Morningstar's Portfolio X-Ray Tool for investment evaluation

  • Home & Business: Everything that the Premier program offers plus manage your business expenses, create custom invoices, and manage rental properties

Each program allows you to import your bank and credit card transactions, create a budget, categorize your expenses, and export your data to Excel. Quicken claims the "Deluxe" program is their most popular program available and is the one that has the most frequent promotions.

What are the technical requirements to run Quicken?
In order to run Quicken for Windows, you'll need Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10, 1 GB memory and 450 MB available disk space. You'll also need a solid internet connection for seamless updates and synchronization of your bank accounts.

What Are the Fees?

Because Quicken is now a subscription-based service, expect to pay between $34.99 and $99.99 per year for the service. This is different from its previous versions, which allowed access for three years. If you don't renew your service, you won't be able to use the online services any longer.

Reasons We Like Quicken

© CreditDonkey

  • You have access to more than 11,000 online billers. You can then pay your bills for free through Quicken Bill Pay if you have the Premier or higher subscription. If you opt for the Starter or Deluxe option, you may want to check with your bank to see if they offer free online bill pay.

  • You have access to up to 5 GB of online backup via Dropbox. Rather than relying on your own computer's backup alone, you can back up your financial data in Dropbox for extra security.

  • You'll always have the latest version. Quicken is known for its bugs and necessary fixes. With the subscription product, you'll automatically receive updates and new features without having to buy a new product or wait until your current product expires.

  • The mobile app is a good companion to the desktop product. The mobile app is free to download and use if you already subscribe to Quicken. You can track your spending, monitor your investments, and update your accounts while on the go. You can even update the app while offline and then synchronize it when you are back online. You can also snap and store pictures of paper receipts.

  • You don't lose access to your financial data even after your subscription ends. Even if you don't renew your subscription, you can still view your data. You can even manually edit or export it. You won't have access to automatic downloads, mobile synchronizing, or any other subscription-based services, though.

  • You can get a "full financial picture". Not only will you see your financial status in "real-time," but you can get forecasts based on your spending patterns and upcoming bills. Quicken also creates a household budget based on your spending patterns, which you can customize to your needs.

  • You can track your loans and investments alongside your budget with the Deluxe plan or higher. The Deluxe plan tracks your loans and investments alongside your budget. The Premier plan provides tools to help you make investment decisions, compare your returns against the market, and secure financial advice.

  • You can import all checking and credit card transactions with the Starter package or above. If you just want to see where your money goes, the Starter subscription helps you track your spending, categorize your expenses, and create a budget for more realistic spending habits.

  • You can create custom invoices with the Home and Business subscription. Stick with your company's logo and colors for proper branding while keeping track of your accounts receivables.

  • You don't have to link your bank account. If security is an issue for you, manual entry of your bank transactions is allowed. You can also work around this by downloading your data to Excel and then uploading it to Quicken.

Is Quicken safe?
Quicken uses 256-bit encryption and offers a guarantee that any information you download from your financial institution is used only for your needs. The information is kept confidential. Quicken also uses firewalls, password protection, and integrity checks to ensure the privacy of your financial information.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • It doesn't operate in the cloud. You have to download the program to your computer. While you can access Quicken on your mobile app, the features are limited compared to what you can do in the complete program. You must also wait until you are back at the original computer to sync your changes.

  • There is no trial version. You have to pay for the subscription before you can use it. They do offer a 30-day money back guarantee, which offers a full refund if you are unhappy for any reason. You will not receive the shipping and handling charges back, though.

  • Quicken can be overwhelming. Just choosing a program can be overwhelming enough, but then figuring out how the programs work can be overwhelming. Just setting up your accounts can take a while, especially if you purchase one of the higher tier programs to get a full picture of your financial health.

How Tt Compares

QuickBooks: Quicken is a personal finance-focused program whereas QuickBooks is focused on businesses. QuickBooks offers multi-user access and can grow with your business. Quicken caters to simple small businesses or real estate investors, as it offers features for rental property businesses that QuickBooks doesn't offer. As far as personal finances go, Quicken offers more, but business owners have a tougher decision to make.

Mint: Quicken and Mint offer similar services with the exception that Mint operates online and Quicken is a desktop program. Mint is primarily for personal finance transactions whereas Quicken may be used for simple businesses. Mint doesn't have a fee, whereas Quicken charges an annual subscription fee.

Personal Capital: Personal Capital is another free personal financial program. Personal Capital offers a whole financial picture, including your investments, and synchronizes your bank accounts much like Quicken. With the lack of fees and the ability to look at everything including your investments, Personal Capital proves to be tough competition for those who don't need the business aspect of Quicken.

Bottom Line

If you are very detail-oriented, are an investor, or own a simple business, Quicken may be a good solution for you. With access to your personal, business, and investment data, it gives you a complete financial snapshot at any given time.

You will need time to acclimate yourself with the program to grasp all of its available features. You may also need some patience as you figure out the bill pay and bank synchronization issues. Is paying for these services necessary when there are free services out there, even through your current bank? It really depends on how organized you are and how much help you need budgeting.

As always, compare all of your options to make sure you buy the program that is most affordable and necessary for your financial situation.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

More from CreditDonkey:


Mint Review


Personal Capital Review


How to Invest $100

More Articles in Reviews


Leave a comment about Quicken Review: Is It Good?

Name
Email (won't be published)


September
19
2018

Moneydance

The days of manually balancing a checkbook are slowly fading away. Today, it's all about automation, which can be good news for those who look at a check register as if it's in a foreign language.
More Articles in Investing Reviews











About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a stock broker comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.