Have you ever gone about your day and thought back to the previous two weeks and wondered where your paycheck had gone?
-You’ve been getting paid every two weeks, but somehow when those two weeks are winding down you seem to be low on funds. How can that be?
It’s a question many young individuals ask themselves. They may be back at home and done with school. Now that they’re working full time they can focus on making money and setting up their futures, but what many young adults find themselves doing is spending that money. You are never going to really save up until you put it in your head that you have to save. Can you blame the emerging college graduates? They have just spent the past four years living their lives free of worry and consequence; go to a party on a Wednesday night, skip classes that are too early in the morning, hook up with that stranger at a party. Their lives have been a constant supply of desires that have all been fulfilled at whim. Now that they are at home, having fun takes money and that’s okay, because they have full time jobs.
So how can you avoid the pitfalls of this new found freedom? By protecting yourself and your bank account with Quicken. I personally used Quicken a few years ago and then stopped, but have just started up again and regret ever stopping. Quicken allows me to quickly check my balances on all of my credit cards and the funds available in my bank account. I only have to hit the update button and type in a single master password and within seconds all of my fiscal records from five different financial institutions are instantly downloaded. I can then view each transaction one by one, or if I want a more big picture I can click on Reports or Graphs and see everything in front of me. If I want to look at exactly where I’m spending my money I can create a pie graph and see that I’m spending 9.98% of all my outgoing money at Target. I could also look at the more general categories and see that 69% of all me expenses last month went towards Auto Repair.
You can also look at each credit card in particular or view them all together. Quicken gives you the option of mapping your total cash holding across a calendar for the entire month or you can choose to see your net worth displayed on a daily basis. Whatever you want to do Quicken lets you do it and it makes it look pretty. Set up will only take you about 20-30 minutes, where you enter your account numbers and log in information to remotely access all of your information. You can also choose to go through your statements to make sure that Quicken has assigned each payee a proper category and make alterations if you see fit, but for the most part Quicken is right on the money. For example, Wawa (New Jersey’s equivalent to a 7-11 or QuickCheck) will show up as “Groceries,” I chose to change it to “Dining” since I only get food that I’m about to eat instead of going grocery shopping or anything like that. All you have to do is update one transaction and Quicken will remember your choice for all future occurrences.
The Quicken software will also let you track your stocks through an investor the same as it would any of your bank accounts, simply enter in your standard log in information and you can load all the information at once. Now when you sit and wonder “Where is all my money going?” You can open up Quicken and find out that you’re spending a whopping 36% on dining out … all those trips to McDonalds and Applebees really do add up quickly, and next month you can be more cautious with your spending. The software is incredibly user friendly and intuitive perfect for the lazy college graduate or a novice computer user.
-Written by Partial Outcome