Is there an online alternative to Quicken?
July 17, 2006 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I've been tracking my expenses in Quicken in conjunction with using Bank of America's Internet site for bill payment. Primarily, I'd like to get better at managing my cash flow and keeping track of both how I spend my money and what big expenses are coming up. Quicken is working ok for me, but I've got two big problems with it - 1) in order to keep it someplace convenient for me to use it every day I've been storing it on my work computer, which I'm uncomfortable doing and also I'd like my husband to have access to the information, but there doesn't seem to be a good way for us to share the info. What I'd like is on an online solution that works similar to the way BofA works (shows what's cleared the bank, allow online bill payment) but also lets me enters transactions like checks I've written so I (and my husband) know they will clear the bank soon and that we really don't _have_ that money and will let me keep a calendar of upcoming expenses so I can know what my cash flow situation is. I've looked around and all I've found so far was which seemed unnecessarily complicated and not calendar based which is really what I'm looking for. I'd like to be able to look at the whole month in advance and see exactly when my bills are due. And again, it needs to be something online so I can access it from any computer and so that my husband and I can both use it. Is there anything like that out there?
posted by katyjack to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Quicken allows you to password-protect your data files. It isn't foolproof, but it's better than nothing if your financial data is stored on your work computer.

There isn't an online alternative that I know of, but you may be able to kludge a solution by keeping your Quicken data files online, and syncing them to the computers where you use Quicken.

A google search for "secure online file storage" nets several online file sharing/storage solutions.
posted by gwenzel at 8:37 AM on July 17, 2006

(PS: Welcome to MeFi, and please learn the wonders of the [more inside] field. :-)
posted by baylink at 8:53 AM on July 17, 2006

Props to in terms of secure remote/online file storage as a place to store your quicken files. Mac/Windows/*nix compatible, secure access.

If you're still skittish about the install of Quicken locally on your work computer, then QEMU-Puppy might be an alternative way of running Quicken as well.
posted by hrbrmstr at 9:37 AM on July 17, 2006

Right now, my boyfriend and I are using a shared calendar in Google Calendar to show when our bills are due and how much we are expecting to be paid.

Not the best system, but I am eagerly awaiting one of you more clever mefites to produce a magical link.
posted by Lizc at 11:32 AM on July 17, 2006

You might want to check out billQ. Perhaps it does some of what you're looking for?
posted by jdroth at 11:54 AM on July 17, 2006

"billQ": interesting choice of name. Heh.

But seriously, the easiest thing I can think of is to simply store your Quicken data file on a USB thumb drive. Copy it regularly to your home machine for backups, but make the thumb drive the only master file that you each update (to prevent data entry conflicts.)
posted by Tubes at 1:46 PM on July 17, 2006

I have thought for some time that banks should allow you to place holds on your own account, which would expire as soon a check was presented for exactly the same amount.

I can't directly answer your question, as I don't think the service exists, but I can give you some other advice.

1. Stop writing checks. Use online bill pay, credit cards, cash, or even go down to your local branch and get Cashier's Checks or Money Orders. Waiting for checks to clear is the worst thing about banking, IMO.

2. Open a second checking account. Put all income into the first account. Make payments from this account, including a payment (transfer) from the first account to the new account in the amount of the living expenses you have budgeted for that pay period. This way, buying groceries won't cause a major payment to bounce.

3. Group your bill due dates. I pay bills on the 1st and the 15th of every month. If you can't actually change the due date of a bill (you usually can), just start paying it early. Just because your credit card bill is due on the 27th doesn't mean you can't pay it on the 15th.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:13 PM on July 17, 2006

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