If one of your resolutions for this year is to be more in control of your finances or build a better nest egg for you and your family you are not alone. Millions of Americans are deeply in debt, mostly owing to credit cards, mortgages and loans. In fact, as of the end of last year the average U.S. household was more than $15,000 in debt in just credit cards and loans alone. If these stats looks familiar to you, there is no reason that this could not be the year that you can turn it all around for yourself and get the debt burden off of your shoulders. Chances are that you are familiar with the Quicken name and may even be currently using their software to manage your finances. The newest Deluxe 2014 software allows you to organize all your accounts in one place, while helping you to set financial goals for both paying off debt as well as help you to establish some savings so you can spend less time worrying about your finances.
Main features and specifications:
- Requires Windows XP SP3+, Vista SP1 or Windows 7/8
- Organize all you accounts in one place
- Check current balances and transactions from multiple accounts including checking, savings, credit cards, loans, investments and retirement accounts
- Create a personal budget
- Create debt reduction and savings goals
- Works with free 2014 mobile app
- Snap and store receipts with your phone
- Free support when you buy, install or upgrade your Quicken software
- Free access to Quicken Live Community for help, advice and answers from other users
- Quicken financial software is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee
What We Liked:
- Step-By-Step Setup: We downloaded Deluxe 2014 straight from Intuit's website and it only took a couple of minutes to load onto our Windows 8 system. Setup was pretty straightforward and instructions were given in step-by-step format so there was no confusion. Within minutes, we were able to download and sync a number of bank and credit card accounts with this software. Once you setup your accounts, a number of tabs appear at the top of the home screen including accounts, spending, bills, planning, property and debt as well as the traditional tabs along the top so you can further customize the layout and specifications for the setup of your pages.
- Software Layout: The layout of this version of Quicken is not that much different than the 2011 version that we have also used, but if you are new to Quicken it will probably take you a couple of logins before you feel like you know where everything is and before you become proficient at entering your financials. Once your financials are downloaded, you can see your spending in the traditional list format or take a look at everything in pie chart form so you can see where your money goes.
- Quicken App: The free Quicken 2014 app is available for free and works with the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, as well as Android phones and tablets. The app is pretty straightforward and simple to use, although we did notice after downloading it that not all of the features on the desktop version are available on the app itself. The app is great for checking balances in accounts as well as seeing a breakdown of transactions. You can also check out any of the budgets you have setup on your desktop as well as money earned and spent with a category breakdown so you can see where you are spending. You can also set it up to alert you if you are overdue or overdrawn on an account. After a while, we actually preferred using the app since we could login and check everything in one spot no matter where we were. For those who are great at misplacing receipts or cannot quite remember the total you spent last night at dinner, the app allows you to take pictures of receipts or checks and include them with transactions for quick reference. The only time we had a problem with the app was when it randomly froze and we ended up having to delete and reinstall it in order for it to work.
- Create Financial Goals: This software is great for creating and maintaining financial goals and allows you to setup a plan to help build your savings or get out of debt. If you are overwhelmed and not quite sure how to go about setting a plan up, click on the Using Quicken link which is found under the Home tab for a list of how-to guides and getting the best use out of the software. If you are tired of falling behind on bill payments, you can also set up reminders in Deluxe so you won't have to worry about late fees ever again. This software is also able to estimate your bills so you can get a better idea of where you stand each month.
- Customer Support: Fortunately, we never ran into any problems with the software or getting everything loaded into it, but if you do Quicken offers live online chat or you can call in to their representatives to get assistance. You can also check out the Quicken Live community to see if you can find the answer you are looking for from other Quicken users.
- Secure Portal: Nervous about sharing your personal financial data here? No worries because Quicken is big on securing and maintaining the security of your data. You can read more about their commitment to keeping your information safe on their website under support.
- Deluxe Pricing: We were able to find the software download and the disc version both available for around $40 all the way up to $75 so do some searching to find the best price before buying.
What We Didn't Like:
- Takes Some Practice: Like we said above the step-by-step setup was very helpful when we downloaded Deluxe but the layout of this software is not the easiest to use and takes some getting used to. At first, the whole total net worth was confusing as well since it rolled all of our account balances from different banks together in one. However, after we customized some settings we were able to get the layout to our liking and got a little better inputting and downloading info each time we logged in.
- Customer Service Woes: Fortunately for us, we did not encounter any of the following obstacles but we have only been using the software for about a month, so we will see how things continue to go as we keep using it. We found many customer grievances about the new Deluxe version and people either love it or hate it. If you are upgrading to the 2014 version, some have complained that their previously stored information from earlier versions of the software has been completely wiped out or that this version only imports a portion of account data or fails to remember your preferences so you will have to manually input them again. We have also read about many customers who have tried to install the software only to have it repeatedly crash. We are also aware of sound problems with the software and that if you have an older version (2011 or older), you are forced to upgrade to the new version in order to continue using the software as the older versions are no longer supported. Many users have even stated that Deluxe 2014 is almost identical to the 2011 version and not worth the money for the upgraded version.
After several weeks of use, we have found Quicken Deluxe 2014 to be pretty helpful when it comes to tracking our spending habits and keeping on top of debt. Although we are not fond of the layout and it does take some time to get used to the software, it did take us a couple of weeks to feel confident using it. However, once we got the hang of it we truly appreciated being able to pull up all of our accounts in one spot and see a breakdown of our spending, bills and savings. If you are looking to consolidate all your financials into one space where you can track everything that is coming and going out, become more savvy with your spending and break the bonds of debt, Quicken can help you.
Our Score: 4 out of 5
(Click pictures to go to gallery)
This Deal is provided by our partner Tech Bargains at www.techbargains.com
Disclaimer: The Black Friday deal information given above is without warranties on accuracy and availability. Black Friday deals tend to sell out very quickly and as retailer only keep low inventories for doorbuster deals.
Intuit Quicken Deluxe 2014 Review