Why I Use Quicken Rather Than Excel to Track Our Expenses

I love Excel, it is one of my favorite programs. However, when it comes to keeping track of what is coming in and going out, Quicken wins hands down.

  1. Easy Reports – I use categories in Quicken and doing so allows me to retrieve reports of all kinds, easily.  Quicken can look at the big picture easily.
  2. Add Accounts – It’s easy to add a new bank account or savings account.
  3. Export to Excel – I do still use Excel to look at some reports. I don’t believe Quicken allows imports from Excel.
  4. Download from Bank Accounts – most banks allow the option to download the recent transactions in a Quicken or Excel format. I have done both.  In fact at work I download the month in Excel for my boss so she can reconcile the account before the statement arrives by mail. But for my own purposes, I prefer the data to go into Quicken. I approve each transaction one by one, as I usually gather data prior to the date already in Quicken to overlap, to prevent missing any transactions.

While I use Quicken to enter all our transactions, I still use Excel for my overall budget guide. I keep a running list of what bills are due when, and refer to that Excel spreadsheet at the first of the month, and the middle of the month, which is when I pay bills.

Do you use Excel or Quicken?  Do you use both like I do?  Do you have any reasons to prefer Quicken over Excel that I can add to my list?

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6 thoughts on “Why I Use Quicken Rather Than Excel to Track Our Expenses

  1. I use Excel. Mainly because I like manually playing with numbers, figuring out budgets based on scenarios. Plus we have fairly few transactions per month so it’s not a burden to enter them manually in Excel (your stack of receipts was outrageous to me!). And then there’s the money factor – Excel was “free” for us (came with the computer) and we’d have to go buy Quicken. So – Excel wins for us!


  2. Me personally I keep a notebook and I write down rent, food, gas, car, etc and I write how much gas and food I spend a week and write down my other expenditures to me its better than using a computer.


  3. I used to use excel for everything but it’s gotten a bit complicated. Last year I used the free version of Quickbooks to track business expenses and income, but this year I’m thinking of trying Quicken for both home and business.


  4. This January for the first time I decided to switch from Quicken to Excel. It’s taken a long while, but I think I’ve finally learned enough about Excel to make it work.

    Tho’ I’ve always liked Quicken, when I went over from the PC to the Mac I found the Macinoid version is kinda clunky. Also, Quicken forces you to keep upgrading every couple of years — if you don’t, after a while, your computer crashes and you’re forced to buy a new version; then you’ll find it won’t read your “old” data at all. Each new version grows more and more bloated with features that I don’t use and I don’t want to have to learn or figure out how to suppress.

    Excel works across platforms, and there’s no nonsense about running out an buying an expensive new program every time you turn around.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Funny, your reply makes me want to start using Excel instead of Quicken! I do love Excel, and it is true that you don’t have to keep upgrading. I actually didn’t have any problems using Quicken 99 since 2000. I forget why I upgraded… I was able to import everything from 99 without incident though. Anyway… I do use Excel to keep a checklist of what is due bi-monthly. Thanks for your input!


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