The Bargaineering Forums have been a hit so far, with over 60 members and numerous active discussions. Readers have been able to post their questions and get a myriad of opinions. I wanted to reiterate that we have a giveaway going on too. On February 13th, I will randomly select one forum participant with at least five forum posts to receive a CD containing a full service copy of Quicken Premier 2009 – an $80 value. If you want to give it as a Valentine’s gift, by all means, but I don’t recommend it!
And if there are any bloggers (or future bloggers) out there, we’ve also created a Blogging forum where you can post your questions, ideas, thoughts, whatever. If you have any blogging questions, it’s the place to post it because we have some of the top personal finance bloggers checking the forums every day!
If you have never used a Quicken Premier product, I have to warn you… it’s very powerful. It has a lot of tools and a lot of features that will be able to give you a very good idea of where you are in your finances, how you are performing against your goals, and everything you need to handle your money on a daily basis. That said, it can also be a little intimidating at first. The $80 price tag is well worth it, as anyone who has come to appreciate the power of Quicken can tell you, but it may be overkill if you have no idea where to start when it comes to managing your money. I don’t want to dissuade you from entering the giveaway or buying the product, far from it, but I want you to be prepared for it should you buy or win it.
If you are familiar with managing your money but only have a few things to track (some bank accounts, a few bills, a 401k), it might be a great tool for you because you can play with the tool a little bit each day. The nice thing about the tool, over the online version, is that all the data is stored locally and only used to interface with other financial institutions. If you’re not comfortable with saving your sensitive data online, despite it being encrypted and protected, this is definitely the best option for you.
If you’re just starting out, you might want to cut your teeth on Quicken Online. It’s absolutely free and is similar to other online money management applications except there’s a heavy emphasis on cash flow management. They are very much focused on helping you manage your cash flow, from your paychecks coming in to your regular bills going out, so that you don’t find yourself in a financially precarious position. I just saw a quick demo of the product from their PR team, as well as a first look at their new iPhone application, and I’ll be discussing that later in the week.