Monday, June 11, 2007

Me Likey!

That's something Jeni always says, and I've sorta adopted it.

Today, I had a "Me Likey!" experience.


Ever since I moved to Alabama, I've worked hard to balance my checking account every statement. For some unknown reason, I never could get it right when I lived in NH. It bothered me to no end; I would write out every transaction for 6 months by hand to find the errors, to no avail.

Since we started all over when we moved here, I made sure to get the account balanced from the get-go. Thankfully, I haven't had a problem since moving, and have successfully balanced my checking account to the penny every month.

That's a good feeling!

I owe a lot of it to the accounting software I use, Microsoft Money, and the fact that we hardly use cash. On top of that, Chris is very diligent to keep his debit slips for me to record with. So then, every so often, I go through all the slips and my duplicate checks, and enter all the info into my electronic register. It automatically gives me the total.

I also use it to keep track of what bills are due when. That's a virtual lifesaver.

Then, when my monthly statement comes in, I just match it up with the computer. It comes out right every time.


Well, one day, while I was out yard sale-ing, I picked up a copy of the UPDATED version of MS Money. For a quarter. Hoo-ahhh!

Today, I installed it.

And this new be-fangled version has a VERY nice little upgrade:

It will self-balance my account.

How? you say? Well, all you have to do is log on to your bank account online (anyone out there not checking your current balance at your bank's website? You're the minority!). Then, you can either download a copy of your online statement to Money from the website, or Money will do it for you from the program itself. Of course you have to be online to do this, but most people are these days.

Once the document has been downloaded into the Money program, it will match up the debits and credits already recorded in the program, with the ones that the bank shows. If you forgot to record a specific transaction, you can click a button and Money will automatically insert it into your register. If it can't tell if the bank's record is the same as yours (say, you record it as "Walmart" and the bank records it as "Wal-mart #233"), it will ask you if you want to accept that record as the same thing. Once you click the "accept" button, it is reconciled.

In other words, instead of constantly matching up your online balance with the bank to the account register in Money (by clicking back and forth between pages), the program will now do it for you. Which also means that I don't have to balance a month's worth of transactions when I get my paper statement. Sheesh, I don't even NEED a paper statement anymore! I just download a copy of the bank's records of my account, and Money will do the rest----instant balanced checkbook!

Oh likey very much!


Elizabeth said...

You are hilarious! This is 2007 - you do realize they've come out with an updated version every year since 2004... although, I looked at the updated features and you're not missing much - the auto balancing was definitely huge and the auto downloading from your online banks - have you done that? You can put your sign in info in and MS Money will login to your bank/credit card accounts and download all the info each time you open the program. Love that feature - it doesn't work for 2 of my accounts still but I have at least a dozen accounts so it's a huge benefit. I am very proud of you for doing MS Money - it's a rather large undertaking for most people - I got started back in 2001 and it completely revolutionized my finances. I watched it almost everyday that first year and was able to use over 50% of my gross salary (it's cheap to live in tulsa) to pay off school loans and I was making almost 10k less than my previous job but at that job i didn't have MS Money and I only paid the minimum balances. I've been a believer ever since. So yeah - MS Money is awesome and so is auto balancing - and yes you can get rid of paper but what I do instead is have the banks email me the statements and I save those on my computer if I ever need to reference them. Okay - sorry such a long comment - you hit a subject I know something about. ;) love ya!

JeniBeans said...

OOhhh, new gadgetry!

Unfortunately, I thought the MS Money I had was a bit too complex for me. Maybe I'm missing something. Hmm.

Awesome Mom said...

We don't actually balance our checking account. Bad I know but with the system we have going we have never overdrawn the account and always have money at the end of the month for the savings account.

J. No said...

Now if you could just enter your budget for the upcoming month and MS Money would go out and buy the things you need and want.

Then you would never have to worry about overspending and you could just sit on the couch all day and eat daffodils.

Oh, wait. Daffodils are poisonous.... and you probably don't want to sit on the couch all day.


baSfsoGp said...

All that for a QUARTER!!!

Kelly said...

Like I said....Woo Ahhhhh!

FloraBeth said...

Also, IF you bank with Redstone FCU you can (while you are on the online site) click on e-statements and sign up for that and it gives you the option of stopping the paper copy coming to your house. Just a tip from your friendly "banker"...Have a great day!