Managing money is not fun. If it’s not a checkbook to fill out, or a monthly statement to balance, then there’s software which only accountants can figure out.
For years I’ve wanted something that works for me and works on my Mac or PC. What I found was my checkbook. Rather, My Checkbook.
It’s math. I don’t like complexity as far as my money is concerned. Managing money is complex. Receipts. Checks. Bills. Bank statements. Taxes. Accountants.
Through the years I’ve tried every sort of software, Mac or PC. For the Mac, it was Intuit’s loved and hated Quicken. I still hate it. I tried both Mac and PC version.
Quicken on Windows PCs is far above Quicken for Mac users, though both are needlessly complex for what I consider to be basic functions—manage what flows into and out of my checkbook.
I tried Microsoft’s Money on my PC but found it to be a slightly dumbed down version of Quicken. Worse, I just hate having Microsoft manage my money. It’s a philosophical thing.
A dozen Mac applications later and I’ve settled on a very elegant tool called, simply enough, My Checkbook.
Why? It fits my money management style. It’s a checkbook that resides on my Mac. All I really have to do is make sure that what I put into my physical checkbook is also in My Checkbook. No pun intended.
My Checkbook is an onscreen metaphor of a real checkbook, but with a few more options that easy to learn, quick to master, and which make the tool even better than a real checkbook. Except for the lack of checks.
If Quicken gets you down because it’s so full of features that the whole use of the software becomes laborious, then look for what I’ll call one-trick-pony software. Not just software that does one thing, but does a few things very well.
My Checkbook starts off easily enough. Set up a checking account for example, and enter the current balance and starting check number so it matches what’s in your hand held checkbook.
Every time you make a deposit you’re required to enter the amount in your real checkbook, so do the same in My Checkbook. Ditto for writing checks. What information you enter in the checkbook goes into My Checkbook.
The benefit here is that My Checkbook is better at math, so if your check numbers match, and the amounts match, then My Checkbook will tell you how much you’ve deposited, how many checks you’ve written and for what amount, and how much money is left.
Balancing your checkbook with My Checkbook is the easy part. Once you’ve mastered that, and it won’t take long, then start in with the Finance Manager.
Use it to manage monthly bills, automatic payments, automatic deposits, and so on. My Checkbook keeps track of the details so you won’t be overdrawn, won’t miss payments.
One feature you won’t find is the ability to connect to your bank account (or, accounts) to download information about your account. I don’t think you’ll miss that feature. If you do, you’re probably a good candidate for something more complex, like Quicken.
My Checkbook makes it easy for me check on my money. Today’s Balance is self explanatory. Balance on Date is a quick look at how much money you had on any given date.
Reconciled & Outstanding is a feature which tells you how much money your bank thinks you have. Yes, often there’s a difference between what I think and what my bank thinks.
Reconciling is a simple process. Simply check off each item, deposits to checks. Anything not reconciled with your bank statement is highlighted.
If you don’t like trees you can always print out your entries, or a whole month of entries, including memo notes. If you love trees and you’re trying to be more green with your green, keep it all on your Mac.
At $20, My Checkbook, for Mac or PC, is not expensive, it’s a bargain. It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to move to more advanced features without taking a course at the community college as is the case with Quicken sufferers.