PROS / This less expensive version of Quicken has all of the powerful budgeting and reporting features of the Premier.
CONS / There are no advanced features for investments and savings planning.
VERDICT / If you do not need advanced features and are simply looking for the best budgeting software, Quicken Starter is a great choice.
Quicken Starter is a trimmed down version of Quicken Premier, which includes features for investment accounts and financial planning. Quicken Starter provides the same basic budgeting and financial tracking features but without some additional features. However, if you do not need all of those extra features, Quicken Start is a great choice and a great value for personal finance software.
With this home accounting software, you can sync directly to your financial institutions to directly transfer transactions and balances. This ensures you do not miss anything by manually adding in all transactions. However, this is an option if you choose not to sync your accounts. While this version does not sync to investment accounts, you can sync to banks, credit unions and credit card accounts. You can manually create accounts as well, including investment accounts where you can keep track of trades and balances, though all of those must be entered manually.
If you have a smart phone, you can download mobile apps for both Apple and Android products so you can manage your finance away from your desktop. You can add transactions, view your budget and balances, and use additional features. One such additional feature allows you to snap and store receipts, which means you can take a picture of a receipt and keep it in the program for your records.
When it comes to budgeting, Quicken makes it quick and easy. You can choose which categories to budget and which to hide, and then you simply enter the budget limit for each category. When you are at or below budget, the category is red in the system, displaying that you have not exceeded the allotted amount. If you exceed your budget, it goes red. You can set email or text message alerts for when you're nearing or you exceed a specific budget.
The reporting options with this personal financial software are top notch, offering reports for the most vital information as well as some addition good-to-know information. You can choose reports for income versus expenses, spending by category and budget reports. You can print or save reports into common file types, like CSV, which can be used in other programs. You can also export reports to other Quicken software, such as Quickbooks for taxes.
Quicken Starter has impressive budgeting and reporting features, allowing you to sync your checking, saving and credit card accounts to transfer balances and transactions. Creating a budget is simple, and alerts and warnings help you stay within the budget you've established. While it does not have the advanced features that Quicken Premier offers, including investment features, Quicken Starter is an excellent value in personal finance budgeting software.