Tips and Tricks for Financial Organization

Posted by Madison on February 13, 2008

In our million dollar credit limit article, readers asked how I keep organized with 89 credit cards. I introduced the series of my organizational system in my billpay and anti-filing system. As I shared, Microsoft Money is the center of my strategy. Here’s my tips, tricks and troubleshooting for using Microsoft Money Home and Business to organize your finances.

I haven’t done a comparison of Money to Quicken, as I know many people use Quicken, but some of these concepts should work for both.

Microsoft Money Tips

  1. Keep family members that file taxes separately in a separate money file. We keep our file separate from our kids. I also created separate files for each family account that I manage.
  2. Use a strategic naming convention for accounts so you can see important information at a glance. Ours is bank name, person, business or personal use, account name, (authorized user or joint account holder). For example:
    1. FIA M Fidelity 529 (Mr. Dupaix AU)
    2. Chase D Business Rebate
    3. ING M auto maintenance fund
  3. Use the flag feature. Anytime I run across something unusual, I flag it for later.
  4. Don’t waste time using software for things it doesn’t do a good job at. I create Excel spreadsheets to do things the program can’t do. Creating our dollar plan, keeping a year end to-do list, keeping the 0% offer end dates and many more all reside outside Microsoft Money.
  5. Create a list of favorite accounts and favorite reports. I have our main accounts we use daily easily accessible and our monthly net worth report. Once you customize the report, save it.
  6. Create accounts for online cashback programs. Since many of these do not cash out until you hit $10 or so, it’s easy to see which ones need more money.
  7. Under assets, list each life insurance policy. Record the value as zero, but put the face value as the account number. This eliminates the need to track them elsewhere and you can see if you have enough coverage each year with a quick glance.
  8. Turn off any unused functionality in the options to make it run faster.

Which Version Do I Use?

I used Microsoft Money 2004 successfully for over 3 years. I briefly used the 2005 product 3 years ago, but I uninstalled it after I found it was inferior to the 2004 product. Last fall when the online updating for ticker symbols stopped working I was forced to update to a new year. I purchased the Microsoft Money Plus Home and Business version of Money Plus 2008 and I’ve been pleased with it.

Microsoft Money Troubleshooting

Whenever I get stuck trying to perform a function I visit the usenet group for Money users or the unofficial FAQ. It’s a great resource and has an extensive archive that I can usually find my solutions in.

Feel free to add any tips that I missed!

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Comments to Tips and Tricks for Financial Organization

  1. Wow you’re my heroine!

    You are so organised:)


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