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My first foray into the fascinating world of personal finance management software

A person in front of a computer monitor with the screen showing the Quicken logo. This image was generated using DALL·E 3

I first heard about personal finance accounting software from a colleague. This happened right when I was just starting my first job out of university as a technical auditor engineer in a manufacturing company. The very concept of meticulously logging and analyzing each and every financial transaction somehow appealed to my obsessive nature. My job after all was collecting data from the different parts of the company and distilling them into actionable insights through easy-to-understand charts and info-graphics for management. Believe it or not, this is something I enjoyed doing, and if I could do that to the manufacturing plant's raw data then I should be able to do that with my own financial data and have fun in the process right?  

I heard my colleagues talk about a type of software where you can do all of these things and they were the ones who introduced me to the Quicken software. From the moment I finally got my hands on a copy of Quicken 98 and started meticulously planning how to recreate the structure of my financial landscape, I was totally hooked. Not only did I start keying in my current revenue streams and expenses, but I also backtracked from the time when I started earning a paycheck and had to dig up my old payslips, bank and credit card statements, and other receipts so that I could make excellent pie charts of spending by category and calculating my running net worth. I would be so into it that I would spend sleepless nights on the weekends trying to make a dent in the thick bunch of receipts from my wallet that I have obsessively been saving for just this purpose (you can probably imagine what my bulging wallet looks like at the end of every week). I would also wrack my brains in remembering all of the cash transactions I have made during the week without receipts (I eventually used a note-taking app on my phone to record these transactions). The version of Quicken that I was using made a satisfying "ka-ching" sound like a cash register whenever you complete an entry. I was still living with my sister and her family back then and you can imagine her initial puzzlement at what was making that peculiar noise from my room during the weekends at ungodly hours.

These habits still persist even to this day almost 26 years later (although I have since moved away from using Quicken - however, I think that topic deserves its own write-up).

1 comment:

  1. what do you use now? i just use a spreadsheet since all i want to do is to track