Quicken Stories: Nancy Colt

Time To Read 5 MIN READ

Quicken user Nancy Colt has a head for numbers. When she first married Mike, her spontaneous and creative husband, he had multiple checkbooks scattered across their home and office and a sporadic trail of receipts.

Nancy first bought Quicken to make their joint taxes easier. As the couple prospered and their asset portfolio became more complex, Quicken helped her watch over their financial holdings and keep their spending within reasonable limits.

Getting organized

“When Mike and I got married, I asked him, ‘Where’s the checkbook?’ He told me, ‘I have one in the Jeep, one in the boat, one in the drawer …’”

For Nancy and Mike, the attraction of opposites is a given. But their bookkeeping styles were just as different as their personalities.

“I couldn’t understand how Mike was keeping track of his accounts with so many different checkbooks all over the place. I asked him, ‘Where do you keep your records? How do you know what you have in the bank?’”

His answer? He would call up his banker and ask. But Nancy understood the ins and outs of cash flow—and checks that hadn’t cleared yet. She knew that what they had in the bank today might not reflect what would be in there tomorrow.

“My career has almost always been in numbers,” she said. “Payroll, expenses, taxes. I needed to get a better read on things.”

Making tax prep easier

"The whole reason I started using Quicken was to categorize transactions for tax purposes."

Nancy bought Quicken to organize her own accounts for tax season—choosing to file separately in their first year of marriage.

“When I was young and single, I could barely afford a computer,” she told us. “My accounts were very simple. When it came time to do taxes together, Mike said it was going to be a three-month project with all these complications of looking things up in different places. I said, ‘No way.’”

Nancy used Quicken to organize her own accounts, and she filed her taxes separately that year. She’s been using Quicken ever since, but now they file their taxes together.

 

Our taxes are so easy now because I can pull categories on one sheet of paper and send it to our accountant. Anything that’s tax-related for us. It’s just made my life so easy.

 

Managing spending with categories

“This is what comes into the house, and this is what can go out of the house—with me still saving money.”

As soon as she began entering transactions into the software, Quicken offered up category suggestions. Nancy saw the power of those categories immediately, and she started using Quicken to keep track of their monthly spending from day one.

“It can be quite an eye-opener,” she told us. “When you set those budgets up, those little things, even purchasing a sweater or blouse here or there, it falls into that category. Even though it was on sale and it was a really good price, it’s still money that went out the door. If you don’t track those things, you don’t have any idea where your money’s going. And you don’t realize it.”

Nancy and Mike don’t budget everything down to the penny, but Quicken helps them pay better attention to how much money is going out the door, making sure they’re keeping that spending in line with their long-term goals.

They also use Quicken to set their budget for gifts each year. It’s easy to lose track of your spending when you’re enjoying holidays with your kids or doting on your grandchildren. Quicken helps Nancy keep a handle on those expenses.

Growing net worth

"When you look at the bottom line of what your net worth is, when you have all your accounts in there, for me it was a giant motivator."

Nancy used Quicken to set a budget that allowed the couple to continue to grow their assets. She made sure they were adding to their savings first every month, before they started spending.

“Setting my sights on our total net worth made me do certain things. You get your paycheck, and it made me do automatic withdrawals from that paycheck into savings and money market accounts. Then, when I’d get a big enough cushion, I’d turn around and invest that money into something else so I was a little more diversified.”

By focusing on growing their investments, and budgeting their money to make sure they weren’t spending too much even as their income increased, Nancy was able to ensure their comfortable retirement.

“I was bound and determined that that number at the bottom was going to get bigger and bigger, no matter what it took for me to do it."

 

Quicken is a wonderful tool to help you to know where your money is and whether you’re using it wisely. I love it.

 

 

We’d like to thank Nancy for taking the time to speak with us and share her story. 

 

We believe every Quicken customer has a unique story to share. If you have a Quicken story, we’d love to hear more about how you use Quicken and your favorite tips and tricks. 

If you’re interested in participating in an interview, please contact us at interviews@quicken.com. Selected stories will be featured on our blog post and social media and will receive a special gift from the Quicken team. We look forward to hearing your story.