From chaos to order on Quicken

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Christa DiBiase, executive producer of the “Clark Howard Show,” says she began using Quicken shortly after she got married.

“Prior to that, (my husband and I) weren’t very good at figuring out where our money went,” she admits. Neither of them balanced their checkbooks. “There was no real method or organization to speak of with regard to our finances.”

DiBiase realized that neglecting the family’s finances would lead to problems. Not only did she want to
become better organized, she also wanted to pay bills online. She chose Quicken to accomplish those goals.

“At first, using the software was a bit intimidating,” she says. “It had a lot of bells and whistles on it that I really didn’t use, and, I suppose, I had also sort of wanted it to do everything for me on its own.”

She quickly adapted to its demand for data. She uses it to keep track of and pay bills online. Checks and debit-card charges are assigned to appropriate categories, enabling her to see exactly where her money goes at a glance.

“It allows me to be in much-better control of my finances — and it really helped me to address my own weakness, which was problem spending and, specifically, eating out.”

DiBiase says her investment of time and effort in learning the program is now paying dividends. But, it involves commitment.

“You need to be aware that you’re going to have to get yourself organized. You have to get all of your stuff into the program and then get into the habit of tracking all of your finances in there — and that can be a bit frustrating at first. But in the end, you’ll feel so much more in control and empowered over your finances.”

DiBiase also finds the software’s neutrality helpful in addressing problem areas with her husband in a constructive way. “It shows everybody clearly where the
money is going and what it is and is not doing,” she says.