Andrew Tobias' Managing Your Money
Author: A. G. Daulton
Date: June, 1993
Keywords: financial tax money management program application software review
Text: 'Managing Your Money' version 5.0 by Meca Software is System 6 and 7 compatible. It can be obtained by mailorder for $32 plus a shipping charge. The program has been around for several years, (MacUser 5 mouse rating) and instructions are provided for updating programs you may have generated in earlier versions. This program has some similarities to Quicken; however, the approach to money management is quite different. Though you may question the sophistication of some of the 'Managing Your Money' features, the programs constitute a much fuller picture of your overall financial status than Quicken provides. All of the options are linked together: a good example is a 'Net Worth' button in the money navigator, which provides a net worth summary that changes with each entry into any part of the money program. Also a 'Report' feature similar to Quicken prints out various types of reports, pie charts and bar graphs. ''Managing Your Money'' provides 'navigators' which allow you to access all features of your financial picture. This is a compact program providing access through pull down menu's or from the navigator. The compactness and ease of use through normal Macintosh operating procedures make this an interesting and helpful software program for many people. I set up the program for my personal finances but it also has setups for business applications which might prove useful for small business operations. It is up to the individual user to tailor the program to his particular needs. There are five navigators available: 1) REMIND, 2) MONEY, 3) TAX, 4) INVEST, and 5) PLAN. The five options are available from the left side of the Navigator window; clicking the button on any of the five will bring up the navigator for that function. Setting up your file for MYM does require some review of the excellent manual provided with the software. It also requires that you dig out all your financial data for entry into the various sections of the program. I still prefer to use the checkbooks from my Quicken files which I was able to easily 'import' to the accounts section of the MYM program. ''REMIND''- with this option important dates can be entered into the program and notices are provided as many days in advance as you may specify. ''MONEY'' - this is the real meat of the program. With this option you can: set up bookeeping categories, budgets, checking accounts, and recurring transactions; write checks(using Checkfree) reconcile checking accounts, transfer money, review income/expense, analyze budgets vs actuals, and check net worth. There are several layers to each of these functions enabling you to go down to the level needed. Moving around in the program requires a little Macintosh savy; but after reading the manual directions and gaining a little working experience, the program soon pays off. ''TAX'' - Tax estimator forms for 1040, Schedule A, Schedule B, etc. are provided to allow you to assimilate data for your Federal Income Tax return. These are not the actual forms but a convenient way to gather the data which will be needed for your taxes. ''INVEST'' - the navigator for this option is designed to allow stock, bond, and/or mutual fund investments to be documented. Portfolios can be set up and flowed into a securities analysis program. Various other data can be documented and linked to the securities information. ''PLAN'' - this option is designed to allow you to look at insurance, retirement planning, IRA's, and insurance policies. Computations regarding Loans, Mortgage's, Bond Yields, College Planning and etc. are available in the navigator for this option. This part of the program is obviously better suited to the younger user. Older users will not find this feature particularly useful. I would emphasize again that the user would have to tailor the program to his own finances. The features available will cover most peoples financial arrangements and link things together to provide a picture of ones financial situation. However, it is not claimed that this will replace a good financial consultant, but could provide help in defining where help is required. Managing Your Money' by Meca Software is available for about $32.
Copyright © june, 1993 by A. G. Daulton