Updated April 24th, 2015: If you’ve been using Quicken for awhile, then you’ve definitely had a chance to add all of your bank accounts and credit cards to your new copy of Quicken Deluxe, Premier or Home & Business. Personally, it’s one of our favorite features which helps our family know EXACTLY where our money is coming and going. Unless you’ve just picked up the 2015 version today, then you’ve also had the opportunity to create a budget and may have even begun to identify opportunities to cut back and save in certain areas. So what’s next? Well, one of the most useful but often overlooked features found in Quicken 2015 are bill reminders. In this article we will go over what it is, the setup process and how best to use it.
What is Quicken Bill Reminder?
Bill reminder is what you probably think it is – It’s a tool that helps you remember to pay any upcoming future bills on time to avoid any painful payment overdue charges. If you’re like me, then once in a while you’ll forget to pay a bill here or there. Although that’s not the end of the world, even the smallest amounts set in late will result in late-fee or interest charges which can quickly add up and may even exceed the original amounts your owed. Plus in most cases, it will also negatively affect your credit score (see hot to check your credit score for free in Quicken).
So what did the folks at Intuit do? They came up with a solution letting you set-up an unlimited amount of bill reminders for your most common, reoccuring bills (i.e. cable and trash bills, mortgage or rent, etc.) or any upcoming one-time payments you need to make (i.e. payback for a one-time IOU). You can set it up a few weeks or months in advance so you’ll always remember to pay it on time.
How to Setup Bill Reminder in Quicken
You’ll find that the bill reminder feature is a pretty easy thing to set-up and after you complete one then the rest will be a synch! So here we go:
- Open your current version of Quicken (our examples center on the 2015 Deluxe version so the screen shots may slightly differ if you are using a different version or year of the software).
- Navigate to the “Home” menu and select “Get Started” in the “Stay on Top of Monthly Bills” section.
- Here you’ll see that Quicken has already automatically found a few bills that, based on your payment history and payee’s name, you may want to consider added to your reminders. If you don’t want any of these bills included in your bill reminder then you can click to delete it. You also have the option to edit any of the bills and associated payment dates, etc., on the list. If there are other companies or bills that you want to add not yet listed here then you can select “add a bill”. After you’re finished select “Next”.
- The next step will ask you to provide your paycheck information and other income that have so that it will better adjust your payment dates. After your finished select the “done” button.
- Here you will see all of your bill reminders, the amounts that you need to pay and the dates that they are scheduled for. If any of information listed is incorrect then simply click the “Options” button to make the necessary edits.
What’s the Difference Between Bill Reminder & Online Bill Pay?
It’s easy to confuse Bill Reminder with the Online Bill Pay feature in Quicken 2015. Remember that Bill Reminder helps you remember to pay your bills, regardless what they are (online, offline, anywhere). Online Bill Pay on the other hand automatically sends payments on the bills owed on your behalf. For example, you can use Online Bill Pay to handle your cable bill payments. That’s because you likely pay the same amount every month. It’s similar to bill pay features offered by some of the bigger banks link Bank of America.
Some Helpful Tips
If you’re tight on cash, then you may want to consider setting up your bill reminders 30 days, 60 days, or more in advance. This will help you better plan your finances and have more time to prepare your checkbook before payment is due. If you have monthly bills that are pretty stable month-to-month like your cable or internet bill, then you can just use your last bill as the estimate and adjust the amount once the bill arrives in the mail. For inconsistent bills like credit cards, gas and electricity bills, etc., then just set up your reminder for a fixed amount and just adjust the amounts as you go.
Still need help?
If you still can’t seen to get a hang of Quicken’s Bill Reminder or see that something isn’t just working right, then be sure to see the expanded help pages at intuit.com. We are also here to help so just leave your questions in the comments section below and we’ll try to trouble shoot your issues.