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Quicken has a lot of different options for entering information. For us, and keep in mind this is one of the points of contention right now, Quicken will allow setup and download of multiple accounts from multiple institutions, so that there’s one central place to view all that information. I thought that was a good thing. DH did not agree. Furthermore, you can have different passwords, you can set up to download all the different institutions together or separately, you can have various download schedules, and you can even hide some accounts from the main view. I don’t know how that particular feature works, but it’s there.

Our own issues sort of exploded when we agreed (ok, I pushed for it, he sorta went along with it at first) to download all our accounts to one copy of Quicken so that we could both see each other’s information. It was within a few days of that event, that stuff blew up for us. We’re still straightening out how much of each other’s personal information we’re comfortable sharing. Because of our current fundamental disagreement on that part, I haven’t touched Quicken for several weeks, and I won’t until/unless we can come to some sort of new agreement on the whole topic. Yes, I’ve gone back to dead reckoning in terms of how much money we have for this or that. But yea, it’s all out there in the open once you set up the downloads, and bring in the first batch of info. If one or the other partner is relatively secretive or private, my own rather bruised history would suggest that you proceed with caution with this step.

The other issue is that if you have a copy of Quicken which already has information in it, downloading a whole new set of account info MIGHT, not will, but MIGHT really goof up the setup. In our case, just as an example, we had to wade through and clean up a lot of duplicate Payee entries (such as grocery store names, gas station names, etc) and Category entries (mortgage, utilities, personal expenses, etc). Also, if a person is accustomed to entering transactions manually, a comprehensive download will bring all those transactions in again unless you’re really careful with the download (for instance, only downloading transactions after a certain date). On the other hand, if you start off with a new copy, a lot of that might be averted. Assume you’ll have considerable setup, one way or another.

I still think (and hope and pray) that we’re ultimately going to end up with a comprehensive set of records in Quicken. I don’t see an intelligent, practical way to manage our various accounts any other way. My DH’s current stance is that he shouldn’t have to share information. My current stance is that honey, if you want me doing your budget, you’d best be willing to give me the info I need to do that successfully. I suppose we could go back to me and mine and he and his and have a solid dividing line between the two. In which case, we’d need to go back to two copies of Quicken. But having tried to run things for two years like that, it didn’t work well. So I guess time will tell. Given your history with your partner, I’d encourage you to proceed really slowly and cautiously on this step. I don’t know if our own blowup was inevitable, regardless of what we were trying to do with Quicken. But somehow, working with new/unfamiliar software, that somehow gives folks license to blow their cool easier than what would have happened otherwise.

Maybe it won’t be an issue for you like it was for us. Keep us posted on how it all works out. Maybe this was just us reaching a boiling point which would have occured anyway, and Quicken was just the excuse.