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Checks And Balances Worried about your bottom line? Take a look at these money management programs.

By Cassandra Cavanah

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Financial well-being is important not only to your business butto your personal life as well. Keeping track of what's going onin your personal accounts will give you more security when makingdaily decisions--whether you're buying a new suit, planning fora vacation or saving for your child's education. Staying on topof what goes in and out of your checking account, what'scharged to your credit cards, and what's funneled into savingsor investments is what personal financial management software isall about.

The most popular personal money management program isIntuit's Quicken. This program has been around for more than 14years and has served as the benchmark for other financialmanagement programs. Microsoft's Money has long beentrying to catch up with Quicken in terms of market share andfeatures. These two programs are the only real players ina market that has become reliant on strong relationships withfinancial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, tosatisfy users' demand for high-level online banking, investmenttracking and trading, and credit card information.

This software category has changed tremendously over the lastdecade--evolving from a basic checkbook register to a tool thatallows you to do everything from planning your taxes and monitoringyour investments to tracking a loan and keeping a householdinventory. Both products reviewed here are in their latestincarnations and are state-of-the-art. Unlike Microsoft Money 98Financial Suite, which can only run on a Windows 95 system, QuickenDeluxe 98 is also offered in a Windows 3.1 version.

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