Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 127 / MARCH 1991 / PAGE 26

Manage your wealth. (with computer software) (evaluation)
by Richard C. Leinecker

Times are tough, but smart people use their computers to gain an advantage even in recessions. This month we're bringing you two packages that use your computer's power to give you the advantage you need.

Just what are we bringing you? A commercial-quality personal finance manager and a terrific home inventory program. Managing your finances effectively gives you greater returns on your investment, lets you pay less interest on loans, and helps you make better decisions when it comes to expenses like insurance.

We've spent a great deal of time choosing these two fine applications. First, we sorted through thousands of online programs. Then, we downloaded hundreds of them and spent countless hours evaluating them. Finally, we selected the very best programs and worked with the authors to get you the very latest versions.

Cash Control

Cash Control simplifies your home financial recordkeeping. Enter transactions for checking, savings, or charge accounts; transfer funds between accounts; print checks on your printer; balance your account with your bank statement; remind yourself when payments are due; and prepare reports and graphics of your recorded transactions.

Cash Control runs on virtually any IBM compatible because all it requires is 256K of RAM. It can use any monitor, so don't worry if you have Hercules or monochrome.

The first thing you'll notice when you run Cash Control is the clean, effective, well-planned screens. They display information clearly and logically. Options appear at the top of the screen so that even computer novices can easily understand and use the program.

Entering transactions and information is just easy as it can be, too. Pop-up windows tell you exactly what to input and make it easy to interact with Cash Control.

You'll get a lot of extras, too. A pop-up calculator and calendar serve as useful tools for getting the calculations correct and planning things in advance. Being able to search forward and backward helps you when you can't seem to remember when a transaction took place. You can print checks on your printer for just the right professional look.

And when you've made certain that your accounts are all in order, you can generate a number of reports. Present your financial information in a variety of ways, and use bar graphs and pie charts for maximum effectiveness.

When tax time rolls around, you can satisfy Uncle Sam with special reports. For those of you who suffer from IRS anxiety, these will go a long way toward alleviating some of the fear. And you're less likely to make careless mistakes that will cost you money at tax time or invite an audit.

If you want to ensure that your accounts are balanced or that you've remembered to pay your bills on time, or if you just want to maximize the effectiveness of your dollar, Cash Control is definitely for you. It handles many of the jobs that accountants do - at a small fraction of the cost.

Personal Inventory 2.11

This program maintains a record of household items and provides a means of tracking depreciation using four different methods. You can categorize and track items by room or location.

Since Personal Inventory supports 43-line EGA/VGA mode, you'll get a lot more information on the screen. That means that you can see and keep track of things more efficiently. Mouse support makes the program's easy-to-use interface even easier and more professional.

Adding, viewing, deleting, and editing items are a snap. Menus with labels that you can understand combined with clear and attractive screens make interacting with Personal Inventory intuitive and straightforward.

It's easy to set up your printer just about any way you might want. You can change printer ports, margins, carriage and linefeed specifications, and special escape codes with another menu.

Add categories if the one you need isn't included. So your collection of ancient spider models can be cataloged and tracked, too. And tracking warranties along justifies the use of this program. No more "Hey, honey, when is our toaster's warranty up? It just went up in smoke."

You don't have to wade through a lot of documentation to use Personal Inventory. In addition to its exceptional user interface, it has online help anytime you press F1.

Backups can be created when you exit the program. It's great because you just answer Yes or No to the prompt, and the program takes care of the rest. And the backups are compressed so they don't take up as much space on your disk.

If you want help keeping track of your household items, maintaining records for the IRS, or keeping up with similar applications, Personal Inventory 2.11 will be an indispensable addition to your inflation armor. You can protect your belongings by keeping track of them better. And that spells long-term rewards.