Living the American dream
Find out how Quicken helped one New Jersey man convince his fiancee to finally say ''I do.''

Andy Preiser is just your typical American husband, father, worker -- and Quicken fanatic.

The 43-year-old self-proclaimed “Quicken nut” from Point Pleasant, N.J., has been a Quicken user since version 2.0 came out in the mid 1980s and proudly admits that his “entire life is on Quicken.” 

Preiser says Quicken actually “came to his rescue” nine years ago when he wanted to get married.

“When I was engaged, I had $12,000 in credit card debt spread over seven cards,” he says. “When she found out, my then fiancée said she wouldn’t marry me until I got out of debt -- so I really had to get a handle on my spending in a hurry.”

Preiser started tracking every incoming and outgoing payment in Quicken, which helped him determine where to cut back on spending. Over 18 months, Preiser says he rose out of the red, reducing his credit card dependency enough to meet his fiancée’s financial threshold, which “finally enabled me to carry her over the threshold.”

Preiser, director of programming at a healthcare software company, and his wife, Jacquelyn, who runs a consulting business, both use Quicken Premier Home & Business. She uses it for tracking expenses and invoicing customers; he uses the software when paying the household bills.

“It was easy for us to divide the duties on Quicken,” says Preiser. “Jacquelyn’s the big-picture person, keeping track of the business accounts, and I’m the detail guy and bookkeeper of the house.”

Preiser says he uses the online ‘”bill pay” feature to schedule household bills. The feature came in particularly handy in late 2001 -- during the height of the postal anthrax scare -- when his neighborhood post office was temporarily shut down after a suspicious letter was detected. 

“I knew my electric bill was due soon but didn’t have the actual bill, so I called the electric company to get the amount and then paid it through Quicken,” he says. “I made the payment on time. That definitely made me a believer in the online bill-pay feature.”

Preiser says he constantly preaches the benefits of Quicken to friends and family. It didn’t take him long to make converts of his mother, siblings and work colleagues.

Preiser says the best thing about Quicken is how it allows him to spend more time with his two sons, 3-year-old Bradley and 1-year-old Tyler. (Both already have their college-savings accounts set up in Quicken, he adds).

“My life has changed tremendously after having children,” he admits. “I usually only have a few minutes to balance the checking account and pay bills before I need to get back to looking over the children, and Quicken actually lets me accomplish both tasks fast.”

When the kids are at the babysitter, Preiser says he and his wife enjoy navigating their powerboat along the Atlantic coast for some fishing and water skiing. Afterward, they dock at a favorite seaside restaurant to enjoy the ocean view.

As he looks out at the horizon, Preiser says he is content in knowing he is no longer a bachelor who is knee-deep in debt. And he says much of that contentment is owed to Quicken.

“Quicken has definitely helped me to live out the American dream,” Preiser says.

Contact the author: Vanessa Richardson