I just purchased Quicken with the hope of trying to understand my finances.
My wife and I have been pretty good with money but as we get older I'd like
to get more organized with our money and have a way to see all accounts at
My first impression of Quicken Deluxe 2008 (for Windows) is that it looks
pretty sophisticated and I can't figure out the most basic thing:
- I thought I would be entering every penny that we spend . I can't figure
where to do that.
- I've been paying my bills online with my bank, Citibank, FOR FREE.
Browsing the Citibank web site it looks like they want $9.95 a month to do
it through Quicken. Is that true?
Open Quicken, click on "Help", view the tutorials and see if that
helps? You will probably have more questions but see if you can make
them more specific, it'll make it easier to answer.
All your transaction will be entered into the register you create. If
you want to track all your cash transactions, that's pretty tough if
you use cash for most of your expenditures.
I get cash from the automatic teller from time to time and just enter
it as Misc. expense. I use the cash for "walking around money and use
a credit card for almost all other purchases which show up when I
download, that's how I track expenditures.
Yes, as far as I know? You can keep on using your bank's free service,
and download the information into Quicken from time to time.
As suggested by another poster, this "question" is lacking in
I suggest you start by thinking of Quicken accounts as you do
your real-world accounts. Plan for your Quicken default setup
to have one Quicken account for each of your real-world
accounts. (If that relationship should turn out not to be
possible, you can post back with the specifics).
Quicken will not prevent you from paying your bills online "FOR
FREE"; nor will you lose anything by using Quicken when you
utilize any online billpay service.
You MAY be able to create online billpay transactions within
Quicken, and upload those transactions to your billpay financial
institution ... if your fi provides that service. Ask your fi,
or notice what services Quicken says your fi offers.
But even if you can not transmit online billpay transactions to
your online bill-payer from Quicken ... you can not lose
anything relating to online billpay by using Quicken that you
had before you started using Quicken. Quicken will download the
resulting transactions as long as the BILL-PAYING institution
offers downloads to Quicken. And if that bill-paying
institution does not offer downloads to Quicken, you still have
not lost anything.
First initial underscore Last name at mchsi dot com
If you want to track all expenditures, then create categories for
every expenditure. Download directly from the bank and it will
automatically put each expenditure into the appropriate column. Then
make & save reports for the categories you want to track using bar
graphs. That way you can get a quick snapshot of where your money is
going and adjust if necessary.
On Fri, 27 Jun 2008 17:24:44 -0700, "Walter_Slipperman"
The easiest thing to do if you're new to the program is simply go to your
local Barnes and Nobles (or Borders) and buy a copy of one of the books
about Quicken - I'd suggest the "Quicken for Dummies" series, or one of the
"Official" Quicken books you'll find on their bookshelves. It's a lot
more readable than going through help panels and will give you a much better
sense of the program from your local armchair.
As far as the general comment about "I thought I would be entering every
penny that we spend . I can't figure where to do that.". It is true that
you can do that by posting EVERY expenditure in one of the Quicken registers
that you'll read about, but I doubt many people are that anal. For example,
do you REALLY want to try to track every cent that you spend when you take
money of out an ATM for pocket change? Thing about the payback you'll get
vs. the time and effort and bookkeeping you'll need to worry about.
Well, on a tangent to "posting EVERY expenditure", as we live in
Florida and can deduct state sales taxes on the federal tax return, I
started this year (purely as ***experiment***) to break out
expenditures into the appropriate category and state sales tax, if
any. I am doing this under the "general feeling" that the amount
allowed to de deducted without backup detail is lower than reality.
Unfortunately, some of our biggest expenses do not carry Florida state
sales taxes (i.e., travel expenditures like cruises, gasoline). Those
carry state excise taxes and other fees not deductible on the federal
More unfortunately, YTD reports indicate that, so far, the allowed
amount (broken into 12 equal budget months) is higher than actual
taxes paid. I was close to a little ahead of budget at the beginning
of the year when we bought a couple of computers for relatives, but
have fallen behind since. Anyway, federal allows additional deductions
for "big ticket" items in addition to the allowed amount.
This one-year exercise may be good as an experiment, but Andrew is
correct in his suggestion to the OP about evaluating expected payback
vs. time and effort of bookkeeping.
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