Savings category in Quicken

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communipaw
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Savings category in Quicken

Post by communipaw » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:16 pm

I use Quicken [right now Quicken 2013] and once a month I transfer any "leftover" money from my checking account to my savings account .
I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings?

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LadyGeek
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:44 pm

I think you may be confusing the act of transferring the funds with an income or expense category. It's a matter of terminology. Transfers have brackets around them, categories don't. See the answer in How do I categorize transfers between accounts?

- Remove the funds from checkings to savings, which is noted in the checking ledger as [Savings account] with the money subtracted from the balance.
- Add the funds into savings from checking, which is noted in the savings ledger as [Checking account] with the money added to the balance.

Now, how do you spend the money in savings? That's a 3rd transaction.

- Remove the funds using the appropriate category, which is noted without the brackets. Spending the money on food would show as "Food" without the brackets. You can double-check your answer by running an income/expense report.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

ahnooie
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by ahnooie » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:30 pm

communipaw wrote:I use Quicken [right now Quicken 2013] and once a month I transfer any "leftover" money from my checking account to my savings account .
I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings?


There are two ways I can think of to handle transfers to savings... the first is how I do it:

1. Don't use a category for savings, by default Quicken uses the account name instead which does a credit on one account and a corresponding debit on the other. This sounds like what you are doing. If you want this to show up in your reports there is an option on reports to show account transfers, and you can also budget amounts for account transfers.

2. If you really want it to hit a category don't use the transfer feature, instead use a "To Savings" category on your checking account and a corresponding "From Checking" category in your savings account.

clubby
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by clubby » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:51 pm

ahnooie wrote:...
1. Don't use a category for savings, by default Quicken uses the account name instead which does a credit on one account and a corresponding debit on the other. This sounds like what you are doing. If you want this to show up in your reports there is an option on reports to show account transfers, and you can also budget amounts for account transfers.
...


Could you direct us on how to do this? Thanks in advance.

stan1
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by stan1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:23 pm

communipaw wrote:I use Quicken [right now Quicken 2013] and once a month I transfer any "leftover" money from my checking account to my savings account .
I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings?


Here's what I do:

I enter "Annual Savings" in the tag field of the transfer transaction. I also have a saved custom report that gives me a total of all transactions tagged as "annual savings" broken out by year and account so I can see how much I'm investing over time.

Another approach you can do is to create a report that shows all the transfers from your checking account to your savings account. I did that for a number of years, but as over time I accumulated more accounts it became easier to tag the transactions.

Quicken reports are great. Requires some effort to learn how to use them but you can look at your data just about any way you want to see it.

clubby
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by clubby » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:38 am

Thanks for the help!

sscritic
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by sscritic » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:36 am

I like accounts and transfers. I charge something on a credit card; it goes in the credit card account and has a category associated with it, groceries, computers, household, etc. When I pay my bill from my checking account, it is a transfer from the checking account to the credit card account. The purchases do not show up in the checking account as they are in the credit card account. When I look at my monthly spending, the transfers offset, say $546.37 out of checking and $546.37 into the credit card, while the actual purchases are in the proper categories.

Now my purchases at Vanguard are also transfers, from the checking account to the Vanguard account. If I had several destinations for my savings, I might do the following:

Create a phony account, Savings (if Q has one already that you are using for something else, use Investment Savings).
A purchase at Vanguard from checking would be recorded as a transfer from checking to Savings followed by a transfer from Savings to Vanguard.
If you had six different destination for your savings, they would all be recorded in this one account, so a report on Savings would show you where all your savings went.

I use a similar technique for checks written against Vanguard accounts. While the check might be written to the US Treasury, I record the sale of shares of my money market fund as a transfer to Vanguard Checking and then record the payment to the US Treasury with the category taxes in Vanguard Checking. Vanguard Checking then gives me an easy way to see all the checks I wrote on my Vanguard accounts, separated out from all the other sales which were transfers to my checking account.

sscritic
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by sscritic » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:06 pm

P.S. I now see that yours was a different question, on the one hand simpler but also perhaps not solved by my phony account method. Let me think some more.

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neurosphere
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by neurosphere » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:21 pm

communipaw wrote:I use Quicken [right now Quicken 2013] and once a month I transfer any "leftover" money from my checking account to my savings account .
I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings?


Wouldn't any transfer into the saving account be savings? How about you create a report which simply lists transfers INTO the savings account. Perhaps on the same report list transfers OUT of the account. Then you can choose your dates of interest and you can know that transfers into the account was money you intended to have as savings. Transfer out of the account is money that you spent from savings. The difference between the two is your net savings over the time period.

This won't necessarily show up in a category report, but will show up in many other reports, which can be customized to show transfer in and out of each about, or only in or only out.

Am I understanding your question correctly?

ahnooie
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by ahnooie » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:33 am

clubby wrote:
ahnooie wrote:...
1. Don't use a category for savings, by default Quicken uses the account name instead which does a credit on one account and a corresponding debit on the other. This sounds like what you are doing. If you want this to show up in your reports there is an option on reports to show account transfers, and you can also budget amounts for account transfers.
...


Could you direct us on how to do this? Thanks in advance.


Transaction:
Lets say you have two accounts called "Alliant Checking" and " Alliant Savings", if entering the transaction in the "Alliant Checking" register set the category to "[Alliant Savings]" (exclude quotes, include brackets... it should auto-complete as you type) ...you'll notice that Quicken creates a corresponding transaction in "Alliant Savings". Quicken considers this a transfer. If you're synchronizing with Quicken Mobile devices this will show up as a "transfer" on those devices.

Budget:
Optional if you want a budget. The steps are a little different with different versions of Quicken but this is for 2014, and it's the same general idea in previous versions. Planning Menu -> Budgets -> Budget Actions button (top-right) -> Select categories to budget. Go to Transfers In or Transfers out and you can choose to a transfer to add to your budget. Like: "TO [Alliant Savings]" or "TO [Vanguard IRA]" Add it to your budget somewhere.

Report:
Quicken's Reports Menu -> Spending -> Current Budget. Hit the Customize Button (top-right) -> Accounts tab. Make sure all accounts are selected. Then go to the Advanced tab.

At the bottom you'll see Transfers, Subcategories, and Categories. The three settings I use are:

Transfers: Set to either Exclude Internal or Include All. The latter will include transfers into the same account on the report. e.g. an opening balance transaction.

Subcategories: If I hide subcategories the amounts don't roll-up into the parent categories correctly resulting in wrong amounts on the report as of Quicken 2014 so now I leave it on Show all.

Categories: Non-Zero actual/budgeted. What this does is shows every category in your budget whether or not there was a transaction against it along with any transactions that occurred that were not in your budget. Note that in Quicken 2014 "Non-Zero actual/budgeted" erroneously excludes transfers from showing up for some accounts so if you're using Quicken 2014 you may need to use Include All instead--which unfortunately shows every category whether it's in your budget or not. But if you had saved a customized report in an earlier version of Quicken with Non-Zero actual/budgeted set it will still work in Quicken 2014 (at least for me, your mileage may vary).

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magellan
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Re: Savings category in Quicken

Post by magellan » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:10 pm

communipaw wrote:I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings?

As others have indicated, there are many roads to Dublin with this one.

What I'd probably do for this is create and a named report called 'Monthly Savings' or something like that. The report would track transfers to the savings account and subtotal them by month (or quarter, or annually). In this case, you'll probably want to start with the default banking->transaction report. Next, go to the categories tab and click 'clear all'. Then, select only the savings account (this assumes you never spend money directly out of savings account, only transfer in and out). Next, set up a date range (eg. YTD or last 12 months) and set the subtotal by field (eg monthly, quarterly). Finally, you can create an icon for the report on quicken's tool bar so you can view it with a single click any time you want.

Jim

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