Why do actual transactions not go into the Budget categories?

I have a detailed budget established, but most of my everyday expenses are put on a credit card.  The transactions are always listed, and I correct the budget category in the transaction list if it is incorrect.  However, when the monthly budget is displayed, the spending transactions are not listed in the categories.  It just shows the total credit card payment.  If the money comes out of the bank account, it is put in the proper budget category.  How can this be corrected?


  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    Just trying to understand how you'r doing things: do you have a separate account (int helot sidebar) for your credit card, with each credit card transaction entered (or downloaded)? Or are you creating one big transaction in your checking account for each credit card payment, with lots of splits?
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Not quite sure what your question is...  I don't have a separate account for credit card transactions.  When each credit card transaction is recorded, it has a category.  But, the actual charge is not shown in the budget as an expense.  The only expense listed is the actual credit card payment each month.  How can I make each charge go into it's assigned category?

  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    Aha, now I understand a bit better.

    The best way to handle credit cards with Quicken is to make each one its own account, where it will appear in the left sidebar along with your checking account, investment accounts, retirement accounts, loans, etc.

    If you're recording transactions manually, then you'd open the credit card account and record each purchase/charge as its own transaction. Each transaction will have a category (or categories, if you split it to have multiple categories). The balance of your credit card will appear in the left sidebar, and in the credit card register.

    When you get your monthly statement, you reconcile the credit card account, just as you do your checking account, checking off each transaction to make sure you've recorded everything in Quicken that's on your credit card statement.

    Then, when you're ready to pay your credit card bill, you make that transaction in your checking account, as a Transfer to your credit card account. The payment of the bill has no real category, and thus doesn't affect your budget; the expenses are categorized in the individual transactions in your credit card account, and this spending will show up in your budget. (Transfers in Quicken, which are technically fund transfers and not expenses, do not show up in the budget. They're planning to make some changes to that in the future for things like loan payments or savings goals, but that's a separate issue.)

    Here's a sample transaction in a checking account showing a Transfer to an account called Chase Visa: 

    Note that you need to make the Transfer column visible in your register. (There's a way around this, but I don't want to complicate things here.) Once you press Enter to save this transaction, you'll see it show up automatically in your credit card account. These transactions are linked; if you edit the amount or Memo, it will happen on both sides of the linked transaction.

    If you use Quicken in this way for your credit cards, you'll have much more accurate data (each credit card transaction will be recorded on the date it occurred, not in one mass transaction the day you pay your credit card bill), you won't have to deal with a giant payment transaction with a split for every credit card charge, and your expenses will show up in your budget. I know it may seem a little unnerving to change the way you've been doing things, but this is the way Quicken was designed to work, and every experienced Quicken user recommends handling your credit cards in this way.

    I hope that all makes sense. Write back if anything doesn't!
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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