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Creating category structure? (Q Mac)

patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
The default structure of categories in Quicken doesn't work for me. I want to have all transactions categorized as:
Discretionary - Fixed
Discretionary - Variable
NonDiscretionary - Fixed
NonDiscretionary - Variable

In order to do this, I think I have to re-create a new category structure, and then re-assign every transaction from its original category to the new one. The help re-create the new structure, I want to print out all existing categories from the category window. There does not appear to be a way to print the list of categories.

Is there a better way to do this? It would be great if I could drag some existing categories into the new structure, but there is no way to do this. I would appreciate any ideas.
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  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @patjdixon,

    On your question about "print[ing] a list of categories - you can do that in Quicken windows by opening up "Categories" and clicking on the little printer icon at the bottom of the page. Sorry - I don't have the Mac program so this may not translate.

    However I have another thought on how you might get the data/reporting you seek.  Have you considered using "Tags".  I believe that you could keep the current Quicken categories but create four new tags for the four types of transactions you noted in your message.  That may give you the reporting you seek.

    Let me have your thoughts on this and/or questions.

    Frankx


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  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    Frankx, thanks for your response. Unfortunately, your suggestions won't work:
    - Apparently, in the Mac version there is no printer icon on the Categories list window.
    - Tags can only be applied to transactions; they cannot be assigned to categories. Therefore, I would have to manually assign a tag to each transaction. This clearly would be a laborious task and not practical.
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @patjdixon,

    Maybe I am missing something, but according to your initial message patjdixon said:
    In order to do this, I think I have to re-create a new category structure, and then re-assign every transaction from its original category to the new one
    So, yes, this process you have envisioned is by itself "a laborious task".  But just so you know, similar to the use of Categories - if you memorize payees/transactions in Quicken as you make entries, those fields - including Tags - will reappear for future entries reducing time and effort.

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R28.24 - Build 27.1.28.24  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 1909
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  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    In my original message, I stated that I would have to re-categorize the transactions to the new category structure. Once that is done, memorized transactions should put new transactions in the new structure.

    Using tags would require assigning the tag to each transaction, old and new. I was not aware memorized transactions would assign both category and tag; that would help.

    However, when I generate reports, I need to be able to see monthly totals for the last 12 months, segregating Discretionary versus NonDiscretionary, then under each Fixed versus Variable, then under each which category. The attached image is what I want.
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    I guess I can't upload an image to this forum, so you will have to guess what it looks like
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You only want to have 4 categories?  If you set those up can't you move the existing categories under them as sub categories?  Or could an existing category have transactions for both fixed and variable?

    Seems like Tags are the way to go.  Just 4 Tags.  Maybe you can add tags to prior transactions based on payee?  Don't know if Mac has a Find and Replace?
    We need a Mac person to jump in like John.
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7
    You can add a file by using these which are right above the message box



    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R28.24 - Build 27.1.28.24  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 1909
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  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    Frankx,

    - No, I do not want only 4 categories. It would be obvious if I could upload an image
    - Neither Safari nor Chrome show me the icons above the message box. The only thing I have is an emoji selector :(
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    New people have to post a certain amount before they can attach images.  But I think there is another way they can as a file?
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    Thanks volvogirl. If anyone knows how to do this, I could use the help. A picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe I just have to spam the forum?
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    I think I figured it out. Hopefully, you can see the attached image. This is an example of the kind of category structure I want so that I can generate reports and graphs.
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7
    @patjdixon,

    Thanks for the picture.

    Based on what I see, I still believe that the use of Tags is the proper way to go - now let me tell you why.

    Your listing has a total of twelve (12) different types of spending - you call them "expenses" but two of them are not actually expenses - mortgage payments and car payments (unless you are leasing the car) are the payment of liabilities not expenses. 

    That being said the most important fact about these "expenses" in the analysis of your "problem" of how to account for these items in Quicken, is that none of these "expenses" need to be split between "discretionary" and "nondiscretionary"; each one is either one or the other.

    Tags are the best way that you can achieve your objective.  You would need four tags, as follows:  Discretionary - Fixed, Discretionary - Variable, Non-discretionary - Fixed, and Non-discretionary - Variable.  Presumably you already have the 12 spending/"expense" types already set-up in Quicken. So you would just need to add one Tag to each of them. And if you memorize payees in Quicken, you can save not only the categories but also the tags.

    Good luck!

    Frankx
     



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  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    Frankx, tags might be the best way to go if they can produce the kind of report I illustrated. To be clear, the expense categories in the image were obviously just a sampling; there would be a lot more categories. I prefer to just leave the default Quicken categories alone and use tags if I can create the kind of report I need.
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Patjdixon,

    The only complication that could affect my above conclusions is if the statement (which was based entirely on the data you presented) above "none of these "expenses" need to be split between "discretionary" and "nondiscretionary"; each one is either one or the other" is incorrect". Is it?

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R28.24 - Build 27.1.28.24  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 1909
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Like" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    A transaction/category can only be discretionary or nondiscretionary, not both. It can be either fixed or variable, not both

    It would be way better if tags could be put on categories so that every transaction, regardless of the store/vendor, goes to the right place. I really would like Quicken to be able to produce the type of report I posted in a simple way.
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I suggested that - making the existing categories as sub categories way up above.  But it must have been overlooked.
  • RickORickO SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In any case, if all the subcategories need to be duplicated under each new top level category, then this is only going to help for the first new top level category. The other three will have to have their subcategories created from scratch. I tend to agree with others that tags are probably the way to go with this.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    Tags will not work. In the attached report, you can see that tags do not totalize as in the report I am trying to generate.

    In the example I posted before, I totalize Discretionary and NonDiscretionary. I then totalized Fixed and Variable under these categories. I can then drill down into the more detailed categories to see where the spending comes from.

    Using tags, the report puts the tags at the bottom instead of the top. Therefore, it will not work.
  • patjdixonpatjdixon Member ✭✭
    RickO, I think the approach you showed in the movie will do exactly what I want. Thank you everyone for your help with this.
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