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I want to manually add an expense for which there is no account.

I want to track a few of my wife's expenses but not add her checking account to my list of accounts. For example, I simply want to include an amount on a certain date for groceries that she has purchased. When I do that manually (add the date, category and amount), my checking account always pops up under Account. Any ideas? Thanks

Best Answer

Answers

  • Thanks Chris - so sounds like I would just need to create a fictitious account. But if I do that under Accounts, you are always led to a provider such as a bank or credit card company. So am not sure how I would create a manual account as you suggest for my purpose.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Sorry someone else will have to give the details on how to setup a manual entry account.  I know it is possible, but I'm a Windows users so I don't know the details.
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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Just set up a CASH account.  
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    As volvogirl suggests, if you create a Cash account, you will not be offered to link it to a bank.

    If you'd rather the account be called a checking account, it's very easy to set it up as a manual account. On the screen that shows the list of banks, click the OPTIONS button, then choose the option to enter transactions manually.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    You can create a checking account, not set for downloading transactions, and just mark it as a "Keep Separate" account in Accounts > Hide & Show Accounts. This way you will have:
    1. a separate account from your checking account,
    2. easy access to it at the bottom of your left sidebar (unless you choose to also mark it hidden), and 
    3. the account won't show up in your total Net Worth
    I'd make one other comment about your process: "When I do that manually (add the date, category and amount), my checking account always pops up under Account." Because you mention selecting an Account, it sounds like you've clicked on one of the Group accounts in the left sidebar, such as Cash, Banking or All Transactions and are viewing that account group register. For entering transactions manually, I'd suggest that it's easier to click first on the account you're going to enter transactions in, such as your checking account, so the displayed register is just for that account. and then you don't need to have the Account column visible, nor select an account, when you're entering transactions. It's easy to switch between accounts just by clicking in the left sidebar, so I never use a Group when I'm entering transactions. 

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • All you guys are great. I have used Quicken since 2005 but never reached out to the Community before. Glad I did.

    So did the Cash option that volvogirl suggested. Works fine but it does adjust the total banking balance. In other words, I put in a $100 for groceries the banking balance decreases by that amount. I wont lose sleep on that but it would be great if these entries would have no effect on any of the balances as the balances are only linked to my accounts. Any ideas?

    BTW, using the Checking account option that RickO suggests also works but it does bring in a column for check number which of course is not applicable in this case.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    If you do as jacobs suggest and make the account Separate, then it won't affect your regular account or group balances.

    Cash or Checking doesn't really matter (other than how you want it labeled) as you can add or remove columns as you wish.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Every account in Quicken is going to have a running balance. In this case, it sounds like your intention is to enter some but not all transactions, in which case you'll never have a meaningful balance for your wife's checking account. If you're just recording some expenses and no deposits, you can either let the negative balance just grow forever, or occasionally zero it out with an adjustment entry. And you might want to hide the Balance column in that register, so you never see the meaningless running balance. (As RickO noted above, you can show and hide any columns in any register, by clicking on the Columns icon in the toolbar at the bottom right of a register.)

    The other issue is whether these transactions you enter are just for occasional reference -- e.g. you can open the register and look up some past transactions -- or you want the spending to show up in reports that will show your expense spending. To make the expenses show up in the categories of expenses you're using, you can't make the account "Separate", because those accounts are invisible to reports. For the expenses to show up in reports, you need to leave the "Wife's Checking" account visible in the left sidebar; you can mark the account Hidden, and it will drop to the bottom of the left sidebar under the Hidden Accounts group; you can open Hidden Accounts, click on the "Wife's Checking" account there to see and enter transactions in that account. But… the growing negative balance of that account will be reflected in your Net Worth. If you don't focus on Net Worth too much, you can just zero out that account with an adjustment entry every so often. So it's a matter of how you want to use it. You're basically doing something Quicken isn't designed for: entering some transactions in an account without complete inflow and outflow, so there are tradeoffs in how you want to see it and access it.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Jacobs - your answer is spot on and you are confirming what I just saw in that by making it Separate, I am not seeing the total expenses for that category - it leaves out my wife's expenses. You hit the proverbial nail on the head with your second comment - I am looking to have some incidental spending on her part show up in expense spending. Let's pick on groceries for instance when rather than using my credit card, she uses her own. And is now starting to give me that total, say at the end of each month. Clearly I am looking to that amount to show up under Groceries. So like you said I need to have an account for that purpose. So I do so under Cash under the drop down for Accounts and label it Wife's checking or because it more often than not is a credit card, I could just label it "Wife's Spending" and categorize it when I enter the amount - groceries, clothing, fuel, blah, blah. And then just as I realize the balance is a bit off - something I am not going to worry about, I simply go in every month or so and zero it out. I am thinking this all makes sense and I am getting it. But would very much appreciate your confirmation. Many thanks.
  • Actually it looks like I have no option as to naming the account - will just be Cash. Or is there a way to rename?
  • I was able to double click on Cash and rename. Not as dumb as I look.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Actually, separate accounts do not have to be excluded from reports. They are, by default, excluded. But you can customize a Category Transaction report to include the separate account. Just scroll down to the bottom of the Accounts list in the Customize window and checkmark the separate account. Save the report as a custom report so you don't have to remember to include the separate account each time. 

    This will be the best of both worlds. Your wife's transactions will not be include in your net worth or account group totals, but will be included in the custom report.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Thanks, @RickO, I think we've got a winning solution for @skibblues . ;) Since the developers implemented Separate accounts in the last release, I didn't realize such accounts appeared at the bottom of the account list in Customize > Accounts, where they can be included though normally excluded.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • All - again, many thanks for your help. However, I am not seeing Customize>Accounts. FYI - I am on a Mac - but I believe you all are Mac users as well.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @skibblues  Sorry for not being clear enough there. What I meant by Customize > Accounts was to open your report, click on Customize, click on the Accounts tab, click on Selected Accounts, and then you'll see the list of accounts to be included in your report. The "Separate" accounts are unchecked by default, but available to be checked at the very bottom of the accounts list.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Once you have the report window open, you will see a Customize button near the top left. The first tab on Customize pane is Accounts. Change "All accounts" to "Selected accounts". Then add a checkmark for the separate account at the bottom of the list.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
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