Budget Report and Savings Goals

We have a savings account that we use to collect money that we are accumulating for large annual or quarterly payments. In other words, if we want to save up $1200 for vehicle registration, we would put $100 a month in this saving account for 12 months and then renewing our license plates is not (very) painful.

We accumulate this money by transferring the budgeted amount (i.e. $100 for Registration Renewal) from checking into savings. However, when I make this transfer using Quicken, I have to use the savings account name in the Category column. Using this method does not update our monthly budget line item for Registration Renewal, so it appears that the budget item was not met even though the money we intended for that budget item was spent (transferred to savings).

The same thing happens when we use Saving Goals. If I set up the goal in the savings account, the budget item does not get updated. We would prefer to not have the Saving Goal amounts left in the checking account, to prevent accidently spending those funds on something else.

Currently, I am using a spreadsheet to track the monthly saving amounts and the accumulated totals in the savings account. I would like to be able to do all of this in Quicken. Is there a way to make this happen and have the budget report reflect our actual spending?

Hopefully, I have explained my question clearly. If not, I can provide more information.

Thanks,
Mike
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Comments

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think what you want to do here is, in effect, "expense" your monthly transfers - $100 in your example.  You can do that by budgeting the transfer itself as a form of expense.  Each month you'd have an "expense" of "TO [Name of Savings Account or Savings Goal]."  What you can't do is have the transaction - moving money from one Account to another Account (or Savings Goal) - show up as a pure Category expense. 
    Of course moving money from one pocket to another pocket isn't really a form of expense or income so if you are attempting to have your "Overall Total" on the report - actual income vs. actual expense - be accurate then when you pay the money, you expense that as using the Registration Renewal Category and show the transfer of the money back into the checking Account from the Savings Account as a form of "income."
  • Tom, thanks for your reply. I will play around with your ideas. I realize that I am being a bit OCD about this, but my father and sister are / were accountants, and I was taught to make everything balance on the reports. I may have to let go of that a bit just to maintain a bit of sanity. :-)
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Quicken is an accounting system and double entry accounting is baked in to all transactions, even the so-called "one sided" entries allowed by Quicken to establish opening balances in new Accounts. But "reports" aren't "accounting", they are simply "information of interest to me that I pull from my accounting records." 
    Even so, if you account for transfers from a checking Account to a savings Account as a form of "expense", then account for the transfer back to checking as a form of "income", and then expense the check you write to a Registration Renewal Category, then the "Overall Total" on a spending report for the period is correct.
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