How to handle job & freelance expenses

I teach college & I'm also a freelance writer. I considered setting up 3 separate accounts--"Personal," "Business," and "Teaching"--but many of my expenses are tied to BOTH my writing business and teaching (for instance, computer supplies, office equipment such as printers, file cabinets, pens & paper, etc.). The only way I've been able to figure out how to handle this is to set up just 2 accounts: "Personal" and "Business & Teaching." Then I do split transactions within the "Business & Teaching" account to allocate a certain portion of the expense to business and a certain portion to teaching. It would be much better to have separate accounts for my freelance business and teaching, but as I understand it, I can't apportion expenses between them unless they're in the same account. Am I correct? Is there an easier way to handle this whole thing? Maybe using tags (which I don't understand completely)?
Tagged:

Best Answer

  • YingDave
    YingDave Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 3 Accepted Answer
    Yes you can, correct - by using tags. They act across all transactions regardless of which account or register they are in. To be useful though you have to assign a tag to all transactions including income. So you would set up a tag for 'Teaching' and a Tag for 'Business' then attribut those across all transaction no need for separate accounts or even separate files. If you really feel the need to you can split each expense using the same category, but some % to one tag, then the remainder to the other tag. Search you help file, support site for "using tags".

    You can also can run Profit/Loss reporting separately by tag. you can think of them like a 2nd dimension. So if you are a visual/spreadsheet type person, P&L would run down a spread sheet in rows of a single column. Tags act like splitting that cell into separate columns. Across each row it still adds up to the same total number for the category but you can see each set of columns (tags or business) separately. They can be used for personal expenses also. For example I have 2 cars in our family but transactions are enter with tags which I created for each car. So I can report value (asset) by vehicle, also fuel consumption, servicing costs by car etc. all in the same set of bank, cash and card accounts.

Answers

  • YingDave
    YingDave Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 3 Accepted Answer
    Yes you can, correct - by using tags. They act across all transactions regardless of which account or register they are in. To be useful though you have to assign a tag to all transactions including income. So you would set up a tag for 'Teaching' and a Tag for 'Business' then attribut those across all transaction no need for separate accounts or even separate files. If you really feel the need to you can split each expense using the same category, but some % to one tag, then the remainder to the other tag. Search you help file, support site for "using tags".

    You can also can run Profit/Loss reporting separately by tag. you can think of them like a 2nd dimension. So if you are a visual/spreadsheet type person, P&L would run down a spread sheet in rows of a single column. Tags act like splitting that cell into separate columns. Across each row it still adds up to the same total number for the category but you can see each set of columns (tags or business) separately. They can be used for personal expenses also. For example I have 2 cars in our family but transactions are enter with tags which I created for each car. So I can report value (asset) by vehicle, also fuel consumption, servicing costs by car etc. all in the same set of bank, cash and card accounts.
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