"Categories?" and "Where is my FREE YEAR of Quicken?"

I was worried about having Quicken download Amazon and others into my account and keeping my same categories. Many items are split in two, indicating AMTS that Hubby owes me (we split everything). I need to get him paid and figure out how much he owes me, but how would you ever determine which I'm to bill him and which ones I repay him. Some things are simple, like "entertainment", "mortgage", etc, but others, like items bought in Amazon are more complicated. How does Quicken attempt to Categorize?

ALSO, since you didn't list a topic for this: I joined Quicken Mastercard in Dec2019, with your offer of a free year of Quicken and other benefits. It was to be added to the then current plan in Aug2020. Now I see Quicken charged me at least once last year, and now I’m being asked to renew again with 10% off. I called Mastercard, and they don't see where they ever credited my account for charging/paying for a certain amount within 3 mo. period (they verified that I qualified!). When do I get my FREE year of Quicken and the extra dough from MC? (actually, MC is looking into their Reward for me).

Best Answers

  • jani
    jani Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    PS: There was no category under which to ask a question about the Free stuff that was promised.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited May 13 Accepted Answer
    On the Quicken MasterCard offer, my guess is that you need to pursue this with the credit card. Although the Quicken Mastercard has Quicken's name on it, it is a credit card from U.S. Bank, and they would be the ones to have triggered the process for you to receive the activation code for the one-year subscription. If they didn't code your account properly for having met the terms of the promotion, they never would have transmitted your email address to Quicken for the one-year subscription. (You could reach out to official Quicken Support (this forum is not Quicken Support) about this, but I would guess that they either won't know about the credit card deal or would refer you to the credit card company.) If you get someone from U.S. Bank to confirm that you met the terms of the offer, then I'd ask them for either proof that they notified Quicken to send you the activation code, or just try to get them to give you a $50 credit as compensation.

    Now, to the categories question…  When Quicken downloads transactions from a credit card or bank, it doesn't know anything about what was purchased. When it auto-assigns a category, it's a guess based on the company. If you make a purchase at an Exxon station, it will likely assign it a category of Auto:Gas & Fuel; if your purchase at the Exxon station was actually for a soda at the convenience store, Quicken has no way of knowing that. you should treat any auto-categorizations by Quicken as a first pass at categorizing, but accurate categorization requires you to review and edit categories of transactions over time.

    If you have transactions for which you want to split the cost between yourself and your husband, there are several possible ways to track this. One is to use Tags. Create one Tag for yourself and one for your husband, and use these tags on any transactions for which the two of you split costs. In many cases, that will require editing a transaction to have two split lines, with half the expense amount on a line with his tag and half the expense amount on a line with your tag. Here's what such a transaction might look like, if you had a purchase from Amazon for clothing for you and a tool for your husband, and you used tags called "self" and "spouse":



    Instead of tags, you could create lots of duplicate categories for you and your husband, but that's exactly what tags aim to avoid. With these two tags, you could generate reports to see how much you owe each other, while your overall expense reports would accurately show your combined household expenses. 

    You could also create an asset or liability account for money you owe your husband or he owes you, and do transfers into that account every time there's a relevant charge. But I think that would be more complicated, and would make getting overall reporting of your household expenses more difficult. (But it might be useful if you only want to track your personal income and expenses in Quicken, and not his.) I could expand on these options if you want more information.


    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jani
    jani Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Thanks so much for your answers, Jacob. I'm totally impressed that you figured out my problems so thoroughly.

    I did contact the bank, and they went over my purchases and found I was indeed due the cash promised, but the agent was going to go over it with others to make sure.

    Oddly, his thought was that for the free year of Quicken, I'd have to go through Quicken. I will do that tomorrow. Thank you for the contact, I fully intended to get to that today, but time got away, as usual.

    As far as the Categories are concerned, it's going to be a headache, but at least the entries will be there, and I can just go through them one by one (YIKES) and add the categories (or Tags, which is the way I have handled it for quite some time}.

    I did prefer Categories only, before Tags, that were easily split out. Tags seem awkward to me. I will read this over and again to make sure I'm doing it properly, and perhaps the App will soon understand how I'm doing it and will automatically read my mind and enter them for me after a while. It's pretty smart. Fingers crossed.

    Incentive to get into the habit of daily, or at least, weekly entries!

    Thanks again for your time and energy in answering my questions! :)
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    jani said:
    His thought was that for the free year of Quicken, I'd have to go through Quicken. I will do that tomorrow. 
    But someone will need to provide you with the activation code for Quicken -- and I would think that needs to come from the bank. When you contact Quicken, I don't think they can access your financial data at U.S. Bank to determine that you qualify. When you have another communication with U.S. Bank, my suggestion is to press them for how to receive the activation code for the promised free year of Quicken. (If they say they don't have them anymore, I'd then press for a $50 statement credit from U.S. Bank.)

    jani said:
    Perhaps the App will soon understand how I'm doing it and will automatically read my mind and enter them for me after a while. It's pretty smart. Fingers crossed.
    There's no magic involved, so if you understand what it can automate for you, you'll be happier. You can create saved transactions called QuickFill Rules, which are accessible to see, edit or manually create from Windows > Payees & Rules. Quicken's default is to create a QuickFill rules for each transaction; this is a preference setting you can turn on or off in  Preferences > Register. You want to make sure your preference is set to Save All Fields, because that will save your splits with categories and tags:



    The next time you enter a transaction for the same Payee, Quicken will apply the rule for that Payee. If the amount is the same, then it won't require any tweaking. If the amount is different, Quicken doesn't have any intelligence about how to do the split -- e.g. you can't tell it to always split a transaction 50/50 between the two split lines -- so the transaction will have a third split line for an uncategorized amount; you'll have to edit the transaction to enter the correct amount for your split line and your husband's. 

    Once you work with the QuickFill rules for a bit, and begin building a "library" of transactions set up the way you want, you'll find it will go more quickly.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • jani
    jani Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    PS: There was no category under which to ask a question about the Free stuff that was promised.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited May 13 Accepted Answer
    On the Quicken MasterCard offer, my guess is that you need to pursue this with the credit card. Although the Quicken Mastercard has Quicken's name on it, it is a credit card from U.S. Bank, and they would be the ones to have triggered the process for you to receive the activation code for the one-year subscription. If they didn't code your account properly for having met the terms of the promotion, they never would have transmitted your email address to Quicken for the one-year subscription. (You could reach out to official Quicken Support (this forum is not Quicken Support) about this, but I would guess that they either won't know about the credit card deal or would refer you to the credit card company.) If you get someone from U.S. Bank to confirm that you met the terms of the offer, then I'd ask them for either proof that they notified Quicken to send you the activation code, or just try to get them to give you a $50 credit as compensation.

    Now, to the categories question…  When Quicken downloads transactions from a credit card or bank, it doesn't know anything about what was purchased. When it auto-assigns a category, it's a guess based on the company. If you make a purchase at an Exxon station, it will likely assign it a category of Auto:Gas & Fuel; if your purchase at the Exxon station was actually for a soda at the convenience store, Quicken has no way of knowing that. you should treat any auto-categorizations by Quicken as a first pass at categorizing, but accurate categorization requires you to review and edit categories of transactions over time.

    If you have transactions for which you want to split the cost between yourself and your husband, there are several possible ways to track this. One is to use Tags. Create one Tag for yourself and one for your husband, and use these tags on any transactions for which the two of you split costs. In many cases, that will require editing a transaction to have two split lines, with half the expense amount on a line with his tag and half the expense amount on a line with your tag. Here's what such a transaction might look like, if you had a purchase from Amazon for clothing for you and a tool for your husband, and you used tags called "self" and "spouse":



    Instead of tags, you could create lots of duplicate categories for you and your husband, but that's exactly what tags aim to avoid. With these two tags, you could generate reports to see how much you owe each other, while your overall expense reports would accurately show your combined household expenses. 

    You could also create an asset or liability account for money you owe your husband or he owes you, and do transfers into that account every time there's a relevant charge. But I think that would be more complicated, and would make getting overall reporting of your household expenses more difficult. (But it might be useful if you only want to track your personal income and expenses in Quicken, and not his.) I could expand on these options if you want more information.


    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jani
    jani Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Thanks so much for your answers, Jacob. I'm totally impressed that you figured out my problems so thoroughly.

    I did contact the bank, and they went over my purchases and found I was indeed due the cash promised, but the agent was going to go over it with others to make sure.

    Oddly, his thought was that for the free year of Quicken, I'd have to go through Quicken. I will do that tomorrow. Thank you for the contact, I fully intended to get to that today, but time got away, as usual.

    As far as the Categories are concerned, it's going to be a headache, but at least the entries will be there, and I can just go through them one by one (YIKES) and add the categories (or Tags, which is the way I have handled it for quite some time}.

    I did prefer Categories only, before Tags, that were easily split out. Tags seem awkward to me. I will read this over and again to make sure I'm doing it properly, and perhaps the App will soon understand how I'm doing it and will automatically read my mind and enter them for me after a while. It's pretty smart. Fingers crossed.

    Incentive to get into the habit of daily, or at least, weekly entries!

    Thanks again for your time and energy in answering my questions! :)
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    jani said:
    His thought was that for the free year of Quicken, I'd have to go through Quicken. I will do that tomorrow. 
    But someone will need to provide you with the activation code for Quicken -- and I would think that needs to come from the bank. When you contact Quicken, I don't think they can access your financial data at U.S. Bank to determine that you qualify. When you have another communication with U.S. Bank, my suggestion is to press them for how to receive the activation code for the promised free year of Quicken. (If they say they don't have them anymore, I'd then press for a $50 statement credit from U.S. Bank.)

    jani said:
    Perhaps the App will soon understand how I'm doing it and will automatically read my mind and enter them for me after a while. It's pretty smart. Fingers crossed.
    There's no magic involved, so if you understand what it can automate for you, you'll be happier. You can create saved transactions called QuickFill Rules, which are accessible to see, edit or manually create from Windows > Payees & Rules. Quicken's default is to create a QuickFill rules for each transaction; this is a preference setting you can turn on or off in  Preferences > Register. You want to make sure your preference is set to Save All Fields, because that will save your splits with categories and tags:



    The next time you enter a transaction for the same Payee, Quicken will apply the rule for that Payee. If the amount is the same, then it won't require any tweaking. If the amount is different, Quicken doesn't have any intelligence about how to do the split -- e.g. you can't tell it to always split a transaction 50/50 between the two split lines -- so the transaction will have a third split line for an uncategorized amount; you'll have to edit the transaction to enter the correct amount for your split line and your husband's. 

    Once you work with the QuickFill rules for a bit, and begin building a "library" of transactions set up the way you want, you'll find it will go more quickly.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jani
    jani Member ✭✭
    Jacob, once again, you sent clear information "quick"ly! If I run into more problems, I'll return here. Thank you!
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