in app calculator (Q Mac)

1200flasher Member ✭✭
I'm still trying to get used to the new version of Quicken after years with Quicken 2007. I'm sure I'm missing something basic. The in app calculator does not work the way I expect. Today I was entering some credit card splits. For example for Lowes I had purchases of 25.25, 22.29, 44.12, 10.66, 13.87, and 7.99. Clicking the calculator icon in the Lowes category for my credit card, entering the first number, hitting return and continuing gives me a total of $248.36 which is exactly double the total if I use the Mac calculator. What am I not understanding about the calculator?


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm afraid I can't answer your question re: the calculator. Someone else will have to take care of it.
    But, may I ask why you're entering splits for multiple credit card purchases?
    One usually has one account register in Quicken for each real world bank account that you have: Checking, Savings, Credit Cards, Loans, Investments, etc., not forgetting Cash in your wallet.
    If you have (or create) account registers in Quicken for each of your credit cards you can record each credit card purchase as its own, separate transaction. There's no need to create complicated multi-splits to shoehorn each of your several purchases into one register transaction.
    The monthly payment of your credit card statement is recorded as a simple transfer from your checking account to the credit card account register.
  • 1200flasher
    1200flasher Member ✭✭
    I thought about doing that, but chose to have multiple splits to record purchases into budget categories. Most of my spending goes to existing budget items and there are always some that get dumped into miscellaneous. So I put all groceries into categories for the regular supermarkets, gas purchases to to each vehicle, restaurant meals get lumped together into one category. There are many credit card purchases I want to track. Those that I don't are miscellaneous spending.

    I record the credit care payment and one amount, but like to see the breakdown of where it's going. At store like Loews or a grocery can have multiple purchases in a month. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the way my brain wants to keep track of things.

    I do have the overall accounts split the way you suggest.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whatever you think works best for you, that's the way to go.
    But, I'm thinking about keeping it simple. Simple transactions, one for each purchase, make more sense to me than trying to sum up a bunch of Lowe's or restaurant or other transactions. Simple transactions, memorized and already correctly pre-categorized make data entry a snap. And one-for-one transaction relationships (one register transaction matched to one credit card statement transaction) make it easy to reconcile my statements, to see if there are any discrepancies.
    Hope someone chimes in here to explain the Mac calculator for you. I'm a Windows user and my mini calculator is really easy to use.
  • 1200flasher
    1200flasher Member ✭✭
    I'm beginning to think that part of my problem with the calculator numbers is because I'm starting the splitting with the total amount due on the credit card already entered. So when I enter an amount Quicken is doing some math for me in the background. I'm fairly math phobic and no one would want me to be their bookkeeper. :-)
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    As UKR has said, it seems like you're trying to pound square pegs into round holes. Quicken is designed so that each credit card in real life is represented by a credit card account in Quicken. Every credit card charge gets recorded as a transaction in the credit card account. You can use splits on a transaction if, for instance, one purchase at Lowe's should be split between tools and garden supplies. Once a month when you pay the credit card bill, you enter a simple payment (no splits) in your checking account as a Transfer to the credit card account.

    The categories you use for transactions should be the ones Quicken provides, or ones of your own, but should be by the type of expense -- e.g. garden supplies -- not by the Payee. You shouldn't;t have a Lowe's category. Lowe's is the Payee, and you can see all your Lowe's transactions in a register search or a report. But your categorized expenses should tell you what types of things you spent money on, not where you spent it. Does that make sense?

    If you have a Lowe's credit card to save 5% (I shop at Lowe's a lot because of that!), you might have a pretty boring looking account in Quicken: every transaction is either a purchase at Lowe's, or a payment on the credit card transferred from the checking account. Here's a piece of mine:

    If you have a regular credit card which you use at Lowe's, then your Lowe's purchases will be interspersed with all your other purchases at various stores in that account. 

    As for the calculator itself, I wonder if the problem you're describing is because Quicken is confused about what's a positive or negative amount, and it's ending up doubling the amount to move it in the opposite direction. Expenses in Quicken are always negative numbers in the Amount column. But Quicken is usually pretty smart about knowing whether the numbers you're typing should be positive or negative. In your case, did you enter a total Amount first, and then break it down into splits? Or did you create a new transaction, go to the Amount field, click on the calculator, and start entering the values? If you enter 25.25, then plus, then 22.29, then return, the Amount column will show the summed the two numbers but enter it as a negative amount of -47.54, which is what you want. (You said you pressed Return after the first number, but that takes you out of the calculator and just enter the first value of -25.25.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • 1200flasher
    1200flasher Member ✭✭
    Sorry for the slow response. I had to be out of town. I don't try to record every Lowe's transaction in Quicken, but only the total of all Lowe's changes on the monthly credit card statement. What I was trying to do was use what I thought was a Quicken calculator for the Lowe's split line in the credit card statement. I understand what you are saying about categories vs payees. I've just never done it that way since I started with Quicken in the last Century. I guess I should revisit how I record expenses.

    But that still doesn't help with my calculator issue.

    I was wrong when I wrote I entered an amount, the return, then another amount. I do the first charge, then the second, etc and return at the end. I've tried it again. Before I hit return the total is correct...124.18, but when it hit return it changes to 248.36. I tried it again using negatives number, but that's way off.

    For now, I'll continue to use the Mac's calculator and paste it into the splits I have.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Okay, I think I understand better what you're trying to do. Working with Quicken Mac splits can be a little tricky, because in the developers' efforts to make the program anticipate what you're trying to do, if the logic they built into the program doesn't agree with your logic, you can end up fighting the program.

    For initial entry, you have a choice of two approaches:

    (a) Do not enter any total, just part entering split lines, and the transaction total will increase as you enter each split line.

    (b) Enter a total amount -- the credit card bill total -- and then fill in splits to use up that balance

    Here's a look at the former. I've started a new transaction, but not entered an Amount, and opened it to the Splits screen:

    When I enter data in the first split line for a $50 transaction, notice that the total amount also becomes $50:

    When I enter data in the second split line for a $125 transaction, the total Amount becomes $175, the sum of the split lines:

    If you have more split lines to enter, click the + button next to the last split line to add another, and the total Amount will continue to increase:

    When you click on Save, the transaction is saved with all the splits and the total Amount is the sum of the splits. (It shouldn't matter if you type the amount manually, as I'm showing here, or invoke the calculator and sum a few numbers.)

    Now, if you do if the second way, and enter your credit card payment amount first, it's similar but a little different. Here I've entered a new transaction with the Amount of $195:

    Notice it defaults the first split line to the remaining balance of $195. When I enter my first split line for a $50 purchase, Quicken moves the remaining $145 balance to the second split line:

    When I enter the second split line amount for $125, Quicken automatically opens a third split line with the remaining $20 balance.

    You can now enter the third (any any subsequent) splits.

    If you decide the original Amount you entered is not what you need, you can dit it, and the split line with the remainder will also be adjusted. If I changed the $195 above to $205, Quicken would change the amount in the third split to $30.

    If you realize you don't want the last split, and want to adjust the total Amount to be the same of the splits you've already entered, delete the last split line with the remainder amount. Quicken will ask you to confirm your intent: do you want to delete that split line and have it change the total Amount:

    This situation often comes up if you are re-using a previous transaction to the same Payee which was saved as a QuickFill rule: the Amounts will naturally be different, so if you over-type the splits, you can then have Quicken total your splits and make that some the transaction amount. 

    There are a few other variations on these processes that Quicken does, trying to anticipate what you want to change, but I won't complicate this with more examples here. Sometimes you have to re-type a total Amount, or delete a split line it creates, to push it to do what you want.

    I notice you mention pressing Return between numbers. I suggest using just plus and minus in the calculator, and Tab between columns; save Return for when you want to Save a completed transaction.

    If this still isn't making sense or matching your experience, could you try walking me through one simple transaction, keystroke by keystroke, so I can understand exactly what you're pressing that's giving you trouble?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • 1200flasher
    1200flasher Member ✭✭
    Thanks. I think I get it now. I was starting with the credit card balance due entered in total. I'll have another go at it. I do appreciate the time you took to show the detailed explanation. And I appreciate the thoughts others have share. I wish I'd explained my self better at the beginning.
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