Categorizing Vacation Expenses

We are just back from vacation, and the numbers are in! I would like to tag/categorize these expenses as what they are, but also that they were a vacation expense. What is the proper way to do this?

For example, We stopped at several gas stations, which is a Auto:gas and fuel expense...however, in these set of instances, it was also a vacation expense. Or We stopped at these set of stores, and it was a shopping expense, but it was also a shopping expense while on vacation.

What is the proper way to note these items?

Best Answer

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I would tag them with a vacation moniker. I sometimes use two tags - one for locale and one for year. Create a system that works for you. 

Answers

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Any way you want.  You could make a Tag for vacation or trips.  Then you can sort or filter by the Tag.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I would tag them with a vacation moniker. I sometimes use two tags - one for locale and one for year. Create a system that works for you. 
  • Shredder52404
    Shredder52404 Member ✭✭
    Thank you both, sounds like using a "Tag" is the way to go. I like the idea of using a tag for a year and a location. Admittedly, I do absolutely nothing with tags up to this point, as I'm not sure what the functional difference between a tag and a category is, but sounds like i need to start. I do use the built-in predefined quicken categories for expenses pretty religiously and only create a new category when I absolutely have to.
  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You still use a category.  A Tag is just a way to sort transactions.

    There are Categories and Sub-Categories and Tags. You use a colon in front of a sub-category.  The forward slash / designates a Tag,  or there is also a TAG column.  

    Example of Sub-Category….
    Auto:Auto Fuel
    Auto:Maintance

    Example of Tags…
    Auto Fuel/Toyota
    Auto Fuel/Ford

    I have a home business and  use Tags  for each job.  Then when I run a report I can sort it by job.  So an expense entry might look like this…
    Business Expense:Supplies/Maple Street

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    As a further comment, be aware of the budget interactions. If you categorize to Auto:Fuel, the transaction will count against that budget line. It will not count as a Vacation expense. So think about it consistently. 

    If you are driving 1,000 extra miles on this vacation getting 25 mpg, do you want that 40 gal ($150?) as part of the vacation cost, or as part of the car operating expenses?  (I tend to the second choice.)
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    I'm probably a day late with my suggestion ...
    Previously I used a Vacation category with subcategories to break things down:
    Vacation
    Vacation:Air travel
    Vacation:Dining out
    Vacation:Fuel
    Vacation:Hotel
    Vacation:Misc. vacation expense
    Vacation:Rental car
    Vacation:Taxi, Limousine service
    etc.
    I now use a single category, Vacation, for all vacation - related expense. I don't need the details any more. I'm getting too old to worry about this stuff. :-:smile:


  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I like your Vacation category.  Then you can use Tags for the years or trips.  I know, I don't track every little thing now.  Like I put a lot just into a ATM category like cash withdrawal, groceries, fast food, gas.  A lot easier especially since I manually enter everything.  
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    To me, and my use of Q, it's all just Vacation ... as I wouldn't have had the rental car, fuel, Uber, etc expense if I weren't on vacation.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Admittedly, I do absolutely nothing with tags up to this point, as I'm not sure what the functional difference between a tag and a category is, but sounds like i need to start.
    The functional difference between a category and a tag is that a transaction can only have one category, but it can have zero or more tags.

    The result is that you can use tags to group transactions that have different categories.

    One of the main reasons to use tags over categories is to avoid creating duplicate categories.

    Imagine @volvogirl's case of different jobs, or of person that wants to have each vacation separated out.  If only categories were used they would end up being like this:
    Vacation 1:Air Travel
    Vacation 1:Rental Car
    ...
    Vacation 2: Air Travel
    Vacation 2:Rental Car
    ...

    Personally I'm even less concerned about the details than @UKR is.  I have the category of Vacation and that is it.

    I don't really use tags very much, but I did use them for things like selling two different products.  I had a tag for each of them.
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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Another use of Tags.  You could tag a transaction for each spouse or child.  Like Clothing/John or Clothing/Mary etc.  Or Doctor/John.
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    We are just back from vacation, and the numbers are in!
    What I have done - is to put each transaction into their normal Category 
    BUT then create/add a new tag for each vacation trip... and apply that to each and every entry for the trip.
    And make each Tag unique, so you can tell them apart from year to year, or even within the same year.

    Quicken Subscription - Windows 10
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I see @q_lurker mentioned budgets that you might want to use vacation categories.  I'm not sure if the point is clear, budgets only use categories and accounts.  You can't separate out by tags.

    So if budgeting "for the vacations" is important to you, then it seems like you would want to use vacation categories and then maybe tags to separate out different vacations.  The assumption of course would be that you don't take multiple vacations in one month and as such when budgeting any given month would at most be only one vacation.

    It would be nice if they put in support for tags in the budgets so that they would be as flexible as the reports are in this regard.
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  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    Another flavor of what others mentioned:
    I am using a combination of adding few extra sub-categories to Vacation as well as using the existing categories (for food and dining, gas, etc.) and make use of tags and memos to pull specific Reports.
    My logic is that a restaurant expense is a food expense whether we went out, a weekend trip or a long vacation, so I do not want to over-complicate things.  Instead use the power Reports to identify them.
    I suggest creating a plain test data file and play with them there - copy your vacation data and even more creative sub-categories and tags and transactions to see what works for you.  Keep in mind that vacation data may not be something you review frequently.
    Edit/Add: Another option to further identify expenses is by appending the payee name: e.g. change Restaurant XYZ to "Paris: Restaurant XYZ" or to "Euro-Vac: ..." for all of your 2021 European vacation transactions.  This is actually very powerful since you can further distinguish Paris vs Milan expenses for the same trip if you wanted to.

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