How can I get a spending report or the budget to include scheduled transactions. (Q Mac)

cajjoe
cajjoe Member
I spent some time entering in all my future income and bills for the next year in scheduled transactions, hoping to print a report or have the budget feature actually work. However, scheduled transaction only seem to show in the register.

Answers

  • Mark_S
    Mark_S Member
    The interrelationship between the budget and scheduled transactions in the register is interesting and complex. Like you, I’ve wished that there were some automatic feature for feeding one to the other. After all, they both deal with future activity. But when I try to create a manual work-around, I realize that things aren’t that simple. That’s probably why Quicken (and other products) don’t automate the process very well.

    Ideally, I’d like to have (1) an option that moves my scheduled transactions into my budget, and (2) an option that creates scheduled transactions from budget categories.

    The first goal is the simpler. It’s certainly possible to add a “Copy Scheduled Transactions” button to the budget screen. You press it when you create the budget, and it adds the scheduled amount to the appropriate category and month in the budget. (Note that we would only want to do this when we create a budget. Scheduled transactions constantly change, because each day we get a better understanding of the future. Budgets, on the other hand, ideally should not change during the budget period.)

    The second goal is more complex. If I budget $100 / month for car repairs, I’d like to have that amount flow into my cash flow projections. The problem is, while my estimate might be accurate in the long term, I don’t know when I will need repair, or how much each repair will cost. How do I create a scheduled transaction? The now-unsupported Microsoft Money attempt this functionality. It would create a weekly or monthly scheduled transaction “spending” the pro-rated amount. That allocates the money into the cash flow, but of course, we don’t really repair our cars every month. It’s less than ideal.

    Some products support the idea of a “spending goal”. With a spending goal, you can earmark certain money for certain purposes. It “saves" the money by removing it from the available balance from the cash account. If we had spending goals, we could set up monthly transfer of $100 to our “Car Repair” spending goal. I find spending goals to be very useful, and I wish Quicken would support them.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    cajjoe said:
    I spent some time entering in all my future income and bills for the next year in scheduled transactions, hoping to print a report or have the budget feature actually work. However, scheduled transaction only seem to show in the register.
    As you've discovered, that doesn't work. Scheduled transactions are like a template for future transactions, but each instance of a scheduled transaction does not exist in the database. To run reports on future transactions, you would need to make these actual transactions, not scheduled transactions. Some people actually do that. You could create a workflow of setting the Status field of future transactions to Not Reviewed, or use the Action columns to denote future transactions you haven't yet turned into finalized real transactions. Unlike scheduled transactions, such future transactions wouldn't be linked, so when something changes, you'd need to find and edit them all. It's not really the way Quicken was designed to work, but it is possible to do something along these lines if projecting the future is an important enough need for you.

    The budget is designed to do the type of future projections I think you're trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, the budget lacks some sophistication which would aid serious budget planners. There's no way to make notes about the assumptions made for categories or individual budget cells, and there's no way to incorporate scheduled future transactions into the budget.

    Ideally every cell in the budget should be able to be the sum of multiple components: (a) sum of scheduled transactions in the category in that month, (b) prior year or prior month actual value, optionally multiplied by a value to build in a percentage increase or decrease, (c) recurring monthly manually-estimated value, (d) individual manually-entered value, (e) carry-over or roll-over of excess/shortfall from prior months during the budget year. That's far more complex and sophisticated than the current budget functionality in Quicken Mac. For now, some users would be better served by building a budget spreadsheet which can incorporate any of these more-complex criteria, or by using a separate software application focused on budgeting. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • MoMoney99
    MoMoney99 Member ✭✭
    > @jacobs said:
    > The budget is designed to do the type of future projections I think you're trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, the budget lacks some sophistication which would aid serious budget planners. There's no way to make notes about the assumptions made for categories or individual budget cells, and there's no way to incorporate scheduled future transactions into the budget.

    This is exactly what I was hoping Quicken would do. It’s a real disappointment. I was considering subscribing but the inability to included future dated scheduled bill payments directly on the budget may be a deal breaker. It essentially means I have to enter the data twice and then if the amount should change in the future, I would have to update both the scheduled payment and the budget. Not ideal.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    MoMoney99 said:
    The inability to included future dated scheduled bill payments directly on the budget may be a deal breaker. It essentially means I have to enter the data twice and then if the amount should change in the future, I would have to update both the scheduled payment and the budget. Not ideal.
    You could post the scheduled payments/deposits for the rest of the year (mark them paid/deposited). They'd retain their future dates, so it shouldn't mess up your registers -- but transforming them from scheduled to real transactions would make them show up in the budget. (This won't work if you're using bill payment in Quicken; you obviously don't want to prepay all your bills. but if your scheduled transactions aren't triggering activity, you could post them a year at a time in advance.) Just a suggestion…
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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