Can it constantly grab and categorize new credit card transactions to help budget for current month?

Ideally I would be able to see my most recent credit card transactions reflect in that month's budget, before said credit card is paid for that month. Does Quicken automatically "scrape" my credit card transactions, like once a day, so that I can track a true "live" budget? For example, I may need to put the "hammer" down on our large family's spending right then and there, before it come time to pay off the credit card bill for that month. Categorizing in arrears is helpful, but if it isn't stopped in the process, then the damage is already done. Thanks!

Best Answer

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Hi @gwkbudget .  You can either set up Quicken to schedule transaction downloads on a daily basis or you can manually instruct Quicken to download on an as-needed basis.  The caveats are that:
    • The type of connection method the financial institutions support will determine whether the downloaded transactions are from the day prior to the downloads or from the day of the downloads.
    • Most financial institutions do not process transactions on weekends and holidays so there could be a delay in getting transactions download into Quicken on those days.
    What I do is download transactions into Quicken 1-2 times per day.  For most people I think that once a day is very sufficient but others feel that once a week or once a month is sufficient.  How often to download into Quicken is a personal preference.
    Quicken also will automatically categorize transactions if you set your preferences to do that.  Depending on how you set your preferences, the categories that get entered will be either be based upon data that is downloaded from the financial institution or based upon which categories were used in prior transactions with that particular payee.  But even though these auto categorizing processes are used they are not perfect and cannot automatically know for sure how they are to be categorized.  So, before accepting the downloaded transactions into the account register it is a really good idea to review the categories assigned by Quicken to ensure they are correct or to determine if they need to be manually adjusted.
    So, yes, provided you are diligent in updating accounts in Quicken on a regular basis Quicken is a very useful tools for bouncing actual spending against a planned spending budget.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R42.21 on Windows 10)

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Quicken's budget is category based.  And in you put in the categories you are interested in budgeting and it show the budget amount, the actual amount spent in that category, and the balance.

    The actual amounts come from the transactions in various accounts.  You download transactions into the various accounts you have like your credit card account and at that time you are categorizing the transactions.

    You don't mention if this is for Windows or Mac, I'm a Windows.  The above should apply to both.  There is also a feature in the Windows version that allows you to include your future reminders in the budget.  I'm not sure if the Mac version has that feature or not.

    Note the Starter edition only has the "Graph View", Deluxe or above adds an annual view.
    They look like this:



    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
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  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Hi @gwkbudget .  You can either set up Quicken to schedule transaction downloads on a daily basis or you can manually instruct Quicken to download on an as-needed basis.  The caveats are that:
    • The type of connection method the financial institutions support will determine whether the downloaded transactions are from the day prior to the downloads or from the day of the downloads.
    • Most financial institutions do not process transactions on weekends and holidays so there could be a delay in getting transactions download into Quicken on those days.
    What I do is download transactions into Quicken 1-2 times per day.  For most people I think that once a day is very sufficient but others feel that once a week or once a month is sufficient.  How often to download into Quicken is a personal preference.
    Quicken also will automatically categorize transactions if you set your preferences to do that.  Depending on how you set your preferences, the categories that get entered will be either be based upon data that is downloaded from the financial institution or based upon which categories were used in prior transactions with that particular payee.  But even though these auto categorizing processes are used they are not perfect and cannot automatically know for sure how they are to be categorized.  So, before accepting the downloaded transactions into the account register it is a really good idea to review the categories assigned by Quicken to ensure they are correct or to determine if they need to be manually adjusted.
    So, yes, provided you are diligent in updating accounts in Quicken on a regular basis Quicken is a very useful tools for bouncing actual spending against a planned spending budget.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R42.21 on Windows 10)
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Also note that transactions will only download when your BANK/Card/etc has seen them.  Not when you make the purchase at the gas station/grocery/etc.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    Also note that transactions will only download when your BANK/Card/etc has seen them.  Not when you make the purchase at the gas station/grocery/etc.
    Very pertinent point.  Also, even after the bank/card/etc has "seen them", they will usually first show up in the online account as pending transactions but pending transactions do not get downloaded into Quicken.  It is often 1-2 business days after that before before they have cleared in the online account and they will then be downloaded into Quicken.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R42.21 on Windows 10)
  • Thank you all for your excellent responses. I plan on purchasing the product very soon. Take care!
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    gwkbudget said:
    Thank you all for your excellent responses. I plan on purchasing the product very soon. Take care!
    You are welcome.  BTW, you might want to shop around some to see where you can get the lowest price on whichever edition you decide to buy.  Quicken.com sometimes runs specials but you can also find online retailers (such as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, etc.) with some better prices, too, especially for new Quicken users.
    After your buy and install your version, be sure to come back to this forum if you have any questions or run into any issues.  There are a lot of people posting here with a wealth of knowledge and troubleshooting insights who can assist on most things.

    (QW Premier Subscription: R42.21 on Windows 10)
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