Budgeting & Actual Cost Assignment To Non-Budgeted Categories - Prevention Possible?

Chris Mead
Chris Mead Member ✭✭✭
I've used Quicken for a very long time resulting in the buildup of a lot of categories.  My new 2022 budget uses a relatively small portion of the current categories.  As charges come in, I do not want Quicken to match any category that is not budgeted.  When that happens, those costs go "missing" on the budget reports and I have to go through a timely reconciliation process of running a different report to look for discrepancies.

I would like Quicken to prevent category `mis-assignment` from happening.  The use case would be to stop any actual costs from posting to any non-budgeted categories.  If needed, I'd update the budget even if that means placing only a dollar in the budget.

The very best solution would be to fix the budget report to force non-budgeted actual costs to report to an `OTHER` category automatically.  I'd double click those and fix them, if necessary.

The next best solution would be to hide categories just like accounts can be hidden to prevent their actual costs from being assigned.  But that's not an option.  

I don't want to delete old categories as past expenditure categories would be re-assigned to `unassigned`.  I did see one idea of placing a `z` in front of categories not to be used.  That's a good idea (could use a '_' as well.)  

So if I have to modify, I would like to just modify the category names in a list rather than double click and open each one separately.  Doing the latter would take significant time not to mention finger exhaustion and mistakes.  Anyone know of a way to quickly change category names (if this is the only option?)  

Or perhaps there is a better overall solution?

Thanks

Best Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited December 2021 Accepted Answer
    @Chris Mead You've identified a common issue which users of the budget features in Quicken Mac often complain about. And your two suggestions for how to avoid such problems -- a catch-all "other" category for actual expenses in categories not included in the budget, and a way to hide unused categories -- are spot on. In fact, there are existing Idea posts (requests for new features) for each of these, and I encourage you to click on these links and add your vote for each idea (click on the title black arrow under the vote counter in the yellow box under the first post), as higher vote totals for Ideas helps get them pushed to the development team for consideration and eventual implementation. 

    Here is a link for an "other" or "everything else" budget category.

    Here is a link for the ability to hide categories.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Chris Mead There is no way to Edit the Category list as if it's a single text list; you have to open each one to edit it. It only requires a mouse click to open for editing; you can edit the text and save from the keyboard. 

    I'd guess this isn't an area of the program the developers have though of trying to streamline, since most people don't do a lot of editing of categories on an ongoing basis. Once you get initially set up, it's pretty rare to need to do mass editing of categories.

    As for enhancement ideas for Quicken, the moderators here have no role in determining what features are implemented, and generally no idea what is being worked on or planned. This is mostly a forum for users helping users, with help from a handful of Quicken moderators. The Quicken developers and executives aren't reading the posts here.

    To suggest enhancements and new features, create a new Idea post in one of the "Product Ideas - Quicken for Mac" sub-categories. Then other users can vote for it and, if it garners a bit of support, the moderators can forward ideas to the development team for consideration. There are several Idea threads for keyboard shortcuts -- for switching between accounts, for jumping to the other side of a transfer, for marking transactions reviewed and a few other things I think -- but I don't recall and can't find an existing request for keyboard shortcuts in the list windows... so feel free to create one. (You could probably also accomplish what you want with a third-party utility like Keyboard Maestro.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • I've used Quicken for a very long time resulting in the buildup of a lot of categories.  My new 2022 budget uses a relatively small portion of the current categories.  As charges come in, I do not want Quicken to match any category that is not budgeted.  When that happens, those costs go "missing" on the budget reports and I have to go through a timely reconciliation process of running a different report to look for discrepancies.

    I would like Quicken to prevent category `mis-assignment` from happening.  The use case would be to stop any actual costs from posting to any non-budgeted categories.  If needed, I'd update the budget even if that means placing only a dollar in the budget.

    The very best solution would be to fix the budget report to force non-budgeted actual costs to report to an `OTHER` category automatically.  I'd double click those and fix them, if necessary.

    The next best solution would be to hide categories just like accounts can be hidden to prevent their actual costs from being assigned.  But that's not an option.  

    I don't want to delete old categories as past expenditure categories would be re-assigned to `unassigned`.  I did see one idea of placing a `z` in front of categories not to be used.  That's a good idea (could use a '_' as well.)  

    So if I have to modify, I would like to just modify the category names in a list rather than double click and open each one separately.  Doing the latter would take significant time not to mention finger exhaustion and mistakes.  Anyone know of a way to quickly change category names (if this is the only option?)  

    Or perhaps there is a better overall solution?

    Thanks
    Hello Chris Mead,

    I am so glad you took this opportunity to speak with us about the budgeting features of Quicken here on the Community. I know that budgeting and transaction categorization can be a little confusing, but it sounds like the spot where you would be able to change the names of the categories in a list would be found in the 'Category List' menu option. You would be able to access this by going to Window > Categories. Take a look at it in your application and get back to us to let us know if that feature is the one you were looking for.

    Thanks,

    Quicken Jared 
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited December 2021 Accepted Answer
    @Chris Mead You've identified a common issue which users of the budget features in Quicken Mac often complain about. And your two suggestions for how to avoid such problems -- a catch-all "other" category for actual expenses in categories not included in the budget, and a way to hide unused categories -- are spot on. In fact, there are existing Idea posts (requests for new features) for each of these, and I encourage you to click on these links and add your vote for each idea (click on the title black arrow under the vote counter in the yellow box under the first post), as higher vote totals for Ideas helps get them pushed to the development team for consideration and eventual implementation. 

    Here is a link for an "other" or "everything else" budget category.

    Here is a link for the ability to hide categories.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris Mead
    Chris Mead Member ✭✭✭
    Dear Quicken Jared,
    I see the listing but I can't put the full list into edit mode such that i could breeze down the list to edit.  Perhaps that would tax the relationship database too much as existing transactions would have to change?

    Another possibility - has Quicken ever thought of implementing hot keys for various transactions?  For example, CTL-E for edit, CTRL-P for post, etc.  Something to allow users to work the keyboard and not the mouse constantly.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Chris Mead There is no way to Edit the Category list as if it's a single text list; you have to open each one to edit it. It only requires a mouse click to open for editing; you can edit the text and save from the keyboard. 

    I'd guess this isn't an area of the program the developers have though of trying to streamline, since most people don't do a lot of editing of categories on an ongoing basis. Once you get initially set up, it's pretty rare to need to do mass editing of categories.

    As for enhancement ideas for Quicken, the moderators here have no role in determining what features are implemented, and generally no idea what is being worked on or planned. This is mostly a forum for users helping users, with help from a handful of Quicken moderators. The Quicken developers and executives aren't reading the posts here.

    To suggest enhancements and new features, create a new Idea post in one of the "Product Ideas - Quicken for Mac" sub-categories. Then other users can vote for it and, if it garners a bit of support, the moderators can forward ideas to the development team for consideration. There are several Idea threads for keyboard shortcuts -- for switching between accounts, for jumping to the other side of a transfer, for marking transactions reviewed and a few other things I think -- but I don't recall and can't find an existing request for keyboard shortcuts in the list windows... so feel free to create one. (You could probably also accomplish what you want with a third-party utility like Keyboard Maestro.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris Mead
    Chris Mead Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you.  I have added my vote to two new suggestions.  Thank you for moderating the forum.
    Merry Christmas
This discussion has been closed.