Is there a way to adjust my “actual” paychecks to show a set amount?

I get paid bi-weekly, 26 times per year. However, I really prefer to track my budgets on a monthly basis to make sure i’m in the green each individual month.

I’d prefer if my “actual income” (for the paycheck portion) was actually listed as my annual post-tax salary divided by 12, as if I was paid monthly. Is there a way to do that? As it stands now, there are certain months I’m only paid twice in that month, and a few where i’m paid 3 times in a month. I’d like to be able to have it show the monthly average in lieu of the actual paychecks so i’m not over or under budget artificially each month. (I don’t adjust my spending up or down based on a 2 or 3 paycheck month)


  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022
    There's no "automatic" way to do what you ask in your headline. 
    Presumably you want to keep your checking Account in Quicken accurate and up to date so that dictates that each paycheck is entered in the register on the date it's received, and that's the "Actual" number Quicken picks up for the Budget Report.
    However, there's various ways that you could make your desired presentation happen, with some work on your part.  One way of doing this is that right before you run your report you make a month-end adjusting entry to your checking Account - up or down - to get that month's "actual" net pay to agree to the average you've calculated.  You run your Budget Report, that now reports your average net salary, then immediately delete that month end adjusting entry.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2022
    How about the simpler method of adjusting your budgets to match the reality of being paid 26 times? You'd only have to do that once a year, and you presumably adjust your budgets annually anyway.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Here's a sample budget where I'm tracking Net Salary (as opposed to Gross Salary and all the deductions)
    The scheduled paycheck reminder is set for every 2 weeks on Friday, beginning 1/14/22, for $2,000.00
    I've set the monthly budget amount to be $2000 * 26 / 12 = $4333.33 for every month and enabled rollover of over/under budget amounts to the next months.
    You'll see that reflected in the monthly Balance column. At the end of December, with a few months having 3 pay periods, the balance will have caught up to zero.
    That's similar to the setup I used years ago for my own paycheck, but I was tracking Gross Salary and all deductions.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    This post is in a Quicken Mac category, and the profile for the original poster indicates a Mac user. So the approach has to be a little different because... (drumroll, please)... there is no way to show your net pay in Quicken Mac. There's just no concept of net pay when you record a paycheck. There is also no month-to-month rollover in Quicken Mac budgets. Budget is one of the weakest areas of Quicken Mac! ;) 

    Now, you could create a Net Pay category in Quicken, and budget annual net pay divided by 12 in each month of the budget, but there's no good way to get actual net pay in the budget. The simplest solution, if your pay is constant, is to remove your gross pay and tax withholding categories from your budget. How to generate net pay "actual" for the budget? You could create a recurring monthly entry in your checking account for $0, with two split lines: the first split would use the Net Pay category for your calculated monthly average net pay, and the second split line would use the Adjustment category with the same amount as a negative number. This dummy transaction each month would not affect your account balance, because it's a $0 transaction, but it would pump money into your "actual" Net Pay category in the budget. (You would have to remember to remove this Net Pay category from any reports you run of real income and expenses.)

    I think that's a pretty big hack to create, but if it helps you budget the way you want to, it should do the trick. Just keep in mind that doing it this way, your budget is not accurately reflecting your cash flow except on an end-of-year total basis. There are probably other hacks people have come up with to address this approach for budgeting, and if so, hopefully they'll post to share how they do it.

    Personally, I believe it's better to do as @NotACPA suggested: enter in your budget your actual gross pay and taxes for each month, with 10 months reflecting two paychecks and 2 months reflecting 3 paychecks. Then your budget-versus-actual income and expenses would actually be accurate. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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