Transfer money between budget categories- solution!

BakingBread Member
After searching the community discussions for a way to transfer money between budget categories and finding nothing, I am happy to say that I have found a solution to the question shared by JerWin, Chris Harris, and myself! (Links to their posts are at the bottom.)

It is incredibly valuable to be able to do this in a tight or detailed budget when you want to keep record of, and visually see, exactly where every dollar and cent end up.

In my example, I had paid all the bills budgeted to "Category 1" and needed to make a specific one-time purchase which pushed me over the budgeted amount. "Category 2" had some flexibility. In an account (make sure it is one "selected" for your budget), create a new transaction for $0.00. Use the "split" feature to withdraw X amount from one category on line one and deposit X amount to another category on line two. The result is a transaction that does not change the balance in your account, but which does move the money in your budget. Effectively, you withdraw money from a category that has space and deposit it into the category that was overdrawn. See the attached screenshot.

Sure, it's a little clunky, but I actually appreciate the opportunity to add a note (or even a tag!) to the transaction, keeping track of why and when this kind of thing happens.

If you use this often, it might be helpful to create a placeholder Payee for these transfers (for example "Budget Category Transfer"). You might also find it is convenient to always date such transactions on the first or last day of the month. Alternatively, you could keep all such transfers for a given month in one transaction and use the "Notes" field on the far right of the transaction editor to identify what is what. (If you don't see Notes, add "Memo/Notes" by clicking "Columns" in the bottom right hand corner of the register.) Finally, I am glad to say that if you have subcategories in your budget, you can choose either the whole category or a specific subcategory for either/both the "withdrawal" and "deposit" categories as in the screenshot example.

JerWin's post:
Chris Harris' post, also linked through JerWin's:


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I would just caution that this approach is changing your actual spending records, not just your budget. When you run a report at the end of the year, if you want to know what you actually spent in each category — for informational tracking, or for setting your budget for next year — you'll be seeing the expenses with these adjustments made for your budget. If that's okay with you, fine. I just wanted to note for anyone reading this that this technique is adjusting actual spending history, not just adjusting the budget.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • BakingBread
    Thank you, jacobs, this is an excellent point. The same issue affects built-in summaries such as those in an account's "Spending" tab. If I choose to use a unique payee or tag for category transfer, then I can edit a report to unselect the payee/tag. However, this doesn't change the issue you highlight-- that I've adjusted the actual spending history-- so the issue will remain anywhere I cannot select payees/tags.
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