Quicken for Mac - YTD Budget Value

What does the YTD value displayed in the upper right hand corner of the budget UI represent?

FYI - my YTD expenses have exceeded my income by ~$5,600, thereby I am struggling to understand why this value is positive.



  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 28

    That number in the upper right is a pretty useless one, in my opinion. It is showing the difference between your income minus expenses budget for the whole year and your actual income-minus-expenses year-to-date.

    Let's look at a made-up example:

                  Full Year     Year-To-Date  

                    Budget         Actual        Difference

    Income         $180,000       $30,000        –$150,000

    Expenses       $200,000       $25,000         $175,000

    Difference     –$20,000        $5,000          $25,000

    These are the numbers you see at the top of your budget in the Summary section, if you have the 2023 column visible and set to show January to December (in the drop-down menu under 2023, this is “Entire Budget Year Totals”). In this example, the positive $25,000 is what would show up in the upper right of the budget window.

    In this example, my full-year budget is for a $20,000 loss (excess or expenses over income), while my year-to-date is currently a positive $5,000, the difference of which is a positive $25,000. But what does this number mean? I think it's pretty meaningless. How useful is it to compare your 12 month budget to your just-under-two-month actual?

    A much more useful value to look at, in my opinion, is visible if you switch the 2023 column to show January to February (in the drop-down menu, this is “Budget Year-to-Date Totals”). In my made-up example, that might look like this:

                  Jan to Feb     Year-To-Date   

                    Budget         Actual        Difference

    Income          $28,000       $30,000          –$2,000 

    Expenses        $30,000       $25,000           $5,000 

    Difference      –$2,000        $5,000           $3,000

    Now we're looking at my budget through February versus my actual income/expenses year-to-date through most of February, so I can see I am $2,000 below my budget in income, $5,000 below my budget in expenses, with the total difference of $3,000 ahead of budget. That tells me what I'd want to know: my bottom line is $3,000 better than I had budgeted year to date.

    Let me know if any of this isn't clear. Every time I look at it, I feel like I need to figure it out from scratch again. ;)

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • J. Holmes
    J. Holmes Member ✭✭✭

    @jacobs - Thanks for the response. I was really struggling with how this value was calculated. I have the 2023 section collapsed, so the info. wasn't visible. I wonder why the product team decided not to make the number dynamic based on a users selection.

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    There's a lot to puzzle about in the implementation of the budget seciton of Quicken Mac. Like why you can't print a budget-versus-actual report for the year to date! Even the on-screen budget-versus-actual is only useful at the end of each month. Uh oh… it's February 28; go quickly and look at your budget now, because tomorrow it'll be March 1, and it will be showing year-to-date actual (Jan 1-March 1) versus budget (Jan 1-March 31), which is completely useless for everyone. Sigh.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pmrussell892
    pmrussell892 Member ✭✭✭

    geeeez. appears a programmer who does not use a budget wrote the budget section for quicken mac. I had the same question, and I really hate seeing red when dealing with my budgets. Atleast give me the option to hide it.