Moving Money From Saving, Investing, & Debt Payments

D4L3 Member ✭✭
If you have an expense category for 'Saving, Investing, & Debt Payments' that you contribute to monthly, when you need to tap into say emergency funds, is it best to categorize that as a negative expense or a transfer?


  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Others will probably chime in here with more or better detail, but I think you are looking at this the wrong way. You should not have an expense category of Saving, Investing & Debt. Those are not expenses; those are transfers. In other words, they do not change your net worth. When you save, you should not show it as an expense, you should show it as a transfer to a savings account (increasing the account value). Same for investing. When you pay part of a debt, you should show that as a transfer to a debt account (decreasing the debt).

    When you tap into emergency funds (eg. your savings account), you would show that as an expense for whatever the expense category is, such as "furnace replacment", "car repair", etc.

    If you don't pay the emergency expense directly from the savings account but instead move the money to a checking account or credit card where the expense is actually paid, then you would show that as a transfer to the payment account, then show the actual expense as a transaction in the payment account.

    If you wish to be able to easily report on just the transfers in and out of savings, investment and debt accounts, rather than using a "savings, investment & debt" expense category, you could assign tag(s) to these transactions and use the tag reporting features.

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    I agree with what @RickO wrote, but I'd offer a few different thoughts about how to report on your transfers if you want to.

    @RickO mentioned using Tags on your transfer transactions, and then doing a report on Tags. Another approach is that in any report, you can force selected Transfers to show up. Using the Advanced tab of Edit Report, you can specify to include transfers to/from accounts outside the report. So if you wanted to see your transfers to Loan and Savings accounts on a category (expense) report, whern you Edit the settings for that report, you'd exclude the savings and loan accounts, and select the option to include transfers with accounts outside of report. This will cause a Transfer section to appear at the bottom of the report, below expenses, showing the transfer to the savings and loan accounts, and the transfers to those accounts will be reflected in the bottom line of the report.

    It works similarly in the Budget section of the program, where you can include selected transfers in your budget, as if they are expenses even thoguh they aren't.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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