Budget question

xraptorx Member ✭✭

Hi all,

I have a question about how to use the budgeting feature in Quicken. I have downloaded my banking and credit card transactions from the past month.

I allocate money each month to large irregular transactions (e.g. Holiday, Car maintenance, clothes, emergency fund, Home and Auto insurance). Secondly, the more frequent transactions like groceries, ATM, entertainment, etc I put a target amount in for each month and then if I overspend, I just update the budget at the end of the month to ensure it is green. I do not end a category with red at the end of the month.

Questions are:

  1. Is there a better way to use Quicken for budgeting?
  2. How do I see in Quicken that all my checking and savings accounts are completely allocated, but not over allocated (meaning I have not budgeted more than I actually have)? —> If I put $1 million into my Emergency category, I do not see any warning that I have over allocated money to the budget versus what I have available to budget this month.

Thanks in advance



  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can include your income in your budget. Then you’ll see how much money you have available.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • RichardCSchreyer
    RichardCSchreyer Member ✭✭✭✭

    Quicken takes a more traditional approach to budgeting in that it allows you to budget your total yearr income and total year expenses spread into monthly buckets. Using year-to-date reporting it shows you how you are actually doing against what you budgeted for by category. Many categories of expense have a seasonal flucuation through the year such as electricity and natural gas that could be under one month and over the next. Variances of over or under a specific catgory in a specific month is not as meaningful or actionable as seeing the cumlative effect of actual income and expense oveer time. I actually prepare rolling 5 year budgets based on forecasted inflation to expenses and expected adjustments to income, then continually refine prjections based on what actually is happening.

  • xraptorx
    xraptorx Member ✭✭
    edited August 2023

    This helps Richard, thank you.

    What I am still missing is if I am starting fresh today and I have 100k in my account and earn 10k a month, how should I create a budget for the rest of the year to make sure I budget all my money and not over budget any of it? I am still stuck in the [Removed - 3rd-Party Software] / envelope budgeting process. What I do not put into expense categories, would go do my investment category

  • RichardCSchreyer
    RichardCSchreyer Member ✭✭✭✭

    So take a look at a budget I quickly built…Income, Expenses, Transfers should be what you could use..

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    If you truly want an "envelope budgeting process" you might search for "envelope budget" on this forum where some people have created methods to shoehorn such a process in but is certainly going against the grain of what Quicken provides.

    And would like to point out a few things that might help.

    The Annual view is most likely going to be better for you than the Graph View.

    I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to the "green/red bars" as much as I would to the totals. For any given month just seeing if you have a positive or negative number tells where you are, and then there is the grand total for the year to look at. You could work to balance these to zero by say having an expense category that transfers money to a savings/investment account, but personally I think just seeing the difference is enough to know where you stand.

    Quicken's budgets are category based and there isn't a built in system for transferring amounts between categories. But note there is a "rollover" system for rolling over excess/negative amounts from one month to another month for the same category. This can be used for those situations like you say "I spend $400 on average a month on gas". You put in $400 for each month and turn on the rollover option for that category. That means if you spend $350 in this month $50 will be rollover to the budget for the next month.

    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/