This guide is for new Quicken users to get up and running, but returning users are more than welcome! Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive guide.
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The Home tab is a dashboard you can use to track important aspects of your financial picture. It helps you see where your money is going, stay on top of your bills, and track how well you’re sticking to your budget goals. If you are new to Quicken or have recently created a new data file, the Get Started button (in the program, not below) takes you to wizards that help you get set up.
Once you have completed the Get Started wizard, find out more on how to use the Home tab.
Watch the video below or follow these simple instructions and you will be up-and-running with Quicken in less than 10 minutes. Seriously!
Quicken is designed to make your day-to-day tasks as easy as possible. Here is a quick introduction to the controls you will use most often.
Now that you’ve set up an account, you’ll want to keep it up-to-date. To display and update your Quicken accounts:
Categorizing your transactions lets you see where you're spending your money. The good news is that Quicken does most of this work automatically for you!
Quicken assigns categories to your transactions when it downloads them from your bank. For example, if you used your ATM card at Kroger, Quicken knows that Kroger is a grocery store and it automatically assigns the category Food & Dining:Groceries to the transaction.
In most cases, Quicken can accurately guess the category. In some cases, however, it won’t recognize the transaction the first time it sees it -- for example, your rent check. Quicken also might assign a category to a transaction that you don’t want -- for example, during that trip to Kroger you may have bought pet food, which you want to track under the category Pets:Pet Food & Supplies instead of Food & Dining:Groceries. Naturally, you'll want to assign the correct categories to your transactions. Here’s how…
Use the Spending tab to categorize transactions
The steps below use the Spending tab to assign a category to a transaction. The process is identical if you use a Quicken account register. However, a key advantage of using the Spending tab is that it alerts you if you have any uncategorized transactions. Nice!
OK. So now you have a one or two accounts set up in Quicken and you can download transactions and use categories to see where your money is going. What’s next? What more could there be? Beyond tracking your spending, Quicken actually makes it easier to spend your money. And we mean that in a good way!
If you’re like most people, you have pretty much the same bills every month and you get paid on a regular schedule. If you tell Quicken what your bills are, and when you expect income, it can remind you when your bills are due, and project your account balances into the future. This will help you avoid late fees and overdraft charges, and perhaps put some of that “extra money” you might have into your savings account. Imagine that! Here’s how in a video and some step-by-step instructions…
If you’ve been following along and setting up Quicken as you work through this guide, you now know where your money is going, and where you stand regarding your upcoming bills and income. Knowing these critical facts about your finances sets the stage for the next huge benefit of Quicken: keeping your spending in line with your income. And relax, you don’t need to track each and every penny; tracking just a few critical spending categories is usually enough to keep your expenses under control.
How does Quicken do it? This will sound familiar: a section on the Home tab makes it easy to see if you’re coming in under your target or if you’re in danger of blowing your budget.
When you start to feel more comfortable with Quicken, here are some things you might want to check out.
We want to make sure you get the help you need. If after reading this guide you have questions, you can turn to the following resources.
We sincerely hope this short guide gets you up-and-running with Quicken. We really appreciate your business and work hard every day to make Quicken the best personal finance solution on the market.
The Quicken Team