Tips from Quicken 2009: The Missing Manual
| 1. Tracking Overdraft Protection and Home Equity Loans |
If you have overdraft protection for your checking account or you want to track a home equity line of credit (HELOC), Quicken's credit card account type fits the bill. Both of these financial features act like credit card accounts, with credit limits, minimum payments, and interest charged on credit balances.
When you set up a credit card account for overdraft protection or a HELOC, fill in the Opening Balance field with zero and the Credit Limit field with the maximum amount of credit you receive from your bank. Then, when you withdraw money, record that transaction in your Quicken credit card account register. (The withdrawal increases the balance you owe.) When you make a deposit, record it as a payment in the credit card register.
|Recording the interest you pay on your HELOC is similar to recording interest payments on a credit card. The only difference is that you use a tax-deductible category for interest, like Mortgage Interest Exp:Bank.|
| 2. Moving an Investment Account to a New Brokerage |
If you decide to move one of your investment accounts to a different brokerage, updating your account in Quicken is easy compared to the real-world process. If you're moving an entire account to a new financial institution, all you have to do in Quicken is change the name and account number of the investment account. The securities stay in the same Quicken account and your transaction history and performance is untouched.
|If you set up the original account for online access, the process is slightly different. You first have to accept any downloaded transactions and then deactivate the online services. Then you can edit the account's details to change the name and account number. To set up the Quicken account to work with the new financial institution's online services, simply activate those services using the new institution and account number.|
| 3. Turning Checks into Transfers |
Sometimes, checks you write act like transfers in Quicken. For example, consider the check you write to pay your credit card bill. In the real world, the credit card company cashes your check and credits your account with the payment. In Quicken, the check transfers money out of your checking account and reduces the balance on your credit card account. (The same goes for a check you deposit into your money market account: it transfers money from your Quicken checking account to your Quicken money market account.) Instead of recording two separate transactions (one in your checking account and one in your credit card or money market account), you can save time by simply recording the check and then converting it into a transfer.
Transforming a check into a transfer is easy: When you record the check in Quicken, in the Category field, simply choose the appropriate account--like your credit card or money market account--instead of a category like Groceries or Gas. Easy, huh?