Chapter 5: Recording Banking Transactions 89
Recording Credit
Card Charges
Recording Credit Card Charges
Credit cards have become many people’s favorite way to pay. Some folks like the
convenience of swiping a card out at the gas pump and avoiding the junk food
inside the station. Others like the airline miles or cash back they receive. In
Quicken, you can track your credit card charges either by recording just the single
monthly payments to the credit card company, or by recording each credit card
charge. As you’ll see in this section, though, tracking each credit card charge indi-
vidually has so many advantages, it’s almost a no-brainer.
Tracking Credit Card Charges
The best way to track what you charge to your credit card is to record individual
charges every few days and assign each charge to a category in Quicken. Then,
when your credit card statement arrives, you can reconcile the account (see
Chapter 8) and record the check or online payment to pay your credit card bill (see
page 144). This approach has several huge advantages:
Complete spending records. If you pay for a lot of things with your credit card,
you can assign every charge to one or more categories and know exactly how
you spend your money. With doctors, dentists, and just about everyone else
accepting credit cards these days, you’ll also have complete records of your tax
deductions.
Spending red flags. If you feel as if credit card charges somehow don’t use real
money, tracking individual charges as you make them keeps the cash you owe
in plain sight. Swiping your card at the store is still incredibly easy, but the
alarming increase in your credit card balance may diminish your yearning for
that five-way massage chair. (For more tips on keeping charges under control,
see the box on page 91.)
GEM IN THE ROUGH
The Quicken Calculator
If your deposit includes more than one item, turn your
attention to the Quicken Calculator icon on the right side of
the Deposit field. This feature isn’t a data entry shortcut or
a replacement for your business calculator, but it’s still quite
handy. You’ll use it most often to add up several checks
you’re depositing for the same category, because it auto-
matically fills in the Deposit field with the result when
you’re done.
The Quicken calculator does the same simple calculations
the Windows calculator or the calculator keys on your com-
puterdo: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and
percentages. When the pointer’s in a transaction’s Payment
or Deposit field, you can start pressing the calculator keys on
your keyboard and Quicken automatically launches its calcu-
lator for you. As you press number keys, the digits appear in
the field. And if you press +, -, *, or /, the Quicken calculator
keypad appears immediately below the field and shows the
results of your keystrokes.

Get Quicken 2008: The Missing Manual now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.