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Quicken 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 5. Recording Banking Transactions

Underneath Quicken’s fancy exterior—its number-crunching features, its tracking and reporting tools, and its reminder system—lies a database. Like any database, there’s not much it can do until you start feeding it data. Quicken’s main meal is all your daily transactions: the credit cards you swipe, the bills you pay, and the cash you hand over. Your job is to tell Quicken each time one of these things happens; that’s what this chapter is all about. Fortunately, Quicken is loaded with timesaving tools that make data entry easy—and, some might even argue, fun.

Note

You can take even more work off your plate by letting Quicken automatically record some of your transactions. Chapter 7 shows you how to set up scheduled transactions, so you don’t have to remember when bills or deposits are due. You’ll also learn how to set up a paycheck in Quicken, which records every paycheck you deposit and meticulously splits it into various categories for your income and all the deductions. Quicken can also help you keep track of the bewildering array of transactions in the world of health insurance and taxes—as long as you’re careful about the categories and accounts you use. To learn how to master these tricky transactions, see Chapter 10.

Transaction Basics

Before you can record transactions, you first need to open the account register you want to work on. Quicken’s registers are the spreadsheet trackers for each of your accounts; they function just like paper ...

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