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Quicken 2015 For Dummies

Book Description

Take control of your personal finances with this popular, easy guide!

Quicken is the country's most popular and highly recommended personal finance software, and with Quicken For Dummies, you can harness the power of this practical financial tool to manage bills, reconcile bank accounts, track investments, and much more!

Personal finance expert and CPA Stephen L. Nelson lends his expertise to this accessible, easy-to-read guide, which has been fully updated to reflect the new features of Quicken available in its newest version. You can quickly learn how to use Quicken to record credit card transactions, track mortgages and other liabilities, minimize taxes, maximize savings, maintain detailed records, and build a solid foundation for creating better financial plans.

  • Covers updated features in the newest version of the increasingly popular Quicken software

  • Empowers readers to fight the bad habits and decisions that lead to large debts and minimal or nonexistent savings

  • Demystifies the software's features for tracking everyday finances, managing investments, and evaluating the tax implications of financial decisions

  • Offers invaluable advice and expertise from author Stephen L. Nelson, a recognized authority on personal finance

  • Every step toward better finances is a step in the right direction. Let Quicken For Dummies start your journey toward increased savings, lowered debt, and a more secure financial future.

    Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Three Foolish Assumptions
        3. Beyond the Book
        4. Special Icons
        5. Where to Next?
      2. Part I: Zen, Quicken, and the Big Picture
        1. Chapter 1: Setting Up Shop
          1. Installing and Starting Quicken
          2. Finishing Setup If You’ve Used Quicken Before
          3. Finishing Setup If You’ve Not Used Quicken Before
            1. Already a Quicken user?
            2. Are you new to Quicken?
          4. Registering Quicken
          5. Describing Your Banking
          6. Slogging Through More Setup Stuff
          7. Steve’s Overview
            1. Using Quicken Qcards
            2. Starting Quicken for the second time
            3. Using the Accounts bar
            4. Navigating with tabs
          8. Solving Tricky Setup Problems
            1. Using the Quicken Mobile App
            2. Did somebody say Macintosh?
            3. The mysterious case of the missing Quicken data files
            4. Migrating from Microsoft Money
        2. Chapter 2: Introduction to the Big Picture
          1. Boiling Quicken Down to Its Essence
            1. Tracking tax deductions
            2. Monitoring spending
            3. Printing checks (and other forms)
            4. Tracking bank accounts, credit cards, and other stuff
            5. Planning your personal finances
            6. Banking online
          2. Setting Up Additional Accounts
            1. Setting up another banking account
            2. Hey, Quicken, I want to use that account!
          3. Whipping Your Category Lists into Shape
            1. Subcategories . . . yikes, what are they?
            2. Category groups . . . double yikes!
            3. Four tips on categorization
            4. Ch-ch-changing a category list
          4. Want to Play Tag?
        3. Chapter 3: Maximum Fun, Maximum Profits
          1. Should You Even Bother with a Budget?
          2. Serious Advice about Your Secret Plan
            1. Your personal Secret Plan
            2. Two things that really goof up Secret Plans
          3. Setting Up a Secret Plan
            1. Introducing the Budgets window
            2. Reviewing the options
            3. Reviewing your budget
            4. What to do after you enter your budget
      3. Part II: The Absolute Basics
        1. Chapter 4: Checkbook on a Computer
          1. Getting Started
          2. Finding Your Checkbook
          3. Recording Checks
            1. Entering a check in the register
            2. Changing a check you’ve entered
            3. Packing more checks into the register
            4. Sorting transactions
            5. Working with a kooky (and clever) little thing named QuickFill
          4. Recording Deposits
            1. Entering a deposit into the register
            2. Changing a deposit you’ve already entered
          5. Recording Account Transfers
            1. Entering an account transfer
            2. Working with the other half of the transfer
            3. Changing a transfer you’ve already entered
          6. Splitting Transactions
            1. Steps for splitting a check
            2. Editing and deleting split categories
            3. Steps for splitting deposits and transfers
          7. Deleting and Voiding Transactions
          8. The Big Register Phenomenon
            1. Moving through a big register
            2. Finding that darn transaction
          9. Pop-Up Calendars and Calculators
          10. Attaching Flags, Notes, and Images
        2. Chapter 5: Printing 101
          1. Printing Checks
            1. What if you make a mistake entering a check?
            2. Printing a check you’ve entered
            3. What if you discover a mistake after you print the check?
            4. A few words about check printing
          2. Printing a Check Register
        3. Chapter 6: Online and In Charge
          1. What Are Online Account Access and Online Bill Payment?
          2. Wise Whys and Wherefores
          3. Banking with Online Account Access and Online Bill Payment
            1. Finding an online bank — online
            2. Paying bills
            3. Transferring money between accounts
            4. Updating your Quicken accounts
        4. Chapter 7: Reports, Charts, and Other Cool Tools
          1. Creating and Printing Reports
            1. Printing the facts, and nothing but the facts
            2. Reviewing standard reports
            3. Finding the report you want
            4. Going to the printing dog-and-pony show
            5. Editing and rearranging reports
          2. Charts Only Look Tricky
          3. Customizing Your Reports
        5. Chapter 8: A Matter of Balance
          1. Selecting the Account You Want to Balance
          2. Balancing a Bank Account
            1. Telling Quicken, “Hey, man, I want to balance this account”
            2. Giving Quicken the bank’s information
            3. Explaining the difference between your records and the bank’s records
          3. Ten Things You Should Do If Your Account Doesn’t Balance
            1. Make sure that you’re working with the right account
            2. Look for transactions that the bank has recorded but you haven’t
            3. Look for reversed transactions
            4. Look for a transaction that’s equal to half the difference
            5. Look for a transaction that’s equal to the difference
            6. Check for transposed numbers
            7. Have someone else look over your work
            8. Look out for multiple errors
            9. Try again next month (and maybe the month after that)
            10. Get in your car, drive to the bank, and beg for help
        6. Chapter 9: Housekeeping for Quicken
          1. Backing Up Is Hard to Do
            1. Backing up the quick-and-dirty way
            2. Deciding when to back up
            3. Losing your Quicken data after you’ve backed up
            4. Losing your Quicken data when you haven’t backed up
          2. Working with Files, Files, and More Files
            1. Setting up a new file
            2. Flip-flopping between files
            3. When files get too big for their own good
          3. Using and Abusing Passwords
            1. Setting up a file password
            2. Changing a file password
          4. Sanitizing a File
        7. Chapter 10: Compound Interest Magic and Other Mysteries
          1. Noodling Around with Your Investments
            1. Using the Investment Savings Calculator
            2. Trying to become a millionaire
          2. The Often-Unbearable Burden of Debt
            1. Using the Loan Calculator to figure payments
            2. Calculating loan balances
          3. The Refinance Calculator
          4. The Retirement Calculator
            1. The dilemma in a nutshell
            2. Retirement planning calculations
            3. If you’re now bummed out about retirement
            4. Retirement roulette
          5. Cost of College
            1. The College Calculator
            2. If you’re now bummed out about college costs
          6. Planning for Taxes
          7. The Other Planning Tools
      4. Part III: Home Finances
        1. Chapter 11: Credit Cards, Petty Cash, and PayPal
          1. Tracking a Credit Card
          2. Setting Up a Credit Card Account
            1. Adding a credit card account
            2. Selecting a credit card account so that you can use it
          3. Entering Credit Card Transactions
            1. Touring the credit card register
            2. Recording a credit card charge
            3. Changing charges you’ve already entered
            4. Paying credit card bills
          4. Reconciling That Crazy Account
            1. What the nasty credit card company says
            2. Ouch! Did I really spend that much?
            3. If you record a transaction wrong, do this
            4. Oh, that explains the difference
            5. If you’re ready to finish
            6. If you want to postpone the inevitable
            7. Paying the bill as part of the reconciliation
          5. The Online Banking Hoopla
            1. Should you even bother?
            2. How to use Online Account Access with your credit card
          6. Petty Cash and Mad Money
            1. Adding a cash account
            2. Tracking cash inflows and outflows
            3. Recording checks you cash instead of deposit
            4. Updating cash balances
          7. PayPal Can Be Quicken’s Friend
        2. Chapter 12: Other People’s Money
          1. Should You Bother to Track Your Debts?
          2. How Do You Get Started?
            1. Setting up a liability account for an amortized loan
            2. Fixing loan stuff
          3. Delivering a Pound of Flesh (Also Known as Making a Payment)
            1. Recording the payment
            2. Handling mortgage escrow accounts
          4. Your Principal-Interest Breakdown Won’t Be Right
            1. So you can’t change the world
            2. Slightly smarter adjustments
          5. Automatic Payments
            1. Scheduling a bill reminder
            2. Scheduling income and transfer reminders
            3. Another way to schedule transactions
            4. Checking out the Calendar
        3. Chapter 13: Tracking Tax-Deferred Investments
          1. Deciding to Use Investment Features
            1. Are your investments tax-deferred?
            2. Are you a mutual fund fanatic?
            3. Some investors don’t need Quicken
            4. Many investors do want Quicken
          2. Tracking a Tax-Deferred Investment
            1. Setting up a tax-deferred investment account
            2. Recording your initial investment
            3. Buying investments
            4. Recording your profits
            5. Selling investments
            6. Correcting a mistake
            7. Working with slightly tricky investment transactions
            8. Reconciling an account
            9. Trying reports
            10. Using menu commands and other stuff
          3. Updating Securities Prices
        4. Chapter 14: Stocks and Bonds
          1. Setting Up a Brokerage Account
            1. Recording your initial share balances
            2. Working with brokerage accounts
            3. Setting up security lists
            4. Working with cash
            5. Recording other not-so-tricky transactions
          2. More Quick Stuff about Brokerage Accounts
            1. Monitoring and updating securities values
            2. Adjusting errors
            3. A few words on the Investing tab’s other tools
      5. Part IV: Very Serious Business
        1. Chapter 15: Mind Your Business
          1. Setting Up a Business the Quicken Way
            1. Describing your business(es)
            2. Designing business invoices
            3. Identifying invoice items
          2. Working with Customers
            1. Setting up a Customer Invoices account
            2. Invoicing your customers
            3. Printing invoices
            4. Recording customer payments
            5. Issuing credits and making refunds
          3. Business Bookkeeping Whistles and Bells
            1. Jobs and projects
            2. Using finance charges, estimates, and statements
            3. Managing vendor bills
            4. Vehicle Mileage Tracker
          4. Quicken Dirty Payroll
            1. Getting ready for payroll
            2. Setting up the wages expense category
            3. Setting up the payroll tax expense category
            4. Getting the taxes stuff right
            5. Depositing taxes
            6. Tax deposit tips
            7. Filing quarterly payroll tax returns
            8. Computing annual returns and wage statements
            9. Doing the state payroll taxes thing
        2. Chapter 16: Managing Rentals
          1. Describing a Rental Property
          2. Describing Tenants
          3. Recording Tenant Rent Payments
          4. Recording Rental Expenses
          5. Tracking Rental Property Profits
      6. Part V: The Part of Tens
        1. Chapter 17: (Slightly More Than) Ten Questions I’m Frequently Asked about Quicken
          1. What Are Quicken’s Best Features?
          2. Does Quicken Work for a Corporation?
          3. What Happens to Stockholders’ Equity in Quicken?
          4. Does Quicken Work for a Partnership?
          5. Can I Use Quicken for More Than One Business?
          6. What Kinds of Businesses Shouldn’t Use Quicken?
          7. Can I Use Quicken for Real Estate Investing?
          8. Can I Use Quicken Retroactively?
          9. Can I Do Payroll with Quicken?
          10. Can I Prepare Invoices?
          11. Can I Import Data from an Old Accounting System?
          12. What Do You Think about Quicken?
        2. Chapter 18: (Almost) Ten Tips on How Not to Become a Millionaire
          1. Ignore the Fact That You Can Build Wealth by Investing in Ownership Investments and Earning Average Returns
          2. Ignore the Fact That You Can Get Much, and Maybe Most, of the Money from Tax Savings and Employer Matching
          3. Don’t Tap Your Computer’s Power to Develop Wealth-Building Insights
          4. Give Up, Because It’s Too Late to Start Anyway
          5. Get Entangled in at Least One “Get-Rich-Quick” Scheme
          6. Fake It with False Affluence
          7. Give In to the First Big Temptation of Wealth Building
          8. Give In to the Second Big Temptation of Wealth Building
        3. Chapter 19: (Almost) Ten Troubleshooting Tips
          1. Tactics #1 and #2: Use the Quicken Help File and This Book
          2. Tactic #3: Visit the Quicken Product Support Website
          3. Tactics #4 and #5: Check the Microsoft or the Hardware Vendor Product Support Website
          4. Tactic #6: Contact Intuit Directly
          5. Tactic #7: Try the Quicken Live Community
          6. Tactic #8: Install and Use Antivirus Software
          7. Tactic #9: When All Else Fails . . .
      7. Part VI: Appendixes
        1. Appendix A: Quick-and-Dirty Windows 8.1
          1. What Is Windows 8.1?
          2. Starting Windows 8.1
          3. Starting Programs
          4. Choosing Commands from Menus
            1. Choosing commands with the furry little rodent
            2. Choosing commands by using Alt+key combinations
            3. Context menus or shortcut menus
            4. Using shortcut-key combinations
            5. Disabled commands
          5. Working with Dialog Boxes
            1. Text boxes
            2. Check boxes
            3. Tabs
            4. Option buttons
            5. Command buttons
            6. List boxes
          6. Stopping Quicken in Windows 8.1
          7. A Yelp for Help
            1. The Getting Started Guide command
            2. The Quicken Help command
            3. The View Guidance command
            4. The Quicken Live Community command
            5. The Quicken Support command
            6. The Submit Feedback on Quicken command
            7. The Privacy Preferences command
            8. The Log Files command
            9. The About Quicken command
            10. The Add Tools commands
            11. The Register Quicken command
          8. Quitting Windows 8.1
        2. Appendix B: Glossary of Business, Financial, and Computer Terms
      8. About the Author
      9. Cheat Sheet