Track Your Vacation, Wedding, or Event Budget in Quicken
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Tracking your spending is vital, especially when planning for a major spending event that has a lot of transactions involved such as a vacation or a wedding (or a wedding with a honeymoon vacation). Big events usually have many expenses associated with them, which means you should track them especially closely in Quicken. Any special event can easily be tracked in Quicken using categories and tags.
Tracking with categories
Using categories for events is similar to using categories for your other spending. For example, Quicken has several built-in Travel categories: Air Travel, Hotel, Rental Car & Taxi, and Vacation. You’ll also find yourself using the categories under Food & Dining: Alcohol & Bars, Coffee Shops, Fast Food, Groceries, and Restaurants. Another area you may find getting higher usage is Auto & Transport, especially the subcategories Gas & Fuel, Parking, and Public Transportation.
For a wedding or other event, you may find yourself using categories such as Personal Care, Financial Advisor (you are combining your finances after all), and Rent for the rental of your venue.
While choosing categories for these expenses is usually straightforward, the area you need to watch is your budget. Have you adjusted for the increase in costs related to these short-term expenses?
- Get a consolidated view of your finances
- Better manage your spending
- Track and pay your bills
Tracking with tags
When tracking specific events, like a vacation or a wedding, tags are where the power of Quicken really shines. You can create an event-specific tag and assign it to any transaction–for example, Maine Vacation 2022. Then, tag every expense related to that vacation with that tag. If you're planning a wedding, followed by a honeymoon, you might lump those two items together under the same tag, or create a different tag because you consider them two different events. You can create tags by going to the Tools menu and selecting Tag List. Use the New Tag button to create a tag.
To add a tag to a transaction, double-click the Tag column for the transaction and type the first few letters of the tag. You can also add a memo if you want to give more details about how this transaction relates to your event–for example, if you shopped at your usual destination but the purchases were specifically for your event. You can select multiple transactions and edit them all at once if you want to add tags to a group of transactions, especially when sorted by date.
Remember, if only some of your purchases in a single transaction relate to your event, you can split your transaction to track the special event purchases separately.
Creating reports for your event
The key part of tracking your event with tags is to be able to review your event spending using reports. If you're tracking using tags, there are two key reports you'll want to run.
In Windows, the Itemized Tags report will list all of your expenses, separated by tag. This is a quick and easy way to see your total expenses for an event, as well as what payees that money went to. The other useful Windows report is Cash Flow by Tag. This report lets you see your tagged items broken down by spending categories rather than payees. This way, you’ll know what part of your vacation spending went to Groceries versus Restaurants, or how much of your wedding expense went toward Personal Care. Between these two reports, you’ll get a clear idea of how you spend your money on these individual events.
On the Mac, the Transactions by Tag report will list all of your expenses, separated by tag. This is a quick and easy way to see your total expenses for an event, as well as what payees that money went to. The other key report is Category by Tag. This report lets you see your tagged items broken down by spending categories rather than payees. This way, you’ll know what part of your vacation spending went to Groceries versus Restaurants, or how much of your wedding expense went toward Personal Care. Between these two reports, you’ll get a clear idea of how you spend your money on these individual events.
Remember your mobile app
When you travel the world, you don't always have your computer with you. The mobile app is a great way to tag and categorize transactions without a computer in front of you. It’s a good plan to take a few moments each day to bring up your mobile app and go through what you spent that day, making sure your transactions are tagged and correctly categorized.
If you take the time to tag and categorize your transactions, whether it be for a vacation, a wedding, or any other special project, you’ll get a much clearer picture of what your spending was, and where your money went. Have a great event!