The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Quicken 2016 for Windows
Thank you for choosing Quicken!
This guide helps you get started with Quicken 2016 as quickly as possible. You’ll find out how to:
- Set up your Intuit ID
- Use the Home tab
- Set up your first account
- Take a tour of Quicken
- Update your accounts
- Categorize your transactions
- Set up your bills and income
- Create a budget
- Use Quicken on your phone or tablet
Set up your Intuit ID
Set up your Intuit ID and complete your registration to access all the benefits of Quicken Connected Services. These include downloading your bank transactions, getting investment data, and paying your bills directly from Quicken.
If you use the Quicken mobile app on your phone or tablet, you'll also use your Intuit ID to sign into the app.
If you already use other Intuit products, like TurboTax or QuickBooks, you may already have an Intuit ID.
- Fill in the information to set up your Intuit ID and complete your registration
- If you already have an Intuit ID, click the "Already have an Intuit ID" link and sign in to complete your registration
Use the Home Tab
The Home tab is a dashboard where you can track your finances and stay on top of your bills. The Get Started button takes you to wizards that help you get set up.
Set up your first account
Follow these simple instructions and you'll be up-and-running with Quicken in less than 10 minutes. Seriously!
1. Click the Home tab at the top of the Quicken window.
2. Click Get Started in the See Where Your Money Goes section.
3. Enter or choose the name of your bank.
This is the bank where your primary checking account is located.
Your primary checking account is the one you deposit your paycheck into and pay your bills out of.
4. Enter your bank login information. For most people, this is the same login they use for their bank’s website.
5. Click Connect.
Quicken begins a conversation with your bank to discover what accounts you have. This can take about a minute to complete.
6. Set preferences for your Quicken accounts.
Skip this step if you don’t see this screen.
If you feel like it, give nicknames to your accounts. These names will be used in the Quicken interface and reports.
If there are accounts you don’t want to add to Quicken, select Ignore instead of Add.
7. Quicken creates your accounts and downloads your transactions.
Congratulations! If you’ve been following along, you’ve just added your first Quicken account!
If you want to set up more accounts, click Add another account. If you don’t, no problem; you can always add more accounts later.
Take a tour of Quicken
Quicken is designed to make your day-to-day tasks as easy as possible. Here's a quick introduction to the controls you'll use most often.
Click the icon to download new transactions.
Click the icon (at left) to open the Account List, where you can edit your account names and make other changes.
Click the tabs to access tools and features organized around common financial actiivities.
Click the Account Actions icon (at right) for a menu of tasks, preferences, and reports related to the account you're working with.
Click the Reminder icon to view reminders for this account in the register, allowing you to see how they affect your account balances.
Click an account name in the Account Bar to open its register.
The Account Bar is a list of the accounts you've added to Quicken.
A register is a list of transactions within an account.
Click a transaction in a register to make changes, or click a blank line to enter a new transaction.
Click Add an Account to set up more accounts.
Click Help to connect with other Quicken users in our Live Community forum.
Update your accounts
Now that you’ve set up an account, you’ll want to keep it up to date. To display and update your Quicken accounts:
1. Click the One Step Update icon. (Or choose Tools menu > One Step Update.)
2. Enter the account password.
Tip: If you want Quicken to remember the password, click Manage My Passwords.
3. Select Online Services.
If you have investing accounts, or use the Quicken app for phone or tablet, select the items to update.
4. Click Update Now.
Quicken downloads any new transactions and updates your account balance, and accesses updated information related to any of your other online services.
Categorize your transactions
Categorizing your transactions lets you see where you’re spending your money. The good news is that Quicken does most of this work automatically for you!
Quicken assigns categories to your transactions when it downloads them from your bank. For example, if you used your ATM card at Kroger, Quicken knows that Kroger is a grocery store and it automatically assigns the category Food & Dining:Groceries to the transaction.
In most cases, Quicken can accurately guess the category. In some cases, however, it won’t recognize the transaction the first time it sees it -- for example, your rent check. Quicken also might assign a category to a transaction that you don’t want -- for example, during that trip to Kroger you may have bought pet food, which you want to track under the category Pets:Pet Food & Supplies instead of Food & Dining:Groceries. Naturally, you’ll want to assign the correct categories to your transactions. Here’s how:
Use the Spending tab to categorize transactions
The steps below use the Spending tab to assign a category to a transaction. The process is identical if you use a Quicken account register. However, a key advantage of using the Spending tab is that it alerts you if you have any uncategorized transactions. Nice!
1. Click the Spending tab. The Spending tab shows you the transactions from your spending accounts. It also has a cool pie chart that shows you where your money is going.
2. Click the transaction that you want to change the category for.
3. Click the button next to the category you want to change.
4. Click the category you want from the list. If you don’t see it at first, just start typing its name and Quicken will find it.
If the category you want isn’t in the list, click the Add Category button.
Set up your bills and income
OK. So now you have one or two accounts set up in Quicken and you can download transactions and use categories to see where your money is going. What’s next? What more could there be? Beyond tracking your spending, Quicken actually makes it easier to spend your money. And we mean that in a good way!
If you’re like most people, you have pretty much the same bills every month and you get paid on a regular schedule. If you tell Quicken what your bills are, and when you expect income, it can remind you when your bills are due, and project your account balances into the future. This will help you avoid late fees and overdraft charges, and perhaps put some of that “extra money” you might have into your savings account. Imagine that! Here’s how:
1. Click the Home tab.
2. Click Get Started in the Stay on Top of Monthly Bills section.
3. Click Add a bill to tell Quicken about any bills it doesn’t know about yet.
4. In the last screen of the Add a bill flow, select Link it now to link the bill to the biller website. This will automatically update your bills in Quicken with the due date and amount due, so you know exactly how much you’ve got left to spend.
5. When you’ve finished, the Stay on Top of Monthly Bills section on the Home tab lists your upcoming bills and any income for the selected date range. Tip: Click Options to change the time period displayed.
New! Bill Reminders in your Register
After you set up your bill (or income) reminders, you can choose to show them in your Register, so you can see what impact your planned spending will have on your account balance. Click the reminder icon in the first column to act on the reminders: update the amount when you get a bill, enter the reminder when you’re ready to pay, or skip reminders that you’ve already taken care of.
Tip: You can change the time period for the reminders to display (next 7 days, next 30 days, etc.). You can also toggle reminders on-and-off as you need them.
Create a Budget
If you’ve been following along and setting up Quicken as you work through this guide, you now know where your money is going, and where you stand regarding your upcoming bills and income. Knowing these critical facts about your finances sets the stage for the next huge benefit of Quicken: keeping your spending in line with your income. And relax, you don’t need to track each and every penny; tracking just a few critical spending categories is usually enough to keep your expenses under control.
How does Quicken do it? This will sound familiar: a section on the Home tab makes it easy to see if you’re coming in under your target or if you’re in danger of blowing your budget.
1. Click the Home tab.
2. Click Get Started, in the Budget Your Spending section.
3. Enter a name for your budget and then OK. Quicken creates a budget for your recurring personal expense categories.
4. When you’ve finished, the Budget Your Spending section on the Home tab shows you how you’re doing with your overall spending.
Use Quicken on your phone or tablet
Quicken on your mobile device (iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or tablet) syncs with your desktop data and makes keeping track of your money easy while you're on the go. You can also receive alerts and notifications to help monitor your account balances, fees, and spending patterns. All of these alerts are customizable. Here’s how to get started:
1. Download Quicken Mobile App.
2. Click the Mobile & Alerts tab in Quicken.
3. Click Get Started.
4. Select the Checking, Savings, Credit, or Cash accounts you'd like to see on your Quicken app.
When you’ve finished setting things up, syncing is easy. Just check the Sync to Quicken Cloud checkbox when you perform a One Step Update, or click the Sync Now button on the Mobile & Alerts tab and your Quicken desktop data will appear on all of your synced mobile devices, and the transactions or receipts you’ve entered on your mobile device will appear on your desktop.