How do I categorize a transaction? (Quicken for Windows)
Whether you download your transactions from your bank, or enter them into your register by hand, categorizing your transactions helps you see where your money goes. Categories are simply labels that track how much you’re spending on particular items, such as rent, groceries, or dining.
To assign a category to a transaction
- Open the account you want to use.
- In the register, click the Category field of the transaction you want to categorize.
- Enter a category name or click the dropdown arrow to select the category you want to use from a list.
- The category list is divided into several groups such as personal income, personal expenses, business income, business expenses, and so on. In the left pane, choose the group you want to work with and then select the specific category.
- Certain category groups are hidden by default, largely based on information you provided when you set up Quicken (for example, whether you own a business or manage rental property). Click Show > Hidden categories to make the hidden categories visible both as groups and as individual items in the All Categories list.
- Start typing the name of the category you want to use. Quicken will search for what you are typing by matching either the category or subcategory name.
- If you type the name of a category Quicken doesn't recognize, you are prompted to set it up as new category.
- Use subcategories if you need a more detailed way of classifying your transactions. Select them from the list, or enter them directly in the category field by typing a colon (:) after the parent category, and then entering the subcategory (for example, Utilities:Water).
- If you previously entered other transactions for a payee, Quicken displays the payee's most recently used categories (up to five) when you type a category name directly in the category field.
- Click Save to record the transaction.
To enter or edit a transaction with multiple categories (a split transaction)
- Open the account you want to use.
- In the register, click the transaction you want to categorize.
- On the transaction toolbar, click the Split icon.
- In the Split Transaction dialog, enter (or edit) the category, tag (optional), and amount for each individual item on a separate line.
- Click Edit and choose Insert to add a line above the selected line.
- Click Edit and choose Delete to remove a split line.
- Click Clear All to erase all split lines.
- Click Add lines to create additional lines in the Split Transaction dialog. You can incrementally add up to 250 split items per transaction.
- As necessary, adjust the individual line amounts. (Optional)
As you enter a split transaction, the Transaction Total may no longer match the Split Total. Quicken displays the difference between the two amounts -- the leftover amount -- below the last split line. There are a few ways to handle this difference, depending on your situation:
- Change the amounts in the split lines so that the Split Total is equal to the Transaction Total.
- Click Adjust to change the Transaction Total to equal the Split Total.
- Click Edit and choose Apply remainder to current line to absorb any remainder amount into the selected split line.
- Click Edit and choose Allocate this line to other split lines to distribute the amount of the selected split line among all other split lines.
- Click Allocate to distribute any leftover amount among all other split lines.
- Click OK to close the Split Transaction dialog.
- On the transaction toolbar, click Save to enter the transaction into the register (unless you've enabled the register preference Automatically Enter Split Data).
Can I categorize multiple transactions at once?
Yes. For instructions, click here.
How can I see my uncategorized transactions?
To see all your uncategorized transactions:
- Choose Tools menu > Recategorize.
- Enter a space in the with category field.
- Click Find (you may need to click it twice).
Can I categorize investment transactions?
For investment transactions, the Category field only appears in the transaction entry/edit dialog when it's applicable (for example, for checks you write from the cash management portion of your brokerage account). The field doesn’t appear in the dialog if categories don’t apply to the transaction type.
Tell me more about categorizing transactions in my register
- Quicken reminds you to enter a category whenever you leave one out. (You can change this behavior by choosing Edit menu > Preferences > Notify.) If you don't assign a category, Quicken marks the transaction as Uncategorized in reports and graphs. If you see these labels when you've assigned categories to all transactions, it may be because for a particular category you sometimes add a subcategory and sometimes you don't. To find uncategorized transactions and assign categories to them, click the Home tab and take a look at the See Where Your Money Goes section.
- If you memorize or download transactions, Quicken can help automate the process of assigning categories. If you'd like to use the category Quicken suggests, just record the transaction as you normally would. If you make a change, Quicken remembers the new category. (You can change this behavior by choosing Edit menu > Preferences > Data entry and QuickFill.)
What are category groups? Can I add category groups?
Category groups organize your categories. For example, all of the categories related to your spending are grouped together in a category group called Personal Expenses. And all of the categories related to your income are grouped together in the Personal Income category group.
Category groups are completely customizable. Whether you choose to create your own or use the default category groups, they can greatly simplify the presentation of your Quicken budgets and reports, and make finding and choosing categories in the register much easier.
To add a category group:
- Choose Tools menu > Category List.
- Click Options > Assign category groups.
- Click New Custom Groups.
- Click New.
- Enter a name for the category group.
- Click Save.
Can I automatically assign a category based on the transaction's payee?
Yes. When you download a transaction from your financial institution, Quicken tries to automatically categorize it based on a database of payee merchant codes. If you don't download transactions or if the categories Quicken suggests don't meet your needs, you can memorize the payee and associate it with related transaction information such as a category, amount, method of payment, and so on.
How can I remove split information from a register transaction?
To clear all split lines in a register transaction, click the X button—to the right of Split—in the Category field. You can then assign a new category to the transaction.
Why is the word "Form" displayed in the category field?
In some cases, Quicken uses a special form to help you enter a complex split transaction. For these transactions, the word Form indicates that the transaction has been split into multiple categories or line items. You can see an example of this with the Quicken paycheck transaction or an invoice in an invoice/receivables register (only in Quicken Home & Business).