Money Management and Personal Finance
Class Week Four
Setting Up Cash Accounts In Quicken
By now, you should have Quicken installed on your system.
You should also have set up at least a couple of bank accounts in your file.
Please let me know if you are having any problem with these matters.
Another important thing to do in Quicken is to track your flow of cash in cash accounts.
Setting one up is very easy.
This will all be very similar to setting up the banks accounts in the previous lesson.
Depending on the computer platform you are using and the version of Quicken you are using,
simply do the following:
Go under the Accounts Menu, and choose New
In the Accounts box that opens, choose the name of the institution, or indicate that it is
not in the list or that it is not held at a financial institution. (This will make
sense for our purposes shortly.) Click OK.
Since this Quicken file should not contain real life info, choose to manually handle the
account. Give it a name of some sort and indicate that it is a Cash account.
“Ok” that and you should have successfully set up a cash account.
For the edition you have, go to setting up a New Account, and choose Cash account
If you cannot see that, go to the Help menu and search setting up new account
Other directions should be similar to what you see in the Mac comments above.
Please keep in mind that you will be submitting your Quicken file at the end of the Semester
for me to review and grade. So make sure any information you put in this one you will submit to
me will not be the one with your real information in it. Do not submit it at this time.
I think there are two types of cash accounts that might be used, and, for most people, actually
For whatever reason, a person might have cash that is held for emergencies, contingencies or
something else. Perhaps one held out cash because he just prefers to deal in cash, or is afraid
that banks are going to collapse. In any case, this cash needs to be accounted for in Quicken.
If it is kept under the mattress, call the account Mattress Money (or something – I am
teasing). Perhaps it is kept in a safe deposit box. Just call it something that will relate to that.
For most people, the only cash account will be to handle small day to day petty cash type
items. The figure in this account really does not have to be accurate at all. It is only a small
amount that is there to track transactions that are desired to be tracked. As cash transactions
occur, list them in the cash account, assign any pertinent category. If the account seems to
run out of cash, just add some arbitrary amount – to again just give opportunity to track those
cash transactions that you desire to track (like tax deductible items, business expenses, etc).
I do a couple of other things with my cash accounts. I am presently using the standard mileage
rate for my business-related auto deductions on my tax return. When I take a business trip, for
example, I just list that trip in my business account, let the number of miles be the “dollars”
spent, assign it to my auto miles category. Then at the end of the year, I know how many trip
miles I have. Then for my tax purposes, I am able to multiply those number of miles by the rate
given by the IRS for that year. I do the same thing with my business-related meals. I take the
standard daily rate method for my tax returns. So, as I have these expenses, I list them in my cash
account. One day equals one dollar, for instance. Then when I do my taxes, I simply multiply the
number of days by the amount set by the IRS for that year.
Again, in your cash account(s), just make arbitrary adjustments as needed to the balance amounts
so you won’t skew your true net worth. When I deposit checks into my bank accounts, if I hold
out cash, I simply list that as a transfer to my Pocket Cash account. That keeps my deposits
completely accounted for in every way.
Don’t send your Quicken file to me just yet. I am wanting us to eventually have a Quicken
file with a lot of features having been accessed. But there will still yet be much of Quicken that
we will not be able to cover. But by all means, add to your file beyond the requirements of our
Course. If you will learn Quicken well, you will find it to be a tremendous personal finance tool
It will be in Class Week 13 that your Quicken file will ultimately be transferred to me.
Absolutely, feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions or problems.
Michael R. Hughes
870-739-3784 (my home phone)