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Setting Up Checking and Savings Accounts in Microsoft Money 2005

After you see the big picture and know what an account and a register are, you can create an account. In the next sections, you find out how to set up a checking account, savings account, and credit card account. Setting up the other kinds of accounts is a bit more complicated.

Setting up a checking or savings account

Everybody, or just about everybody, has at least one checking and one savings account. Set up an account in Money for each checking and savings account you keep with a bank. Be sure to get out the paperwork before you set up the checking or savings account. You need to know the account number and a few other details.

Follow these steps to set up the account:

1. Click the Banking tab.

You land in the Account List window. This window is the starting point for managing accounts you have set up in Money.

2. Click the Add a New Account link, the first one listed under Common Tasks.

The Choose an Account Type window, shown in Figure 1, appears. This window is somewhat misleading. The first option, Banking, appears to be the one for setting up a checking or savings account, but the Banking option is really for setting up online checking and savings accounts. If you select the Banking option, you may be asked for passwords and the like. Rather than setting up an online banking account at this time, set up a conventional account by selecting the fourth option, Other Account Type. If you select that option, you will still be able to set up a checking or savings account. Online banking isn't for everybody. Later, if you so choose, you can make your conventional checking or savings account into an online banking account.

Figure 1: Select the fourth option, Other Account Type, to set up your account.

3. Select the Other Account Type option, and then click the Next button.

The next window, Choose an Account Type, permits you to set up checking and savings accounts.

4. Choose Checking or Savings, and then click the Next button.

You see the New Account dialog box.

5. Type a descriptive name for the account, and then click the Next button.

The name you type appears in the Accounts window. Type a descriptive name so that you can distinguish this account from the others you set up in Money.

6. Enter a figure for the account balance, choose a currency if need be, and click the Next button.

Knowing the balance isn't as important as you may think — you can change the starting balance after you set up the account by changing the first entry in the account register.

More power to you if you know the starting balance and you have diligently kept records so that you can enter past transactions and bring the account up to date. If you don't know the opening balance, either enter the balance from your last bank statement or make an estimate.

7. Click the Finish button.

At the end of the ordeal, you return to the Account List window, where the name of your new checking or savings account appears.

Listing contact names, phone numbers, and other information

Before you put away the paperwork and say good-bye to an account you set up, take a moment to record information about the account. The program has a special Change Account Settings window for entering a bank's telephone number, an account's minimum balance, and anything else you care to enter.

The Change Account Settings wind ow is a handy place to store bank telephone numbers and other information. If you lose your passbook, ATM card, or credit card and need to call the bank, for example, you can get the number from this window. The window also has a check box for making an account appear on the Favorites menu.

Follow these steps to get to the Change Account Settings window and enter the pertinent information or view information about an account you already set up:

1. Click the Banking tab to go to the Account List window.

2. Select the name of the account for which you will enter information.

3. Click the Change Account Settings link.

This link is located under Other Tasks. You see the Change Account Settings window.

The fastest way to get to the Change Account Settings window is to right-click an account name in the Account List window and choose See Account Settings from the shortcut menu.

4. Enter or view information about your account in the window.

5. Click the Done button if you entered information in the Change Account Settings window.

Where is the Done button? It's at the bottom of the window. You may have to scroll down to get there.

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