How to Adjust Quicken 2010's Categories - dummies

How to Adjust Quicken 2010’s Categories

By Stephen L. Nelson

Quicken supplies categories to, well, categorize your spending. For example, you can use the Rent category to categorize all the checks you write to pay rent. The predefined categories list may be just what you want. Then again, it may not.

You can adjust the Quicken categories however you want: You can add categories, remove categories, and change category names and descriptions.

Adding individual categories you’d love to use

Adding individual categories is a snap:

  1. Choose Tools→Category List on the Quicken menu bar.


    Quicken displays the Category List window. This window lists the categories available and the accounts you’ve set up.

  2. Click the New button in the Category List window.


    The New button, by the way, is the first button on the upper-right. Quicken dutifully displays the Set Up Category dialog box.

  3. Type a name in the Name text box and type a name.

    Although you can use up to 15 characters, use as short of a name as possible to clearly identify the category. You use this category name every time you want to tag a transaction to fall into the category.

  4. Click in the Description text box and then describe the category.

    Quicken uses the category description on reports that show the category. If you don’t add a description, Quicken just uses the category name. You don’t need a description, obviously, if your category name is, well, adequately descriptive.

  5. (Optional) Identify the category group by opening the Group drop-down list box and selecting the appropriate group.

    Groups combine categories into sets that you can use in reports and in your budgeting.

  6. Select the appropriate Income, Expense, or Subcategory Of option button.

    If you use subcategories, indicate into which income or expense category a new subcategory falls from the drop-down list.

  7. Select the Tax-Related check box if the category is tax-related.

    Deselect the check box if the category isn’t tax-related.

  8. If it’s tax-related, identify the form and line by opening the Tax Line Item drop-down list box and selecting one of its entries, then click OK.

    Quicken adds the new category in the Category List window and then redisplays the window.

Adding categories from a situational list

Quicken keeps lists of categories that are standard for people in certain situations. You can use these situational lists as a source of new categories:

  1. Choose Tools→Category List on the menu bar.

    Quicken displays the Category List window.

  2. Click the Add Categories button.

    Quicken displays the Add Categories dialog box. This window lists the categories that may be useful in certain situations.

  3. Click the Available Categories drop-down list box and select the situational list of categories you want to display.

    You can select Standard, Married, Homeowner, Business, Children, Investment, or Rents and Royalties. Quicken displays the categories from the situational list selected.

  4. Click the categories in the Categories list that you want to add.

    Quicken marks the categories you select with a check. You can mark all the categories shown in the situational list by clicking the Mark All button.

  5. Click the Add button.

    Quicken adds the categories to the Categories to Add list.

  6. Click Add.

    Quicken completes the addition of the categories.

Removing Quicken categories you loathe

Removing categories takes only a couple of keystrokes:

  1. Choose Tools→Category List on the menu bar.

    Quicken displays the Category List window.

  2. Click the category you want to remove, and then click the Delete button that appears.

    If no transactions are in the category, Quicken displays a message that asks you to confirm your decision.

  3. If you want to remove the selected category, click OK.

    Otherwise, press the Esc key or click the Cancel button.

Changing category names and descriptions

You can change a Quicken category name, its type, its description, and its tax-related setting if you want:

  1. Choose Tools→Category List on the menu bar.

    Quicken displays the Category List window.

  2. Use the arrow keys or click with your mouse to select the category you want to change, and then click the Edit button.

    Quicken displays a dialog box that has text boxes and option buttons describing the selected category’s information: its name, description, type, and tax-related settings.

  3. Make the changes you want by replacing text box contents or changing option button settings, then click OK.

    Quicken saves your changes and returns to the Category List window.

Merging categories

If you select a category and then click the Merge button — the button appears to the right of the category information — Quicken displays a Merge Category dialog box, which you use to re-categorize transactions in the selected category. The dialog box provides a drop-down list box that you use to select the new category. The dialog box also provides a check box that you can check if you want to delete the category after moving transactions out of it.