Setting Up a Credit Card Account in Quicken 2006

By Stephen L. Nelson

If you want to track credit card spending and balances with Quicken 2006, you must set up a special credit card account. (In comparison, you use bank accounts to track other things, such as the money that flows into and out of a checking account.)

To set up a credit card account, you follow roughly the same steps as you do to set up a bank account. Here’s what you do:

1. Choose Tools –> Account List.

Quicken displays the Account List window.

2. Click the Add Account button.

Quicken displays the Quicken Account Setup dialog box, which you’ve probably seen about a thousand times before. As you may remember, what you need to do is enter the name of the credit card company into the text box that asks you for the name of your financial institution, at which point Quicken asks you to select the financial institution from its list — or to just use the name you entered. You click Next again to display the next Quicken Account Setup dialog box.

3. Tell Quicken you’re setting up a credit card account.

Select the Credit Card option button when Quicken asks what type of account you want to set up. Then, click Next to display the fourth Quicken Account Setup dialog box.

4. Name the account; then click Next.

Why not? Move the cursor to the Name This Account text box and type a name. After you click Next, Quicken displays the fifth Quicken Account Setup dialog box.

5. Enter the date on which you will start keeping records for the credit card account.

You should probably choose the date of your last statement, as Quicken suggests. Move the cursor to the Statement Date text box and type the date in MM/DD/YYYY format. June 13, 2006, for example, should be entered as 6/13/2006.

6. Enter the balance you owed at the end of the last credit card billing period after making your payment. Then click Next.

Move the cursor to the Ending Balance text box and type the balance value by using the number keys. After you click Next, Quicken displays the sixth Quicken Account setup dialog box.

7. [Optional] Type in the amount of your credit limit.

If you want, indicate the amount of your credit card limit by moving the cursor to the Credit Limit, If Applicable text box and then typing whatever number the credit card company has arbitrarily decided is a reasonable balance for you to shoulder.

8. Click Done.

Quicken may display a message that urges you to sign up for your credit card company’s online banking services. For now, ignore this. (If you later want to sign up, just tell your bank, and it’ll help you get all set up.) Just click Done again. Quicken finally gets the message and displays the new account’s register.