Simple tracking

Chris's Avatar

Chris

30 Sep, 2009 07:38 PM

Hello. I purchased this software over six months ago and still have not had the time to figure out how to set up some simple functionalities, as I find Moneydance very un-userfriendly thus far.

To begin with, all I want to do is set up a simple homepage that will allow me to track month income vs. expenditures. I have spent hours playing around with entering accounts (bank, credit for example). However, I cannot figure out where to enter monthly incomes, and monthly expenditures, to ideally track via the Homepage. From reading the user guide, I can see that these are referred to as categories within the software, but I cannot figure out how to set up the income vs expense categories to track.

Please help..........

  1. 1 Posted by avp2 on 11 Oct, 2009 07:33 PM

    avp2's Avatar

    Accounting can be confusing and MD's built-in help files are not as detailed as one might need.

    Basically, MD "accounts" are your checking, savings, investments, loans, etc, at financial institutions and "real" property, like a home. MD's "categories" are the groupings that you use (in MD) to track your expenses and income. Both these types of groupings (accounts and categories) are manipulated via MD's "tools" menu "edit accounts" and "edit categories" functions. These functions allow you to add "new", "delete" and "edit" and view (double on one in the list that shows when you select the function).

    To enter a MD account transaction (bill payment, purchase, wage deposit, interest deposit, etc), you have the choice of doing it manually (new transaction), downloading from a financial institution as a file and importing it (file menu>import) or downloading it directly via the "online" menu in the account's (register) view. payment, Most financial institutions have web sites where they allow downloading a transaction file. Maybe 70% allow direct connection (MD online bill pay and download).

    MD category transactions are usually entered by specifying which category an account transaction should be recorded under (via the "category" portion of the transaction shown in the account register view). You can also enter them manually in a category register (view), but that can mess you up quick if you do not understand how MD, and double-entry accounting, operates; most people use this for correction work after they gain an understanding.

    The basic idea is: accounts are records of real assets/liabilities and categories are records of you use your asset/liability use.

    The MD home page provides a current summary of your accounts (and a few other things you might set up); thoughtful setup of "parent" accounts allow it to provide a pretty good financial overview. Setup home page via "file> preferences" and "tools" menus.

    Though somewhat limited at present, MD "reports" allow you view accounts, categories and their activity/transactions over selected periods (vs just a current snapshot). Setup reports via the (graph) icon in the upper, right of the home page.

    The budget report, and manager, allow you to compare how your current financial activity compares to what it has been in the past and goals you set. Setup budgets via the "tools > budget manager" menu.

    The I hope this brief overview helps, especially regarding the difference between categories and accounts, which can be somewhat unclear in MD.

  2. Angie Rauscher closed this discussion on 30 Apr, 2010 05:58 PM.

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