Quicken Savings Goals (Import Issues and Replicating the feature)

stephenh's Avatar


09 May, 2015 09:10 AM

I have now spent 3 days transferring for Quicken 2004 - a useful Moneydance training experience - and seem finally to have all my balances reconciled to the old Quicken file.

The biggest issue I have had was caused by the Quicken Savings Goals feature. This effectively split an account into pots and you then had to formally transfer money into the pot from the savings account - something we found very useful for financial management because we built up pots every month (for holidays or annual bills) and then drew the money down when the bill hit. It also allowed you to look at the account as a total or net of savings goals.

On import Moneydance created separate asset accounts for each of the savings goals, and duplicated all of the transfers that contributed to the savings goals - which was fun. Anyone transferring should watch out for this.

The way I go have got around this (anybody else have a different way?) is:

1. Set up all the old savings pots as bank accounts
2. Transfer the transactions in the old asset account using the batch change function
3. Group them all under a "Savings Goals" parent account
4. Set up a "Savings Goal Control account"

Any real transfers of cash go between the real bank accounts (e.g. monthly payments from current account to savings account).

Any "allocation" transactions - e.g transfers within a savings account to build a pot go from the Savings Control Account to the the Savings Goal account. The total of Savings Goal account and Savings Control is always zero.The balances in the real bank accounts then exactly match what you can see in the bank statement.

It's a bit clunky but replicates as near as possible the function of savings goals goals in Quicken that could think of.

If anyone has a better way of doing it I would be very happy to hear about it.

  1. 1 Posted by Kevin on 12 Feb, 2016 08:26 PM

    Kevin's Avatar

    I get the concept of transfers between the Savings Goal Control account and the Savings Goal accounts. I'm just wondering how the Savings Goal Control account gets populated with funds without pulling from some other (real) account--creating discrepancies when reconciling with the real account statement.

    I'm desperately trying to implement a savings goal/bucket system with MD, and I think your workaround could work really well. Would you mind elaborating a bit on how the funds get from the real accounts to the imaginary ones, if this is even how it works (I could have a fundamental flaw in my understanding). Is the Savings Goal Control account under the Savings Goals parent account too?

    Thanks for any clarification you can provide!

  2. 2 Posted by stephenh on 12 Feb, 2016 11:20 PM

    stephenh's Avatar


    I have been working with my system now and whilst it is not as user friendly as Quciken’s savings goal, it does work albeit with quite a bit of heavy lifting (and I am an accountant which I guess helps)

    Step 1- Structure for the bank account you are splitting into savings goals
    For the real bank account/accounts that you are splitting into savings pots, first set up a Parent Account called something like “Savings Goals Bank Accounts” - you never post anything to this - it is simply there to add together the next 2 accounts
    Make the real bank account a child of the Parent account
    Set up a second account called “Savings Goal Control”
    Step 2
    Set up a Parent Account called Savings Goals (or whatever takes your fancy - I call mine Long Term Saving Funds
    Set up each saving goal underneath that parent account - say Holidays, and Bathroom Renewal
    Step 3 - to establish the split of the savings account into the goals
    say you have a bank account with £4,000 in it
    you want to split it £1,000 into a Holiday account, and £3,000 into a Bathroom Renewal account you do the following
    DONE touch the real bank account record at all
    go to the Savings Control account and transfer £1,000 to the Holiday savings goal account, and £3,000 to the Bathroom account
    What you now have in the books is
    Real bank account £4,000
    Savings goals control account £-4000
    netting off in the parent account £0
    Holidays account - £1,000
    Bathroom account - £3,000
    netting off to £4,000
    Note the net of the 2 savings goals always equals the control account (in this case +£4000 and -£4000)
    The net of the real bank account and the savings control account is always £0
    Step 4 - adding to the goals
    I am guessing you are transferring money each month from your current account
    This transfers from your current account to the real savings account in the normal way - say £400
    You will now have more in the real savings accounts (£4,400), than the negative of Control account (£-4000) - i.e. they won’t net to zero
    Next step is to split the £400 into the savings goals. You don’t do this in the real account, you do this in the control account
    transfer £100 from the control account to the Holidays account
    transfer £300 from the control account the Bathroom account
    The real savings account and control account now net to zero +4000 and -4400
    The control account also now agrees with the savings goals
    If you want to transfer money out because you have been holiday you just do all Step 4 in revers

    All of this is quite long winded but it replicates how the Quicken savings goals worked. The rules of the game are
    Only real bank transactions ever go though the real bank account
    Funding the goals only happens between the control account and and the goals accounts
    The control account and the real bank account must net to zero
    The control account must always equal the exact negative same of the savings (e.g +x in the goals, -x in the control)
    The total of the goals, control and real bank account must always only ever equal what is on the real bank account

    Hope this helps and have fun

  3. 3 Posted by Kevin on 16 Feb, 2016 02:39 AM

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    Thank you so much, @stephenh, for that detailed response. Those were exactly the details I needed. You're right that it's not the smoothest implementation of savings goals, but it gets the job done and works like a charm. Thank you again for taking time to explain--I'm setting up all my savings goals now!

  4. 4 Posted by TJ Finlinson on 15 Apr, 2016 04:00 AM

    TJ Finlinson's Avatar


    Thank you imparting your knowledge and sharing those details of how you set up savings goals. That is something I've also wanted to do, but didn't quite have the understanding to accomplish it.

  5. 5 Posted by stephenh on 15 Apr, 2016 08:23 AM

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    The joys of being an accountant - it would be nice to have it as a feature though

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Jenny on 19 Apr, 2016 09:59 AM

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for your input and your detailed instructions for this workaround. The 'Savings Goals' feature has been suggested previously and we currently have a ticket regarding this suggestion in our system. Your comment here essentially counts as a 'vote' towards the feature implementation. I'll pass your feedback to the developers, and we'll notify you within this thread of any updates.

    Thanks again!

    Infinite Kind Support

  7. 7 Posted by trevor on 11 May, 2016 02:21 PM

    trevor's Avatar

    +1 for something similar

  8. 8 Posted by David on 29 May, 2016 08:12 PM

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    +1 for Savings Goals

  9. System closed this discussion on 02 Oct, 2016 02:33 AM.

  10. Maddy re-opened this discussion on 17 Jan, 2020 09:38 AM

  11. System closed this discussion on 17 Jan, 2020 09:40 AM.

  12. Sean Reilly re-opened this discussion on 17 Jan, 2020 09:42 AM

  13. 9 Posted by james f. graha... on 22 Jan, 2020 08:29 PM

    james f.  graham's Avatar

    This request for a savings goal option like Quicken has, is an old request. Is there any update as to when this will be an available update?

  14. 10 Posted by dwg on 22 Jan, 2020 09:12 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    TiK has a policy of not discuss futures, it is only when we get close to a new major version being released, usually when it goes into customer level Beta testing is when we get an idea of what features are going to be included.

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