Personal Finance 

Quicken Online Cash Tracking

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Quicken Online is the entirely online version of Quicken that was released a while back to compete with online money management sites like Wesabe, Mint, and Yodlee. They recently announced that they added “cash tracking,” a feature where you can track where your cash spending is going.

Cash tracking is a really simply concept, they add a Cash account (called My Wallet), and then let you add in cash transactions as you make them. Rather than pull the data from your account, it lets you enter in transactions directly and edit them as if they had been pulled from an account elsewhere. The transaction log behaves like every other transaction log in the tool so you don’t have to learn anything new. Here’s a screenshot:

Quicken Online Cash Tracking

When you take cash out of your accounts, it’s counted as an expense to the cash category. This gives you a running total of how much money is in your wallet. When you enter in a new transaction, the cash total goes down while the categories you’re spending on go up. My explanation may be a little week but this example should clear it up. Let’s say you make an ATM withdrawal of $100, the tool will say you spend $100 on cash. When you enter in the $20 you spend at the bar, it’ll show that category increase by $20 and the $100 on cash go down to $80. That’s how all the numbers are reconciled.

It’s a feature that Mint doesn’t offer (not sure about the other sites, I don’t have accounts there) by default. To hack a way around it, you simply “split” your ATM withdrawals and label each one the appropriate title. There are obvious downsides to hacking something as basic as this (what if you don’t spend the transaction all at once? what do you put as the placeholder?) and I’ve had friends complain about the need to do this (who doesn’t withdraw and spend cash?) but it’s the best solution if you’re bought into Mint.

{ 17 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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17 Responses to “Quicken Online Cash Tracking”

  1. I Quicken Online free? If it is I plan to sign up for it.


  2. Dave says:

    I find this interesting – the desktop version of Quicken has something similar, if you are willing to track your expenses to that level of detail. I found that it was WAY too much effort to track exactly what I was spending cash on (Do I really need to enter in $1.50 for a coffee?). Maybe they improved or simplified the tracking on the online version??

    • Jim says:

      Well, you have to enter in a value, so you can enter $1.50 or $2 or whatever, but at the end of the day you still need to enter in that information.

      Fortunately, you don’t have to track your cash, you can just say cash and enter it as some bogus expense and be done with it. The flexibility is there and I’m surprised other places default to “ATM withdrawal” with no visibility.

      • Dave says:

        That’s basically what I do with Quicken – any time I withdrawl cash from an ATM, it gets charged to the ATM expense – I can go through and track how much cash I spent in any given month by tracking the ATM expense, but I found it too tedious to track my actual cash expenses, which I did at first.

  3. CK says:

    I use mint and I don’t really see their system as a hack. It works great for me. That said I rarely transact with cash.

  4. I really like the idea of these online applications, but have some serious concerns over security when allowing a third party to store my financial institution login information. Does anyone else share this concern? What have your experiences been with these services? And lastly, if you use any of these services, do you also get monthly credit reports to make sure that your information is not being leaked.distributed?

    • Matt Fyffe says:

      I’ve held similar concerns and still do. It’s one of the driving reasons why I’ve yet to use one of these services even though I’m interested.

      I don’t know, I know I need to get with the times, but I already get enough problems with my credit card companies losing my information.

  5. Chelsea says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the great comments on cash tracking with Quicken Online. @Nate, yes, Quicken Online is 100% free. Hope you’ll give us a shot. I’d love to hear your thoughts once you check it out.

    – Chelsea, Quicken Online

  6. Luke says:

    I have set up my own tracking using the spreadsheet in Google Docs, so that I can access it anywhere I have an internet connection. I’m not a spreadsheet whiz, but I’ve been able to set up a form that I complete with each purchase and it auto-populates the other sheets.

    I’ll have to take a look at Quicken Online, though, for some ideas.

  7. Cheapchick says:

    We have purchased the regular quicken program to track our own investments/income/assets. I will stand by this company – excellent software. I haven’t tried the free online version but their regular product is wonderful. My hubby does all our own trading and we have about 6 different accounts. This program is seriously the only way to track everything without loosing money or loosing assets.

  8. Matt Fyffe says:

    Just to clarify, non-cash transactions are added automatically to your system under the proper categories? At first I read this as if ALL transactions required your input but if it’s simply cash transactions, that’s not TERRIBLE. How often do people really use cash anyway.

    • Jim says:

      Yep, like all other tools, non-cash transactions pulled from other sources will be properly categorized. You may need to tweak it from time to time but the heavy lifting is done for you.

  9. Chelsea says:


    Thanks so much for your commitment to Quicken. It’s great to hear things like what you’ve said above. If you do try Quicken Online let me know. It’s geared toward basic finance tasks, but as a Quicken desktop user you might like the mobile and email alerts, and the ability to log in on the Web to get a snapshot of your finances in one place.

    @Matt Fyffe,

    Quicken Online uses the same industry standards plus third party verification to make sure your experience is secure. This is the same standard online banks use worldwide. I’m happy to provide you with more information if you want to talk directly, and I hope you’ll give us a shot.

    – Chelsea, Quicken Online

  10. olen says:

    After weeks of not recording my cash transactions, my wallet amount is not accurate. I can’t seem to find a way to reset the wallet to start over. Any ideas?

    • Chris says:

      Can you delete the transaction history and recreate what you need to?

      • olen says:

        i think what I have to do is just create one giant transaction that makes the online wallet balance equal what’s in my real wallet.

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