How do I track a transfer between two accounts?
It’s easiest if you think about a transfer between two accounts as two separate transactions, which you will later merge into one merged transaction.
If you’re transferring $1000 from Savings to Checking, create one transaction that’s a $1000 expenditure from the Savings account, and a second transaction that’s a $1000 income into the Checking account.
After they have both cleared and you’ve reconciled them both (why?) then you can merge the two transactions into one.
If you’ve used the same description for both transactions, the merged transaction uses the same description. And the amount shows for the merged transaction is the “net” difference. In our example of transferring $1000 between two accounts, the amount shown for the merged transaction will be zero; if you switch to the Ledger View, you will be able to see how it affects each of your accounts.
You can see our article The Power Of Merging Transactions for more information and screenshots of merging two transactions.
Why must a transaction be reconciled before I can merge it?
Before a transaction is reconciled, it isn’t set in stone yet; and merged transactions
should be trustworthy.
Also, a user-interface implication is that you otherwise would not be able to distinguish which transactions “inside” the merged transaction have cleared and which haven’t. (Since the transactions “inside” the merged transaction might be cleared and reconciled at different times, it just keeps it simplest to keep ’em separate until they have all been reconciled.)
How can I see how much money I have left in a given account? When I need to pay the credit card, I need to know its
Switch to the Ledger View. That shows running balances for all accounts.
I have set up my checking account, my credit card, and my mortgage balance in Flowing Pennies. Now the accumulated column
is all negative! Should all those red numbers scare me?
One of the strengths of Flowing Pennies is that is lets you watch the flow of your family’s finances. That flow, whether you look at it weekly, monthly, yearly, or somewhere in between, is really the key to the health of your finances. Use the “Summary Footer Mode” described in The Life Cycle of a Transaction to fine-tune your analysis. The magnitude of the numbers in your “accumulated” column may not be important. In your situation, adding the amount you owe on your mortgage is a huge “negative” number, but it isn’t anything surprising. Watching how those numbers change is more important than their “redness.”
How do I start using Flowing Pennies? I see an empty document and need to know how to create my first account.
When you are first confronted with an empty Flowing Pennies document, you can select “New Account” in the account popup. Enter the amount of the initial balance; choose “Positive” for savings accounts, checking accounts, and other accounts where you stay “in the black.” Choose “Negative” for credit card accounts and other accounts that lend you money.
When do you plan to add (insert feature here:
) to Flowing Pennies?
There were many features that were reluctantly omitted from the early versions of Flowing Pennies, just to ensure that Flowing Pennies could hit the streets and start being useful.
Without going into specifics, there are a number of features on our roadmap, but we are making it a point to be nimble and reactive with the future trajectory of Flowing Pennies.
You can influence the direction of Flowing Pennies going forward: just visit our feedback page and let us know what you would like to see in Flowing Pennies.
We will weigh all the feedback every time we start a new update cycle.