Classes vs. sub-categories


J

jg70124

I'd like to invite comments from the group here about the pros & cons of
classes vs. sub-categories.

I've been a Quicken for over 10 year; I'm now using H&B 2004 to track both
my personal finances and my sole-propietorship. In all that time, I've
never once used classes. Instead, I create multiple sub-categories. For
instance, instead of "Clothing/me" and "Clothing/wife", I have "Clothing:
Me" and "Clothing: Wife".

Are there some clear advantages to using classes? Are there features I'm
missing out on? Is it worth the effort to go back and re-classify all that
data?

Thanks.
 
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D

Dick Weaver

jg70124 said:
I'd like to invite comments from the group here about the pros & cons of
classes vs. sub-categories.

I've been a Quicken for over 10 year; I'm now using H&B 2004 to track both
my personal finances and my sole-propietorship. In all that time, I've
never once used classes. Instead, I create multiple sub-categories. For
instance, instead of "Clothing/me" and "Clothing/wife", I have "Clothing:
Me" and "Clothing: Wife".

Are there some clear advantages to using classes? Are there features I'm
missing out on? Is it worth the effort to go back and re-classify all that
data?
Its only multiplication. If you have n thingies that you want to record
m attributes of there are n x m combinations. You can either record n
and m for each thingie or you can name each combination and record only
that name.

for 1 thingie (clothing) and two attributes (Me, Wife) combination is
the most efficient. n times m = 2, n + m (1 category, 2 classes) = 3.
So combination is the simplest.

In my case, I track medical expense in some detail. Say I have 10
categories (actually a lot more, but 10 is a believable number). I
record medical expense by date of service. But tax deductions are by
date paid, not date of service, so when the date paid is in a different
year than the service date I add "year paid" as a class. Now with 8
years data, my choices are

10 categories + 8 classes = 18
10 categories x 8 years = 80

Simpler to keep track of 18; I use classes.

btw, I have categories "clothing:me" and "clothing:wife". She outspends
me 6 to 1.

dick w
 
R

Rick Hess

jg70124 said:
I'd like to invite comments from the group here about the pros & cons of
classes vs. sub-categories.

I've been a Quicken for over 10 year; I'm now using H&B 2004 to track both
my personal finances and my sole-propietorship. In all that time, I've
never once used classes. Instead, I create multiple sub-categories. For
instance, instead of "Clothing/me" and "Clothing/wife", I have "Clothing:
Me" and "Clothing: Wife".

Are there some clear advantages to using classes? Are there features I'm
missing out on? Is it worth the effort to go back and re-classify all that
data?
REGARDING YOU AND YOUR WIFE:
If it's just a couple of categories that you're adding subcategories to in
this manner then I suppose it doesn't make much difference. But if you have
many categories that you want to separate as you or your wife, then I
recommend classes. Three simple reasons:
(1) You can apply a class to any category and any number of categories.
(2) You can apply many classes to those same categories. So, although you
now only need two at the moment ("Me" and "Wife"), you could have others as
well ("Son", "Daughter", "Jackass Brother-In-Law", "Vacation", "Wedding",
etc.).
(2) It's so easy to obtain a report on a class. You memorize the report
once with the class and select all categories, and you're always covered.
The way you're doing it now, you have to memorize the report with specific
subcategories. If you add other categories and subcategories then you'll
have to redo the report settings. You might get incorrect data on a report
until you realize that you forgot to include "Beer:Me".


REGARDING YOUR BUSINESS:
I can't even imagine that you've been doing it this way for 10 years. Are
you a former Money user? This is similar to the way it's handled in Money,
and a huge reason I stay with Quicken. Using classes, in addition to the
reasons I stated above, is the best way to segregate your personal and
business expenses.
--


Rick Hess
New Orleans
To reply, eliminate All_Spammers
 
J

Jim M.

Rick wrote in part ....

Rick Hess said:
REGARDING YOUR BUSINESS:
. . . . Using classes, in addition to the
reasons I stated above, is the best way to segregate your personal and
business expenses.
--


Rick Hess
New Orleans
To reply, eliminate All_Spammers
Why not use a separate file for each? - 1 for personal and 1 for business!
I assume you have seperate checking accounts for each - I would hope so.
That way there is no chance of intermingling funds.
Jim M.
 
R

Rick Hess

Jim M. said:
Why not use a separate file for each? - 1 for personal and 1 for
business!
(snip)

I'll ask you the same question: "Why?"

This issue has been brought up here several times. I and others have
already stated good reasons in favor of using one file in a Sole
Proprietorship. I can think of almost no good reasons in favor of multiple
files, and plenty of disadvantages. I've had as many as 7 Schedule Cs and
dozens of Schedule Es, all with my personal finances in one file -- with no
problems.

--


Rick Hess
New Orleans
To reply, eliminate All_Spammers
 
D

Dawn

I think classes are advantageous. I use them to add an extra level of
category. For instance, I categorize my income with the name of the
person that I received the income from. Income is the main category
and the name is the sub category. Then I add a class to tell me who
referred that work to me. I can then do a report to find out how much
I made off a particular referral source, but each transaction has
different categories.

In your situation, I could see you having a set of categories and then
having "Me" and "wife" as classes. (maybe even "both") So you could
see how much you spent on each individual category but also do a
report to see just how much the wife spent across all categories. Sure
you could still do this by having the sub categories broken down, but
creating reports would become exhausting. :)

Hope this helps.

Dawn
 
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T

The Michael

A couple of other nice things about classes:

They can be used in reports to easily screen out and exclude certain stuff
from view (or include only that stuff)
They can be applied transfers. A transfer cannot have either a category or
sub-category, but it can have a class.

A class of "Vacation" is useful if you want to look at your normal category expenses
excluding vacations for perhaps budgeting reasons. You can later look at some of
the same reports to analyse just vacation expenses.

I have in the past found a class "Inherit" to be very useful... also either a
category or class of "Ignore".

I use "Ignore" when I have charged my parents' expenses on our credit card and also
for when I am later re-imbursed for those expenses (I detail these in a separate
Quicken file I have for their stuff). I exclude "Ignore" from just about every one
of my reports.
 
T

The Michael

Another contrast is that categories/subs are associated with either Income or Expense
where Class is "gender" neutral.
 
B

BobS

Another contrast is that categories/subs are associated with either Income or Expense
where Class is "gender" neutral.

How does one get classes to work when using splits? Ctrl L does not
bring up the class list while in the Split window.

Thanks...Bob
 
F

Fred Smith

How many classes do you have? I just remember them. I type the first letter
or two and it fills the rest in.
 
T

The Michael

How does one get classes to work when using splits? Ctrl L does not
bring up the class list while in the Split window.

Thanks...Bob
I have so few classes that I don't need to refer to the Class list. If you have that
many, look at the list right before going into the split.

I just type the "/" after the category (if any) and the first letter or 2 of the
class name and I'm done.
 
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S

Scott Lindner

I'll ask you the same question: "Why?"
This issue has been brought up here several times. I and others have
already stated good reasons in favor of using one file in a Sole
Proprietorship. I can think of almost no good reasons in favor of multiple
files, and plenty of disadvantages. I've had as many as 7 Schedule Cs and
dozens of Schedule Es, all with my personal finances in one file -- with no
problems.
I agree with you Rick. Once married, your net and finances are merged into
one and there's nothing you can do about that fact. There's no benefit to
using separate files and only determents. The best approach to addressing
this issue is indeed with Classes when comparing the usage and pro/cons for
handing it with Subcategories and separate files. The only justification I
can see for separate subcategories is for wage earning. After that it's
best to use Classes. I wish I had time to list all of the reasons for the
various approaches. I did a huge brainstorm on this just last weekend. I
created multiple Quicken files and tested it all out for me and my fiancé.
Classes are definitely the best approach for this type of thing.

Scott
 
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R

Rick Hess

(snip)
The only justification I
can see for separate subcategories is for wage earning.
(snip)

The way I handle that is also with classes. I use a category "W-2 Income"
and put the employer as the class. The advantage to this method is one can
"CLASSify" other categories that pertain to that employer. For example,
taxes, travel, reimbursables, meals, and so on. This would be especially
handy when there is more than one employer for the household, or more than
one in a year.
--


Rick Hess
New Orleans
To reply, eliminate All_Spammers
 

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