How to Use QuickBooks for Personal Accounting

Intuit has two flagship accounting programs: Quicken for personal finances and QuickBooks for businesses. While QuickBooks is intended to be a business accounting software, it can also be used to track personal finances or both your business and personal finances. If you use Quickbooks for your business and do not want to learn another interface, or if you do not have a need for tracking stocks or investments, then QuickBooks can be sufficiently used as your personal accounting software.

Step 1

Purchase the QuickBooks software either at a local store or from the QuickBooks website. If you purchase it online, then you can download it immediately afterward. There is also an online version of QuickBooks available via a monthly subscription if you prefer not to install a new program on your computer.

Step 2

Install the software onto your personal computer. Quickbooks' EasyStep Interview Wizard will take you through the steps of creating a profile and connecting to your bank account. If you do not want QuickBooks to automatically download your checking account transactions, then you can opt to enter transactions manually instead.

Step 3

Set up your expenses through Vendor Center by clicking on "New Vendor." Even though a vendor is a term used in business, when applied to personal finance it refers to any company you use that provides you services or products. For instance, this includes those companies that provide you with your mortgage, utilities, cable, gas and shopping.

Step 4

Update the program with your expenses by clicking the "Add Transaction" button in the Vendor Center. If you connected the program with your checking account, then it will be taken care of automatically; however, you will still need to enter expenses that were placed on credit cards.

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