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Getting started with Moneydance

Angie Rauscher -

Getting started with Moneydance can be easy. While everyone manages their finances differently, there are some steps which are fairly universal. It's not necessary to do these steps in order, or even to do them all, but they're a good starting point. You can find the full Moneydance user guide here.

  1. Decide whether to start from scratch or import data from another program.  If you're starting from scratch you'll need to decide when to start Some people will choose the date they begin using Moneydance, some people will choose the first date of that month, some may choose the first day of the year, some will import data from another program. If you're importing data from another personal finance program, check out the Importing Data from other programs section of our knowledge base.

  2. Set up your Accounts. To create, edit, or delete accounts, go to the Tools->Accounts menu. When you create your accounts you should enter the Initial Balance (or Debt) for each account. This number should be the balance of each account immediately before the date you chose in step 1. It's also VERY important to choose the currency associated with each account (if different from the currency of your data file). This value cannot be changed once you've entered a transaction in the account.

  3. Set up your Categories. To create, edit, or delete accounts go to the Tools->Categories menu. It's generally easier to delete categories you won't be using. You can always add categories at a later point. It's important not to delete categories which have transactions associated with them, as this will delete those transactions.

  4. Set up your Online Banking connections.  You may need to Enable Direct Connections with your bank before you can connect with your bank through Moneydance. If your bank is not currently supported, contact us to see if we can begin doing so. 

  5. Build a budget. Use the categories you created in step 3 to set your income and expense items. You can track your budget performance in a number of ways- through the Budget Bars on the Moneydance home page, through the Budget sidebar report, through reports, or using the Budget Status graph visible at the top of the of your Moneydance window.

  6. Install the extensions you'll need. Some commonly used extensions are the Quotes and Exchange Rates extension which downloads stock prices and currency exchange rates and the Moneydance Updater extension which notifies you when a newer version of Moneydance is available.

  7. Get started entering your transactions- Entering your Paycheck, Learn to use Keyboard Shortcuts, and you're on your way!

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