As you spend or earn money each day, enter them as transactions into your account. A transaction marks an increase (deposit) or decrease (expense) in your account.
Here is what the transaction entry form looks like on the iPhone:
Few things to note:
- To enter a deposit, just tap the “-“ button to toggle to “+”. On Mac, delete the “-“ sign from the amount field.
- Payee/Description is an optional field, to record the merchant, or a general title for the transaction.
- Category is a required field. It is required because as you will see in the breakdown chart section, categorizing your transactions allows you to analyze where your money goes, which is the goal of using an app like GreenBooks.
- Note: For keep any additional note regarding this transaction.
What about loan and assets?
You can also use transaction to record increase or decrease of your loan and assets. For example, in a loan account, you can keep track of payment and interest as follows:
In a stock account, you can keep track of gains and loss on a monthly basis:
One thing you often need to to is to transfer money from one account to another. You can do that easily in GreenBooks. There is a transfer button in the toolbar on GreenBooks for Mac. For iPhone, just add a transaction and press the “Transfer tab”.
Here is what the transfer view looks like on the Mac:
A transfer is recorded as two transactions (one deposit, one expense) with the same category. By default the category for transfer is “Transfer”. You can change it.
One instance where you would use a different category for transfer is if you are transfering between accounts with two different currencies. In that case, I typically use the category “Exchange”. As you will see in the breakdown chart guide, transactions of the same category are summed in the breakdown chart. You want your Transfer category to always balance out to zero. The Exchange category, on the other hand, is typically not zero because currency rate fluctuates.