I have personal finance software installed on my mobile phone. I input all the info about purchases/spending in there so that I keep track of my money.

Recently I've got a credit card with a bank. Had several purchases using it. But the problem is that I do not know how such kind of transaction should be saved exactly, because I would like to track my debt separately. Should it be marked void, agreed or however else? Separating credit debt from the cash would have greatly simplify my reporting operations. It would allow me to easily calculate how much I owe bank.

How are such transactions saved in more complex financial applications? I bet there is some generally accepted approach for credit transactions. Where can I read about it? High chances that I could apply such an approach for my personal finances.

  • I feel you need a solution for mobile platform. In both Android and iOs there are simple solutions which track all type of accounts such as checking accounts, cash accounts and credit card accounts separately. Android in particular has some great application for free. I have used them personally. What kind of system is your phone? Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 1:46
  • My phone is on windows mobile. I have Cash Organizer app for managing personal finances
    – altern
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 9:36
  • I can easily calculate how much I owe the bank by looking at my credit card statement. I think it's best to not differentiate between money spent with cash or credit. It's both already spent.
    – user606723
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


I use mint.com for tracking my finances. It works on mobile phones, tablets, and in a browser. If you don't mind the initial hassle of putting in the credentials you use to access your account online, you'll find that you're able to build a comprehensive picture of the state of your finances relatively quickly.

It does a great job of separating the various types of financial transactions you engage in, and also lets you customize those classifications with tags. It's ad-supported, so there's no out-of-pocket cost to you, and it doesn't preclude you from using the personal finance software you already have on your phone.

  • I agree! I love mint.com. I totally recommend it.
    – Miles
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 4:55

Other responses have focused on getting you software to use, but I'd like to attempt your literal question: how are such transactions managed in systems that handle them? I will answer for "double entry" bookkeeping software such as Quicken or GnuCash (my choice). (Disclaimer: I Am Not An Accountant and accountants will probably find error in my terminology.)

Your credit card is a liability to you, and is tracked using a liability account (as opposed to an asset account, such as your bank accounts or cash in your pocket). A liability account is just like an asset except that it is subtracted from rather than added to your total assets (or, from another perspective, its balance is normally negative; the mathematics works out identically).

When you make a purchase using your credit card, the transaction you record transfers money from the liability account (increasing the liability) to the expense account for your classification of the expense.

When you make a payment on your credit card, the transaction you record transfers money from your checking account (for example) to the credit card account, reducing the liability.

Whatever software you choose for tracking your money, I strongly recommend choosing something that is sufficiently powerful to handle representing this as I have described (transfers between accounts as the normal mode of operation, not simply lone increases/decreases of asset accounts).

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