expenseRegister — Household Budgeting
Getting Started with Budgets
A budget is a plan for spending money. Having a budget and reviewing it frequently, prevents us from over spending. Budgets can also help us identify cash flow problems and fix them.
How to Budget?
expenseRegister makes this easy. To create a budget, you can simply pick a template budget with canned expense categories and the budget setup wizard also helps you to allocate amounts for these categories. Once you have set up a budget, you can review your budgeted and actual expenses to understand your spending and stay on track.
Setting up a Budget
Login to your expenseRegister account and go to the Budget page -
To set up a new budget, click on the New button and pick a Budget Type from the types listed. Here, we’ll setup a Monthly Household Budget, so click on that template.
In the Monthly Household Budget template -
- Type in a Name and Description.
- Check the Primary Budget check box. Doing so list the categories in this budget as expense types when you record an expense. This helps in categorizing expenses.
Next, type in the Total Budget Amount and click the Split button. Your total budget amount is your monthly pay or an amount you have for your monthly expenses.
expenseRegister automatically splits the amount into various spending categories. Notice how expenseRegister has a category called ‘Savings’, this is the amount you pay yourself and deposit it in a savings account. But if you have high credit card debts, you should pay off your credit cards before saving any money.
The amounts in the various categories are just defaults, you can change these amounts. Let’s do a couple changes to see how that works.
Say for example you live with a roommate and only need $400 for your Housing instead of the allocated $600. You can simply change the Housing amount to $400. The extra $200 goes into your Savings category like shown below.
Say you need more money for Transportation. Just change the amount in the Transportation category to your amount, say $300. expenseRegister takes the additional $100 from your Savings category. This reduces your Savings amount to $300 from $400. Obviously, you don’t need to know the details behind the calculations, expenseRegister does this for you.
You can also create custom categories by clicking the Create Custom Categories button. Type in a name and an amount for this new category. expenseRegister deducts this amount from the Savings category too.
If you are happy with these categories and amounts, click the Save button to see your budget. You can always go back to this budget and edit it to add more categories or change the allocated amounts.
That’s all it takes to set up a budget. Next let’s see how to use this budget effectively.
View and Monitor
To monitor your spending and see if you are doing as planned, go to the budget and click on it. This will show you your budgeted and actual expenses.
In the above view, you see your total expenses in each category. The numbers and charts present a quick and easy way for you to check if you are on track or if you are overspending. In the example above, we see that we went a little over budget on Food. Clicking the actual amounts in this view lists the expense items.
You can use this view to track and rectify problem expenses. You can also edit your budget with more accurate categories and amounts. The hardest part is getting started, setting up a budget and following it, but expenseRegister simplifies all of this. So… check it out… happy budgeting!