Personal Budgeting using Quicken
Personal budgeting may be a low priority for many. Taking time to craft a well thought out personal budget is hard when so many other concerns demand our time and attention. Yet personal financial security cannot be achieved without some planning, in most cases. Taking the time to record your personal expenses in a manner that will allow you to categorize your spending habits will give you the information needed to formulate a budget that is reasonable and can match up with your personal financial goals. I use budgeting software in Quicken to accomplish this task. It is not the only financial tracking software available, in fact there are many available at no cost for personal use. I use Quicken by downloading all of our banking and credit card transactions. Each transaction is assigned a category such as dining out, clothing, or groceries. There are many categories to choose from and even sub-categories. From this information, reports can easily be run to see how much money your are spending in particular categories or even by a particular store, such as Starbucks or Safeway. This is powerful data. It can be used to see where all your money goes and actions you can take to cut back on your spending. There is a planning feature as well that can forecast your future financial picture based on your current financial information. I would suggest exploring this website: http://quicken.intuit.com/ if you have an interest in taking control of your spending. This is a great tool to put all of your spending and financial information into a single understandable place.