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Finance

Finance

Pocket Quicken as a Budgeting Tool

Budgets help us to stay on track financially. Once we have decided how much of our monthly income to allocate to each area of our budget, its necessary to monitor the amounts we are spending in each area, and adjust our budgets or life styles accordingly.

ON THE PALMTOP

Pocket Quicken provides a handy way to automatically remove an expenditure from a second account each time we write a check or pay cash. We can use this to monitor our budget in the following way:

  1. 1. Set up an account for the areas of your budget you want to track (e.g. Gasoline) in the same Quicken file as your checking account. To do this, at the main Quicken screen, press (F2) (Add). Enter the information you want in the Name, Description and as of fields. In the Account Type box, select Credit Card. In the Balance field, enter the amount from your budget, (e.g. $100). Press (F10) (Save). 2. If you don't have an account for cash create one now to monitor your cash transactions.
  2. 3. Each time you write the check or pay cash, make sure it is deducted from one of your budget accounts. To do this, in Quicken's Add Transaction screen, tab to the Category field and press (DownArrow). At the bottom of the Category pull-down menu, Quicken lists all other accounts in brackets e.g. [Gasoline].

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  1. 4. Highlight [Gasoline] and press (ENTER). Continue the transaction the same way you would any other. The amount of the entry is automatically removed from the Gasoline account and listed as a transaction there.

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To see how much money you have left in your Gasoline budget account (or any other account), return to the Main Quicken screen (press (F9)) and read the figure in the Balance column.

Other uses for this technique

You can use this technique to monitor any type of budget family, business or personal.

Setting a Financial Goal for Retirement

When we think of the money we need to retire, we often think in vague dollar amounts. When trying to accomplish anything, it is helpful to have as clear a picture as possible of what our goal actually is.

ON THE PALMTOP

We can create a Solver equation to give us a target dollar amount for our retirement. This equation takes into account our projected monthly expenses, recreational money, tax rate, and the interest we can/desire to earn on our investment. It is a ball park equation only. In actuality, many variables including inflation, and the amount of your tax deductible expenses affect this equation. To create the equation:

  1. 1. Open Solver by pressing (HPCALC) (MENU) Applications Solver. Open a new Solver file ((MENU) File New), or highlight an empty field in the Solve Catalog screen of an existing file.
  2. 2. Move the cursor to the left side of the screen and type Retire Amount. This is automatically entered in the Edit Equation Name screen. Press (F10) (OK).
  3. 3. Move the cursor to the right side of the screen and enter the equation below.

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(((MonthlyExpenses+FunMoney)/((100-TaxRate)/100))* 12)/(Interest/100)=InBank

Put any comments or reminders to yourself between exclamation marks to hide them from the equation. The equation contains no spaces or hard carriage returns.

  1. 4. When you are done, press (F10).
  2. 5. Press (F9) (Calc). The Solve Calc screen appears.

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  1. 6. To use the equation, enter amounts you want in each of the variable fields. (Up/DownArrow to the field you want, enter the number and press (ENTER)).
  2. 7. To solve for the unknown variable, press the corresponding function key found in the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

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Other uses for the target retirement equation

You can use this type of equation to calculate the amount of money you will need in the bank to put your kids through college on the interest, or to provide for a retirement aged parent or grandparent. (Use the same basic equation, but change the variables in it.)

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