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. 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.
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
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.
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.
Other uses for this technique
You can use this technique to monitor any type of budget family, business
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. 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. 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)
3. Move the cursor to the right side of the screen and enter the equation
Put any comments or reminders to yourself between exclamation marks
to hide them from the equation. The equation contains no spaces or hard
4. When you are done, press (F10).
5. Press (F9) (Calc). The Solve Calc screen appears.
Other uses for the target retirement equation
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
7. To solve for the unknown variable, press the corresponding function
key found in the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.
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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