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How to Use Quicken

Quicken is a program used to manage finances. It has a wide variety of functions which include: bill sorting, organizing information, printing expense reports and online bill payment. It enables the user to carefully create a budget, set reminders for specific dates and perform various calculations. Quicken is also able to interact with tax preparation software most notably Turbo Tax. Quicken is compatible with MAC and Microsoft Windows. In this article a budget will be constructed using the program.

Things You Will Need

  • A Functional Computer
  • Quicken Software

Instructions

  1. To establish a budget open the [Budget Feature] found under [Planning]. If you are unfamiliar with the program or wish only to create a standard budget that includes the fundamental categories, select the [Automatic Option]. Though it lacks some of the more impressive features that are available in the program, it is best suited to users who are not yet versed in the dynamics of the program.
  2. Select the most appropriate spreadsheet. You may use the options that allow the spreadsheet to be identified by month, year or quarter. You may also omit any categories that are not essential to your budget, for example do not include a section for rent if you do not currently pay rent.
  3. You can switch to the manual budget option if you wish to apply more specifications. This will be more beneficial if you are creating a budget for a fairly large organization, a fundraiser of any kind or for a business.
  4. You can insert sub categories to provide more information in the budget for expenditure however this may affect the overall presentation of the budget. A category with clearly defined sub categories may possibly look something like this: Car Maintenance – Car Payments, Servicing, Miscellaneous Repairs and Fuel Costs. The use of these subcategories will allow you to see how your finances are being distributed and if any necessary adjustments should be made.
  5. You should create a section for Miscellaneous/Variable expenses. This will contain expenses that are not recurring but that may arise periodically. For example going to a concert, charitable contributions, and any likely unforeseen events. Introduce a smaller than normal column for this category. However if there is an expense within this category which is consistently appearing in it, make an individual column for this probable recurring expense.
  6. When you are done entering all the information into their respective columns and fields, and the budget seems satisfactorily completed. You can click on the [X] in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to exit, all the entries will be saved automatically.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Ensure to implement all the necessary categories and sub categories that you wish to use in the budget. If you realize that some categories are unnecessary, they are easily removed while working with the budget. Inserting a category in an already completed budget is a little more difficult.
  • Try to make the budget very specific but not so much that the budget appears cluttered and unreadable.
  • Experiment with the program to gain a full appreciation of all its functions and features. Create a mock budget to see how well you are able to employ all the tools available in the program.
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