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How to Work with the Quicken 2013 Budget Windows

To get to the Quicken 2013 window in which you enter your budget, click the Planning tab and click the Budgets button. This causes Quicken to display the Budgets window — though the window won’t show any budgeting information because you won’t yet have created any budgets. From the Budgets window, you can create your budget.

1

Click the Get Started button, which appears in the middle of the Budgets window if you haven’t created a budget.

Quicken displays the Create a New Budget dialog box.

You now can begin the process of creating a budget. With the sort of kindness you often don’t expect from strangers, Quicken even suggests a name for your budget and enters it into the Budget Name text box. The name will be something really clever like “Budget 1” or “Budget 2,” but you can replace Quicken’s idea of clever.

2

Click the Automatic Budget button in the Create a New Budget dialog box if you want Quicken to create a starting budget using any existing financial data.

Quicken looks through your transactions for the selected time period (month, quarter, or year) and creates a budget for the five largest spending categories using your historical averages. (This rough-hewn approach, obviously, doesn’t work unless you’ve already been using Quicken and so have some existing financial data.)

When Quicken finishes with these tasks, it suggests and displays budgeted amounts in the Budgets window for your five biggest spending categories.

To change an automatically budgeted amount, click the budget value you want to change. Quicken then opens a text box for the value and also adds little buttons you can use to fiddle with the budgeted amount.

The little buttons that appear in the Budgets window for a selected line item let you do stuff with that line item’s budgeted amount.

3

Click the button that shows a tiny column chart.

Quicken displays a pop-up box with two tabs: History and Transactions. The History tab graphically depicts your monthly spending for the category over the last year in a column chart. The Transactions tab lists the transactions that make up the category total.

4

Click the Advanced Budget button in the Create a New Budget dialog box when you want to use Quicken’s advanced budget feature.

When you do this, Quicken again displays the Budgets window, but with an advanced budget approach, you see all the income and expense categories you’ve used.

5

Add a category to the Budgets window when you’re doing advanced budgeting by clicking the Select Categories to Budget link (see lower-left corner of window).

Then choosing the categories you want to budget from the Select Categories to Budget dialog box. Click OK when you finish with the Select Categories to Budget dialog box.

To budget an amount for a category shown, click the income or expense category and then, when Quicken opens a text box for the category, enter the budgeted amount into the Budget column. As with an automatic budget approach, you also have the Rollover Unused Amounts, Apply Amounts, and History and Transactions buttons available to expedite and elucidate your budgeting efforts.

6

If you want to set specific amounts for each month of the year, select Grid View from the second drop-down list box shown at the top of the Budgets window.

Or click the Budget Actions button and choose the Annual View command. Then enter the budget amount for January into the January Budget column, the amount for February into the February budget column and so on.

As you enter amounts, Quicken updates any subtotals and grand totals that use those amounts. And note that you don’t have to do anything special to save your budgeting work. Quicken automatically saves your budget for you. When you’re done working on your budget, for example, you can just exit the Quicken program or click a tab to see another Quicken window.

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