How to Use the Budget Calculator
Why bother to create a personal or family budget?
First, at its simplest, a budget is the tool you use to know if you will spend more than you earn. To create a budget, you project your income and then deduct your estimated expenses. The budget calculator makes this calculation a snap. Just provide values for the pertinent inputs and click on the "Calc" button. That's all there is to it. Check out the Summary section for the results.
If the income is higher than the expenses, congratulate yourself. You're at least on the right track. However, if the expenses are higher than the income, then eventually some adjustments will need to be made.
You might be saying, "I don't need a budget calculator to know if I'm spending more than I'm earning." That probably is right. But there's another, even more, important use for a budget.
Budgets help us reach our goals.
The budget calculator shows the percentage each category is relative to total expenses. If you have a goal to save for the down payment for a home, the calculator will show you where you can consider making adjustments so that you can reach your goal.
By creating a budget, families can see where their money is going and identify areas where they can cut back on spending. Additionally, a budget can help families save money for big purchases, such as a down payment on a home or a family vacation.
To create a budget, families can use a budget calculator that considers income from various sources, such as gross salaries, pensions, interest income, real estate income, other income, and loan advances. This calculator will help families determine their total monthly income and allow them to allocate funds to different categories of expenses.
The calculator tracks expenses using the following seven groups: shelter, transportation, education, personal care, food & clothing, recreation, and other costs. Shelter expenses include rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. Transportation expenses include car payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance. Education expenses include tuition, school supplies, and educational materials. Personal care expenses include health insurance, medication, and personal grooming products. Food & clothing expenses include groceries and clothing. Recreation expenses include entertainment, travel, and hobbies. Other expenses can consist of anything else that does not fall into the other categories, such as charity donations or unexpected expenses.
The file save feature allows the user to save their budget and then recall it later. This makes tracking changes and updating the budget easy. Just save each month's budget to a different file.
The user can also print their budget to a PDF file using the calculator's print feature. Families might want to share their budget with a financial planner, or attorneys may need to prepare a budget for divorce or bankruptcy court proceedings.
What is a Budget Calculator Used For?
Simply put, a budget calculator let's you answer that famous question, "Where did all the money go?". Our Budget Calculator also calculates expense groups as a percentage of total expenses. It may be reasonable to have 30% of your expenses go to "Shelter". It probably would not be such a good idea if your "Recreation Expenses" were also 30%.
The budget calculator in SolveIT! also lets you compare projected budgets to actual income and expenses. You'll also be able to save your entries for later use and create budgets and reports which span and summarize an entire year (if you desire).