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How to Budget with Microsoft Money

Setting Up and Using Budgeting Features

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Use these tips and tutorials to set up and track your household budget with Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe or earlier versions of MS Money personal finance software.

Tip: To get accurate budget reports, use Microsoft Money for at least three months. You can use budget reports sooner, but budget projections will be off due to lack of data.

Microsoft Money Savings and Spending Budget

Financial goals in Microsoft Money budget.
Automatic Savings Goals in Microsoft Money Budgets
Microsoft / Screen Shot by Shelley Elmblad
This step-by-set tutorial explains how to set up a budget in Microsoft Money, complete with images to walk you through the process. While you can use a simpler Essential Budget in MS Money, this tutorial covers the Savings and Spending Budget, which I recommend for getting a more complete picture of your finances along with basic monthly expenses.

Tweaking Your Budget with Spending Categories

This is the default setting in Microsoft Money for viewing categories and subcategories.
Microsoft Money Default Category List
Microsoft / Screen Shot by Shelley Elmblad
When you set up your budget in Microsoft Money, you were given a set of income and expense categories which you can edit to suite your preferences. Learn more about using budget categories with this set of tutorials, which is complete with help for deciding on how much detail to put into subcategories and using transaction splits to keep your budget accurate.

Getting the Data for Your Budget

The Home Page in Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe will be familiar to Money Plus users.
Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe Home Page
Microsoft / Screen Shot by Shelley Elmblad
Each time you enter transactions into Microsoft Money account registers, you will categorize the transactions as some type of income or expense. These categories and the total of the amounts spent will show up on budget reports. Money gives you two different ways to view categories and subcategories in the registers. This tutorial explains the difference between the two views and how to switch to the view you prefer.

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