Setting up a budget with a spreadsheet is very easy,
and a great start, but I highly recommend getting a
personal finance program like Microsoft Money or
Mint. I have used MS Money for years and is my
personal favorite. one feature I particularly like is
being able to see a one year forecast of your
accounts, this is a big help when you are trying to
figure out how much to pay on a credit card bill, and
your not thinking about the auto insurance bill that is
due in 2 months in the future.

Lots of people are getting away from doing their
billing on computers and moving to mobile devices,
there is a great free online program called
with apps for all mobile devices. This program could
easily be used for handling your entire budget and
even goes further than that. In the beginning you
may have to make some corrections to how it
categorizes your transactions, but after that it works
well. My only worry with programs like Mint is putting
all of my information in one place. There is no account
number information displayed, but it seems like a lot
of information to be in just one place. I started using
Mint for tracking my spend money, and I have to say
I do like it a lot. I have also recently added my Credit
Cards. It is a great tool to see everything very fast
and at any time.

Track Your Bills and

You can keep it as simple as you like, or get crazy and
track everything. Personal finance software is the best
way to stay on top of your money. It takes away most
suprises. After you use the software for one year and
enter all of your yearly, quarterly, and monthly bills,
you will know in advance at all times what bills are
coming. It's a beautiful thing. This will become your
check book also. If you do your bills on the software
before you send out your payments, you will be able
to see if there will be a problem.

When you set up the software you are mostly
concerned about any bank accounts you are
depositing to. You can also track balances on credit
cards and loans. If you are good with computers, go
for it and track everything. But if not, at first you
should be most concerned with is tracking your
checking and savings accounts.

The first thing you do when you get paid is to open
the program and enter your deposits from your pay
check into the various accounts. Then go online and
check the balances to make sure they match. If they
don't then make the nessesary changes to make
them match in the program. Once this is done, then
enter your due bills in the program. Next make sure
that you have enough money to cover the bills, then
go ahead and pay them.