Budgeting is another strong feature of Hot-Accounts. The program allows you to define up to four multi-year budgets. Most people will probably only use one budget … if at all.
It takes indeed some effort to define a realistic budget but If you seriously want to keep a close eye on your income and expenses a budget is the way to go.
The main function of a budget is of course to compare actual income and expenses to your budgeted figures in a certain period. But with Hot-Accounts you can also:
- compare actuals to actuals
- compare different time periods
So, even without creating a budget, you can already use the budget module to compare your actual situation of e.g. this month to actuals in e.g. last month or last year.
Note: the program uses adjusted figures when inequal periods are compared.
As already mentioned before, you can also use project items in a budget. This allows you to compare actual income and expenses for a specific project to your budgeted figures.
How to deal with larger expenses that don’t occur each month? E.g. €1200 in August each year for holidays? Even using a budget won’t guarantee you that the money will be available.
A solution is to make provisions for these irregular expenses. You might e.g. incure each month 1/12th of the expected future cost (-€100) on a fictitious account, e.g. Provisions.
The only thing you have to make sure is that you live within you means each month. Use the Budget Overview screen for that purpose.
When finally the large amount has to be paid, the money is available on some account. All provisions made for that amount can be taken back at that moment.