Contents of the README.TXT file
Welcome to BUDGET MANAGER (Version 0.3, June 1994), a Windows 3.1
application for managing household budgets with several Funds
(categories of spending and income) and Accounts (where money is kept).
BUDGET MANAGER Copyright 1994 TIMOTHY R. WAGENMAKER.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This software is copyrighted. Permission is granted to copy and
distribute the files for BUDGET MANAGER provided that no fee is charged
and that no changes are made to any of the files. If you use this
software for more than 60 days, you are required to register your copy.
TIMOTHY WAGENMAKER AND ALL OTHERS INVOLVED IN THE CREATION, PRODUCTION,
OR DELIVERY OF THIS SOFTWARE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES RELATING TO THIS
SOFTWARE, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE, AND ALL SUCH WARRANTIES ARE EXPRESSLY AND SPECIFICALLY
DISCLAIMED. NEITHER TIMOTHY WAGENMAKER NOR ANYONE ELSE INVOLVED IN THE
CREATION, PRODUCTION OR DELIVERY OF THIS SOFTWARE SHALL BE LIABLE FOR
ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE
USE OR INABILITY TO USE SUCH SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR CLAIMS. IN NO EVENT SHALL LIABILITY FOR
ANY DAMAGES EVER EXCEED THE PRICE PAID FOR THE LICENSE TO USE THE
SOFTWARE, REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF CLAIM. THE PERSON USING THE SOFTWARE
BEARS ALL RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SOFTWARE.
Some states do not allow the exclusion of the limit of liability
for consequential or incidental damages, so the above limitation may not
apply to you.
Notes about this Manual 2
Installation Instructions 2
Philosophy of BUDGET MANAGER 3
Getting Started 4
Funds and Accounts 5
New Month and New Year 6
Viewing and Printing 6
Program Limits 7
NOTES ABOUT THIS MANUAL:
Things you must type will be enclosed in double quotes ("") and
particular buttons, boxes, or menu items you must select will be
enclosed in single quotes (''). You can print this manual in at least
two ways: 1) When you are in DOS, if you are in the same directory as
this file, type:
"copy readme.txt prn".
If this file is on the floppy disk drive a:, type:
"copy a:readme.txt prn".
2) After BUDGET MANAGER is installed, select 'Print Manual' from the
The files you need to start are this file (README.TXT), the executable
file (BUDGET.EXE), the help files (*.HLP), and the sample budget files
(SAMPLE*.BGT). All other files will be created by BUDGET MANAGER.
To install on your disk, create a subdirectory somewhere on your hard
drive and copy the files listed above into it. From DOS, you can do that
with the commands:
"cd c:\" (To get to your base directory on drive c:)
"md budget" (To make a new directory named budget)
"copy a:*.* c:\budget" (To copy all files from the floppy disk in
drive a: to the new directory)
The above names are only suggestions. If you wanted to install BUDGET
MANAGER on drive d: instead, you would replace "c:" by "d:". The
instructions also assumed you were copying these files from a floppy
disk containing only the files necessary for BUDGET MANAGER. If you got
them from some other source, see your DOS manual if you don't know how
to copy the files listed above.
You can also create a subdirectory and copy files from WINDOWS. Run
WINDOWS (type "win" at the DOS prompt) and double click on the program
'File Manager' (probably in the 'Main' group). Select the 'c:\' folder
at the top of the window on the left. Then choose the 'Create Directory'
item from the 'File' menu. Type "BUDGET" in the Name box and press the
Enter key. You have just created the directory. Next, select the new
folder you just created (select something by positioning the pointer on
it and clicking the left mouse button). The window on the right should
have no files in it. Now, assuming the files for BUDGET MANAGER are on a
floppy disk in drive a:, select the 'a' drive on the bar near the top.
The names of the files on the disk will be displayed in the window on
the right. Select the first file and press the left mouse button. Then
move the pointer to the last file, hold down the Shift key, and press
the left mouse button again. All of the files should be selected. Then
position the pointer on any selected file, and with the left mouse
button held down, drag the stack of files on top of the 'c' drive icon.
Press the Enter key when asked if you want to copy the files. Again, if
you are getting the files from a source other than a floppy with exactly
the files for BUDGET MANAGER, you will have to do things a little
Once copied to a new directory, you have to install BUDGET MANAGER in
WINDOWS Program Manager. Get into Program Manager and select the group
where you want BUDGET MANAGER's icon (such as 'Applications'). Choose
'New' under the 'File' menu and select 'Program Item'. You can choose
'Browse' to look for BUDGET.EXE in the subdirectory you created
(suggested C:\BUDGET) and select it, or else just type
"C:\BUDGET\BUDGET.EXE" in the 'Command Line' box. Type "BUDGET MANAGER"
in the description line, and type the path of the subdirectory
(suggested "C:\BUDGET") in the working directory line. Then select 'OK',
and you are ready to go!
The basic philosophy of BUDGET MANAGER is to assign all general funds
money (excluding savings, investments, etc.) to a particular Fund
(such as food, auto, income, telephone) to help record and control
spending, and also to a particular Account (such as checking, cash,
Visa) where the money actually resides (or is owed to, in the case of
charge or credit cards).
Each month there is a budget which takes money from funds which are
sources of income (such as salary or interest income) and moves it into
funds representing expenses (rent, food, taxes, etc.). Since money
cannot be created or destroyed, your budget must balance, (that is, your
income = your expenses) before BUDGET MANAGER will let you enter
transactions. If you have more income than expenses, you can always
budget less income (which will give you a buffer in the income funds),
or increase savings (a fund representing money in your general funds
which is intended to be moved to a savings account). Unfortunately, more
people are likely to have the opposite problem--the expenses you would
like to support exceed your income. Then you must prioritize and cut
expenses until they match your income. That will give you a balanced
Install BUDGET MANAGER as described above. Then double click on the
BUDGET MANAGER icon in Windows. Before the file CURRENT.BGT has been
created, you will see a dialog window asking if this is your first time
running BUDGET MANAGER. Select 'Yes', and the file NOTES.TXT will be
created if it doesn't already exist. That will let you write notes which
you can read at a later time.
The first thing you will want to do is enter several funds and accounts.
You can read under the heading FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS a list of suggestions.
There are also some sample budgets which you can modify--use 'Open'
from the 'File' menu and select one of the SAMPLE?.BGT files. You can
change the names of Funds and Accounts, plus add new ones or delete
unwanted ones using the items under the 'Budget' menu. Since deleted
Funds and Accounts aren't removed from the budget until the following
month, it is best to change names rather than add some and delete
others. When you have made your modifications, select 'SaveAs' from the
'File' menu and name the file "CURRENT.BGT". Then the next time you run
BUDGET MANAGER that file will load automatically.
The next step is to initialize the various balances. If you are
transferring from another system, it may be easiest to use the 'Adjust
Fund' and 'Adjust Account' transactions. This is likely the only time
you will ever use these options, since these do not preserve the budget
system, which has all money in both a Fund and an Account. If you ever
use these transactions, you will want to make sure that the totals for
all Funds and all Accounts match when you are finished. If you are
starting from scratch, it will probably be easiest to do a deposit
transaction into your INCOME fund for each of your accounts (checking
accounts, cash on hand, etc.) for the amount that each has. When your
next credit card bills come in, use a debit transaction from the INCOME
Fund and the credit card Account for any charges which are not entered
in your budget. For each of these transactions, you can use some
description such as "Beginning". As you later discover additional Funds
you need, you can always add them then.
When you are beginning, you may not know how much to budget for each
Fund. You can use BUDGET MANAGER to record spending for a few months,
and at the end of each month, set the Budget amount for each Fund equal
to the amount the Fund changed during that month. Change the budget
amount of the Income fund to balance the budget. After your spending
patterns are fairly clear, you can use the information to set budget
goals, and then use the goals to help make decisions about spending. It
is not necessary for the amount spent every month to equal the amount
budgeted. Normally some Funds will have positive balances and others
negative balances each month. The important thing is that no Fund
becomes too negative and that the total of the non-Income Funds stays
FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS:
Some suggested Funds are: Auto, Charity, Clothing, Education, Electric,
Entertainment, Food, Gas, Gifts, Household, Income, Insurance, Laundry,
Medical, Miscellaneous, Personal Care, Phone, Rent (or House Payment),
Savings (i.e. Money set aside to be put into a savings account or
invested), Taxes (if your budget is based on gross pay rather than net
Some suggested Accounts are: Cash, Checking (one for each bank), Visa
etc. (one for each card). If you want to record a bank savings account
also, you will probably want to create a special Fund (such as SAVED)
which always has the same balance as your savings account. Then when you
make deposits from a checking account, you can record an Account
transfer (Checking account to Savings account) and a Fund transfer
(SAVINGS to SAVED). Or you can keep all Savings account records
See the SAMPLE budgets for additional suggestions.
Monthly Budgets remove money from some Funds (sources of income) and add
money to other Funds. You determine the amounts using 'Change Budget
Amount' under the 'Budget' menu. Since money can't come out of nowhere,
the Budget must balance before you can record new transactions or begin
a 'New Month'. To set Budgets, take your average monthly income (yearly
salary/12) for the budgeted Income, enter fixed expenses and priority
items, and adjust items until the budget balances. Try to budget for
monthly averages--for example, one sixth of your six month car insurance
payment should be budgeted for each month. Then by the time your next
payment rolls around, you will already have the money for it. When
setting up a budget originally, it may be necessary to begin with some
money in funds with irregular expenses (such as insurance).
You should record all spending, withdrawals, deposits, charges,
payments, interest payments, and everything which affects the balance of
any Fund or Account. The means of recording these is by using
Transactions from the menu of BUDGET MANAGER. Anything which subtracts
from both a Fund and an Account is a Spending/ Debit Transaction.
Anything which adds to a Fund and an Account is a Deposit. You can also
transfer between Funds or Accounts (the latter would be for credit card
bills, or cash withdrawals from checking).
For any transaction, select the affected Fund(s) and/or Account(s) from
the dialog box, enter the amount (it should always be positive, except
for Adjustments, which should be avoided). You may also enter a short
note. The date is important--transactions are sorted by date. When
everything is correct, select OK or press return (when the OK button is
Transactions can be deleted by clicking the right mouse button while the
cursor is on top of the listing (use View with any of the transaction
listings). No deletions or new transactions are permitted for records of
old months (created by 'New Month') or if a Fund or Account which has
been deleted is involved.
Transactions can be marked or unmarked by clicking the left mouse
button. This is true even for files in old months, and is intended to
help when balancing checking account and credit card statements. A mark
means that the transaction has cleared the bank or card company.
NEW MONTH AND NEW YEAR:
The 'New Month' command is one of the keys of this budget system. At the
end of every month, after ALL transactions and changes for the month
have been entered, select 'New Month' under the 'Budget' menu. That will
lock the file so that no more changes can be made, and then save the
file as an archive. You can always view or print the information, but
cannot change it. The default name will be the Month and Year of the
middle transaction in the file, but you will be prompted whether you
prefer another name. Then the old current amounts will become the new
start amounts, and the budget will transfer money from some Funds into
others. Since Funds and Accounts which were deleted the previous month
will be removed at this time, it is possible that the budget will no
longer be balanced, and you will have to make some changes. The
transaction list will be erased. If you later discover a transaction
from the previous month was missed, you can enter it in the new month.
'New Year' simply resets the Year-To-Date variables for the Funds. After
a 'New Month' command at the end of the calendar year, BUDGET MANAGER
will ask if you wish to reset the Year-To-Date variables. If your fiscal
year ends at some other time, select this command after performing a
'New Month' command whenever your new fiscal year begins.
VIEWING AND PRINTING:
Viewing and Printing are very similar operations. Each starts with the
selection of one of the options under the 'View' menu. You can view all
of the Funds with their starting balance (i.e. balance at the start of
the month), the amount budgeted for the month, how much the balance has
changed so far this month, and the current balance. The next option is
the same information (except for budgets) for all Accounts. To aid with
setting budgets, the third option shows spending patterns for the year
to date for the various Funds. Then there are three options for
displaying transactions: all transactions, those involving a particular
Fund, and those involving a particular Account. You will be prompted for
the particular Fund or Account on the latter options. The information
will be displayed on your screen, and you can scroll down using the
mouse to portions which are out of sight. The 'Home', 'End', 'Page Up',
'Page Down', up arrow and down arrow keys also affect the position of
the scroll bar.
To print information, first select it using the 'View' menu as described
above. Then choose 'Print' under the 'File' menu. A printer dialog will
pop up and you can select your printer and resolution. Then it should
print. If there is an error there will be a message which pops up on the
screen. Hopefully you can correct the problem and try again.
You can review information from this manual using the 'Help' menu.
BUDGET MANAGER has passwords to help preserve the privacy of your
finances. By default, the password is "Password". If you never change
the password, that will automatically give you access to all your files.
If you do change your password (using 'Change Password' under 'File'),
BUDGET MANAGER will prompt you for the password on the file CURRENT.BGT
when it begins. It will then use that password on all files until you
change it. If you open an old file with a different password, it will
prompt you for the password on that file. (Remember that the default is
"Password"). If you do not know a password and press 'Cancel', BUDGET
MANAGER erases the information from memory (but it is still on the
disk). DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSWORD! There is no way to read a file if
you do not know the password. Note that the password is case sensitive,
so that "Password", "password", and "PASSWORD" are all different.
There are currently limits of 75 Funds, 20 Accounts, and 600
transactions during any one month. If this poses a problem for you,
contact the author; the particular limits are somewhat arbitrary. Fund
and Account names and transaction notes are all limited to 13
characters. There is only so much room on the screen, and 'View' 'All
Transactions' uses it all. There is limited space on the Notes page, but
it should be adequate. If you need more space, you can use the editor to
open another file. There will be more space available if no 'Help'
information is showing. (Also, Notes are not affected by 'New Month', so
you will have your notes from month to month and you should not erase
ones you will have to refer back to later.) Dollar amounts over about
$21 million are not handled correctly by the program. If this is a
problem for you, you can afford a better program.
After using this program for a period of 60 days, you must register it
to continue using it. BUDGET MANAGER will print out a form for you to
send in with your registration fee of $10 (or $15 if you want a copy of
the most recent version mailed to you)--see Registration under the
'File' menu item. The form and check (made out to Russ Verbrugge) should
be mailed to Russ Verbrugge, 6301 Montcalm Ave, Clarksville MI 48815.
Thank you for your support of this program.