If you want to monitor your spending, creating a budget is a necessary task. Budgets help you understand where your money goes, as well as plan for future purchases. A budget also makes it easy to forecast your financial future.
The Budget tool is used to create a budget in Quicken. For fast results, you can let Quicken create a budget for you based on your income and expenditures, as long as you have several months' worth of transactions already recorded in Quicken. Or you can choose to create a budget manually, by defining which categories to track and entering budget amounts yourself.
Budgets are based on categories and subcategories that classify each transaction in an account. Categories are organized into groups. By default, Quicken creates three groups for categories: Discretionary, Income, and Mandatory Expenses. The Discretionary group is for optional expenses, such as dining out or entertainment. The Income group is for earned income, such as salaries, dividends , and interest. Mandatory Expenses are all the expenses you cannot avoid, such as a mortgage payment, a car payment, and utilities. You can add new groups, if needed, but you'll probably find that most of your income and spending fall into these three default groups.
After creating a budget, you can generate a report that shows you exactly how you are doing in terms of keeping up with the budget.