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Where can I find a good budgeting program

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    Where can I find a good budgeting program

    Hello All,

    This is my first post to this site. My name is Rob and I am in my mid 40's. I have accumulated quite a lot of debt most of which comes from my business. i have serveral credit cards with very high balances and need to create a good cash flow budget but have not been able to do so. I purchased microsoft money years ago as well as quicken, however I actually do not know of anyone that has been able to create a good cash flow budget with these programs and I tried for countless hours. What I want to find out is how long it will take me to pay off my debts and see how much in interest I am paying out.



    For me excel does the trick. I've never worked with any of those programs and suppose my budget isn't very comlicated but it lists all my bills and payments, adds up what's been paid,what still needs to be done etc.
    If you need heldp with a budget, there are fantastic people on this borard who can help you come up with a plan if you share the balances & intrest rates on your cards, income, bills etc.
    Good luck!


      Trublu, I would direct you towards excel as well. I use just a simple budget work-sheet I found in Microsoft Works. I don't think it tells you your interest rate, but it definitely tells you if you're over budget, by how much, etc. It puts everything into a percentage system, so you can quickly figure out your Debt-to-income ratio just by looking at the budget.

      As far as something very detailed with big charts and graphs that show interest being paid out as a proportion, etc. I couldn't tell you. There are numerous interest calculators on the web that will show you that, and then you can enter that amount into excel. Bankrate and are my choices, and both have calculators that will show you about everything you need.

      The how long it will take you to get out of debt isn't so much a calculator as it is a budget. If you don't follow a budget, there isn't a product out there that will get you out of debt simply by purchasing it.

      You say you have accumulated a lot of debt from your business. How long have you been in business? Is the business able to sustain itself without going further into debt? How long will it take for the business to have and maintain a positive cash-flow? You say you tried to find a good budgeting program a few years ago which makes it sound as if you've had a cash-flow problem for a few years. If the business isn't generating a sustainable income for both yourself and the business, have you considered finding other sources of income? Perhaps working full time elsewhere and having the business part time while you grow the business in order to offset the debt caused by the business if it indeed is sustainable?

      I say all of this because no matter what program you settle on as a budgeting means, that won't necessarily solve the problem. A budget is a great way to more efficiently manage your finances, but the budget in itself won't make you have a positive cash-flow. If you have a deficit each month, budgeting won't make that go away. You may be able to trim some of the fat from the budget and lower that deficit, but putting a ladder in a hole doesn't do you any good when your still digging.


        Trublu, like you I tried the "big" financial programs and found they did not help me very much at all. As a result I created an Excel budget that does exactly what you're looking for. It shows you where you are headed financially so you can see where you are headed and what changes you need to make in order to reach your financial goals. We can also customize it to track your total interest and which cards to pay first, etc.

        Best of luck to you in your quest for financial health!




            I second MS Excel. You can do some really amaxing things in excel. I do use Excel every day at work, though, so I'm familiar with many of it's functions. I actually do the meaty part of our company's revenue budgets in excel because I can custom build the assumptions and functionality myself.

            If you keep all of the assumptions in specified cells and link to them, it's easy to change scenarios quickly.