Oftentimes, people wonder how to efficiently find ways to make money, and most importantly, how to save it once it's on their hands. The advent of computers has made this a much simpler task for anyone who has basic knowledge of or is willing to take a simple course about how to run the machines and their programs.
Those who like to keep things very simple can begin by investing in a spreadsheet program. These allow the user to set up columns of numbers that look much like the paper register he or she would be accustomed to using. Once the program is installed on the computer, simply open it up and create two columns. Label one as Income and one as Expenses. Record the appropriate amounts in each, and following the program's instructions or Help menu, enter at the end an algebraic equation to tell the program how to figure the balance.
After becoming comfortable with this type of program, one can invest in Quicken or Microsoft Money to learn and use more features. These programs make record keeping even easier, as they already have the necessary algorithms set up and the user only needs to input the data to be calculated.
Quicken and Microsoft Money can be operated in one of two ways. Users who like to have a hard copy as backup often enter data by hand, plugging in the numbers from each deposit ticket or receipt the generate and then having the program figure out the balance. After doing so, these people check the computer's balance against what they have come up with on paper using the calculator.
For those with Internet access who use a bank that comes up on the menu, there is an option to have the computer download the transactions and balances right from the bank. Once the user has set up a connection the bank's website and password, he or she can read the numbers online even before downloading them into the machine's register. The bank's site will often inform the user of the actual balance when some transactions are still outstanding as well as what the balance will be once everything clears. This keeps things very simple in that by watching the lower of the balances, the user can be sure the account is not too close to bouncing get to the bank to add money before it does.
Business people and households alike use these methods to determine budgets. By doing this, money can be made simple for even those who do not always understand how economics works. Tracking money in these ways is much simpler than the paper and pencil methods many people learned as students, although some combine both ways to keep very complete records or in case a computer crashes.