[Gnucash-changes] r13109 - gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C - Add a first-draft of a chapter on Budgets to the guide.

Chris Shoemaker chris at cvs.gnucash.org
Sat Feb 4 23:20:43 EST 2006

Author: chris
Date: 2006-02-04 23:20:43 -0500 (Sat, 04 Feb 2006)
New Revision: 13109
Trac: http://svn.gnucash.org/trac/changeset/13109

   Add a first-draft of a chapter on Budgets to the guide.

Modified: gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/Makefile.am
--- gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/Makefile.am	2006-02-05 03:17:28 UTC (rev 13108)
+++ gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/Makefile.am	2006-02-05 04:20:43 UTC (rev 13109)
@@ -19,6 +19,7 @@
 	ch_bus_ar.xml \
 	ch_bus_ap.xml \
 	ch_bus_pay.xml \
+	ch_budgets.xml \
 	appendixa.xml \
 	appendixb.xml \

Added: gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/ch_budgets.xml
--- gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/ch_budgets.xml	2006-02-05 03:17:28 UTC (rev 13108)
+++ gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/ch_budgets.xml	2006-02-05 04:20:43 UTC (rev 13109)
@@ -0,0 +1,182 @@
+      (Do not remove this comment block.)
+  Version: 1.9.0
+  Last modified: February 4th 2006
+  Maintainers: 
+               Chris Shoemaker <c.shoemaker at cox.net>
+  Author:
+               Chris Shoemaker <c.shoemaker at cox.net>
+  Translators:
+               (translators put your name and email here)
+ <chapter id="chapter15">
+ <title>Budgets</title>
+ <para>
+ This chapter explains how to create and use budgets with GnuCash. 
+  </para>
+ <sect1 id="budget_concepts1">
+ <title>Basic Concepts</title>
+ <para>A budget is a tool for estimating expected income and expenses.
+ You can use it to help you plan how you intend for your finances to
+ change over a period of time, and to examine how your actual
+ financial transactions for the period compare to your planned
+ transactions.</para>
+ <para>The budgeting concept is quite general, so GnuCash offers a
+budgeting tool that is both simple and flexible.  You, the user, have
+to decide how complex or simple you want to make your budget.  This
+guide will help you make some of those decisions.</para>
+ <sect2 id="budget_conceptsterms2">
+ <title>Terminology</title> <para>There are a few helpful terms listed
+  below that will be used to discuss budgeting.</para>
+  <itemizedlist>
+  <listitem>
+    <para><emphasis>Budget</emphasis> - A financial plan describing
+    the expected revenues and/or disbursements for a particular time
+    period</para>
+  </listitem>
+  <listitem>
+    <para><emphasis>Cash Budget</emphasis> - A budget planning for
+    expected cash receipts and cash disbursements.  This type of
+    budget tracks cash flow -- where your money comes from, where it
+    goes, and, of course, how much.</para>
+  </listitem>
+  <listitem>
+    <para><emphasis>Expense Budget</emphasis> - A budget chiefly for
+    planning what you spend your money on.  This type of budget tracks
+    your expenses.  It is typically not concerned with things like
+    appreciation or repayment of liabilities.  However, it would
+    account for interest charges.  For example, if you buy $100 worth
+    of groceries with your credit card, you incur an $100 expense for
+    groceries, and a $100 liability to your credit card company.  When
+    you pay the credit card bill for $110, you are incurring an
+    additional interest expense of $10.  An expense budget plans for
+    the transaction of buying the groceries and paying the interest,
+    but not the transaction of repaying the credit card
+    company.</para>
+  </listitem>
+  <listitem>
+    <para><emphasis>Capital Budget</emphasis> - A budget that
+    describes a plan for paying for a large future expense, often
+    through a combination of saving and borrowing money.  Note:
+    Capital budgets can sometimes get quite complex because they can
+    try to answer the question "Can we afford to do such-and-such?" by
+    exploring various hypothetical scenarios that can involve
+    hypothetical accounts.  </para>
+  </listitem>
+  <listitem>
+    <para><emphasis>Budget Period</emphasis> - The period of time
+    during which the plan is expected to take place.  The most common
+    budget periods are annual and monthly.  Sometimes, you may budget
+    for several consecutive periods at once, for convenience or for
+    finer-grained planning.  For example, an annual budget may include
+    12 monthly budget periods.</para> </listitem>
+  </itemizedlist>
+  </sect2>
+ </sect1>
+ <sect1 id="budget_creation1">
+   <title>Creating a Budget</title> 
+   <para>Even before you begin to make a budget, it's important to
+   have given some thought to your account hierarchy.  For example, if
+   you want to budget a certain amount for your electric bill and a
+   certain amount for your water bill, you can't have only an
+   Expenses:Utilities account.  Your accounts must be at least as
+   specific as your budget.  </para>
+   <sect2 id="budget_creation2">
+     <title>Choose Which Accounts To Budget For</title>
+     <para>The first step in creating a budget is to decide what it is
+     you want to plan for.  This decision will affect which accounts
+     you include in your budget.  For example, if you are only
+     interested in tracking your expenses, you may create an expense
+     budget by only entering amounts for expense accounts.  On the
+     other hand, if you want to track all of your cash flow, you may
+     create a cash flow budget by entering amounts for asset,
+     liability, income and expense accounts.</para>
+     <para>Before you begin to create your budget, you need to make
+     two decisions: What accounts do I want to budget for?  and When
+     do I want my budget to be for?  You can always change your mind
+     later, after you've created a budget, but you need to start with
+     something.</para>
+     <tip><para>As a rule of thumb, if you mostly care about
+     <emphasis>what</emphasis> you spend your money on, you may want
+     to make an expense report.  If you're also concerned about having
+     enough money in the right places at the right times, you may want
+     to use a cash-flow budget.</para></tip>
+  </sect2>
+  <sect2>
+    <title>Choosing a Budget Period</title>
+    <para>Before creating a budget you must also decide what period of
+    time you want to plan for.  The most common budget periods are
+    monthly and annual.  If you want your budget to plan for changes
+    in financial patterns over time, then you should include multiple
+    budget periods in your budget.  For example, if you want to plan
+    on having higher utility expenses in the winter than in the
+    summer, then you might break your annual budget into 4 quarters or
+    even 12 months, and budget a higher value for the winter periods
+    than for the summer periods.</para>
+  </sect2>
+  <sect2>
+    <title>Getting Started</title>
+    <para>To create your first budget click on <guimenu>File</guimenu> ->
+    <guimenu>New</guimenu> -> <guimenu>New Budget</guimenu>.  You will
+    immediately see a new budget with the default settings and no entries.
+    Then click on the "Options" button.  The most important options are
+    the budget period and the number of periods.  For the budget period,
+    choose the beginning date and the smallest period of time that you
+    want to plan for.  Then, for the number of periods, choose how many
+    periods you want to plan for.</para>
+    <para>The budget page now shows a list of accounts with a column
+    for each budget period.  The date shown in the title of each
+    column is the beginning of that budget period.</para>
+  </sect2>
+  <sect2>
+    <title>Entering Budget Values</title>
+    <para>Now, you must enter the budget values - the amounts that you
+    expect the account balances to change during the budget period.
+    There are two ways to enter budget values.  The first way is to
+    simply click on the cell and enter an amount.</para>
+    <para>If you have past transactions recorded in GnuCash, the
+    second way is to let GnuCash estimate the budget values by looking
+    at those transactions.  First, select the accounts you want
+    GnuCash to estimate.  Then click on the 'Estimate' toolbar button.
+    In the Estimate Budget Values dialog, select the date past which
+    GnuCash should look for past transactions.  GnuCash will start at
+    that date and look forward for the duration of your budget.  For
+    example, if you are making an annual budget, and you select
+    Jan. 1, 2005, GnuCash will look at all the transactions in that
+    account from Jan. 1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2005.</para>
+  </sect2>
+ </sect1>
+ <sect1 id="budget_reporting1">
+   <title>Budget Reporting</title>
+   <para>You've already done the hardest part - creating your budget.
+   But now you want to know how your actual financial transactions
+   compare to your plan.  You need to run the Budget Report.</para>
+   <para>Click on <guimenu>Reports</guimenu> -> <guimenu>Income and
+   Expense</guimenu> -> <guimenu>Budget Report</guimenu>.  For each
+   account, the Budget Report will show the budgeted and the actual
+   amounts in two adjacent columns for each period in the budget.  If
+   you have created multiple budgets, you can use the Budget Report
+   Options to select which budget to use in the report.
+   </para>
+ </sect1>
+ </chapter>

Modified: gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/gnucash-guide.xml
--- gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/gnucash-guide.xml	2006-02-05 03:17:28 UTC (rev 13108)
+++ gnucash-docs/trunk/guide/C/gnucash-guide.xml	2006-02-05 04:20:43 UTC (rev 13109)
@@ -15,6 +15,7 @@
 <!ENTITY chapter12 SYSTEM "ch_bus_ar.xml">
 <!ENTITY chapter13 SYSTEM "ch_bus_ap.xml">
 <!ENTITY chapter14 SYSTEM "ch_bus_pay.xml">
+<!ENTITY chapter15 SYSTEM "ch_budgets.xml">
 <!ENTITY appendixa SYSTEM "appendixa.xml">
 <!ENTITY appendixb SYSTEM "appendixb.xml">
 <!ENTITY appendixc SYSTEM "appendixc.xml">
@@ -225,6 +226,7 @@

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