This user guide is under development ... updated 1/29/2023


A Real Budget provides a very new and different way to view and manage household finances. Whatever you may have learned about traditional monthly or payday budgeting does not apply. In the program and this user guide you will find no mention of:

Instead of micromanaging the dollars in your paychecks with either a traditional monthly or payday budget, you will be planning your income, expenses and savings together in one automated spreadsheet. As part of getting started you describe each of the following once.

The program uses this information about your household finances to construct your budget for the next twelve months. Your part of this automatic process is to keep up with the inevitable day-to-day changes as they occur.

With A Real Budget's new approach to managing household finances comes new ways of doing things. Your current money habits will probably have to change like paying bills twice a month instead of weekly or when you get paid. These are fundamental changes in your money habits.

Be open to adopting the new methods and letting go of your old money habits. What you've been doing with your money apparently hasn't been working or you wouldn't be here looking at something new. So letting go of what hasn't worked in favor of what has proven to work should be a no brainer. You'll be very glad you decided to adopt a few new money habits.

New concepts

A new way to view and manage household finances also comes with new concepts. Budget, for example, is something you know about, but, here is probably defined very differently than what you expect. Before getting started with building your first budget, take a moment to become familiar with a couple new concepts.

Choose your path forward

Choose how you want to get started using A Real Budget. You can change path's at any time.

Quick start - follow the quick start topics. Learn more as you build your budget.

Detailed start-up - learn a little bit about using the program before starting to enter any of your information using a more detailed start-up guide.