Simple Home Budget Frequently Asked Questions

Features

What is a recurring transaction?

Recurring transaction is a 'template' for transactions that is repeated on regular basis (weekly, monthly, every three months, etc.). When time for the recurring transaction comes, Simple Home Budget will ask you to confirm it, filling out all details for you (date, category, amount, notes).

What does 'hold until confirmed' mean for a recurring transaction?

Sometimes recurring transactions are repeated on the regular basis, but not precisely on specific day. For example, your gas bill will not come exactly on specific day of a month or exactly every two weeks. Still, it comes every month. Simple Home Budget will not ask you to confirm this transaction, but will warn you by the bright color on the Recurring tab when the time for the transaction has come. You just double click this transaction, enter the actual amount and date and click on Save and Process (everything else is selected). This means that the recurring transaction is actually on hold until you confirm and release it. Additional benefit from using this approach is that Simple Home Budget will use the on hold transaction in calculations for expected totals.

What are expected totals (income, expenses, net income)?

Simple Home Budget uses all your recurring transactions to calculate expected income and expenses for the selected month. For example, you biweekly paycheck amount can be used to calculate expected income for the specific month (sometimes it happen two, and sometimes three times per month). With all different schedules for the specific month, Simple Home Budget calculates total expected expenses and income, and together with actual expenses and income gives you total expected net income for this month (so you can get a great estimate about your financial temperature for the selected month).

Why does the background under total changes from bright green to yellow and then to red?

The color under each total (actual net income, expected net income and running total) gives your the meaning for the number you see. Net income as $100 can mean "great" or "close to zero" depending on your income. So Simple Home Budget informs you by color how good (more green) or not good (more red) things are (more yellow means "close to zero").

Where is the budget table?

Recurring transactions is your budget table with more than one dimension. You create recurring transactions for each category instead of filling the static monthly amount for each category. Your budget is your earnings for the selected month. We do recommend to create every possible recurring transaction (for some of them you will be using "hold until confirmed" flag turned on), to have expected totals be included as much as possible. All recurring transactions together will create your expected budget that will be dynamically calculated each month (some schedules are weekly, some semi-monthly, etc.).

How I can see the history for each category?

The Categories tab provides the summary for every transaction. You can see how much was assigned for the specific category for the selected month and whole year including selected month (YTD). There is also a handy chart for the last six months to see the dynamics for selected category.

Can I protect my database with a password?

Yes, use File -> Set a password... from the main menu. To recover the password, you can use any available tools to recover the password for MDB file.

How can I remove previously set password?

Use File -> Set a password... from the main menu and leave password fields blank.

Can I select a currency for transactions?

No, Simple Home Budget does not apply currency to transactions. You decide in which currency transactions are created. To manage transactions in different currencies, use different budget files and decide different currency for each budget file. The exchange rate between currencies is highly dynamic value and to manage it, Simple Home Budget has to know the exchange rate for every transaction (not date, every transaction, by one credit card it could be one value and by another credit card could another value. To record everything on one file, we do recommend to convert purchase amount to your default currency (check credit card statement) and add the note about the actual purchase amount in original currency.

Can I import bank and credit card statements?

Yes. Use the Import button on the Transactions Tab. Simple Home Budget will ask you for the file you have downloaded from your bank. Supported formats are Quicken (QFX, QBO), MS Money (OFX).

Do I have to select the category for each imported transaction?

No. Simple Home Budget will learn your choices and then apply selected category to similar transactions. It is also great to see unrecognized transactions right away! We all usually go to the limited number of gas stations, grocery or department stores, so when something new will show up, it's great to bring your attention to it! Simple Home Budget will keep learning your new choices and keep you informed!

How Simple Home Budget stores data?

Simple Home Budget uses Microsoft Access database format to store data.

Maintenance

My computer crashed and I did not backup data

You can restore your data from a backup file if you have it. Otherwise, you need to start from an empty file. The most important part to keep your current expense records.

Try Dropbox and set up the backup folder for Simple Home Budget into Dropbox folder on your computer. This way you will have your data backed up "in the cloud."

Do the following:

Now your data will be backed up by Simple Home Budget every time you close it, and DropBox will back it up "into the cloud."

How to move data from one computer to another?

If you have a new computer and need to move Simple Home Budget and your data from your old computer, do the following:

What does "silent backup" mean?

Simple Home Budget automatically creates backup every time you close a budget file and some changes were made. You don't have tell Simple Home Budget to backup you budget files. We do recommend to select backup location and number of backup copies you want to keep. Simple Home Budget will remove old backup copies automatically. The backup files are compacted budget files with added timestamp to the backup file name.

How I can change backup settings?

Select Settings -> Backup Settings... in the main menu. We recommend to set backup directory to external or network drive or have your backup directory included in your system backup list.

Can I run Simple Home Budget as well as keep my budget files on the USB thumb drive?

Yes, you can. Simple Home Budget is very small standalone application with the size little above 1M (your smallest USB drive probably around 256M). Budget files will not grow more than 1M for couple years of extensive use. Please follow recommended procedure to safely remove USB drive to make sure all writing processes are finished.

When I start Simple Home Budget, it tells me that the file is not recognized. What should I do?

It is possible (especially with unsafely disconnected USB drives) that the budget file (a database) could become corrupted due to system failure to complete all writings to the file. Try first to repair the file - select File -> Compact from the main menu (the compacting process will try to recreate your file using corrupted one). Another option is to restore the file from the backup. Even if you did not setup backup directory, Simple Home Budget will keep doing backups in the same directory as your budget file (which is My Documents folder by default). Use the file with the latest timestamp. To restore the file, select File -> Restore from Backup from the main menu. You will be asked to select the file from your backup directory.

What is the difference between .mdb and .shbf files?

There is no difference for this moment.

How I can recover the password for the budget file?

Use any software to recover MS Access passwords. Please close Simple Home Budget, then make a copy from your budget file (change .shbf extension to .mdb to avoid confusion for recovering software). Use recover software to actually know the forgotten password and then change it Simple Home Budget through File -> Set password... in the main menu. To remove the password, simply leave both password fields empty.

Purchase

When should I purchase Simple Home Budget?

We do recommend you to try fully featured Simple Home Budget for 40 days. When the trial period is finished, you can purchase Simple Home Budget by one of many payment method. You can find all details on the purchase page. Until the purchase is completed, Simple Home Budget will continue working in the "read only" mode.

What will I purchase?

Your purchase is your personal license key (code). The license key should be entered into Simple Home Budget Register form with the name used during the purchase. When the license key is confirmed, Simple Home Budget will return into normal mode.

How I can purchase Simple Home Budget?

Visit the product page for Simple Home Budget and click "Buy Now!"

I want to pay by check. Where do I mail it?

Please use the payment system for any type of payment. This will ensure everything payment related is handled properly by the payment system. Please select method "pay by check" and follow the instructions provided by the payment system.

Do you offer discount coupons?

Yes, we do! Check our website (and other popular coupon sites) regularly for our special promotions.

Can I get free Simple Home Budget?

We do recommend to purchase Simple Home Budget - this is the best method to ensure the future development, but yes, you can. Please see the following page for details.

What is your refund policy?

We offer 14 days money back guarantee from the day of your purchase. Please forward your order confirmation email to refund@propersoft.net.

Should I wait for the next version to come out before I purchase?

No, you should not! Purchased Simple Home Budget licenses are eligible for future updates.

Can I use purchased Simple Home Budget license code on more than one computer at the same time?

No, please purchase Simple Home Budget for every machine you are going to use on. You don't have to purchase another license if you are moving from one computer to another - simply uninstall Simple Home Budget on your old computer, copy your budget file(s) to your new computer and add existing budget file(s) into Simple Home Budget on your new computer (instead of creating new database, select the option "Use existing database file").

Payment processor charged me twice. What should I do?

Please allow few days for transactions to clear out. Sometimes the purchase form could be submitted once with missed fields and declined, and the second attempt is actually successful. That unsuccessful charge will clear out in few business days. However, if the issue still exists, please contact the payment system directly (you can still email us through the support form and we will help you with your request).

I ordered the Backup CD with my purchase. How long will it take to arrive?

The Backup CD is additional service often offered by the payment system. Please allow up to three business weeks for the Backup CD to arrive. Please remember that the purpose of the Backup CD is to provide with the hard copy of Simple Home Budget, and you can use Simple Home Budget right after your purchase - the license key should arrive with few minutes to few hours from your purchase. You can always download and use Simple Home Budget from our website.

The payment system asked me to confirm the purchase by calling on my home phone number. I was not at home and they asked me to call their number for confirmation. What does it mean?

Please call the number and confirm your purchase. The payment system tries to make sure that provided information is correct, and they constantly working to improve it to avoid confirmation when it is not necessary, however in some rare cases, the confirmation is required. Please let us know by email support@propersoft.net if you had described experience.

Support

How can I submit a bug report or suggestion?

You can do it right from Simple Home Budget - simple select Help -> Submit a bug or suggestion... from the main menu. Fill the details and submit your report. We will your report shortly and will provide the response if required (please don't forget to leave your email , if you did not register yet).

I submitted a bug report. Will it be fixed and when?

Please provide as much additional information as possible (your steps before you found the bug), so we can reproduce the issue. Please don't forget to include your name and email address. If we reproduce the issue and confirm the bug, you will be awarded the free license - but we can contact you only if we know you!

I have a question that is not answered here.

Please use the support form or just email us on support@propersoft.net and we will respond to you as soon as possible.