How to Use Microsoft OneNote for a Family Budget

Microsoft OneNote is a program in the Office 2007 or 2010 suite that allows users to create the virtual equivalent of a notebook. OneNote project files contain multiple pages and each page can be independently customized. This level of customization makes OneNote well-suited for maintaining a family budget. The budget is able to be tracked from expense to expense on one page while a month to month view is presented on another. Each OneNote page created for the budget remains attached to the project as a whole for ease of access and data management.


Step 1

Open a new OneNote project and assign it a name with the word "Budget" in it for easy access in the future.

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Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab and "Table" while on the first page of your notebook. This page is opened by default when a new notebook is created. Click "Insert table."


Step 3

Input "13" as the number of columns needed and "20" as the number of rows. This leaves a column for each month of the year with an extra for labeling your rows.The twenty rows are for each expense heading encountered in a month.

Step 4

Select your table and click "Table tools" followed by "Layout" and "Add below" to add additional expense rows to your table as they are needed. This table on the first page of your family budget notebook serves as a master expense register for the entire year. Name this page "Master expenses" by double-clicking on your notebook page tab below the toolbar ribbon.


Step 5

Click the "Create a new section" tab located to the right of your "Master expenses" page to create a new notebook page. Name this page "January" or "Month 1."

Step 6

Click within the notebook page to add text boxes for your various expenses. Label each text box. Some categories to consider for a family budget are income, home expenses, utilities, groceries, necessary dry goods, luxury dry goods, family splurges, school expenses, charitable donations, investments, insurance costs and vehicle expenses.



Step 7

Right-click on your "Month 1" budget tab when you are done itemizing your expense categories. Click "Move or copy" and select your family budget file in the dialogue box that appears. Click "Copy" to create your "Month 2" notebook page and repeat this process until you have 12 individual monthly expense pages.


Step 8

Add each expenditure to its appropriate category box throughout the month. OneNote automatically stretches a box to fit data entered, and it also adds numbers for you if they are input with a plus sign between each entry and an equal sign at the end. For example, if you input "1+1=" and hit enter, OneNote automatically puts "2" at the end of the entry.

Step 9

Enter the totals from your individual expense categories on your "Master expense" notebook page at the end of the month.


OneNote also subtracts, multiplies, divides and processes basic algebra problems if they are input properly.

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