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The Planning tab, in Quicken, is an area where you can create budgets, debt reduction plans, and savings goals. Make long term plans for retirement and other life events and estimate your taxes, based on the data you've already entered into the Quicken software. You can also find handy financial calculators and tax tools under this tab. It's best to start using the planning tab feature after you've already entered your main spending savings, retirement, and asset accounts into Quicken. It's also best to have at least three months of transactions entered in to your Spending Accounts.
Your plans will be more accurate, and you won't have to enter as much data by hand. It's important to understand that the tools available under the Planning tab, are extra, and optional features of Quicken. Use these tools if they're helpful, or interesting for you. Let's take a closer look at the tools available in the Planning tab. To open up the Planning tab, just click on the tab along the top of your screen labeled Planning. The first tool you'll see is the Budgets tool. This tool helps you monitor your monthly income and expenses. This is probably the most useful and commonly used area of the Planning tab.
Click on Debt Reduction to see the Debt Reduction Planner. This tools helps you create a plan to reduce the amount of interest you pay, towards a credit card or loan. And helps you understand, how you can get out of debt, as fast as possible. Click on the Lifetime Planner tool. This tool helps you plan your retirement in conjunction with other life events, such as paying for a child's college, tuition or purchasing a home. It helps you determine, how to reach these goals. The next tool is the Tax Center. This tool interfaces with Intuit's TurboTax software to help you estimate your taxes for the current year based on the data you've entered into Quicken.
Let's take a look at this Savings Goal tool. This fun feature is a way of setting aside money for a specific purpose, such as for a vacation or a new computer. The money you contribute to a Savings Goal remains in your account, but its hidden so you don't inadvertently spend it on something else. There's also some handy calculators under this Planning tools drop down on the upper right. These calculators are quick ways to calculate retirement savings, college financing, refinancing savings or loans. There's also a bunch of Tax Estimation and Planning tools under the Tax drop down. We've seen this reports tool in other areas of Quicken, here it is again.
You can always see the reports that are available from your accounts using the Reports drop down. The Planning tab area of Quicken is a great feature to explore after you've entered your account and categorized a few months of transactions in Quicken. You may even find areas where you'd like to add more detail when using these tools.
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