Cashflow problems? Kuma attempts to find the answer
HOME BUDGET from Kuma Computers is intended to help you plan your finances. The program is cassette based and has no manual or written instructions. Instead, a series of Help pages are included in the program.
You keep track of your finances by defining a 'year' and entering income and expenditure for each month. The amount entered can be a forecast to be updated later. Expenditure can be entered as one of 10 user-redefinable categories. On the first run the program eases the entry for each month by prompts. Entries can be changed using the back-up option which permits you to re-enter a previous entry.
Option 1 on the main menu allows you to add data or create a new file. It also has a special rolling budget feature which allows new files to be created using the existing data.
Entries for a particular month are displayed using option 2, which also shows the following month's data. The results for any category can be displayed as a three-dimensional bar chart. Those allow you to define the vertical scale and they do look impressive. The effect, however, is lost when a chart is printed. A printout can be obtained from any of the display options by pressing P.
When the file is saved a six figure security code appears which must be re-entered when the data is loaded.
Though Home Budget is easy to use it cannot be described as user-friendly. The Help pages, which are a great idea, are not effective and the overall lack of instructions is disappointing. That is characterised by the back-up option, which does not make a spare copy but moves back one entry, which is not explained.
You will probably find the biggest obstacle to using the program lies in the fact that monthly totals of expenditure have to be entered. Since such information is not usually kept in that form a separate program such as Finance Manager may be needed to get category totals first.
Kuma Computers Ltd Unit 12, Horseshoe Park, Horseshoe Road, Pangbourne, Berks. RG8 7WJW. Tel 07357 4335.