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Select a sort order from the Order drop-down list in the Sort dialog box.
Click the Add button in the Sort dialog box.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5.
Click the OK button on the Sort dialog box.
Now that the Budget Detail worksheet is sorted, a few key trends can be easily identified. The worksheet
clearly shows that the top three categories as a percentage of total budgeted spending for the year are
Taxes, Household Utilities, and Food. All three categories are necessities (or realities) of life and typically
require a significant amount of income for most households. Looking at the Percent Change column, we
can see how our planned spending is expected to change from last year. This is perhaps the most import
column on the worksheet because it allows you to assess whether your plan is realistic. You will see that
there are no changes planned for Taxes and Household Utilities. While Taxes can change from year to
year, it is not too difficult to predict what they will be. In this case, we are assuming that there are no
changes to the tax costs for our budget. We are also planning no change in Household Utilities. These
costs can fluctuate from year to year as well. However, you can take measures to reduce costs, such as
using less electricity, turning off heat when no one is in the house, keeping track of your wireless minutes
so you do not go over the maximum allowed in your plan, and so on. As a result, there is no change in
planned spending for Household Utilities because we will assume that any rate increases will be offset
with a decrease in usage. The third item that is planned not to change is Insurance. Insurance policies for
cars and homes can change, but as is true for taxes, the changes are predictable. Therefore, we are
assuming no changes in our insurance policy.
The first big change that is noticeable in the worksheet is the Food and Entertainment categories in rows 5
and 6 (see definitions in Table 2.1 "Spend Category Definitions"). The Percent Change column indicates
that there is an 11.1% decrease in Entertainment spending and an 11.1% increase in Food spending. This is
logical because if you plan to eat in restaurants less frequently, you will be eating at home more
frequently. Although this makes sense in theory, it may be hard to do in practice. Dinners and parties with
friends may be tough to turn down. However, the entire process of maintaining a budget is based on
discipline, and it certainly takes a significant amount of discipline to plan targets for yourself and stick to