Which budgeting software do you use ?

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Bir48die
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:25 am

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by Bir48die »

I used Mint for quite awhile. Then I got tired of tracking all my expenses and putting into categories. However, it was a great exercise to gain knowledge of where the money is going. I might change my mind if we get out of hand on any particular month. Before I retired I developed my own spreadsheets for budgets and portfolios for different scenarios.

I will a couple times a year review a category to see if it could be out of whack. However, I have a monthly number that I fund to live on and so far has been pretty spot on.
runner540
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by runner540 »

mighty72 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:53 pm +1 on YNAB. I have been using it for 2+ years. For me, it is less about budgeting and more about knowing were money goes. The way it works is that you approve each transaction; makes you more aware of transactions. It makes you think about your spending. I don't think my budget for any 2 months has been the same but now I put money aside for big expenses that I know are coming like property taxes, insurance, etc

With other tools that I used, I felt with almost everything on auto-pilot, I didn't pay attention.
+2 Everything that mighty72 said. I had my own spreadsheet but I wasn't updating it frequently, and it was more descriptive of the past, than influencing behavior realtime, and my spouse couldn't easily check it. It holds me accountable for every dollar, no mental accounting tricks.
I still use my own spreadsheet for quarterly networth/investment updates. I do NOT link those accounts to YNAB, just checking and debt/credit cards.
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beernutz
Posts: 373
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by beernutz »

johnpau wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:45 pm Does YNAB sync well with brokerage accounts ?

Vanguard
Fidelity
Ally
YNAB isn't really designed to easily track individual investment asset values, or if that feature is in it I haven't figured out how to use it. In YNAB I budget 3 bank accounts and 4 credit cards, and track one of my two taxable Schwab investment accounts, and 3 TIAA accounts (main, matching, and an inherited SIP).

All those accounts are synced to daily automatically download transactions except one bank's checking and savings accounts. When I want to enter that bank's (Regions fwiw) transactions I have to log into their online system and download a .qfx file which I drag on top of the YNAB webpage to import new transactions. It is very easy to do so I typically do that every day to stay on top of things.

For the other synced accounts, transactions are automatically imported and I just categorize and approve them. I would not have bothered to include my TIAA accounts except that I was required to receive an RMD on the SIP account this year and to make it easier to reconcile with my bank account deposit of the RMD I added the TIAA accounts as trackable. I track the Schwab investment account on YNAB only because I sometimes transfer money from it to the Schwab bank account and having it in YNAB makes it easier to record both sides of these transfers.

The transactions on the Schwab investment and TIAA accounts are automatically imported but their underlying investment balances are not. When I created those accounts in YNAB I entered their total balances at the time and then every once in a while I'll reconcile their YNAB account balance totals per the Schwab and TIAA systems.

I reconcile these 4 accounts mainly for net worth calculation purposes but that is really unnecessary as I have other assets which I don't track with YNAB like my wife's Vanguard retirement account so YNAB's NW number isn't all inclusive. I also use a google doc spreadsheet to calculate new worth for all assets.
Last edited by beernutz on Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
millennial_investor
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 3:34 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by millennial_investor »

I use the free version of Dave Ramsey's EveryDollar app. Love it. I use Undebt.it to track debt.
Hoosier CPA
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:43 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by Hoosier CPA »

YNAB. I've had some very well built Excel spreadsheets in the past, but I inevitably get behind on entering transactions. It takes a bit of time to understand how YNAB works, and I do wish the reporting was a better for when I do want to analyze past transactions, but that's not was it's designed for. The change in emphasis on looking ahead instead of backwards is the game changer. If you are on top of your finances and live well below your means like many on here you might not see the benefits, but for someone with a young family it has really made a difference over the past couple years that we've used it.
Onlineid3089
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:47 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

My wife and I don't really budget. We use Mint to track expenses which works great though i do have to re-categorize several expenses every month. I do have the 'budget' set up in there that'll kick out an alert if we spend too much on restaurants or whatever in a month, but I wouldn't consider that an actual budget. I have a spreadsheet with all of our accounts listed that gets updated monthly so we can see how our savings/investments/mortgage change over time, but that is all backward looking.

Our base savings is all automated as well as all of our standard expenses (mortgage, utilities, etc) and the rest can be spent on whatever we want. Eventually excess cash always builds up and we move it to the taxable account.

We just aren't big spenders and don't feel any desire to live up to our means. I don't feel like budgeting is necessary in our case. That being said, I do think anyone who isn't naturally a saver like we are should probably do at least a little more specific planning for their expenses.
orlandoman
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:27 am

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by orlandoman »

2pedals wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:35 pmMoneyDance
+1 Great Program!
"Don't Believe Everything You Think"
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beernutz
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by beernutz »

Hoosier CPA wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:44 am YNAB. I've had some very well built Excel spreadsheets in the past, but I inevitably get behind on entering transactions. It takes a bit of time to understand how YNAB works, and I do wish the reporting was a better for when I do want to analyze past transactions, but that's not was it's designed for. The change in emphasis on looking ahead instead of backwards is the game changer. If you are on top of your finances and live well below your means like many on here you might not see the benefits, but for someone with a young family it has really made a difference over the past couple years that we've used it.
Have you tried adding the YNAB toolkit?

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... fgjl?hl=en

It has much better reporting features than standard YNAB.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
MythicalSeth
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:45 am

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by MythicalSeth »

YNAB. I’ve tried them all and nothing and I mean nothing is even close to YNAB. I’m not much of a subscription person but I probably save at least the annual subscription amount monthly. After struggling with both the idea and execution of budgeting for most of my adult life I am a complete convert to the method and the software. I hope you get as much out of it as I have. -MS
tashnewbie
Posts: 929
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by tashnewbie »

Onlineid3089 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:51 am My wife and I don't really budget. We use Mint to track expenses which works great though i do have to re-categorize several expenses every month. I do have the 'budget' set up in there that'll kick out an alert if we spend too much on restaurants or whatever in a month, but I wouldn't consider that an actual budget. I have a spreadsheet with all of our accounts listed that gets updated monthly so we can see how our savings/investments/mortgage change over time, but that is all backward looking.

Our base savings is all automated as well as all of our standard expenses (mortgage, utilities, etc) and the rest can be spent on whatever we want. Eventually excess cash always builds up and we move it to the taxable account.

We just aren't big spenders and don't feel any desire to live up to our means. I don't feel like budgeting is necessary in our case. That being said, I do think anyone who isn't naturally a saver like we are should probably do at least a little more specific planning for their expenses.
This is basically what I do too, but I feel like I must be missing something by not doing a forward-looking budget. Peer pressure? For someone who's really frugal and would never live at her means, and definitely would never exceed it, this strategy makes sense to me. I'm going to search the Internet to see if there are others who follow this same path (there appear to be at least a couple on this thread), to reassure myself that I'm not being reckless. I do think if I had a spouse and especially kids, the situation would be different, and I'd probably need a formal budget.
chicks
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:30 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by chicks »

I've been using https://www.newretirement.com/ for a couple of years now. It's a retirement planner as well as a budgeting tool. It's still a work in progress, but I find myself using it more and more. Never liked Fidelity's FullView much, and Personal Capital is great for some aspects of planning, but NewRetirement gives a pretty good overall view or where we are now and where we're going, year by year. Worth the $72/year IMO.

They've recently added account linking via Plaid, and Monte Carlo analysis.
petulant
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:09 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by petulant »

For budgets, I use spreadsheets.
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AlabamaPaul
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by AlabamaPaul »

After years of living below our means, we do not utilize a budget...
Blake7
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Location: USA

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by Blake7 »

DW and I have never budgeted. All income goes in, and all expenses comes out, of our checking account. The residual is ACH’d over to our brokerage or HYSA. I’m not saying a monthly budget isn’t a good idea for some, it just didn’t add any value for us for the amount of effort.

I DO know quite accurately what our monthly/annual expenses on average are, which I calculate using Excel. I need to know that for things like planning portfolio withdrawal rates, so I just update it a couple of times a year. But I don’t consider it budgeting.

Short answer: Excel :D
GMT-8
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by GMT-8 »

I also use the "I don't need a budget" method; our household isn't that complicated.
If you spend a fraction of what you earn it's easier as you never come near the edge.
My wife doesn't want to know anything about the money stuff if she can help it...

I have everything spread across 1 credit union, 2 banks and Vanguard.
My consulting business is on a shareware program called GnuCash; my CPA does the taxes.
I use a calculator, Apple Numbers, and/or i-ORP when I need to crunch numbers.
I read about how other people do it on this site.

GMT
Last edited by GMT-8 on Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DarkHelmetII
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by DarkHelmetII »

Blake7 wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:34 pm Short answer: Excel :D
+1
quantAndHold
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Re: Which budgeting software do you use ?

Post by quantAndHold »

I don’t budget, but I do track spending, with Personal Capital and Google Sheets. Specifically, Personal Capital to aggregate all of the checking account and credit card transactions. Then once a month, I download a csv file with the transactions, and load them into a spreadsheet that I created. It does exactly what I want with a minimum of fuss.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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