Budgeting

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aspiringlawyer
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Budgeting

Post by aspiringlawyer »

What do people use for budgeting and why did you decide to go that route?

Exel Sheet
Online/Apps
Pen and Paper
BogleMelon
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Re: Budgeting

Post by BogleMelon »

YNAB 4 (the classic version)
It works like no other software. The methodology of it will make your mind blowing.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the company or make any commissions!

Also: "Pay yourself first" works for a lot of people. But YNAB is still superior for budgeting.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
Better2bWise
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Better2bWise »

Dave Ramsey encourages that people learn to budget first to control yourself and let the math do the rest. He built a great free platform called EveryDollar to do just that with your entire expected income on the first of the month.

https://www.everydollar.com/app/#/sign-in

"And now to conclude, experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that, for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct, as Poor Richard says: however, remember this, they that won't be counseled, can't be helped, as Poor Richard says: and farther, that if you will not hear reason, she'll surely rap your knuckles." Ben Franklin

I wish you the best.
MikeG62
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MikeG62 »

Excel.

Reason being, I am very familiar with excel and building spreadsheets and excel allows me the flexibility to fully customize and design it for my needs. I built a multi-tabbed model, that includes an electronic checkbook register, a sheet where I summarize/categorize all of our CC spending, a third sheet which combines checkbook and CC spend and compares such spend to our budget on a monthly (as well as YTD) basis. Of course, one tab contains the budget itself.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

I use the now-discontinued Microsoft Money, which is free these days, because I have about 25 years worth of financial history in it. I did, but don't now, use its budgeting functionality. For my purposes its Bill Summary combined with its Cash Flow Forecast (I've manipulated it not really to be cash flow, just the projected balance of my checking account) works very well.

If I were starting from scratch today I wouldn't choose it, but I'm reluctant to give up such a detailed record of where I was and what I did. Today I'd probably choose GnuCash.

PJW
abner kravitz
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Re: Budgeting

Post by abner kravitz »

I use EXCEL for budgeting, retirement projections, what-ifs, and everything else you can think of. I used it (or a variant) throughout my career, and find it really convenient.
Nearly A Moose
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Nearly A Moose »

I used mint.com. Still sort of do but lately have felt it's been a bit buggy. Issue is my wife and I just don't want to write down every single transaction. I think in a perfect world I'd use Excel, but I haven't found an easy way to get transactions and categories into it.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
runner3081
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Re: Budgeting

Post by runner3081 »

As my wife says, "our entire life on on a spreadsheet".

Excel is the way to go for me, I can do whatever calculation, formula, etc that I want.

I do use Google Sheets for our expense tracking sheet. Allows me to enter things on the fly via phone.
DetroitRick
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Re: Budgeting

Post by DetroitRick »

Excel and Quicken, because I find both tools powerful and easy to use.

The actual budget is prepared in Excel, using data inputs from Quicken. I find Excel the most useful because, for certain income and expense items, I'm building up category detail from various levels of raw data and I need a flexible format. Plus, Excel lends itself better to the tax planning that I often do at the same time.

Completed budget is then entered into Quicken for the actual monitoring process. Because Quicken is there in the background, this whole process actually takes very little time. Maybe two hours max per year to prepare a preliminary budget in early December, an hour spread over several conversations for wife and I to discuss and modify, and at most few more hours to tackle any special analysis that I need to do before calling it all final.
harrychan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by harrychan »

Better2bWise wrote:Dave Ramsey encourages that people learn to budget first to control yourself and let the math do the rest. He built a great free platform called EveryDollar to do just that with your entire expected income on the first of the month.

https://www.everydollar.com/app/#/sign-in

"And now to conclude, experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that, for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct, as Poor Richard says: however, remember this, they that won't be counseled, can't be helped, as Poor Richard says: and farther, that if you will not hear reason, she'll surely rap your knuckles." Ben Franklin

I wish you the best.
Another vote for the everydollar app. it really is simple to use. If you want more control, try YNAB.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Impromptu
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Impromptu »

It depends on what you mean by a budget.

I use excel to keep track of my monthly income and expenses and what that does to my cumulative amount in the checking account. I cut and paste for each new month. I can do projections to make sure that my checking account will not run below zero. This was very useful when I wanted to pay off my student loans, as I could then reasonably be sure that I could pay as much as possible at the beginning of the month and still not be below zero at the end of the month.

If you mean a place where I place dollar limits on each category, then I do not do that.
I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
mancich
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Re: Budgeting

Post by mancich »

Excel and Quicken. Quicken for transaction purposes. Excel for our cash flow model, retirement projections, etc, all in one workbook.

DW and I don't do a "budget" in the traditional sense. We set up the Excel spreadsheet so that each column represents a two week pay period. Categories go down the left side in column A, 2 week pay periods across the top. Starting checking balance plus net income from paychecks minus expenses = ending checking balance. That amount then flows to the top of the next pay period and it starts all over again. This makes it easy to see the effect of unplanned spending on ending balances through the end of the year. Then, when we get toward the end of the current year, setting up the following year takes less than 15 minutes.

I have found budget templates online to be useless. They are mostly on a monthly basis; but bills are due at different times of the month and income doesn't come in all on day 1 of the month, so the cash flow spreadsheet we use gives a more accurate picture. I like to be granular, but to each their own :beer
MotoTrojan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MotoTrojan »

Nearly A Moose wrote:I used mint.com. Still sort of do but lately have felt it's been a bit buggy. Issue is my wife and I just don't want to write down every single transaction. I think in a perfect world I'd use Excel, but I haven't found an easy way to get transactions and categories into it.
I recently setup Mint, and after some fine-tuning with the settings, am starting to get really excited about it! I had Quicken, but not having model/online access was a deal breaker.

I have setup my budget so certain items are a fixed $ amount per month, while others will rollover monthly (whether excess/under budget). Things like my car maintenance or vacation fund are buckets with a fixed amount per month, which will keep rolling over. This allows me to leave a comfortable margin in my checking account, but not a ton, and then allow it to build up month-to-month. When I want to dig into one of those buckets, I can easily see how much I can spend in each without having to calculate the next few weeks income/expenses, and determine if I need to put less into investments. For items with a known cost on a recurring schedule (auto insurance) you can add in the months that the payments are, and it'll ensure that each month you are budgeting the necessary amount to hit that recurring payment. Before setting this up, I would often end up investing this checking account overflow, but then 2-6 months down the road have to massage things to come up with that cash.

Most items are now setup to automatically categorize themselves, but I occasionally need to adjust between certain items, but the mobile setup allows me to do that quickly throughout the week, while checking on progress.

With this, I can now setup a more steady savings/investing rate, and have confidence I am socking away the necessary money for future known expenses, and have a better idea of how much I have socked away for less known buckets, like a spontaneous vacation.

Personal Capital looks WAY better for investment/retirement planning (their new tool is pretty amazing), but for purely budgeting to ensure I have $XXXX available for investment each month, Mint has been life changing.
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camillus
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Re: Budgeting

Post by camillus »

I converted from Quicken to YNAB. It was a tremendous change for the good. YNAB and, I believe, Every Dollar give you laser like focus on zero-based budgeting, which helps you manipulate your savings rate, which is the most important factor in personal finance.

These two programs are essentially user friendly, super powerful spreadsheets. In my opinion, they are extremely worthwhile.
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MotoTrojan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MotoTrojan »

Anybody used both Mint & YNAB? Would love a comparison.

For now, Mint gives me what I need, for free. But I may be interested in a trial of YNAB at some point, to see if it is worth the $50/yr.
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camillus
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Re: Budgeting

Post by camillus »

MotoTrojan wrote:Anybody used both Mint & YNAB?
I do. I use mint for bird's eye view surveillance of all my accounts and I use YNAB to sort the funds in my daily spending accounts into budget categories. As I mentioned above, the key to success in budgeting is doing it zero-based. If you spend more money here, you have to spend less there. Mint doesn't do that as far as I know. Mint's version of budgeting is just moving sliders back and forth that turn from green to red as you spend. What happens when a category turns red? Nothing. "We'll just do better next month."

With YNAB, if you overspend in a category it forces you to make choices about where you're going to pull from to cover that category. If we spend to money eating out, that delays buying a car with cash or reduces the amount of money towards investments. You are of course free to spend however you want, but with zero based budgeting you become more familiar with your true priorities by the decisions you make.

Mint users, correct me if I am wrong!
Last edited by camillus on Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
51% US / 34% ex-US / 15% “bond”
MotoTrojan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MotoTrojan »

camillus wrote:
MotoTrojan wrote:Anybody used both Mint & YNAB? quote]

I do. I use mint for bird's eye view surveillance of all my accounts and I use YNAB to sort the funds in my daily spending accounts into budget categories. As I mentioned above, the key to success in budgeting is doing it zero-based. If you spend more money here, you have to spend less there. Mint doesn't do that as far as I know. Mint's version of budgeting is just moving sliders back and forth that turn from green to red as you spend. What happens when a category turns red? Nothing. "We'll just do better next month."

With YNAB, if you overspend in a category it forces you to make choices about where you're going to pull from to cover that category. If we spend to money eating out, that delays buying a car with cash or reduces the amount of money towards investments. You are of course free to spend however you want, but with zero based budgeting you become more familiar with your true priorities by the decisions you make.

Mint users, correct me if I am wrong!
That all makes sense. With mint you can at least work the following month to reduce your spending to get back on track, in a particular category you go over in. This also helps with items like gas, which may fluctuate depending on way the months fall, but with rollover, will average out.

How does YNAB handle a savings pot that is built up over time and spent upon in lumps? That's main thing I'm liking the setup of mint for.
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GerryL
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Re: Budgeting

Post by GerryL »

I track my spending, but I don't actually budget. I call it after-the-fact budgeting. I'm a diligent saver, so I never felt a need to budget. Having all the spending data in one place and having the ability to run reports made it easy to plot how much I expect to need in retirement.

I've been using Quicken for maybe 20 years.
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camillus
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Re: Budgeting

Post by camillus »

MotoTrojan wrote:How does YNAB handle a savings pot that is built up over time and spent upon in lumps? That's main thing I'm liking the setup of mint for.
That's what YNAB is designed to do :-) There are plenty of videos on youtube explaining YNAB. If I were you I'd poke around there.
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onourway
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Re: Budgeting

Post by onourway »

Another vote for YNAB. Using its zero based budgeting method means that you are no longer allowed to mentally spend the same dollar multiple times. It made a huge change in how we view our budget. Can't recommend it enough.
SQRT
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Re: Budgeting

Post by SQRT »

abner kravitz wrote:I use EXCEL for budgeting, retirement projections, what-ifs, and everything else you can think of. I used it (or a variant) throughout my career, and find it really convenient.
Likewise. Been using excel or before it lotus 123 for about 30 years. Would be lost without it. Have spreadsheets for everything financial, and otherwise like exercising, probably 50-100 with 4 open at all times and another 5-10 open every week or two. Probably a little carried away, but that's the way we are.
kelvor
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Re: Budgeting

Post by kelvor »

I use the newer web-based YNAB. I originally used YNAB 4 and loved it. Making the switch was difficult at first but now that I've gotten into the swing of things with the web-based version, I love it. The YNAB Toolkit is a must have in my opinion.

The huge advantage of YNAB to me is the whole method it is built around. With most (maybe all) other budgeting tools you project ahead and budget your money before it actually comes in (you forecast). With YNAB, the tool helps you to instead budget the money you earned in the past. Whatever money I earn in June will actually be budgeted for spending in July. It sounds simple but I've found it to be a powerful tool that makes budgeting way easier, especially if you ever have variable income of any kind.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MotoTrojan »

kelvor wrote:I use the newer web-based YNAB. I originally used YNAB 4 and loved it. Making the switch was difficult at first but now that I've gotten into the swing of things with the web-based version, I love it. The YNAB Toolkit is a must have in my opinion.

The huge advantage of YNAB to me is the whole method it is built around. With most (maybe all) other budgeting tools you project ahead and budget your money before it actually comes in (you forecast). With YNAB, the tool helps you to instead budget the money you earned in the past. Whatever money I earn in June will actually be budgeted for spending in July. It sounds simple but I've found it to be a powerful tool that makes budgeting way easier, especially if you ever have variable income of any kind.
Alright, I am convinced enough to try and get this setup before I get too married to Mint. I do like the functionality of being able to move cash around, and take from pots easily, if I overspend in some places.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Budgeting

Post by MotoTrojan »

MotoTrojan wrote:
Alright, I am convinced enough to try and get this setup before I get too married to Mint. I do like the functionality of being able to move cash around, and take from pots easily, if I overspend in some places.
I take that back. At first glance, do I need to manually input/categorize all of my spending? That is a deal breaker... how could it not be? Mint has a great algorithm for determining what is what, and I check it and will update one-off cases, but how can YNAB ask you to manually input expenditures?
fishmonger
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Re: Budgeting

Post by fishmonger »

I use Excel, and it only takes about an hour every month. I had Mint for a while but found it to be a bigger pain than it was worth.

Also helps that I now have no debt other than our mortgage, so there's much less activity to track
carofe
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Re: Budgeting

Post by carofe »

First Paper + Envelope system with Cash,
Then Excel + Envelope system with Cash for almost 3 years
Finally, currently using YNAB web app and mobile app version + Plastic for over a year.
US Total Stock Market + Intermediate Term Bond. That's it.
onourway
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Re: Budgeting

Post by onourway »

MotoTrojan wrote:
I take that back. At first glance, do I need to manually input/categorize all of my spending? That is a deal breaker... how could it not be? Mint has a great algorithm for determining what is what, and I check it and will update one-off cases, but how can YNAB ask you to manually input expenditures?
Because YNAB is a real-time budgeting platform. You pretty much have to manually enter some of your transactions because otherwise your category balances are not up to date. It does do automatic imports - and if you prefer you can wait for those to come in automatically. Initially you will have to manually categorize transactions but it will then automatically use those same categories for that same payee in the future.

YNAB is intended to be more hands-on because it forces you to assign each and every dollar one and only one job - and you can only do this with money you have already received.
Hoosier CPA
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Hoosier CPA »

For those who use Excel to track spending vs budget, how do you update your spreadsheet with actual transactions? Manually entering them or downloading them periodically and formatting them, etc. has always held back my attempts to budget in Excel. I haven't committed the time to invest in using Quicken, YNAB or Every Dollar yet. Then there's the matter of getting my wife on board....effectively planning and tracking spending is my next big financial goal.
miamivice
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Re: Budgeting

Post by miamivice »

We put all of our expenses on one credit card, and I look at the statement balance each month. As long as it is within reason (~$3,000) I don't worry about what we spent our money on. The only expenses that we don't put on the credit card are generally fixed recurring bills so they don't change from month to month.

It has worked for us - requires very little time and allows us to spend our free time on important things. It also alleviates me from pestering my spouse over every little thing that she bought each month.

It does require a certain degree of self control to keep spending down. And it also means that we have no idea how much we spend each month in total.
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djpeteski
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Re: Budgeting

Post by djpeteski »

We use google drive, specifically google sheets. Personally I think it is better than Excel, and it is automatically in the cloud. This way I can look at my budget from anywhere, including my phone, and my wife and I can share the view.

Additionally I like my workflow with sheets.

I have one document where I do the budget planning. On there I have a tab that is a template for each of my wife and I.
I make a copy of each template and specify it for the month.
My wife and I review the budgets.
I take my copy and import it into a different document where I track my credit card and checking account. She does the same.

Last year we paid off our mortgage and after paying bills, and maxing out our retirements account there is a significant amount of disposable income. We wanted to be very deliberate spending the money, so at the beginning of the year we prioritized where money will be spent. I can track our progress on how we are doing. This is the first year doing this, and it has gone very well.

Also I calculate our net worth each month. Either one of us can look at any of these sheets at anytime from any one of our devices. It is pretty darn handy.
Last edited by djpeteski on Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
miamivice
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Re: Budgeting

Post by miamivice »

Hoosier CPA wrote:For those who use Excel to track spending vs budget, how do you update your spreadsheet with actual transactions? Manually entering them or downloading them periodically and formatting them, etc. has always held back my attempts to budget in Excel. I haven't committed the time to invest in using Quicken, YNAB or Every Dollar yet. Then there's the matter of getting my wife on board....effectively planning and tracking spending is my next big financial goal.
Years ago when we were broke and had to watch every penny I used Excel. I created spending categories in the rows and used the columns for each month. Once a week or so I looked at our accounts and put the charges into each row as applicable. Seeing the data broken down by category was helpful to know what we were spending on, and for motivation to spend less. I'd let my wife know if we used up our monthly grocery budget for example.

But in the end, it required a ton of time to keep track of everything. After about two years, I got a much better job and we no longer lived month to month. Then I stopped tracking and haven't resumed.

At the time that I kept tracked each month, we had around $100 or $200 each month beyond expenses so we needed to encourage ourselves to constantly save.

Today I track net worth rather than spending, and as long as our net worth is on track then I am happy.
mega317
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Re: Budgeting

Post by mega317 »

miamivice wrote: I created spending categories in the rows and used the columns for each month.
This is what I do as well, but I don't spend as much time. Every couple of months I basically transcribe the numbers from our credit card statements into the spreadsheet. It takes maybe 30 minutes to do 3 months. I like the reminder and broad overview of where our money is going, and it's an opportunity to be mindful of possible changes. When I started doing it our "restaurants" row was a lot more than we expected so we cut back a little. Or it will motivate me to shop around for TV and internet service, or find a cheaper place to buy dog treats.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
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camillus
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Re: Budgeting

Post by camillus »

MotoTrojan wrote:I take that back. At first glance, do I need to manually input/categorize all of my spending?
I don't believe you need to manually add every transaction. The new web-based version should regularly sync with your bank and download transactions. From there, I believe YNAB learns which transactions belong to which categories - just like Mint. There is work setting things up.

Even so, YNAB is probably more work than Mint - though I'd say that once you learn the fundamental principles of zero-based budgeting, budgeting another way doesn't make sense. I suppose you have to decide how much work you want to put into it (and how much you'd like to increase your savings rate).

Cynically, I beleive Mint is made to be easy because it is an advertising platform :shock:
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spammagnet
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Re: Budgeting

Post by spammagnet »

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:I use the now-discontinued Microsoft Money, which is free these days, because I have about 25 years worth of financial history in it. I did, but don't now, use its budgeting functionality. For my purposes its Bill Summary combined with its Cash Flow Forecast (I've manipulated it not really to be cash flow, just the projected balance of my checking account) works very well.
One of the things I really liked about Money's budget was that you could associate categories with an account. E.g., if you had a budget of $500/month for groceries, you could tell Money that it would be paid by credit card X. The benefit of that is that after you set up your category budgets, your credit card would show an estimated balance equal to the sum of the linked categories.

You could then schedule a regular payment to the credit card equal to the estimated balance, based on your budget. If the cash flow projection for the credit card were flat, and the cash flow projection of the main checking account used to pay the credit card(s) was flat, I knew my cash flow would cover my budgeted expenses.
chw
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Re: Budgeting

Post by chw »

Nearly A Moose wrote:I used mint.com. Still sort of do but lately have felt it's been a bit buggy. Issue is my wife and I just don't want to write down every single transaction. I think in a perfect world I'd use Excel, but I haven't found an easy way to get transactions and categories into it.
You can download your Mint entries into Excel, and then manipulate to your needs. It's not easily obvious, but it is doable. Haven't done it recently, but did it at the end of 2016, so should still be a feature offered.
Nearly A Moose
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Nearly A Moose »

chw wrote:
Nearly A Moose wrote:I used mint.com. Still sort of do but lately have felt it's been a bit buggy. Issue is my wife and I just don't want to write down every single transaction. I think in a perfect world I'd use Excel, but I haven't found an easy way to get transactions and categories into it.
You can download your Mint entries into Excel, and then manipulate to your needs. It's not easily obvious, but it is doable. Haven't done it recently, but did it at the end of 2016, so should still be a feature offered.
Thx
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
The Wizard
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Re: Budgeting

Post by The Wizard »

"Nothing" has always worked for me as regards budgeting, from starting employment in 1973 to present.
I can't say I recommend this to everyone, but if you live beneath your means and are not inclined toward certain impulse purchases, it works fine.

My current "system", being retired now, is to maintain a certain target amount in checking to easily cover larger somewhat sporadic expenses, such as quarterly property taxes and travel expenses, for both future and just completed excursions...
Attempted new signature...
notoriusjt2
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Re: Budgeting

Post by notoriusjt2 »

I use YNAB and it has been life changing. It really forces you to allocate every cent you own/make into a specific category. The whole thing is way more polished than any excel spreadsheet I could make.
windrose
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Re: Budgeting

Post by windrose »

I was a very early user of Quicken, but over time, as the company grew, I liked it less and less, and it became more program than I needed.

I transitioned into a much more low tech system...I'd describe it as a reverse envelope system, because my envelopes start out empty.

1) Like many here, I save first, with my savings coming out of my paycheck.

2) I use 2 accounts (both free). Normal monthly expenses are paid out of main account (HOA, electric, etc.). For things that are only paid once, or a few times a year (insurance, property taxes, gifts, etc.) I divide the amount by 12, and transfer the monthly amount into account #2. When those bills are due, the money is there.

3) Unlike most here, I pay cash for almost all face to face (variable) spending....I really only use my CC for gas, occasional online purchases, and big ticket items. If I use my CC for a larger purchase, I transfer the amount into account #2, as if I paid cash, so the money will be there when the bill arrives.

4) No matter how I pay for something, I make sure I get a receipt. For anything online, I take a screenshot. Every few days, I toss all the receipts into a drawer.

5) Once a month, I make envelopes for my desired categories (actually, I just fold a piece of paper into 3rds for my "envelope"). I sort the receipts by category, and write the amounts on the outside. Then I add them up with a calculator, and write down the totals into a notebook. Then I clip it all together and store. If I need a receipt, it is very easy to find.

I spend whatever is left in account #1 any way I want....I really just track for an awareness, to see if anything is getting out of hand. Like others here, I'd say the whole thing takes about an hour, once per month.

If I were on a really tight budget, I could adapt it to the old fashioned way, by starting out the month with cash in the envelopes. but I just keep an eye on my bank balance. I think in a multi person household this would not work as well, but it works for me.
barelybarefoot
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Re: Budgeting

Post by barelybarefoot »

YNAB older version with sync. Don't like the online version. I use it to plan/project and double check transactions as we no longer have strict budget.
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Edie
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Re: Budgeting

Post by Edie »

I use Mint and Excel, but neither really for budgeting.

I use Mint because it aggregates all our spending and I can look at a list of transactions across all accounts and easily note if anything is out of place (being charged by the newspaper this week when I paid up front for a year September last :annoyed ) without having to go to each individual account.

I use Excel as a cash flow tool with expected expenses (including non-regular expenses) through the end of the year (about September/October I forecast out to June of the following year, and March/April to the end of the current year). We're already putting away ~35% in tax-deferred (or tax-free in the case of the HSA), so any excess cash I find coming up in the sheet I make plans for how to save/spend. 95+% of the time in the past, I would look for some way to reduce debt, but student loans are gone, car loan is almost finished, so it's getting funneled into savings, and will help pay for kids' small school loans once they graduate (oldest should have less than $4k when she finishes in two years, much better than my $28k 6 years ago).

I like the idea of spending last month's money, but I just don't see myself putting in the effort to learn a new way, I've lived paycheck to paycheck my whole life, and it's the same now, except that it's by my own choice by making my paycheck artificially small. If I see a shortfall coming, I reduce upcoming spending (shopping/dining out/excess groceries) rather than decreasing tax-deferred savings.
KATNYC
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Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Budgeting

Post by KATNYC »

We were using Mint (free) but that only tracks what is spent. We've been using YNAB (You Need A Budget) for over a year ($50 per year) and it's been life changing - giving every dollar a job. I have a referral link that gives me and any users of the link a free month of YNAB: https://ynab.com/referral/?ref=Q2H5USXu ... r_referral

I use the import feature (link bank accounts just like with Mint) and I also enter transactions manually.
It helped me to easily see $8.67 spent on May 18 at the airport didn't clear until June 6. I don't always consult the budget before making a purchase since I know there is money in the YNAB category, but near the end of the month when funds in the various categories are getting low, I do tend to consult the budget before making a purchase. We have YNAB on our phones as well.
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FelixTheCat
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Re: Budgeting

Post by FelixTheCat »

I've been through it all. IF we are only discussing budgeting and nothing else, get YNAB.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
carofe
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:21 pm

Re: Budgeting

Post by carofe »

Hoosier CPA wrote:For those who use Excel to track spending vs budget, how do you update your spreadsheet with actual transactions? Manually entering them or downloading them periodically and formatting them, etc. has always held back my attempts to budget in Excel. I haven't committed the time to invest in using Quicken, YNAB or Every Dollar yet. Then there's the matter of getting my wife on board....effectively planning and tracking spending is my next big financial goal.
Having to enter all transactions on Excel and making sure you didn't miss anything and everything is matching is a big hassle.
We used to withdraw cash for groceries, supplies, restaurants, etc.. just to avoid having to enter a lot of small transactions. The only ones we matched online was bills. We did this for almost 3 years.

We switched to YNAB because we wanted to use CC and take advantage of the rewards. If you want to use Cards you need the proper tool to make it easy.
US Total Stock Market + Intermediate Term Bond. That's it.
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Toons
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Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Budgeting

Post by Toons »

Quicken for budgeting since 1993.
No pen No paper.
Aggregates spending,taxes,investing,budgeting etc...all in one.
:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
AJC408
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Budgeting

Post by AJC408 »

+1 for mint.com

All my bank info and cards are loaded in for me and my wife. The trends are great to show net income over time, expenses, net worth over time, etc.

One issue I have with it is if my transfer money from my checking account to my vanguard taxable mutual fund it counts that as an expense on some of the trend reports. Other than that I look at mint several times a day and like that everything is in real time.
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Edie
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Re: Budgeting

Post by Edie »

AJC408 wrote:+1 for mint.com

All my bank info and cards are loaded in for me and my wife. The trends are great to show net income over time, expenses, net worth over time, etc.

One issue I have with it is if my transfer money from my checking account to my vanguard taxable mutual fund it counts that as an expense on some of the trend reports. Other than that I look at mint several times a day and like that everything is in real time.
Does it do it if you recategorize as a transfer? That's how I normally "fix" those weird things that pop up.
AJC408
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Budgeting

Post by AJC408 »

Edie wrote:
AJC408 wrote:+1 for mint.com

All my bank info and cards are loaded in for me and my wife. The trends are great to show net income over time, expenses, net worth over time, etc.

One issue I have with it is if my transfer money from my checking account to my vanguard taxable mutual fund it counts that as an expense on some of the trend reports. Other than that I look at mint several times a day and like that everything is in real time.
Does it do it if you recategorize as a transfer? That's how I normally "fix" those weird things that pop up.
Problem solved. THANK YOU!!
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