Anyone not have a Budget?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Dandy
Posts: 6064
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Dandy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:47 am

Never had a budget but did the following:

1. When I had a mortgage I used to subtract an amount each week from my checking register and add it to a column in the back of the register. That made sure I had enough in that separate sub account to pay the mortgage. It also let me know the real amount I could spend in the actual check register. Now I just have an amount moved from checking to savings each week to cover RE taxes. (my mortgage was a private loan that was payable every 6 months so I really needed to make sure I could pay that large amount).
2. We had a set amount for groceries, and work related transportation and meals while working that was taken out each week.
3. Other than that we just managed expenses frugally and it worked for us for decades.

carolinaman
Posts: 3939
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by carolinaman » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:01 am

We do not have a budget. We are blessed to have enough money to cover our needs and wants with some left over. I do monitor our spending periodically, but neither of us is extravagant in our spending. Also, we have lived in our home 44 years and drive cars a long time, usually 10 years or more. We each have our weak areas for spending but they are not excessive.

timmy
Posts: 725
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by timmy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:13 am

We look at our monthly outflow about every 6 months. And adjust as needed ... based on sloppy spending/habits or something that we need to save for. A few years ago we tightened things up to pay off the house. More recently the focus has been on getting the right amount in retirement and funding college.

SQRT
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by SQRT » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:20 am

I dont think you necessarily need a budget if you have a natural tendency to LBYM, your income is steady, and expenses are generally pretty constant and well understood.

I didn’t meet any of these criteria early on so needed a budget to meet my financial goals and manage very lumpy cash flows. Still have one. Would be lost without it.

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 6465
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by midareff » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:25 am

It's not a real budget since the combined monthly expenses including dining out and such probably don't vary $100 a month. Lump expenses are escrowed for and include car and comndo insurance, EFTPS IRS payments and property tax, so that is a month to month constant as well. Future cruise and travel expenses do have to be budgeted since they have to be paid more than 6 months in advance in many cases.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 7114
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:36 am

I use a spreadsheet to track the impending monthly doom that will befall my Fidelity CMA account, so that I do not overdraft and incur a margin debit. I only keep a few weeks of cash on hand and the rest is in the capital markets. But I don't care if I spend $150 vs $100 on gas, etc. I prefer to make reasonable decisions at the individual level. It works for me.

Budgets can be REALLY important if you don't have much disposable income. Otherwise you end up in a sustained deficit and you start to think Dave Ramsey knows what he is talking about. Budgets can be helpful for projects that are too big to keep in your head and for those with poor impulse control.

goblue100
Posts: 1105
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:31 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by goblue100 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:42 am

Pay yourself first, then spend the rest as needed or wanted. That has been our budget for the last 30 years.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

winterfan
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:06 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by winterfan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:37 am

We haven't had a budget in a while here. We put away savings first and spend the rest. However, we are looking to make a major purchase in the near-ish future, so I am going to start one again and see how much we can comfortably spend without cutting back too much.

smitcat
Posts: 4633
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by smitcat » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:23 am

Our budget allows us to know what we spend on items which in turn is data for decision making in the future. It tells us what are taxes are, what are pretax savings rate is , what are post tax savings rate is and can be used easily to compare lifestyle changes or potential moves which include retirement. It is not utilized to 'make' us save more , it is a tool that takes little time but allows us to compare spending costs to the value we personally perceive we have derived from those costs. A simple tool that costs nothing and helps with future decisions.

student
Posts: 4310
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by student » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:40 am

I used to do a budget and to keep track of my expenses. I stopped doing this a while ago after my friend made a good argument against it. His argument is essentially the exercise takes too much time and is not needed unless one is spending too much. These days, I use a simpler approach. After I put away the amount that I want to save, I am allowed to spend the rest.

You may find the following threads interesting.

viewtopic.php?t=244949

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=250168

User avatar
steve roy
Posts: 1732
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by steve roy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:03 pm

Budget? We don’t need no stinking budget. We watch our cash flow and stay under spending limits. Hasn’t been a problem in 35 years.

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:06 pm

I'm a frugal type (who said cheap?!) so I've never needed a budget. I never pay any attention to aggregate spending either. Basically each purchase is evaluated on its own.

I've done spending analysis, basically going over year-end credit card and bank statements to get a rough idea of needs for retirement. But that doesn't affect ongoing spending.

theplayer11
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by theplayer11 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:58 pm

never had a budget, both wife and I are frugal..I know what we are spending

HIinvestor
Posts: 1833
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:09 pm

Shortly before H retired, I did complete a worksheet online, roughly guesstimating income vs expenses pre-retirement vs post retirement. It looked very do-able, so we proceeded and we have had no financial issues in retirement, in fact have been much more comfortable financially than at any point in our lives previously.

Gnirk
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Gnirk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:39 pm

Retired since 2007ish, I don't have a written budget, but I'm always aware of my spending, vs my income. When I was younger and a divorced, single mom I used the envelope system, which worked great. Now I just use the "ballpark" system. However, I have started to track my spending, just out of curiosity, to see where I spend the most of my limited discretionary income. It varies from month to month.....surprise!

I have never tapped my taxable savings/investments unless it's for a project around the house, like having kitchen and bath cabinets professionally painted. Or for a river cruise in Europe.

AlwaysWannaLearn
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 8:37 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:21 pm

.....
Last edited by AlwaysWannaLearn on Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

asif408
Posts: 1837
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:34 am
Location: Florida

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by asif408 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:24 pm

Agree with others here that I've never had a budget but also have a steady income, fairly predictable expenses, am not impulsive, and have always had a LBYM philosophy. I think budgets matter more when you are impulsive, have an unpredictable income, unpredictable expenses, or don't subscribe to a LBYM philosophy. I've occasionally calculated my monthly expenses but that was primarily to see where I could cut costs.

I look at it similar to diet: if you aren't an emotional eater, eat mostly whole unprocessed foods, and have a regular eating routine you don't need to worry about a dietary budget (e.g., counting calories, measuring food you eat, etc.) to maintain a healthy weight. Your behaviors and patterns have you already set up for higher odds of success in weight maintenance and it's really just a matter of not deviating too much from the path.

Jablean
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:38 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Jablean » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:11 am

I have a budget, networth, credit card list, ACA plannning Excel workbook that goes back to 2000. In 2000 with just one of us working, a new baby, and a new/old house, I tracked most things to the dollar except for food. Was a bit more relaxed the next year, and even more the next. After that I just tracked loans and investments with a yearly budget estimate every couple of years. When the main wage earner lost a job, then it was time for another budget and dropping all extra spending including investments for a year till back on our feet. Now I just do a quarterly check on my net and watch my checking accounts weekly.

User avatar
randomizer
Posts: 1547
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by randomizer » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:37 am

I don't.
87.5:12.5, EM tilt — HODL the course!

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 2907
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:11 am

I didn't budget for 35 years, but I have been for the last 10, and it has been a worthwhile activity. Once you've been on a budget for a year or more, you realize that many spending categories are the same from month to month (housing, utilities, insurance, car payment, etc), whereas other categories vary (travel, dining, groceries, gas, entertainment, clothing, etc). The key is managing those variable categories. So for a person who dislikes budgeting, I would suggest doing a partial budget that only deals with such categories as dining or clothing.

Rus In Urbe
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:12 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Rus In Urbe » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:40 am

No Budget. Never had one and never needed one.

We pay our future selves first from incoming capital which goes into investments and retirement accounts; then we peel some off into a savings account for vacations and what we call capital improvements, etc. Out of what remains, we pay expenses. I check our accounts frequently and I always know what we've got and where it's going.

Since I do the financial planning, I have conversations from time to time to explain to my husband what I think our strategy should be (on new investments or large spending). We mull it over together and figure out what moves to make; he's a good sounding-board and it helps me to talk out our plan in order to hear myself assessing it. He attends the annual meetings with our TIAA-CREF representative as well as our Tax Accountant, so that there are never any surprises.

If either of us had spending issues, a budget might be necessary, but since we are both rather frugal by nature, we don't need one. We are making the transition into retirement in the next 18 months, so it will be interesting to see how that might change the picture.
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1866
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Tamarind » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:58 am

I have an annual cash flow plan that helps me set up automatic savings and adjust when income changes. It also helps us forecast how much we can commit for near term spending (car replacement fund, vacation, savings for house projects). I use mint every couple of months to make sure we are on track.

The only category I need a monthly budget for is food, particularly dining out. This is the one place where I'm prone to overspending.

User avatar
corn18
Posts: 1558
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:24 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by corn18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:43 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Gill wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:25 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:19 pm


Now in retirement (2018 is our third full year) I prepare a budget and track spending against that budget. Not only to ensure discipline in our financial lives, but to try and ensure we spend up to the level of our means (i.e., live our lives to the fullest).
My position, exactly, Mike. By budgeting I can feel confident spending more and not worrying about gifts to family and charity, country clubs, flying first class and buying luxury cars.
Gill
Could not agree more Gill :sharebeer
+2 I have plenty to cover the essentials, so don't really need a budget for that. Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE).
Don't do something, just stand there!

core4portfolio
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by core4portfolio » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:02 am

I dont place any budget. Yearly I check my spending on credit card summary account.
In my spending habit: before buying anything, i look for my needs and if needed then buy.
Some time, i buy in advance for few needed items if its a great deal like i got seventh generation laundry detergent with 40% off on amazon for prime members. So I dont use budget every month as its not needed for me.
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

smitcat
Posts: 4633
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by smitcat » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:15 am

Rus In Urbe wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:40 am
No Budget. Never had one and never needed one.

We pay our future selves first from incoming capital which goes into investments and retirement accounts; then we peel some off into a savings account for vacations and what we call capital improvements, etc. Out of what remains, we pay expenses. I check our accounts frequently and I always know what we've got and where it's going.

Since I do the financial planning, I have conversations from time to time to explain to my husband what I think our strategy should be (on new investments or large spending). We mull it over together and figure out what moves to make; he's a good sounding-board and it helps me to talk out our plan in order to hear myself assessing it. He attends the annual meetings with our TIAA-CREF representative as well as our Tax Accountant, so that there are never any surprises.

If either of us had spending issues, a budget might be necessary, but since we are both rather frugal by nature, we don't need one. We are making the transition into retirement in the next 18 months, so it will be interesting to see how that might change the picture.
Likely semantics in play with this thread.
Your post sounds like our 'budget'....
We pay our future selves first from incoming capital - a budget line item
then we peel some off into a savings - another budget line item
vacations and what we call capital improvements - two more budget line items
Out of what remains, we pay expenses - another few line items
I check our accounts frequently and I always know what we've got and where it's going. - reviewing budget vs actual
what I think our strategy should be (on new investments or large spending).- making budget changes and preparing next budget

Your budgeting is just not formalized. I think folks here are making the direct connection that budgets are a requirement of poor spending habits rather than budgets are a tool for both good and bad spending habits.
A budget does not equal poor or historical spending problems it is a tool.

"If either of us had spending issues, a budget might be necessary" - Neither one of us has spending issues , yet our budget achieved and used very similar to your post above gives us great data and allows us to make further improved decisions and planning. Currently we save about 2X our yearly expenses …. how do we know that?....we just look at the budget both past and present.

smitcat
Posts: 4633
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by smitcat » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:16 am

corn18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:43 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Gill wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:25 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:19 pm


Now in retirement (2018 is our third full year) I prepare a budget and track spending against that budget. Not only to ensure discipline in our financial lives, but to try and ensure we spend up to the level of our means (i.e., live our lives to the fullest).
My position, exactly, Mike. By budgeting I can feel confident spending more and not worrying about gifts to family and charity, country clubs, flying first class and buying luxury cars.
Gill
Could not agree more Gill :sharebeer
+2 I have plenty to cover the essentials, so don't really need a budget for that. Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE).
"Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE)." - Sounds like a budget would be very valuable to assist with this decsion.

mmcmonster
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by mmcmonster » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:36 am

Never had a budget. Wife and I are quite frugal and have always automatically lived below our means.

We do consciously save more (ie: not put in investment accounts) when we are planning a large purchase.

That being said, I keep track of all expenses in a massive spreadsheet:

Over the last few years, at the end of the year I tally up all expenses for the year (outside of investments), to get an idea of how much money we spend after taxes.

It humbles me to know that while I am doing well, I certainly cannot live on my investments yet. It also lets me know how close I am to winning the game.

MathWizard
Posts: 3716
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by MathWizard » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:37 am

No Budget, just pay yourself first.


We are maxing out tax deferred through our employers.

Our normal monthly spend goes into checking, the rest is put into savings.

We pull from savings for big semi-annual, annual and infrequent items:
prop. taxes, insurance, max ROTH contribution, big house repairs, vacations, car replacement.

-buzz-
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:43 pm
Location: USA

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by -buzz- » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:02 am

The way we manage our finances has evolved over time.

We didn't used to budget. When we were dual income with no kids, we didn't feel it was necessary. When we went down to one income after kids, we managed a little more closely but didn't have a formal budget.

For a little over a year, we have been doing a detailed budget every month. It has been a really great move for us. We plan for cash flow negative months so they don't stress us. I expect we will continue to budget like this until retirement.

Once we tightened up our budget, the fees to the Merrill Lynch "wealth management advisor" every month were glaring. Changes were made.

In retirement, we plan to have no college expenses and no debt. I don't know how detailed we will be at that point but I suspect we will still budget.

misscourtneyk
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:42 am
Location: The Great South

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by misscourtneyk » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:38 am

I don't have a strict budget and never really have. I have a target "number" in my head that I don't want to exceed for monthly spending. I pay all my bills, and then the delta between that and my target number is what I spent on fun stuff for the month. So that varies from month to month depending on how many bills I have. Everything else gets invested in tax advantaged accounts. I pay myself first.

However, I have a very steady income and my expenses are very predictable every month. I'm very frugal; although I have recently loosened up the purse strings a bit after receiving a large promotion at work. I'm already hitting my savings goals first so I didn't feel badly about this.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.

GMacD
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by GMacD » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:09 am

I have no formal budget other than to fully fund my 401k, Roth, (when possible), and a fixed amount of taxable savings/investment each month. I attempt to make the best deal possible in any transaction, and I allow myself an unlimited book budget because I love to read. This vice is not that expensive. I also fund an annual gym pass. If health is poor, nothing else matters. Otherwise, I make a mental note of any unexpected savings from a routine expense and either add this windfall to my emergency fund or invest it more aggressively into index funds. After 30+ years of this methodology, I am pleased with the results. It is allowing me to work on my terms, rather than of necessity.

Perhaps you merely mentally budget rather than formally.

User avatar
corn18
Posts: 1558
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:24 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by corn18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:26 am

smitcat wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:16 am
corn18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:43 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Gill wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:25 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:19 pm


Now in retirement (2018 is our third full year) I prepare a budget and track spending against that budget. Not only to ensure discipline in our financial lives, but to try and ensure we spend up to the level of our means (i.e., live our lives to the fullest).
My position, exactly, Mike. By budgeting I can feel confident spending more and not worrying about gifts to family and charity, country clubs, flying first class and buying luxury cars.
Gill
Could not agree more Gill :sharebeer
+2 I have plenty to cover the essentials, so don't really need a budget for that. Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE).
"Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE)." - Sounds like a budget would be very valuable to assist with this decsion.
I agree. Working on it.
Don't do something, just stand there!

keystone
Posts: 544
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:34 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by keystone » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:44 am

I don't have a budget and never have. I have always "paid myself first" by maxing out tax advantaged accounts and automatically directing amounts to investment accounts. I guess I have a savings budget but not a spending budget. It has usually worked out quite well, however I could see if someone were a spendthrift they would get into trouble this way.

MikeG62
Posts: 2301
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:46 am

corn18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:43 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Gill wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:25 pm
MikeG62 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:19 pm


Now in retirement (2018 is our third full year) I prepare a budget and track spending against that budget. Not only to ensure discipline in our financial lives, but to try and ensure we spend up to the level of our means (i.e., live our lives to the fullest).
My position, exactly, Mike. By budgeting I can feel confident spending more and not worrying about gifts to family and charity, country clubs, flying first class and buying luxury cars.
Gill
Could not agree more Gill :sharebeer
+2 I have plenty to cover the essentials, so don't really need a budget for that. Now it comes down to how much to live now vs. save for later (and FIRE).
Corn18, that is the key question. If you make enough where you can enjoy some of your income now while at the same time saving a very sizable % for retirement, my advice would be to do that. LBYM, but not frugally (enjoy some luxuries), but keep the focus primarily on deferred satisfaction.

FWIW, I retired three years ago at 53 (DW was SAHM for the last 25 years) and we are now living life to the fullest (to the level our assets will allow). Actually, I am pushing the envelope on travel with my DW (we are taking 7-8 trips per year requiring air travel and sleeping away from home ~60 nights per year) so not sure how much more of that we would do even with greater resources. :)

Keep in mind that Gill is also retired (I am pretty sure about that). So read his comments with that context.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

Mjar
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 5:18 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Mjar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:39 pm

My wife and I do the same, since we max out retirement, vacation, car savings and control our expenditures living well below my means I see no reason for a budget. If I budget I could squeeze out a couple hundred dollars more into savings but I want to enjoy the little things freely.

User avatar
Phineas J. Whoopee
Posts: 9024
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:51 pm

Anyone not have a spending plan?
PJW

NYnative
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by NYnative » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Why? As long as spending is below income and what you put in savings, what's the point of a spending plan. Sounds like just another name for a budget.

mptfan
Posts: 5721
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by mptfan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:59 pm

I don't have a budget, but I do track my spending by category using a home made spreadsheet.

Dominic
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:36 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Dominic » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:07 pm

I have a budget, but it's loose.

I take my monthly take-home income, and then itemize major/essential expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, groceries, pet expenses, 401k match contributions, and IRA contributions. I also approximate the average monthly cost of things like doctor visits and car maintenance. This way, I know what my target for my emergency fund should be, and I know how much extra money I can save or spend on luxuries.

User avatar
Phineas J. Whoopee
Posts: 9024
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:12 pm

NYnative wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:57 pm
Why? As long as spending is below income and what you put in savings, what's the point of a spending plan. Sounds like just another name for a budget.
I would say that is a spending plan.
PJW

NYnative
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by NYnative » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:24 pm

Yes it is - also called a budget. You decide what you want and need and then allocate money to it.

budg·et
ˈbəjət/Submit
noun

an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.
"keep within the household budget"
synonyms: financial plan, forecast; More

allow or provide a particular amount of money in a budget.
"the university is budgeting for a deficit"
synonyms: allocate, allot, allow, earmark, designate, set aside
"we have to budget $7,000 for the work"

Hugh Prolly-Wright
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:10 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Hugh Prolly-Wright » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:28 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:24 pm
I have never had a budget. No regrets.
Ditto. Have never needed one. If you follow a consistent practice of living below your means (which we have for our entire married life) then you don't really need one. This is different than tracking expenses (which I've started to do in anticipation of calculating a retirement number.)

If you are able to distinguish between a want and a need, that takes care of an awful lot of troubles right there.

User avatar
ebeard
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 5:51 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by ebeard » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:30 pm

Never had a budget except for big ticket items. More rules of thumb.

1. Always pay cash for cars or other things that depreciate.
2. No more than 25% of gross income on housing.
3. Who cares what we spend at the grocery store. Many times cheaper than eating out. Healthier too!
4. Always pay for vacations with money saved. Never use use credit, well, except for convenience sake. No need to carry around loads of cash.
3 core funds. Don't just do something, stand there.

mighty72
Moderator
Posts: 746
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 11:22 pm
Location: Somewhere in the West

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by mighty72 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:37 pm

masonstone wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:56 pm
I don't have a budget for monthly expenses and I tend to maximize savings and only buy essentials (Which include dining out). Part of this does lead me to not spend on anything I don't find essential. Anyone else in the same boat?
Yes. We have a 'budget' which helps keep track of what we are spending on and which category. We use YNAB so we create a budget. It also helps us put money aside for big annual expenses like property taxes.

& No we don't budget as for our monthly spending, everything is fungible. Money moves across categories. Some months we spend more on eating out and other months more on clothes.

The most important thing for us is cash-flow analysis. If we are spending more than what is coming in then we need to cut back on something.

3504PIR
Posts: 882
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by 3504PIR » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:15 pm

I don't have a budget and have never followed one. I created a budget when I first got married but never checked it or followed up. I generally know my income, and know my expenses and about when they are due. If something in my life changes (like where I live or work for example) I will add up my income and expenses to determine major costs like housing and my savings rate to make sure I'm straight but that's it. I've never run out of money, bounced a check or anything like that and always keep more money in our checking account than we need.

User avatar
ray.james
Posts: 1179
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:08 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by ray.james » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:29 pm

I do have a budget, but my reasons are different.
1) I have an over all spending number in mind. I try to see if any fixed fixed costs can be reduced like bills for internet, phone, classes, chopping etc.,
2)It is also to understand where my money goes. A clear idea of lifestyle inflation and flexible areas when we fall on hard times. Of course I do not sweat when I go over budget for a month in any area.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

wrongfunds
Posts: 2147
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:42 am

I am amused by this thread. Anybody who earns $900K per year and lives on $100K per year really needs a budget? Extra points for guessing who am I talking about!

NextMil
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:33 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by NextMil » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:58 am

My OCD hurts down to the penny reading this thread. Just another reminder that there is more than one way to get there.

grokzilla
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:25 am

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by grokzilla » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:08 pm

I've never felt the need to create or maintain a budget of any variety for my personal/family spending. And, I'm a fairly obsessive numbers person creating spreadsheets to track all manner of financial things.

The primary reason is that my SO and I are pretty frugal naturally, we've always saved a high percentage of our earnings every year and have never felt the need to squeeze every penny's worth of value out of every dollar we earned -- which is what I view a budget as primarily allowing you to do.

Clearly, we haven't felt that need because we've had excess. I could definitely imagine creating budgets if I was struggling to make ends meet.

Glockenspiel
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:29 pm

No budget but my wife and I are both pretty frugal. We don’t spend heavily on things we don’t need. I do track our spending though and try to limit it if I see it was extra high last month. Usually the outlier months are when we bought something that is a one time purchase that will last many years.

Post Reply