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Best Friend is Getting Spending Under Control.....
Old 01-06-2009, 09:24 AM   #1
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Best Friend is Getting Spending Under Control.....

Truly a landmark day with my best friend. I have been bugging him for years to set up a budget, track spending, etc. He and his wife have never shown an interest. However, he told me yesterday that they are now tracking spending, paying down debt, etc.

I think him turning 50 in August was a wakeup call. I care about him and his family so I of course am definitely encouraging him.........

Nice to see another person gets it. He has visited the board but has not signed up yet. I'll give that a hot. Besides, he was trained as an engineer, he'll fit right in..........
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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Yes, it sounds like he will fit right in!

I think a lot of us (me included) are busy with other matters such as our education, family and children, making ends meet somehow with champagne tastes and a beer income, and so on when we are younger than 50, and do not turn our attention to financial matters until we realize that it's the 11th hour as far as retirement planning goes. He has time to straighten out his finances if he works really hard at it. If he doesn't, then he may retire later than most if at all.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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It's great that you have been bugging your friend to get on track, FD. I have a feeling a lot of people are being indirectly encouraged to get on top of their finances with the economic wakeup call of the last six months!
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #4
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I never paid much attention (DW paid the bills), until I got money management software in the late '80's.
It took me about 40 hours of work to get everything in, but then it got to be a interesting little game I could play with myself. Budgeting for mortgage payoff, college for the kids, cars, etc. kind of forced me to plan ahead. It really worked wonders in our attitudes to LBYM issues, and what was important to us. Now, in retirement, we really only need to decide how much to spend for travel.

I didn't particularly like Quicken (bought it for the dreaded M2K, just in case), and so I'm still stuck with the old MYM12 (for DOS, for heavens sakes) Why learn a new one, if you don't have to?

Maybe others could comment on what software they use, and how they like it. I have a couple of friends that speak favorably about Microsoft Money, but I've never looked at it. I'm sure there are features that I don't have, like automatic updates to portfolios, etc. I guess I just like to do stuff manually.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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waltwill8, I tried Quicken and Money years ago, but to me they were frustrating and rigid. I just use Excel. It is flexible enough that I can make it do what I want, rather than me doing what it wants. Like you, I prefer doing things manually.

I have thought of trying other programs again, now that they have had a lot of years to improve, but haven't got around to it. Besides, I'm too cheap frugal. Versions of Quicken and Money used to come free with new computers, but my present computers didn't come with either.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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I quite like using Yodlee Moneycenter to track all my spending by category, etc. It's a good site and helps me keep track of my myriad accounts.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:56 PM   #7
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Your friend is fortunate to have you "bugging" him.
No charge by the hour in return for cold beverages on demand!
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Your friend is fortunate to have you "bugging" him.
No charge by the hour in return for cold beverages on demand!
He is going to help me finish off my basement, so I'll call it even........
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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It sounds like you gave him the extra push that he needed. You're a good friend FDude....kudos to you!
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:54 PM   #10
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I have to think the economy has something to do with this.

I used to use a budget program that I wrote myself. When that was obsolete I switched to Quicken. I had to contort some of Quicken's concepts in order to use it the way I wanted, but it has served its purpose and is easier than writing my own. Specifically, I created a liability acount for each of my budget categories and balance them with assets. When I haven't made a mistake Quicken reports my net worth as $0, but it's easy enough to create a net worth report. This way I know how much I have left to spend in each category and can instantly see if I'm overspent anywhere. I totally ignore Quicken's budgeting features.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:55 AM   #11
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I use Pear Budget. PB is an excel spreadsheet (free download) so I didn't have to put one together myself. (I think someone here or someone on diehard turned me on to this). It has sections to put regular expense, irregular expense (eg. vacation) and variable expense (eg. gas).

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltwill8 View Post
I never paid much attention (DW paid the bills), until I got money management software in the late '80's.
It took me about 40 hours of work to get everything in, but then it got to be a interesting little game I could play with myself. Budgeting for mortgage payoff, college for the kids, cars, etc. kind of forced me to plan ahead. It really worked wonders in our attitudes to LBYM issues, and what was important to us. Now, in retirement, we really only need to decide how much to spend for travel.

I didn't particularly like Quicken (bought it for the dreaded M2K, just in case), and so I'm still stuck with the old MYM12 (for DOS, for heavens sakes) Why learn a new one, if you don't have to?

Maybe others could comment on what software they use, and how they like it. I have a couple of friends that speak favorably about Microsoft Money, but I've never looked at it. I'm sure there are features that I don't have, like automatic updates to portfolios, etc. I guess I just like to do stuff manually.
I put all my spending on my Discover Card. It has a free tracking tool to show how much you spent in each category. For a quick budget, Excel is the way to go. For NW tracking Yodlee which comes with Fidelity.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:27 AM   #13
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I use a simple spread sheet which allows me omnipotent control
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:32 AM   #14
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I have always believed that you should never "leave your life to chance", you should be very deliberate about it. There are 1000's of randomly bad things that can happen to you in life, but the good thing is.... a very large percentage can be avoided, or at least minimized with just a bit of planning. Unfortunately so few seem to learn this lesson. Congrats to your friend for "seeing the light".
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